Young and his brother, Martyn, formed Colourbox in 1982, releasing one self-titled EP and album infused with reggae and soul influences and featuring vocalist Lorita Grahame before the pair hooked up with alt dance duo A.R. Kane for what would be their breakthrough hit as M/A/R/R/S, the frenetic, propulsive No. 13 Hot 100 hit “Pump up the Volume.” The song prominently used a sample of Eric B. & Rakim’s “I Know You Got Soul,” which had been released just months earlier, as well as tracks by James Brown, Trouble Funk, Public Enemy and Kool & the Gang.
It’s hard to imagine it now, but in 1987 the No. 1 UK hit “Volume” was the kind of rare international dance smash that crossed multiple format and genre boundaries, garnering play on the mainstream radio and in dance clubs, earning a spot as a sure-fire party starter for years to come. The song, which helped introduce the then-burgeoning British acid house sound to many across the globe, also got a 1989 Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the group, which never released another song after financial disputes splintered the combo.
Though he also contributed to 4AD mastermind Ivo Watt-Russell’s revolving door all-star project This Mortal Coil, his musical contributions slowed in subsequent years, with sporadic appearances on albums by Moose and Kid Congo Powers, according to Rolling Stone.