Mark Stewart Edit

It’s hard to believe that veteran agitator Mark Stewart hasn’t released a disc in 12 years. The leader of the legendary Pop Group was an integral and prolific part of the On-U Sound industrial dub sound of the ’80s. As the decade wore on and sample-based music became more popular, Stewart’s unhinged, dystopian ranting sounded less effective over the more measured energy of looped rhythms. Edit tries to have it both ways, with live band grooves and sample-based rhythms laying a foundation for some post-millennial tension. For the most part, Edit still evokes his late ’80s conundrums, and Stewart’s rap sounds less original. The sleazy funk of "Rise” recalls the less appealing aspects of Tackhead, but the more cut-up approach to rhythm that served him well back then still sounds fresh on the air horn-driven "Freak Circus.” Stewart joins forces with old pal Ari Up, and the partly a cappella cover of the Yardbirds "Mr. You’re A Better Man Than I” is quite catchy but shows the dearth of hooks throughout the rest of the disc. Nevertheless, the intense industrial dub mix is always entertaining in its own right. (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!)