music memories: scritti politti

(Wood Beez - Pray Like Aretha Franklin / 1984)

im not 100%-concrete, but i reckon Wood Beez may be the first time i heard Scritti Politti, yet another scramble recording it on my Panda-cassette/radio [remember?]. i remember the name of the band, becoz i could hear what the DJ's were mumbling (or perhaps it was the muffled mono-speaker LOL) and that i could comprehend "scritti politti" as a band-name (nowadays everything's either mono-sibylic or literally-irreverent. heh). and i remembered the trippy-synth melody being something that was unique during that fortuitous era of music.

(Absolute / 1984)

the melodies were always lovely and catchy. and what stuck me the most were the hard heavy-ish beats, during a time where synth-manipulation was de rigueur and where the beats came fast and lite. and the mashup of different musical genres and cultural-influences were fresh and done with a touch of class (IMHO) as compared to the schtick-shock of other synth-outfits. and what i relished about their music was this lingering "darkness", of the mood and of what i called; "dark dance" (for which i cannot tangibly quantify til now tho). and of coz there was Scritti's signature electric-guitar wha-whas :)

(Word Girl / 1985)

it was not until reggae-tinged Word Girl when i fully discovered and assimilated Scritti (and no, i was not discovering their songs in release-sequence too LOL) via Smash Hits and No.1-magazines (who were of coz cut-up and made into montage/collage which adorned file-holder's covers = THE must-have school accessory back then, i insist! LOL).

and frankly, thankgawd for the bootleg cassette-tapes, if not i wouldn't have had the opportunity to partake of their excellent Cupid & Psyche 85 (1985) and (so-so) Provision (1988)

* i took a backseat a backhander i took her back to her room i better get back to the basics for you
* how could your nothings be so sweet? you left your love letters incomplete
* i was the first boy in this town to love you little girl come back baby i know it's over
* i wanna get 'em girl teach 'em a lesson i got the love for you over and over
* i got the time that you left me you got the keys to his car we got the nerve to have got this far
Scritti Politti are a Welsh musical group. Formed in 1978 in Leeds, England, Scritti Politti is primarily a musical vehicle for singer-songwriter Green Gartside (real name Paul Julian Strohmeyer). Initially a left-wing-inspired post-punk British rock group, Scritti Politti developed into a more mainstream pop music project in the early to mid-1980s, enjoying significant success in the music charts in the UK and US.

The group's most successful album, 1985's Cupid & Psyche 85, was innovative in its early use of the techniques of sampling and MIDI sequencing and produced hit singles including "Perfect Way", "The Word Girl", "Wood Beez" and "Absolute".

Like many Welsh singers, Gartside is known for his distinctive vocal style — in this case, an effeminate, archly cooing falsetto-tenor; he was described by one critic as having "a voice that's eternally 14 years old". [wiki]
Oh Patti is one of the last few songs of Scritti that i've listened to and loved (the video with which would be the precursor for corporate video split-screen-concepts of decades to come LOL). their subsequent forays into heavy-reggae and hip-hop left me cold, IMHO.

(circa 1988 / gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking isn't it? and yes im a sap LOL)

besides their music, i remember Scritti Politti mainly for their white polo shirts with collars turned up - for which i attempted but failed horrendeously if me muddled memory serves me cold - but then again, it was the era of the "Rainbow Kids", a collective local term named for rainbow-colored clothings belonging to "Far East Kids" and/or "Centrepoint Kids" etc = ie: kids togged up in the latest Japanese or Brit-Pop-styles, hanging out during weekends at local malls; Far East Plaza and Centrepoint (hence the tag - not very creative, i know LOL). and i remembering the kids were given a pretty tough time, gathering enmass outside FEP's McDs and Times bookshop (on 4th floor of CP) - when instead folks should be worried about the kids NOT seen in open public locales, who end up sniffing glue and doing nasty shitte (but then again mayhap that has always been the Singaporean mass-mentality, tackling the face-surface-issues but not what's underneath, until tis too late, of coz :p).