Mark Stewart Biography

When the Pop Group split up in the early 80s, vocalist Mark Stewart joined forces with master mixer, Adrian Sherwood. The rhythm team of the Sugarhill Records label, the pioneers of rap, were making records for Sherwood under the name of Fats Comet. Skip McDonald (guitar), Doug Wimbish (bass) and Keith LeBlanc (drums) unleashed a creative madness that had not been required for their ubiquitous session work for artists such as Bill Laswell, Mick Jagger and Will Downing. On paper, it should not have worked: the anguished voice of English post-punk radicalism howling over black pop’s finest musicians, but a tour in 1986 proved that it did: a harbinger of the black rock movement led by Living Colour. A second album, As The Veneer Of Democracy Starts To Fade, powerfully fused Stewart’s paranoic, apocalyptic vision with state-of-the-art, heavy techno-funk. His self-titled 1987 album sounded even more like a Pop Group record, but it packed a punch that band had never achieved. Stewart recorded one further album with his backing band, before disappearing from the music scene for a while. Control Data was issued in 1996, by which time Stewart had been acknowledged as an instigator of the 90s trip-hop genre. Further new recordings surfaced on a 2005 Soul Jazz compilation.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.