Mark Stewart + Maffia – “Learning To Cope With Cowardice” (1983)

markstewartmaffiaI bought this album solely because it was on On-U Sound.

I was not disappointed.

Mark Stewart is the Mark Stewart of The Pop Group fame, and Learning To Cope With Cowardice is his first post-The Pop Group solo LP.  All the On-U trademarks are here on this album that can best be described as dub post-punk – dark, echoey, and sampling from other On-U artists like Gary Clail, Learning To Cope With Confidence is an experimental ride, some songs like the title track danceable, while others such as “Liberty City” are avant-garde weirdness.  Most of it, in fact veers off to the strange side, which isn’t a value judgement so much a statement of fact. And if it’s possible, the B side is even more dubby than the A!

I need to spend some time digging a little further into the On-U catalog so I know what artists to be on the lookout for, because every time I buy on of the label’s albums I come away happy.