|THE LOW DOWN:
Echo Beach pays tribute to the 30th anniversary of M's - Pop Musik - offering 12 new versions / remixes of this classic
ROBIN SCOTT'S recording career encompasses four decades. He grew up in the South London suburb of Croydon and after leaving school enrolled at Croydon Art college, where he met Malcom MacLaren, with whom he attempted - with some success - to change the prevailing system, a predictable aim for free thinking students in the late 1960's. Scott befriended MacLaren and later day fashion guru Vivienne Westwood [with whom he was to collaborate 10 years later]. However he declined their offer to be involved in the Chelsea clothes shop which MacLaren and Westwood launched, preferring to make his career in music. While at art college he had displayed a talent for writing topical songs which he performed on radio and TV, and this led to the first ROBIN SCOTT LP titled 'Woman From The Warm Grass', which was released on the small independent label, Head Records. SCOTT was backed on the album by a notable group of the time, Mighty Baby, but this was a poor introduction to the record business, as Head Records very quickly bit the dust. SCOTT was working as a troubadour, singing his own songs and accompanying himself on guitar, and he spent a period playing folk clubs as a solo artist sharing bills with such emergent artists as David Bowie, John Martin and Ralph Mctell. In the early seventies he conceived a multimedia project,'The Voice' which was aired on the highbrow BBC Radio 3 but his restlessness then led him to travel both in Europe and North America, and when he returned he made demos with members of prog-rock Camel, song writer Terry Britten and publisher Ronnie Scott. In 1972 he entered the 'Search For A Star' National talent contest, which he won, and was offered a recording contract by EMI Records, but because they would not support his backing band, he turned down the deal. Around 1973 he performed in bands with the likes of Pete Thomas (later of Elvis Costello and the Attractions) and Paul 'Bassman' Riley, and also wrote 'Heartaches & Teardrops' a musical play with original songs which was apparently inspired by 'The Rocky Horror Show', and the 'True Love And Romance' comic strip genre. SCOTT then started working with Roogalator, a well regarded and original R&B band producing their debut single 'Cincinnati Fatback' [one of the first Stiff record releases] followed by another single 'Love & The Single Girl' on Virgin. As Virgin failed to pick up the album option he independently produced Roogalator's debut LP 'Play It By Ear' to be released on his own Do-It Records, for whom SCOTT also recorded 'Cry Myself To Sleep' under the alias of Comic Romance. When punk rock surfaced circa 1976/7, working with Roogalator (both as producer and manager) Adam& The Ants introduced themselves to Do-It records and SCOTT duly released their debut LP, 'Dirk Wears White Sox'. In 1978 Scott worked as producer for Barclay Records in Paris where he lived with his partner Brigitte Vinchon [alias Brigit Novik] after producing and filming [with celebrated director Julian Temple] all female punk quartet, The Slits. Still in Paris he recorded early versions of 'Moderne Man/Satisfy Your Lust', tracks which would ultimately appear on the first album. Established now as 'M', he also produced and recorded Pop Muzik, which was written as a resume of 25 years of pop music since 1954, and was certainly a watershed for SCOTT. Among other musicians who played on the track were his brother, Julian Scott, on bass, latterly highly-rated [but then unknown] keyboard virtuoso Wally Badarou, Canadian programmer John Lewis [who sadly died of aids in 1982] and Brigit Novik - the "backing" vocalist who put the 'pop' in the 'muzik'. In 1979 Pop Muzik was a huge international hit, after which MCA Records, the label which had released the single in the UK, understandably requested an album. 'New York, London, Paris, Munich' was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, at Queen's Mountain Studio, and using their regular engineer, David Richards. And as well as Julian Scott, Wally Badarou [who would later work with Stevie Winwood, among others and Brigit Novik. Additional musicians on the LP included drummer Phil Gould [later of Level 42], Gary Barnacle [sax & flute] and local Montreux resident David Bowie [occasional handclaps]. Released in the UK at the end of 1979, the LP was also a sizable hit in the US [where it was released on the Sire label]. In marked contrast to 'Pop Muzik', another track from the LP,'Moonlight & Muzak' was the follow-up single. MCA potentates were unhappy with this change of direction; but with a huge hit behind him SCOTT, felt it was relevant to be heard at this point. The track was written as a result of his experiences in the US, where he came into contact with the Muzak organization, which he describes as "a very weird experience. There were all these white collar workers conscientiously putting together music with the precision of chemists. Way before Eno was doing it, these guys were doing it for real. They were pre-occupied with the pace of workers in factories, and how to maximise their efficiency". That was the motivation behind 'Moonlight & Muzak', which was a UK top 40 hit, and then 'That's The Way The Money Goes' the forth 'M' single and the third hit inside a year. A 45 minute film incorporating videos and performances of 'M' tracks to date came as a result of globetrotting in the wake of 'Pop Muzik'. In late 1980, the follow-up album called 'Official Secrets' [containing the hits 'Keep It To Yourself' and the title track], was inspired [albeit tongue-in-cheek] by the overwhelming worldwide paranoia of the time. It was recorded in the UK and Dublin, with contributions from Bill Whelan [the man behind 'Riverdance', who at the time worked as an arranger]. Among the musicians on the album were Phil Gould on drums again, who also introduced his friend and subsequent Level 42 colleague, Mark King. King at the time played guitar as much as bass, and it was prior to his discovery of his trademark sound. In 1981 SCOTT co-produced rising star Ruichi Sakamoto, along with fellow members of Yellow Magic Orchestra [who also participated on resultant albums 'Left Handed Dream' and 'The Arrangement'], as did King Crimson/David Bowie guitarist Adrian Belew, while Scott and Brigit Novik supplied vocals and co-wrote four tracks. The same year brought a third 'M' album 'Famous Last Words', which featured many of the musicians from the previous albums, including the early incarnation of Level 42 [who by this time were having their own regular hits], producer Wally Badarou also playing keyboards, Julian Scott [on bass], Brigit Novik [backing vocals], Thomas Dolby programming, Yellow Magic drummer Yukihiro Takahashi, Andy Gill guitarist Gang Of Four and Tony Levin on bass. MCA declined release of the album and it only saw the light of day in France, Italy and the US, where M was not signed to MCA. Subsequently MCA and M parted company. At this point some role reversing took place and SCOTT produced the M single 'Danube' for the Stiff label, featuring Brigit Novik on vocals, followed by 'The Wedding Dance' presenting Novik as an artist in her own right. As a developement of the ethnic references on 'Official Secrets' and the Stiff releases, SCOTT found a new musical direction, producing an EP of African acts in Kenya. This led to the as yet unreleased album, 'Robin Scott & Shikisha' in 1983/4 recorded in Kenya and the UK with musicians from several different African states. The album featured a female vocal trio from South Africa, Shikisha [hence the album title], Wally Badarou and Julian Scott in addition to musicians too numerous to mention here. Most of this pioneering World Music has been legally suppressed till now but will appear with 'Famous Last Words' in January '98. The recent resurgence of interest in ROBIN SCOTT and the history of "PopMuzik" follows U2's usage of the Steve Osbourne remix opening their current world 'PopMart tour. Remixes by Junior Vasquez and Dub Pistols are to be released towards the end of the U2 tour in '98.
NOW, we gonna come back with the right package and remixes to the 30 Anniversary of POP MUZIK.
Label: ECHO BEACH
Title: M - POP Muzik / (30th Anniversary Remixes)
Catalogue: Echo Beach (EB075 )
Release date: September 2009
(13 tracks - 78 minutes playtime)
FILE UNDER: M / Pop / Reggae / Electronica / Pop Muzik / Cosmic Disco
Soundsample as mp3 in full length exclusiv on this website: Pop Muzik C&A Dub
1. Pop Muzik - PARALYZER Remix (12" Version) 5:26
PARALYZER aka ARN SCHLÜRMANN is a Hamburg based producer and well-known remix artist (Residents, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Queen to name a few).His remix is quite close to the original and is transporting the track into 2009
2. Pop Muzik - DEVO Remix (12" Version) 5:09
Are we not Men? We are Devo! Devo from Ohio/USA have been totally keen in doing a remix and their performance and remix skills are doing well.
3. Pop Muzik - STEFAN OBERMAIER Remix (12" Version) 7:54
Stefan Obermaier is based in Vienna and is part of the Vienna Scientist circle. "I am still really inspired by the feeling of downbeat and dub that manifested itself a decade ago in this country really. Nevertheless, these are different times and I am not looking backwards. So I try to go deeper and further, that way, I can give the music a lot more of myself..."- and so, Stefan found his very own sound before he even knew. With tight remix productions for the Greek Timewarp Inc. label ("The Obsession Bug") and Cologne based reggae cohort Razoof ("Spirituality", released on the De-Phazz driven imprint Phazz-a-delic), Stefan showcased his remarkable abilities on an international level throughout the last months and outlined a unique vision in sound, easily fusing comfortable home listening pleasures and uplifting dancefloor vibrations.. http://www.myspace.com/stefanobermaier
4. Pop Muzik - INTERNATIONALLY TRAINED BUNNIES Remix (12" Version) 6:22
Internationally Trained Bunnies aka Pete Rivera & Felix Wenzel are from Hamburg and describe there skills as Funk, Soul und House - so you know what kind of pop muzik you get: http://www.myspace.com/internationallytb
5. Pop Muzik - TODD TERJE Remix (12" Version) 9:52
TODD TERJE from Oslo/Norway is one of the leading "Cosmic Disco" DJ´s and remixers of nowadays. He released tracks on Eskimo Rec., Playhouse, Hed Kandi, Fabric, Kitsune, Ministry of Sound and on other well reputated labels. Especially his remix of Jose Gonzalez created waves recently… http://www.myspace.com/toddterjemusic
6. Pop Muzik - SALZ Remix (12" Version) 6:53
SALZ were founded 1997 by Emanuel Geller, Axel Erbstoesser and Sebastian Becky in Cologne and they remixed Thomas Dolby, Solar Moon, Razoof and Swayzak just to name a few. SALZ are described as "high recommended dub tech-house with slight Basic Channel influence and a great 80's appeal".
7. Pop Muzik - STACHY AKA STACY G (12" Version) 6:35
Stachy aka Stacy G is a very advanced and groovy electronic producer and remixer who got famous as part of the German HipHopsters Fischmob beside his partner DJ Koze. His warm and spherical, clicking, shuffling and pulsating remix is perfect and destined for the more advanced dancefloor. He remixed Hildegard Knef, Pierre Henry and Phono amongst others
8. Pop Muzik - KARL MOESTL Remix (12" Version) 7:12
"I am a dirty electric fusion"... is Karl's credo in producing music and his DJ- and live performances. KARL MOESTL who is very well-known as the producer of the successful electronic-duo ‚ WALKNER.MÖSTL and one of the outstanding artists on g-stone (the Kruder & Dorfmeister label) has made his own way in life after some outstanding productions and remixes for:, Tosca, Senor Torpedo, Hot Pants Road Club, Trio Electrico, Vienna Scientists, Eric Fischer, DeepdiveCorp Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Cafe Drechsler..." His Pop Muzik remix is a Tech - House floor filler.
9. Pop Muzik - DUB SPENCER & TRANCE HILL Remix 6:11
The Swiss Dub Space combo DUB SPENCER & TRANCE HILL from Zurich have created very high intense cover versions of Falco's Jeanny and Metallica's Enter Sandman. Now the have re-constructed POP MUZIK and they have created a dubby psychedelic reggae track...highly addictive. "
10. Pop Muzik - FROST & WAGNER Remix 4:09
The producers Oliver Frost (keyboards) and Adrian Wagner (drums) live in Berlin. They met in the reggae band "Growing tree" at the end of the 80s. In 2000 they started producing their own stuff, innovating and developing their reggae style music. Traces of other music genres like soul, jazz, hip hop, britpop have an impact on their music as well. Frost's and Wagner's productions are rich, with a strong emphasis on base sounds. Their music is pure and can by no means be reduced to reggae only. The have done productions for: G-Stone, Best Seven/Sonar Kollektiv, INFRACom!, Golden Delicious, Buback, Brownswood Recordings, as well as now the Pop Muzik remix with a heavy dubby flavour.
11. Pop Muzik - RIDDIM WIZE Remix 3:37
TRICKY CHRIS is well known as a producer for Elektrolux, Global Youth and Futuristic Dub Foundation. He was involved in remixes for Anne Clark, Shantel & Bucovina Club, Jammin Unit. His remix is a kind of ska orientated pop reggae uptempo version and a dance floor filler.
12. Pop Muzik - TORPEDO BOYz Remix (12" Version) 4.50
Berlin based producer Torpedo Boyz won 2008 the American independent award for their production "Cum On Feel The Boyz" (Best Dance/Electronic album). They are also well known as a DJ team around the globe! The German playboy wrote once: "Just the sort of jet set cool - we love" and that's exactly the feeling we have about their POP MUZIK remix. http://www.myspace.com/torpedoboyz