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Mark Stewart, vocalist of pop group, Dead at 62 – Rolling Stone

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Mark Stewart, The The hulking and dynamic singer of the pop group’s dabby, deconstructionist post-punk take on screams, whispers and screams died Friday morning. A representative confirmed the singer’s death Rolling stone But did not reveal any additional details. He was 62 years old.

The pop group’s guitarist and saxophonist Gareth Seger said in a statement, “Mark was one of the most amazing minds of my generation, RIP.”

“Thank you, my brother,” said dub artist and one of Stewart’s longtime collaborators, Adrian Sherwood. “You were the biggest musical influence in my life and our extended family will miss you dearly. Love forever.”

Stewart, born August 10, 1960, grew up in the English city of Bristol, where he immersed himself in the city’s funk and reggae scenes as a teenager. “We were the Bristol Funk Army,” Stewart recalled of his friend group in author Simon Reynolds’ book, rip it and start again, “We’d go to clubs and dance to tracks by BT Express, Fatback Band, Ultrafunk, heavy bass-line imports from America. I was 14 in 1975 but could go to clubs because I was six foot seven. Stewart also recalled going to his local record store around that time and buying pre-release reggae records.

The pop group, formed in 1977, billed itself as “yesterday’s beatniks”. rip it up, and embraced the experimental spirit of beat literature, condensing many musical ideas into singular lyrics. True to their name, they released singles without clear-cut hooks. “We Are All Prostitutes,” an early seven-inch that made it all the way up to number eight on the UK indie charts, finds Stewart singing, googling, and repeating lines like “consumer fascism” over funky rhythm guitar. . “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” sounds like a Nile Rodgers-style disco song refracted from an alien satellite, as Stewart all echoes, “There’s no antidote for that.” Her voice was so fresh she graced the cover of England nme Even before releasing a record in 1978.

“We used to listen to Funkadelic at parties, and someone would say, ‘Let’s play it,’” Stewart later recalled. Rolling stone, “Then someone would play Richard Hale or early television guitar on that. It felt like we were playing three songs at the same time, which I thought we couldn’t really play. But these old guys, like Richard Williams melody makerSaid it was great and experimental, so I just shut up.”

His self-released album, 1979 why, as a mix of funk, disco, reggae, and punk sounds strange even in hindsight and melts at will. Their second full-length, released on their own Y Records – titled How long will we continue to tolerate mass murder? Reflects his pro-active mindset (inspired by Nixon and Kissinger) – his unpredictable style continues to change, but in a way that’s more suited to dance. He played with Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, The Stranglers and Pere Ubu in his early days.

The group broke up in 1980, as Stewart’s interest in reggae deepened and his bandmates wanted to explore free jazz. In addition, Stewart spent three months working for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, helping to organize a rally in Trafalgar Square. The event, in front of an estimated quarter of a million people (Stewart would tell people it was half a million), would be the pop group’s first concert. Stewart described the breakup as “an organic breakdown”. rip it up, The pop group later re-formed in 2010 and put out two full-lengths. Stewart’s last concert with the band took place in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral.

Stewart released her first single, an EP titled Jerusalem, in 1982. Dub artist Adrian Sherwood, who would collaborate with Stewart on future releases, produced the record. Stewart’s arty, hip-hop/industrial single “Hypnotized”, his second full-length, 1985 As the veneer of democracy begins to fadereached the top 10 of the UK indie chart, as did 1987’s “Stranger Than Love”. mark stewart, The latter combines a Satie piano line with the song. west side stories “somewhere.” Stewart puts out solo albums sporadically through 2022 Vs., which found him working with Lee “Scratch” Perry, Mike Watt, and others. Throughout his life, Stewart also collaborated with Trent Reznor, Tricky, Massive Attack, Chicks on Speed, and Primal Scream.

In rip it upStewart stated that musically his mission was one of hope. ,[We were] Not just a desire to survive but to free oneself from all constraints, ”he said of the pop group. “We had this romantic idea of ​​going through nihilism, this intense deconstruction process, and emerging on the other side with something really positive.”