Monday, 18 July 2011

Remembrance Monday: Scent - Up & Down

In 2004, Scent released a single called 'Up & Down'. It was very good, but no one bought it.

The group were essentially a studio project for Italian producers Andrea Mazzali, Giuliano Orlandi and Daniele Davoli (the latter having previously been part of Black Box), three people who may be pictured above left. They should be, because that picture was stolen from Discogs, although it could be a picture of anybody.  Even if it is them you'll have to take your pick of three from the four as to which ones they are. Above right definitely is Mandy D'Arcy AKA Miss Motif, an Irish DJ discovered by Davoli and Paul Oakenfold on a beer-sponsored club tour. Davoli was "blown away" by the vocals she performed over the top of her set, inviting her to sing for Scent.

The song itself, as established above, was amazing. It's a gentle pop-house track about the life of a girl who "plays hard through the night" in "the game of up and down". The lyrics are a little bit confusing overall, but there you go (come to think of it, they might actually be about The Sex! 'Naughty'.) Motif sounds a bit like a less plummy Sophie Ellis-Bextor on it and does some lovely 'la la la's throughout. There's siren noises and a spooky breakdown near the end - "From life's path you stray; your dreams will show you the way; time will take your fears away-ay-ay-ay etc." - before more siren noises and 'la la la's.  Again, if you actually think about the lyrics you'll end up scratching your head, but it doesn't matter because the song is otherwise unimpeachable (or brilliant, at least.)

So, naturally, the public, faced with a fantastic piece of music that was being given regular radio and TV play, bought it in their tens, Scending it (ho ho ho) to Number 23 in the same week, coincidentally, as 3 Of A Kind went to Number One.

Miss Motif, true to the ice queen popstar type character she was posited as in the video (again, not unlike Sophie Ellis-Bextor), didn't let this phase her. She's continued as a DJ lady and as a faceless session singer on a variety of Italian dance records, without ever reaching the same lofty heights she did with Scent. The producers, too, are all still working, under a variety of different pseudonyms, also with little commercial success.

Here is the 'Addicted To Love'-esque video.


  1. Glad to see someone else thinks as highly of this song as i do! Loved it the first time i heard it, and it still sounds so fresh. What a travesty we didn't hear more from this talented group.

  2. glad you wrote this up because info about the band doesn't seem easy to come by and I love this song.