Jagged Dancing

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mark_stewart.jpgMark Stewart: Kiss the Future (Soul Jazz) One critic called his music "Polemical noise-funk with a hip-hop reggae feel," which certainly covers a fair amount of territory but still can't encompass all of Mark Stewart's facets. He's been largely ignored in the U.S.; proudly English culture, in-your-face politics, and British dance music are all hard enough sells, but combining all three guarantees a low profile on this side of the Atlantic. But Anglophiles know how cool this stuff really is. This disc surveys The Pop Group (from 1979, jagged and guitar-based, a bit like Gang of Four, and now hard to find), Mark Stewart & The Maffia (more electronic, simultaneously catchy and abrasive), and Stewart's work with Adrian Sherwood ("Dream Kitchen" sounds like George Clinton gone dub - clearly Sherwood's influence). Bringing the story up to the minute, this is an excellent introduction. - Steve Holtje Mark Stewart sholtje.jpgMr. Holtje is a Brooklyn-based former editor of Creem Magazine and CDNow.com, editor of the acclaimed MusicHound Jazz: The Essential Album Guide, and contributor to The Big Takeover, Early Music America, and many other hip periodicals. He is a buyer at Sound Fix, a hot new record store in Williamsburg.