ON/OFF: Mark Stewart (Pop Group to Maffia)
Mark Stewart first made his presence felt as the front man for The Pop Group in the late 1970s. They were pioneers of the post-punk dance sound and had success with singles such as "She Is Beyond Good And Evil" and "We Are All Prostitutes." When the band split in 1980, Mark joined the emerging On U Sound crew as a part-time member of The New Age Steppers. He then went on to form his own band with Keith LeBlanc and Doug Wimbish, the rhythm section of the Sugar Hill Gang and guitarist Skip McDonald. With Adrian Sherwood and his production magic at the controls, The Maffia unleashed an awesome mix of styles that sounded like Bootsy Collins jamming over a bootleg Jah Shaka tape in an urban warzone. This incredible mix of funk, dub and electronic overload pre-empted techno and drum n' bass by years. Mark Stewart, often copied, never bettered. This film retraces the singer's steps and paths from the early days of The Pop Group right up to the present. Director Tøni Schifer, who followed Mark around for a full 3 years, has crafted a detailed, often intimate portrait of the artist, supplemented by interviews with, amongst others, Mark Stewart himself, Adrian Sherwood, Daniel Miller (Mute Records), Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald, Keith LeBlanc, Douglas Hart (The Jesus And Mary Chain), Fritz Catlin (23 Skidoo), Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), Gareth Sager (The Pop Group, Rip Rig And Panic), Dan Catsis (The Pop Group), John Waddington (The Pop Group) Janine Rainforth (Maximum Joy), Massive Attack, Keith Levine (Public Image Limited) and many others, plus never-seen live recordings and music clips. Film: 82 mins; bonus material: 70 mins. Director: Tøni Schifer; Format: DVD10; Audio language: English; Subtitles: German, English; Format: PAL + NTSC, 16:9, Color, Region 0; Sound: Stereo.