(Quotes compiled by Jonas Wårstad from my own interviews with Robin as well as from some official text written by Robin)
"I was born in Croydon, South London, 1st. April 1947 into the material world but I've been around a lot longer than that and I still haven't got the hang of it but then life is the ultimate mystery and nobody is going to figure it out on the material plane." [interview by JW 1997]
"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." [from www.robinscott.org]
"Well it kind of made me cringe when I first heard it on the radio but the reviews weren't too bad as it happened. I understand copies of the LP are exchanging hands for £400+ so yes maybe the single's 'worth' something too! But that's about as druggy as it gets without electric bananas and perfumed tea. All very English!" [interview by JW 1997]
"'Woman From the Warm Grass' was recorded in a day after the producer (Sandy Robertson) spotted me doing a TV spot following a radio show on the same evening.... he saw potential in my sense of timing. I was in the late sixties trend of singersong writers who were all born with guitars in hand heading out for the road of experience...... hitchhiking artschool bums busking from Amsterdam to Pakistan though I had not savoured chemical additives of any description at this point!" [interview by JW 1997]
"I remember the musicians I recorded with were just brilliantly intuitive.... some of the best players I ever worked with ["notable group of the time, Mighty Baby"]. The material was simply an odd ball eclectic mixture of poetic allegories with some moments of truth and sparks of originality. I would have recorded more at the time but Head Records bit the dust and I was difficult to deal with anyhow...... precious and demanding. Sandy had a great scene going for Steeleye Span, Martin Carthy and others but I just didn't fit the bill. However, it was the spawning ground for a lot of talented performers who are still out there now." [interview by JW 1997]
"Scott was working as a troubadour, singing his own songs and accompanying himself on guitar, and he spent a period playing folk clibs as a solo artist ahsring bills with such emergent artists as David Bowie, Joh 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' Reiley, 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 regarder and original R&B band producing their debut single 'Love & the Singlr 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." [from www.robinscott.org]
"Cry myself to sleep was previously a song which I wrote for the musical 'Heartaches & Teardrops'. The musical explored the fantasies of 'True Love' and 'Romance comics of the fifties era. Stylistically the comic strip graphics of these teen mags always facinated me. They were the inspiration of many "Pop" art painters of the sixties the most prominent being Lichenstien. The musical concept was the other side of the coin to the "Rocky Horror Show" which has enjoyed cult status ever since. 'Cry Myself To Sleep' was the only title to be cut from this period. The musical never saw the light of day due to some misunderstanding on the publishing front as I was already signed and the production company pursuing the project wanted to control the copyright in my material. With some expertise it could have been resolved but I was pretty green then." [interview by JW 1997]
"Cowboys and Indians [the B-side] was recorded on a revox in the bedroom with my brother Julian in it's original form and I always favoured that version. The reggae element was where my heart was at that time. I was having a revelation with dub and all the independent labels releasing fresh sounds. It was sampled from the bedsit monochrome days on Richmond Hill around the corner from Mick an' Jerry's Palace overlooking Ronnie Woods garden parties. Tosser's never asked us over for cream cakes! (I was still some way from the vision of release anything recorded on my revox.)" [interview by JW 1997]
"The Do-It label was an independent label launched by myself and Linda Witham to release the first LP by Roogalator. Do-It records was released out of desperation as the majors were narrow minded.... nothings changed has it? I might have to resort to that again. Do-It infact enjoyed some financial input from Max Tregoning who had a sleeping partner and that's how my first exploits in the independent scene became possible. Max administrated whilst I provided the creative ideas along with Linda Witham graphic designer who was also my girlfriend. Ownership of the label was not really of much concern to me it was more a vehicle born out of frustration when a deal with Virgin for Roogalator went down the pan. 'The 'Rythm Method' by the Method was the first single release followed by 'Cry Myself to Sleep' and the early version of 'Moderne Man'. I brought 'Adam and the Ants' to the label before leaving the business to the Tregonning brothers who were prepared to inherit the hassle, whilst I left to form 'M' in Paris." [interview by JW 1997]
"'Moderne Man' was written in Amsterdam following an active spell producing various artists for Barclay records in Paris. One group in particular, the 'Spions' included two Hungarians seeking political asylum in Paris as France was well known for it's hospitality towards political refugees. Together I formed a strong relationship with Gregor Davidov in particular. He was a communist intellectual who saw pop musik as a vehicle for his propaganda. I liked him very much and was stimulated by his company as were others. It was in the climate of our dialogue that I could see the imperial highway man of the greedy eighties emerging.... The first version of this title was urgent post punk crossing over into the disco domain with some inspiration from Giorgio Moroder. Reggae was a love affair that had passed for the time being. The later versions of both songs [on first M LP in Nov 1979] were sanitised by corporate morality which I approved to illustrate compromise censorship prevalent throughout the media....... The name 'M' was arbitrary. I was working on the sleeve for MM in the studio of Jean Baptist Mondino whereapon I noticed the florescent 'M' over the Metro station outside his window. I took it as a sign... a corporate logo for MM, money markets, Mickey Mouse whatever you choose to see." [interview by JW 1997]
"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." [from www.robinscott.org]
"The executive image is just another reflection of what I would call a kind of consumption-type man; the person who doesn't really express himself openly, but who has his own fantasies. That kind of person fascinates me. Another reason was that I figured that with having had this onslaught of punk, which is a very barbaric expression, very blunt and crazed, the way to follow it is with something that is completely opposite, something not irresponsible and dangerous and noticeable, but someone that slips in easily and unnoticed, somebody that looks more like a conformist that a non-conformist, one of the silent majority. It's an identity that is not so conspicious. One can move more easily, like a shadow, in and out of places, like a secret agent. It allows me more flexibility. I can go into the disco and feel comfortable with the IBM executives. I like the ambiguity of the situation. ... From the start, the policy was to merge disco and new wave... The whole new wave thing was a very English phenomenon, and its days were numbered in terms of a crossover. So we have this track Moderne Man, which is an attempt to make a marriage between disco and new wave. The strange thing, of course, is the one thing that new wave was attempting to do was to defeat the purposes of disco and create live music again. Sometimes I think that the whole punk thing was fostered by the Musician's Union. 'Keep Music Live'. It should be 'Keep Music Alive'. I enjoyed a lot of punk gigs, but after it I thought, 'Which way do we go now?' What I like about disco is the fact that it crosses all barriers. It's completely classless, without race or colour. Okay, it originated in all-night clubs, music for insomniacs, music for black minority groups. It brought the gays out of the closet. But when it spread to the white middle classes, the idea of it appealed to me tremendously, whereas rock'n'roll had been for rebels with or without causes, more of a strictly white middle class thing. When I realized the significance of disco in those terms, rather than as just a sound, I felt that it was an incredibly exciting format. It was going to supercede rock'n'roll completely. I would go as far as to say that it's almost the last movement in pop music. It's a new escapist format. It's a full-swing back to the days when people wanted to dance to the Glen Miller Sound. Get out and enjoy yourself just for the hell of it. And in disco, melody and lyrics have become subordinate to the rhythm. For me, disco is the heartbeat of totalitarianism. It reflects the maturity of the pop music business going into the consumer society. I accept it as that. I see it as a consumer art, the same was as Andy Warhol recognised the soup cans and saw the same kind of symptoms. I see records in a similar way to newspapers all all those other disposable products, but there's no reason why they shouldn't be good at the same time. ... The authoritive voice on 'Pop Muzik' is that of a disc jockey, in total control of his situation. ... The funny thing about punk, is that there was no directive at all. But the thing about discos and DJs is that it's all incredibly dictatorial. People really like the idea of being pushed around a bit. They like The Big Brother thing. It makes them feel secure if they're given instructions." [Taken from an interview with Harry Doherty for the Melody Maker, May, '79]
"The first Top Of The Pops performance on April 5th, the week the single entered the charts at 53, featured original musicians John Lewis (sequencer), Julian Scott (bass), Wally Badarou (keyboards), and Brigit Vinchon (backing vocals). Philip Gould (drums) and gary barnacle 8sax) joined later. The following week the single went to 28, and then 11,5,3, and two weeks at number 2." [M Dossier, 1981]
'Following a modest success with the first single I pressed on to record 'M factor' and 'Pop Muzik' at Aquarium studios with my brother Julian and Brigit. Having already prepared the sequencing on the track in London with John Lweis in his studio Electrophon, I completed the recording in Paris. Here Wally Badarou made his first appearance, and Brigit introduced her distinct vocal, putting the 'pop' in the Muzik. It was finally mixed by a great engineer, Dominique Blanc Francard in February '79. The sleeve was once again designed by Jean Baptist Mondino who was our photographer, and an inspiration at this time. Pop Muzik enjoyed enormous succes worldwide. The single benefited from one of the earliest promotional videos as we prepared to record the first album 'New York London Paris Munich.' [from Robin's liner notes in 1993 Spanish CD]
"Established now as 'M', he 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 Scptt, 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'." [from www.robinscott.org]
"Inspiration musically came from the early 'Stones', 'Devo', Lennon, Dylan, Moroder, James Brown and frustration! 'Necessity is the mother of invention.' My ego had a ball! To tell you the truth I discovered how insecure I was and became your average control freak. I found it difficult to delegate anything 'cause I also learned that I trusted nobody. In hindesight we look back and we are often too hard on ourselves but nothing comes on a plate as we say and success in the public eye is an elusive state which makes one light headed.... failure is a more grounding experience requiring more inner strength. It's the same old morality play it's all been written before. The recording seemed to take forever. I had the gift of inspiration like we all do if we acknowledge it but the hard bit is making sense of an idea and learning how to realise it. I was borrowing everybody's time and patience by the time I was recording the third and final version which in itself is not unusal in recording but I was being particularly demanding. I do think the track is kind of special having stood the test of time etc. etc. but I don't necessarily think there's any great merit in notoriety or commercial acceptance. It's all very deceptive but I wouldn't trust all of the public all of the time... would you? The essence of 'Pop Muzik' is not mine, it's everybody's, and that's what's interesting. My other work through choice has not been so easily accessable in populist terms but it was more rewarding for me personally." [interview by JW 1997]
Finally, M fan Clive Hocker noticed something interesting: "Robin [Scott] mentioned various Capital Radio programmes in the lyrics of 'Pop Muzik' such as 'Listen to the Countdown' and 'I'm on the Hitline' - both 'Countdown' and 'Hitline' were weekly chart programmes on Capital Radio in the late seventies!
"It [Pop Muzik] was charting all around the world and after various European TV appearances M took off to a lakeside studio in Switzerland. While he was mixing the album, M received a phone call from the New York office to hear that the single had reached Number One in America." [M Dossier, 1981]
'Phil Gold on drums, Gary Barnacle on sax, joined Brigit and myself, with my brother Julian on bass, and Wally Badarou on keyboards. Sadly, John Lewis who contributed so much to the single was no longer with us. We recorded in Montreaux Switzerland at Mountain Studios owned by the band Queen. During the sessions at Mountain, David Bowie dropped in, contributing hand claps and horseplay on 'Moonlight and Muzak'. I had not seen David for some considerable time and enjoyed the reunion. 'Pop Muzik' continued to demand promotional appearances throughout Europe and tours to Japan, Australia and North America followed. The international club scene had now created a number of crossover hits and it was obvious that the dance floor was an effective means of establishing a roots following as live appearances by new artists began to diminish in favour of playback. The recording studio became the stage, and the producer became the artist.' [from Robin's liner notes in 1993 Spanish CD]
"I met Roger Taylor in Munich who recomended the ambience and it fitted the tax scenario and my ol' mate David Bowie from the folk singing days hung out there. This was recorded at Montreaux Switzerland in Moutain Studios.... a very exotic location haunted by the likes of Freddy Mercury and his motly crew and the pitstop of a former tax exile Montreaux resident who 'fell to earth' in hard times before rising from the ashes with 'Let's Dance' in the early eighties. Rubbing shoulders with likes of these starry pioneers next to the lake and the snowy mountains.... well I felt quite at home really... but in all honesty it was an expensive binge which added nothing to my inspiration and I admit to loosing the plot at this point. Most of the ideas were from old mental sketches gathering dust in my imagination and this location was just too clean for the kind of dirt I would like to have served up.... I began to parody the success trip in the comfort of a tax exile guetto. The dead or alive mix [of Cowboys and Indians] was a token TV session in the interests of keeping the musicians union happy... in other words it was never actually broadcast.... we mimed! Hence dead or alive? 'Maid in Munich' [early alternate LP title] was my favourite idea but it was really a concept for the 'M' stage show that never appeared because I felt the technology was not yet available to express my wildest dreams that even money couldn't buy. However, 'Unite Your Nations' though a somewhat lightweight song will prove to be a truly inspired thought as we leave the 20th. C if I have my way!!" [interview by JW 1997]
[There are no unreleased tracks or versions from these LP sessions.]
" 'Woman Make Man': Like Rex Harrison said it's true! 'Moderne Man/Satisfy Your Lust': I saw saw the eighties in my crystal ball! 'Made in Munich': Disco! 'Moonlight and Muzak': The corporate romance. 'That's the Way the Money Goes': Like champagne it goes to the head. 'Cowboys and Indians': A country boy at heart. 'Unite Your Nation': Sixties idealism!" [interview by JW 1997]
"On December 6th M performed the single 'Moonlight and Muzak' on Top Of The Pops whenne it entered the charts at 64. It reached number 32." [M Dossier, 1981]
"This track was written as a result of his experiences in the US, where he came into contact with the Muzak organisation, which he describes as 'a very weird experience. There were all these white collar workers conscientously putting together music with the precision of chemists. Way before Eno was doing it, these guys were doing it for real. They were preoccupied with the pace of workers in factories, and how to maximise efficiency.' That was the motivation behind 'Moonlight and Muzak', which was a UK top 40 hit." [from John Tobler' liner notes in 1996 Best of M CD]
"My [single] choice ..... deliberate corporate sabotage." [interview by JW 1997]
"It was shown on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop with 'Moonlight & Muzak'." [M Dossier, 1981]
"At the beginning of March, M made a film for T.T.W.T.M.G which although it was not shown on British TV, it received a Highly Commended award at Music Week's 1980 music awards. The following day, M boarded the plane at Heathrow and flew to Japan, Australia, Los Angeles and New York promoting the album both on TV and radio. He took a film crew with him to document the trip. Entitled 'Here Today Gone Tomorrow', the film contains all tracks from the 1st album with the three videos made previously (Pop Muzik, Moonlight & Muzak, Money Goes) roller skating to 'Made in Munich' on Santa Monica beach, singing 'Unite Your Nation' on the Austria/Hungary border, M receiving his platinum disc in Australia and gold in New York, and 'Moderne Man' doing a Clark Kent by Sydney Opera House. Meetings with distributors are in motion." [M Dossier, 1981]
"Only reached number 64 in the UK charts. Consequently, the post recording M made for TOTP's was not shown. A promotion video was also made for the track, in which M performed alone." [M Dossier, 1981]
"In the summer M flew to Dublin to record 'The Official Secrets Act' which was released in the UK at the end of October, all other territories released the album in the new year." [M Dossier, 1981]
'By 1980 the disco boom had come to and end - progressive dance music went underground. For me electronic music had served its purpose and I became absorbed in folk and ethnic roots with Brigit's influence. Some of these impressions are obvious in the second album 'Official Secrets'. At this time I was looking for another drummer in addition to Phil and he introduced me to Mark King. Mark's contribution to 'Official Secrets' was an impressive debut as a drummer/guitarist/bassist. Whilst there were a number of concrete songs prepared in advance we experimented a lot in the studio. I provided a brief to Wally Badarou rather like a script for a soundtrack on several occasions. Dublin provided an interesting location for the collection of new titles. For Pop Muzik fans it was a radical departure, and for my record company it was the beginning of a broken marriage. At this time Ryuichi sakamoto and I exchanged our current albums. As a result we entered in to a collaboration featuring Adrian Belew and members of Y.M.O. in Tokyo. The result was 'Left Handed Dream'. There were various mixes of this album. Besides co-producing with Ryuichi I contributed four vocal tracks. Meanwhile, Phil and Mark formed a live band with brother Boon and Mike Lindrup, later to be known as Level 42.' [from Robin's liner notes in 1993 Spanish CD]
"Before returning to the studios, M haunted Hawaii for information and relaxation." [M Dossier, 1981]
"M is now recording new material, working with new musicians and agents and planning a single release in July (UK)." [he never released a second single in 1981]. [M Dossier, 1981]
"In [July] he will be in Japan producing and writing with individual members of the Yellow Magic orchestra. On his return he will complete the new album." [M Dossier, 1981]
"M returned to London from Tokyo at the beginning of August having co-produced Ryuichi Sakamoto's (Yellow Magic Orchestra) album [Left Handed Dream / recorded 6 July - 17 Aug 1981, released 5 Oct 1981]. The album includes four tracks written and sung by Robin: 'The Left Bank (on a warm summer's night)', 'Just About Enough', 'Once in a Lifetime', 'The Arrangement' (lyrics by Nick Plytas)." [M Dossier, 1982]
"The song 'The Arrangement' was an adaptation of a theme Ryuichi wrote for an ad campaign which caught my attention during my stay with him in Tokyo. The lyrics were written by Nick Plytas, which were strangely reflected the relationship between Ruichi and myself during the project." [interview by JW 2009]
"On Aug 16th, M flew down to BBC Bristol in his plane, a Chipmunk (he received his pilot's license earlier in the year), to record 'A Little Night Music', which was shown on BBC 1 on September 14th. Titled 'The Official Secrets Act', the thirty minute programme consisted of seven videos:- 'Join the Party', 'Relax', 'Keep It To Yourself' and 'Double Talk' were directed by the BBC, and 'Official Secrets', 'That's the Way the Money Goe' and 'Moonlight and Muzak' were produced and codirected by M." [M Dossier, 1982]
"Broadcast 14 Sep 1981 23:29-23:55 (BBC 1), recorded on 8 Aug 1981." ... "Robin SCOTT looks at the band he created and leads - The M Factor, whose 1980 single Pop Muzik was a no 1 hit in 12 countries. He scrutinizes their number 'Offical Secrets'." [Info and quote from http://catalogue.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/infax/programme/NBSA907T]
"It was shown in a series called A Little Night Music, as was meant to be "the first television exposure given to a new band". If I recall correctly the Radio Times (I kept the cutting - now lost) billed the band as M Factor." [interview by JW 1997]
M fan Clive Hocker says: "I remember watching it, and can vaguely recall it was done in the style of various pop videos. It featured Robin in a number of guises acting out characters and scenarios from The Official Secrets Act album, although I also heard 'Doubletalk' - in a slightly extended form which I've never heard since (the introduction was longer)."
M fan Ian Harris responded: "The only tracks I remember seeing were: Keep It to Yourself - Robin in a corridor, lots of dry ice, or this may have been Official Secrets, my memory is (understandably!) a little hazy. Relax - Robin in a white lab coat, footage of rats or insects cut in Join The Party - Robin dressed as Che Guvera (spelling?). I think this was a 'performance' type video."
" 'Famous Last Words' was completed in October. Shortly afterwards, M parted company with MCA records, which means that the album has been shelved until a contract is made with another record company." [M Dossier, 1982]
Additional recordings were done in London at Roundhouse Studio in October 1981. Robin: "The Roundhouse sessions were remixing four tracks extracted from the Left Handed Dream LP and laying down vocal parts to emerge as a four track ep. Ryuichi was not present." [interview by JW 2009]
"['The Arrangement'] was included on a special 12" EP which M agents received at Christmas. The EP, which was a very limited edition, was not available in the shops; it was cut for M agents and UK radio stations only. The other three tracks:- 'Neutron', 'Dance on the Ruins' and 'Smash the Mirror' are from the new album 'Famous Last Words'." [M Dossier, 1982]
"During the winter months, M built his own studio, and when he returned from skiing down the slopes on the France/Italy borders in February, he started recording new material." [M Dossier, 1982]
Final recordings for the 4-track EP were done in Studio A in Tokyo in April 1982.
"The musicians featured on the album are:- keyboards/synths: Nick Plytas, Wally Badarou, Thomas Dolby, Robin Scott, John Lewis. Drums: Sergio Castillo, Yukihiro Takahashi (Yellow Magic Orchestra), Andy Anderson. Bass: Julian Scott, Barry Adamson (Magazine), Tony Levin (Bowie, Lennon, King Crimson). Guitar: Jamie West (The Fixx), Andy Gill (Gang of Four), Robin Scott, Mark King (Level 42)." [M Dossier, 1982]
'The third 'M' album 'Famous Last Words' was released in the US on Sire Records but not in the UK due to the divorce netween 'M' and MCA in 1981. ... 'Neutron' was a dark observation written at the height of the Reagan era, motivated by the most ingenious capitalist weapon ever devised, the Neutron bomb. Capable of flattening all the people but leaving building structures intact. I chose to satirise it with a tainting song for the school yard, with Thomas Dolby blinding us with science on the mini moog.' [from Robin's liner notes in 1993 Spanish CD]
'Famous Last Words', not to be confused with an LP of the same name by that awful combo Supervamp, is simply that. Engineers and musicians running riot...out of control with the mastermind losing the plot and getting very emotional about the clock ticking in an expensive studio whilst having to chase his girlfriend bored out of her brains with the insanity of making tedious backing vocals and prefering to be killing time with an anonymous French speaking admirer somewhere in North London. Having said that, 'Dance On the Ruins' was a qualified stroke of genius ahead of it's time with engineer Nick Launey spinning tape loops into the track that would have embarassed the nerds giving birth to the Fairlight which became the godfather of the sampling tools. There are actually some remarkable live performances on the album from the likes of Yukihiro, Tony Levin, Mark King, Thomas Dolby...yes an all star cast! However I find it hard to asess this work after so many years but it does mark the end of the first chapter for 'M'. Since it was never actually released in the UK I am curious to see the reaction from those that never heard it. It remains to be seen if there is more to it than it's period quality. The bonus tracks on all these cd's now being made available are for me really reveal what went on out there in the wilderness before the spy came in from the cold! Enjoy!!! [interview by JW 10 Dec 1997]
"The potential of production was lost in translation in my view. I might have preferred a deeper level of collaboration but our time was constrained by Alpha's recording schedule and Ruichi's personal agenda. However, it was rewarding for me to see how Ruichi opened up later to the spirit of collaboration with David Sylvian and David Bowie following his experience with me. I'd love to work again with Ruichi....... I believe he lives in New York now." [interview by JW 2009]
'Musical technology at this time was developing the sampler which was about to change the sound of popular music and the way we listen. Ironically, in the absence of expensive hardware, black DJ's in New York had already pre- empted this technique with 'scratching'. I first recorded 'Eureka' during this period as a solo project.' [from Robin's liner notes in 1993 Spanish CD]
'Following the third LP I resumed my interest in producing outside the main stream of pop. By 1983 I was producing various African acts in Nairobi Kenya and began collaborating with artists from Zaire and South Africa. This was a rewarding experience, broadening my knowledge of what is now described as 'World Music'. 'Spiritual Man' includes a performance from my uncle Ben Scott, a devotee of Yoga and Mongolian overtone singing, along with the baby that appeared on the original single sleeve pg Pop Muzik in 1979, who now makes her vocal debut - Berenice Scott.' [from Robin's liner notes in 1993 Spanish CD]
'Jive Shikisha was recorded in 83/84 but suffered a legal black hole. David Fanshaw first explored the African musical spectrum with his fascinating African Sanctus in the early 1970's. Paul Simon's mainstream crossover remains the most celebrated to date. Popular music had somewhat run out of options during the early eighties and ethnic roots became a new inspiration for the likes of Malcolm and myself among many others. I was producing bands in Kenya when I chose to wonder down the same path. Thereafter the music business lost its appeal for me personally in both senses of the word. I now hold a different view and the renewed interest in my previous exploits may well assist some kind of a re-entry on new terms with fresh ideas currently under construction as they say!' [in answer to question from M fan Geoff Davies, 1997] 'Jive Shikisha' is finally to be released after being shelved since '83/'84 when it was first recorded in Kenya. World music was just becoming another faction of of the mainstream following the remarkable success of Paul Simons 'Gracelands' and Malcom MaClaren's innovative World sampler 'Duck Rock'. Ethnic influence had been on the grapevine for some time what with Lional Richie's 'All night long' and Micheal Jackson's 'Gotta be starting Some thing'.... but the real prophet was David Fanshaw with the remarkable 'African Sanctus' back in '72 or thereabouts..... the brief fad led by the likes of the 'Time Out' readership in the early eighties in the UK made African music a fashion accsessary only seriously capitalised on by Simon worldwide and much later by Mori Kanti with a truly sparkling crossover in the form of 'Yeka Yeka'..... if I've spelt that right?.... with killer call and response vocals that catapulted this dynamite track into the charts everywhere! So where does Jive Shikisha fit into the scheme of things in '98... who knows?... I guess it might be regarded as a time capsul to be washed up on the beach alongside some half drowned castaway such as myself... check it out it may well be your desert island disk of the week! Time and fashion bear no relevance to hitch hikers of the galaxy." [interview by JW 10 Dec 1997]
M fan Ian M. Harris was lucky enough to be there and watch this rehearsal (which was announced on my M mailing list in late March). He said the day after: "Well all, I saw something I never thought I'd see - an M gig! We arrived early at the venue, and saw Robin in the bar, he remembered meeting me in 1997 and we had a brief chat. The 1999 mixes of Pop Muzik are quite likely to be issued on Island, but discussions are still on going. There was also some talk of new work! He was also impressed with my Pop Muzik t-shirt, and his daughter Berenice was a bit shocked to see herself as a baby upon an item of clothing. He signed my CD, and then went to watch the support act. Some of the audience were pupils of Julian Scott, who gives guitar lessons. Phil Gould was there too, but did not play. The M part of the gig started with Berenice doing 4 songs, and I am not being biased but she really has a great voice, I think she could really go far. She also played keyboards. Robin played guitar on the last of her songs. After a quick break M took the stage. I am afraid I did not catch the names of all of the band, but it was Robin on guitar and vocals,Julian Scott on bass, JJ Belle on guitar (who has worked with Pet Shop Boys among others), a drummer and keyboard player. There were 3 backing singers, one of whom was Berenice. The set was a good mix of material from all the M/RS albums. heavily guitar based, and sometimes quite radical, but enjoyable reworkings, especially Pop Muzik, which of course went down best of all. I had to leave dead on the end of the set to catch my train home, so I did not get to chat to Robin again, but I sent him an email saying how much I enjoyed the show. If there are any more planned I shall certainly be there! SET LIST: Satisfy Your Lust / Moderne Man / M Factor / Join the Party / Cowboys and Indians / Cry Myself to Sleep / Doubletalk / Love Inferno / To Be Is to Buy / One Man's Meat / Pop Muzik.
TO BE CONTINUED... SOME DAY..... I HOPE...
Copyright uncredited quotes (c) 1997-11-02 Robin Scott and Jonas Wårstad.
Copyright credited quotes is stated wherever needed.
Last update 2010-01-30.
No portion of this interview may be published in any form, please link to this page instead.