Mark Stewart

Exorcism of Envy

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Acting as complement and remix/dub disc for Mark Stewart's first release in 2012, The Politics of Envy, Exorcism of Envy allows Stewart and a wide variety of collaborators and inspirations, via reworkings of their appearances on the original, a little more room to explore his 21st century take on electronic echo and aggression. By default it's pretty much a dub mix of the original album more than anything else, with Stewart's serenely voiced delivery chopped up or looped through songs like "Method to the Madness Dub," but with enough twists to make it very much its own beast. Factory Floor turn up on a few tracks, including the nervous but clean shudder of "Sexorcist," with Keith Levene adding his own spindly sharp guitar (in full echo mode), and the more threatening "Want Version." Levene also takes a turn on "Letter (Full of Tears)," revamping the cover of David Bowie's "Letter to Hermoine" from the original album into something far more unsettled. Meanwhile, "Mirror Wars" brings in Lee "Scratch" Perry and Xacute, while Daddy G of Massive Attack does a nicely whispery part on "Apocalypse Dub." Perhaps what's most interesting about the album in the end is how something that theoretically consists of dated approaches in its bubbling mix of electro-rock and '70s dub and more seems to suit 2012 just fine, a sleek collage no more out of place than any other number of similarly backward-glancing efforts around the globe. If anything, it makes the appearance of Primal Scream on "Attack Dogs" all that more appropriate, since there's more than a kissing-cousin feel to both Vanishing Point and XTRMNTR at play. Meanwhile, putting both Kenneth Anger and Richard Hell on a track -- the closing "Killswitch," a rework of the original album opener "Vanity Kills" -- is the kind of idea that just plain works, and more so when there's a snippet of Erik Satie to boot.

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