“It was around 1980 when Bristol post-punk band The Pop Group were touring in New York, proving their worth as No Wave pioneers. The group’s frontman Mark Stewart tuned into Kiss FM (yes, even white kids from Bristol were well up on their hip-hop back then), and the DJ at the time, Red Alert, was on the ones and twos, injecting the airwaves with some sonic madness. The story goes that no less than an hour after tuning into that radio station, Stewart passed a construction site and became enthused by the sound of a piledriver slamming into the ground. The industrial city, DJ Red Alert’s chaotic scratching, the distorted echo chamber effects of Afrika Bambaataa’s recently released Death Mix, the booming bass of dub sound systems—they would eventually pile together into a new, as yet unfounded, salmagundi of sound in his head.
A few years later, in 1985, these influences become the sound of Stewart’s second solo album, As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade, a landmark record for what would initially be referred to as “industrial hip-hop”. The beginnings of noise-hop were formed in a confluence of these outsider industrial experiments…”
Noisey on the inceptive power of Mark Stewart’s ‘As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade’, and it’s subsequent influence on the evolution of noise-hop, from Public Enemy to EL-P to Death Grips and beyond: