Steven Young of Colourbox and M/A/R/R/S electronic pop groups from the UK has died according to Pitchfork.
Young formed Colourbox with his brother Martyn and vocalist Lorita Grahame in 1982. They premiered their two debut singles “Punch” and “Say You” in 1984. The band then released two self-titled albums between 1983-85. Their first album uniquely mixed hip-hop, dub/scratch, and reggae, but had very little praise from listeners. Their second album had a greater reception and the single “Maniac” reached number 67 on the British charts.
Young then lent a hand to 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russells’ “This Mortal Coil project”, a group that featured Dead Can Dance and others that put a twist on other artists songs, and also created a few originals. Steven would play piano for the group on a few songs off of the debut album It’ll End in Tears, and also on the second album Filigree & Shadow.
After that, Steven joined back with his brother Martyn, A.R. Kane’s Alex Ayuli, Rudi Tamable, and mixers CJ Mackintosh and DJ Dave Dorrell to form the one-hit wonder M/A/R/R/S. The groups one single “Pump Up the Volume” in 1987 combined samples from James Brown, Public Enemy, Kool & the Gang, and more to become a worldwide hit. “Pump Up the Volume” reached number 1 on the U.K. charts and remained on in the full ranks for 18 weeks. The single also reached number 13 on the U.S. charts with a stripped down version of the their U.K. hit. Both Young brothers shared writing credits for “Pump Up the Volume”. Back in 1988 the brothers spoke on the success with Spin magazine,We knew what we didn’t want to end up with but we didn’t know what we would end up with,”. “We didn’t want it to end up sounding polished; we wanted it to sound … primitive”, Maryn Young said. “Pump Up the Volume” was nominated for a Grammy award, and featured on the soundtrack of several big name movies. Even after all the success M/A/R/R/S had, they broke up because of “money disputes” and “creative differences”. Steven Young became less involved in making music after M/A/R/R/S, and only had a few appearances for Moose and King Congo Powers.
Record Label 4AD, who Young previously worked with, confirmed the news yesterday of Steven Young’s passing.”One of the label’s true pioneers, Steven leaves behind an incredible legacy and will forever be in our hearts,” the label announced. “Our thoughts go to his brother Martyn, their family and his friends”. There currently is still no information of the time and cause of death. Rest in Peace Steven Young.