Mark Stewart – Edit (Crippled Dick Hot Wax/Inertia)

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Former front-ranter for classic agit-punks the Pop Group, Mark Stewart returns after a twelve year gap to drop his latest solo release, Edit. With his usual troupe of backing musicians, the Maffia, Stewart rallies and rails over eleven heavy hip-hop, filthy dub and violent funk tracks.

Each of the cuts off the album sets itself as a completely different work from the last – a testament, maybe, to the amount of time Stewart spent working on the album. From the opening television personality cut-up welcoming us to the party, the angry rave-up of “Rise Again’, the thrashed out African action of “Strange Cargo’ to the stressed out, crazed out “Radio Freedom’, Stewart’s dirty dirty anger courses through relentless. His vocals rave and rant distorted, espousing tales of inhumanity, parasites and other natural forces. The lyrics centre around how completely fucked the world continues to become but throughout the disc, Stewart never appears paranoid or preachy. Unfavourable qualities both. The loping funk of “Secret Suburbia’ features guest girls on vocals, both as mad as Stewart, laying tracks out of tune like they’d been thrown down over a dub-plate of patio ash and grey gun-metal. Its not too far off from Primal Scream’ freaked out middle albums of anti-fascist cut-up funk. “Almost Human’ is a kinda-sorta love song (well, as close as Stewart is likely to get to one) that begins as a heart-rent lament, like the girl that was close to him has done him wrong, but she soon becomes a figure the many varied soul-destroying governmental bodies. Like what being shewed up, spat up might sound close to.

With a fondness for the seeking of soul through the dirtiest forms of busted up, broken down electro, funk and dub Edit signals a fine return for Mark Stewart and his Mafia.

Joel Hedrick

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