One Of The Last True Originals MARK STEWART Released His Third, Self-Titled LP 30 Years Ago…

Going back in sonic history…


Album: Self-titled, third LP

Released: 26 October 1987 – 30 years ago

The Maffia: Mark Stewart – vocals, production / Keith LeBlanc – drums / Skip McDonald – guitar / Adrian Sherwood – keyboards, production / Doug Wimbish – bass guitar

All Music wrote: “Mark Stewart challenges listeners’ expectations through open-ended experimentation, rejecting simple song-oriented formats. With producer Adrian Sherwood and Maffia members Keith LeBlanc, Skip McDonald, and Doug Wimbish, he continues to play havoc with conventional notions of structure on several tracks, assembling dark, fragmented collages cut up with scratches, heavy metal guitar flourishes, voices culled from the media, and blasts of electronic noise. A prime example is the nine-minute assault of “Anger Is Holy,” which finds Stewart pasting together big go-go beats, a recurring sample from Billy Idol’s “Flesh for Fantasy,” and his signature distorted vocals, as well as interrupting the proceedings with a random moment of complete silence. But there is a less difficult, more melodic side to this album. Considered by some to be the blueprint for trip-hop, “Stranger” grafts together a version of Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1,” West Side Story’s “Somewhere,” and Stewart’s pained/painful crooning. More than this track, however, the most genuinely beautiful and affecting cut on the album is the bass-heavy reworking of Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian’s “Forbidden Colours” (titled “Forbidden Colour”), which Stewart then deconstructs on the dub version that follows. “Fatal Attraction” moves in a more dance-oriented direction; with its snaking, Moroder-esque disco beat, this track points toward the heavyweight ‘funk grooves Stewart would explore on 1990s Metatron.”

Turn Up The Volume! says: Mark Stewart is one of the last true originals. An artist who never ever compromised. An authentic performer and a restless creator, then and now. From the gloriously wayward funk punk eccentricity of the legendary The Pop Group to his solo achievements. He always explored new soundscapes and questioned, unceasingly, society’s madness and most of all its narcissistic, unworldly leaders. And he still does. Listening to his work is like going on a discovery trip. This album is a damn compelling example of the man’s insatiable hunger for sonic experiment and his constant investigation of humankind’s raison d’être. Ingenious triumph. Experience here…

MARK STEWART: Facebook – Twitter
THE POP GROUP: Website – Facebook

(photo: JL/Turn Up The Volume!)

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