Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

02 January 2011

As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade

UPDATE: This post was re-uploaded 09/08/2013. Enjoy, NØ.

Since I started the heavy rotation of Singers & Players around here, I dragged out all the OnU Sound/Adrian Sherwood material (Skip ‘Little Axe’ McDonald, Tackhead, Mark Stewart & Maffia). This is one heavy, heavy chunk o’ vinyl. 1985!

from the OnU Sound website -

"Mark Stewart & Maffia"

"As teenage front man and mastermind of seminal Bristol post-punk legends The Pop Group (1978-80), Stewart already used his microphone as a weapon. In an era that saw public opinion and perception tainted by Thatcher, Reagan and the Cold War, The Pop Group emerged as one of Britain’s most radical exponents of new music and quickly gained notoriety well beyond the British Isles. Their until then unheard mix of punk, funk, dub, jazz and noise, countered by Mark Stewart’s scathing political slogans and lyrics (We Are All Prostitutes), easily counts among the most impressive, provocative and lasting manifestations of musical spontaneity seen, heard and experienced by the end of the 1970s.

After the group’s dissolution in the early 1980s, members of the Pop Group re-emerged in a flurry of new bands and guises: Rip Rig & Panic (featuring the then still unknown Neneh Cherry), Pigbag (with their surprise Top 10 hit ‚"Papa’s Got A Brand New Pig Bag”) and Maximum Joy. After a short stint with the New Age Steppers, Mark Stewart decided to pursue a solo career as Mark Stewart & the Maffia. His friend, On-U sound owner Adrian Sherwood, took care of production and mixed the Maffia on their various tours. With Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald and drumming talent Keith LeBlanc Stewart recruited a truly exceptional rhythm section who had previously played with the likes of Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, James Brown, Madonna, Africa Bambaata, George Clinton, Tackhead and many others. Considered seminal milestones by many of his peers and fans, the solo outings by this‚ godfather‘ of Bristol’s eclectic music scene blend the most diverse of genres in a unique and unconventional mix of dub, funk, punk, techno, electro, noise – spiced up with a generous dose of Stewart’s trademark political lyrics and slogans.

Albums like As The Veneer Of Democracy Starts To Fade or Learning To Cope With Cowardice have left a lasting mark on the current music scene: icons in their own right like Massive Attack, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Carl Craig, Asian Dub Foundation and Nick Cave call Mark Stewart’s work a decisive influence."

Mute STUMM 24, 1985.
decryption code in comments

Side A -

Passcivecation Program & (passcivecation dub)
The Resistance of the Cell
Untitled (Call to Mecca)

Side B -

As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade
Pay it All Back
Slave of Love
The Waiting Room



  1. I have "Learning to Cope with Cowardice" LP but not this one. Thanks for sharing! Have you heard the album that Mark Stewart put out last year? Was it any good? Here's an interesting interview with the man -- I wouldn't have guessed him for a Sleep fan!


  2. Interesting article. He's quite the angry young man. Like Slaughter & The Dogs having been force fed Channel 1 in a sesame seed bap laced with speed. And slapped about the ears with a Penguin copy of Jean Genet. Genuinely 1977.

  3. Hello Nathan, any news on the dreamlogik? happy new year!!! sorry about the offtopic :-D

  4. to jonder,
    I have Learning also, equally great. "Jerusalem" is a gas. Thanks for the link. I have both Mark Stewart & Metatrom but haven't heard Control Data (1996) or Edit (2008). I think they are more electronic (power?) & less dub, but I'll have to check them out.
    to ib,
    Angry, yes. But you also should dig "Jerusalem" as you have been channeling W. Blake lately. Mark's product is some of the best non-Jamaican dub to come out of On-U Sound & some of the heaviest stuff around.
    to zanate,
    Left word over at your blog in the comments. Any questions, let me know.

  5. Channelling, yes. The sum of it is more that I've been struggling with a biography on Blake by Peter Ackroyd ever since I mislaid my reading glasses. I keep tripping over each chapter, reading and rereading like a laser scrabbling for purchase on a failing disk.

    The "Jerusalem" prompt is very apt. The Lambeth Walk.

  6. to jonder,
    listened to Control Data last night. more PIL than King Tubby, but a very good outing from M. Stewart. have yet to give Edit a good listen but intend on remedying that now.

  7. Nathan,

    I haven't visited your neck of the woods in awhile, and I have to say that you have really been bringing the goods lately. While I don't like the Mark Stewart stuff as well as The Pop Group, it is still interesting and creative.

    Best to you, and thanks for being such a dedicated visitor and poster on Eclectic Grooves.



  8. I saw Mark Stewart's gig in Liverpool last night. great stuff , he played his new album. only about 20 people there though, a bit sad. anyway i was looking for some of his old stuff and found this.thanks for sharing it.

  9. to Steve,
    I am green with envy. Would have loved to have been one of the twenty. A bit sad, indeed, but a great intimate feast of a great artiste. Glad you found something to your liking here. & thanks for taking the time to comment.

  10. MEGA decryption code