Mark Stewart is the man without whom industrial hip-hop would never exist. Best known as a member of The Pop Group, a melting pot of an avant-jazz, funk, dub, and reggae, and politically highly concerned, he is out with his eighth solo album.
The first impression you get from this album is of a time machine set in 1979, the time analogue synthesizers and white suits were in fashion. Abstract tunes and bleeps, moog roars, and disciplined rhythm boxes pave the way to the spoken word and stories about consumerism and the media.
Mark Stewart is not alone in this war. Two Primal Screams, Bobby Gillespie, and Andrew Innes give a hand on “Autonomia“, Will Calhoun, Vernon Reid, Doug Wimbish, and Corey Glover, also known as living colour, add spirit to “Method to the Madness“, Daddy G from Massive Attack does his best “Apocalypse Hotel“, and Keith Levene co-writes “Stereotype“. Bowie‘s “Letter to Hermione” is a lyrical tribute to the thin white duke.
“The Politics of Envy” is a must-have album not only because it’s magically integrated but also as a history lesson back to the roots of industrial music and trip hop.