‘Outlaw Empire’ is the new single from Pull of Autumn, mixed by the legend Adrian Sherwood and featuring Mark Stewart on vocals and it’s taken from the fourth album by the band/collective that consists of core member Daniel Darrow (Johanna’s House of Glamour) and a range of collaborators.
Darrow had wanted to work with Mark Stewart for a long time and the opportunity finally came about through Scott Crow of Emergency Heart Records who has released music by both artists. Mark Stewart was a founder member of The Pop Group but someone I was aware through Mark Stewart and The Maffia albums Learning To Cope With Cowardice and As The Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade. He has also worked with Adrian Sherwood on many occasions.
‘Outlaw Empire’ has the rare distinction of being both appealing and unsettling and this is mostly due to the masterful things that Adrian Sherwood can do with sound. He may use tried and tested dub techniques like never-ending echo and cavernous reverb, but the real skill is how he can elevate a track with his own urban-dub aesthetic. You can almost hear the pavement, tarmac and concrete high-rises resonating with his mix as a smog of paranoia envelops this inner-city cacophony. And over this Mark Stewart’s voice is treated to sound like coming from an apocalyptic megaphone: “Retreat, coerce, protect. Manipulates his target, smear campaigns, provoking the victim, suffocation, neuroplasticity hijacks your mind, slavery still exists, the collapse of everything”.
Joyzine has the exclusive look at the video for ‘Outlaw Empire’ this weekend. It was created by band member Rick Humphrey (This Twisted Wreckage) and the visuals are a perfect match to the track with drone shots of derelict buildings and cityscapes, menacing trees sway, dark-water-reflections wobble, jump cuts flit between traffic and night-time city grids along with a Bunuel-esque which is nervously scanning in all directions.
This is what great collaborations are made of. No one gets in anyone’s way, everyone brings something unique to the project and the result is exciting, challenging and leaves you wanting more.
The album Beautiful Broken World is released on 18 November.
Review by Paul F Cook