Punks love The Pop Group. Liberty City is the first visual document to accompany former frontman’s Mark Stewart’s curveball debut solo record: Learning To Cope With Cowardice, and features a collab with Cold Lips’ fave choreographer Mehmet Sander – who prefers the title “action architect”.
This new ‘bricolage’ video first dropped on On U Sound in 1983. But it’s never sounded riper. The re-release is coming as part of a double vinyl, CD, and a limited edition double clear vinyl (with a percentage of the vinyl sales going to the Mercy Ships charity) on 25 January 2019, via indie-imperial masters of mainstream-appealing avant-garde, Mute Records – the dons of Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, Goldfrapp. Mute also share Stewart’s The Lost Tapes, a newly discovered cache of unreleased material.
Expounding a Public Image-style lyrical rant against the perpetual insanity of complicity to corporate slavery, the guerrilla-style transmission of soul choirs and bronzen industrial dub is visualised here by a troupe of Mehmet Sander-trained dancers whose techniques challenge the body and space to Luc Besson Scarlett Johannson Lucy levels.
Citing another Cold Lips fave – 20th century French philosopher and social theorist Michel Foucault, Stewart explains: “Me and Mehmet are keen collaborators reimagining zones for performing bodies. In this piece, we take the principles of total physical and audio liberation to its endgame, even if we arrive at that point through the means of excess and overload. Classical readings of dance purport that all movement is made in relation to form. What Foucault pointed out was that the production of the ‘subject’ – which both me and Mehmet believe is crucial in this age of discipline, punishment and negative entropy – is, in fact, our ‘carceral archipelago’”.
LP 1 / Disc 1
1. Learning To Cope With Cowardice
2. Liberty City
3. Blessed Are Those Who Struggle
4. None Dare Call It Conspiracy
5. Don’t You Ever Lay Down Your Arms
6. The Paranoia of Power
7. To Have The Vision
LP 2 / Disc 2
2. May I
4. Jerusalem [prototype]
6. Liberty Dub
8. Cowardice Dub
9. High Ideals & Crazy Dub
10. The Weight