Kiss the Future
||"She is Beyond Good and Evil"
Kiss the Future spans the entire career of underground
legend Mark Stewart, from his earliest avant-dub-punk days in
the Pop Group (which he formed when he was 17!) to recent solo
recordings. While listening to the compilation, handpicked by
Stewart himself, you'll hear the fusion of a variety of underground
and increasingly popular genres, from reggae and dub, via hip-hop
and electro, to trip-hop and noise. During the early-'80s, he
quickly established himself as an outsider within the post-punk
community, as imaginative AND good male vocalists were hard to
come by. His no-holds-barred approach to vocals and sonics has
earned him an ever-expanding trail of fans for nearly three decades.
Stewart is the missing link between unlikely combinations of followers
and contemporaries, like !!! and Tricky, Lee Perry and the Liars,
LCD Soundsystem and On-U Sound, Afrika Bambaataa and Andrew Weatherall,
Sugarhill Gang and Primal Scream. He ran the gamut from New York
and Jamaica to Bristol, England, often collaborating with producers
Adrian Sherwood and Dennis Bovell. His post-Pop Group band the
Maffia included Doug Wimbish, Skip MacDonald, and Keith Leblanc.
Kiss the Future gathers classic material from the Pop
Group ("We Are All Prostitutes", "She Is Beyond
Good and Evil"), as well as a few recent recordings (the
Bug produced "Radio Freedom"), and unreleased material,
attempting to tell a cohesive tale of the original man in the
gas mask. His style is wild, energetic, dark, edgy, and not always
an easy listen, but that is his charm; he made his noise gloriously
listenable. Not unlike an extroverted and political Arthur Russell.
One of my favorites is "Liberty City," where he tales
the story of life in an unemployed, bleak, and supposedly free
city, through various reverbs and delays, while a sweet Caribbean
accented female chorus sings "Welcome to Liberty City..."
in the background--all riding a steady, Adrian Sherwood produced
dub-reggae track, complete with ghostly saxophones. Ahhhh...now
if only Soul Jazz would release the original albums. Until then
this should hold you over and (re)introduce you. [DG]