Robert Marlow | Robert Marlow
Robert Marlowe makes eight samples for his Stowaway.
"I'm a real Marc Bolan fan. This is a classic, with magical use of strings, a romantic mixture of pop and whimsy. Very percussive guitar: the whole thing's simple, the drum track and everything. It's very linked with the sort of things I'm doing at the moment, the simplicity and the 'rhythmicality', if that's the right word."
"The first band I really heard using synthesisers, and this has a very nice wobbly synth part on it. It's ridiculous really: John Foxx's lyrics are great, but they're ridiculous; enigmatic, but a bit silly."
"RCA have this nutty German guy on their label — unfortunately he died recently of an unmentionable disease that you can catch in America. He used to put loads of make-up on, his hair stood on end, and he was a trained opera singer. This is a song about himself. I love eccentrics."
"I've got to have a Chuck Berry — there's loads of classics. This is one of the first of his I've heard where you can actually hear stereo and double-tracking. Most of the early recordings are duff, but this has ham-fisted stereo. A nice harp solo, too."
"I've got to have one from Vince, as well. This is Vince's finest three minutes. Everything he's good at is in it: a punchy bass line, dustbin drums, really funky and exciting."
"Back to my roots, perfect amphetamine music. There's not a lot you can say about it. You could go into it musically, but what's actually there? It's just a thrash, but a great thrash."
"Does everyone choose a David Bowie song? This is the one I couldn't live without. It's flawlessly constructed, and I think he was at a peak as a songwriter then. Nowadays he's still a master, but more of a performer. The production, it goes without saying, is marvellous."
"All the elements I like in a woman's voice are here, it's soulful, jazzy, everything. The lyrics leave an impression with me, and she was one of the first people I heard to use the drums of Burundi, jungle drums, on this track from the 'Hissing Of Summer Lawns'."
THEN: "Ages ago Vince (Clarke) and I recorded some backing tracks for my live set my band had left me. And he liked 'Dorian Gray' so we eventually recorded it, and then I got the recording deal with Reset. I've been very lucky."
AND: "We use the Fairlight which triggers off the MC4. The Juno 60 is for basic parts — bass lines and overall structure — and then we add Fairlight over the top for the fiddly bits, strings and sampled sounds. We sampled a jaw's harp for a new track, 'Torch Team'; some of the early T.Rex B-sides use that sort of sound. Vince has bought a DX7 and we sampled the Toy Piano off that — we like to go for quirky sounds on the Fairlight, because all the car-crash effects and so on have all been used on Yello's records. So we steer clear of those."
NOW: 'I Just Want To Dance' most recent 45; currently in studio for LP, which should come out "some time in 1984". Initial instrumental construction work complete at press time on three tracks: 'Torch Team' ("that's about setting people on fire"); 'Claudette' ("about the French Resistance movement"); and 'Easternise' ("not Eastern eyes, but as in Westernise").
"We're recording at Splendid studio, which is at the end of Blackwing where there used to be a drum storage area. That's just been converted, the Fairlight's been patched into the desk — it's coming on nicely."