M/A/R/R/S









M/A/R/R/S

"Pump Up the Volume" (1987) was the only single released by British recording act M|A|R|R|S. It was a number-one hit in the United Kingdom and is generally regarded as a significant milestone in the development of British house music and sampling culture.

The single was the product of an uneasy collaboration between Colourbox and A R Kane, two groups on the independent art-pop label 4AD. The link-up was suggested by label founder Ivo Watts-Russell after the two groups had independently sounded him out about the possibility of releasing a commercially-oriented dance record, inspired by the American house music that was starting to make an impact on the British charts. When the M|A|R|R|S project was first mooted early in 1987, the style had already spawned two major hits—Farley "Jackmaster" Funk's "Love Can't Turn Around" in the autumn of 1986, and Steve "Silk" Hurley's "Jack Your Body", which reached number one in January 1987. But just as important to M|A|R|R|S in the long run was the underground dance scene which was beginning to emerge in the UK, particularly records such as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu's "All You Need Is Love" and Coldcut's "Say Kids, What Time Is It?". These sample-heavy dance records were critically acclaimed, but were not mainstream hits.