Photo by Chiara Meattelli
Last year, seminal English experimental rockers The Pop Group released their first album in 20 years. Citizen Zombie saw the band teaming with mega-producer Paul Epworth, known for his work with fellow UK artists Adele and Coldplay. Now, however, the band has returned to their roots as they set to work on their follow-up, re-teaming with Dennis “Blackbeard” Bovell, producer of their 1979 debut LP, Y.
Bovell is an iconic producer who’s worked with the likes of Fela Kuti, The Slits, The Thompson Twins, and others. His contributions to Y helped launch The Pop Group into the politically charged, avant-garde rock provocateurs that rose to critical acclaim in the late ’70s. 37 years later, he’s back in the studio with the group, and he’s not alone; Hank Shocklee of the Bomb Squad (Public Enemy) is also working on the new record.
“We’ve at last fulfilled a double fantasy to work with our two favourite sonic assassins, Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell and Hank Shocklee,” the band’s Mark Steward tells Consequence of Sound. “We’re in awe as Dennis, the Captain Kirk of dub is taking us on a hyper sound voyage into the future, and Hank, as always tears up the rules totally upholding our faith in the absolute value of noise. We’ve gone completely off the map.”
The new route has led them right into space with a record tentatively titled Honeymoon on Mars. Album tracks include names like “City of Eyes”, “War inc.”, and “The Pure Ones”. Though there’s no word yet on when exactly the record will see release, fans can start getting excited to hear what The Pop Group and Bovell can cook up nearly four decades after last working together.