Review: After last year saw Kevin Martin's primary project looming large with the Angels & Devils album and a slew of singles, The Bug is back on Ninja Tune with a new single. "Zim Zim Zim" features seasoned dancehall MC Burro Banton raining down vocal fire over a typically grandiose Martin production, all slow, heavy-footed stomp and strangely emotive slabs of grinding metallic synth tones that sound like the end of the world bursting out of the speakers. Banton's nagging delivery sits perfectly on the track, but for those that want to home in on the subtleties of the production the "Version" provides all the space you need for those staggering sounds to roam.
Freakshow (feat Danny Brown & Kiki Hitomi) - (3:54) 140 BPM
Dirty (feat Flowdan) - (2:56) 140 BPM
Kill Them (feat Daddy Freddy) - (3:32) 140 BPM
Louder (feat Flowdan) - (3:27) 141 BPM
Review: Dropping a searing package of badness ahead of the forthcoming Angels & Devils album, The Bug is back in business with some apocalyptic gutter bass of the highest order. "Freakshow" matches the leering delivery of Danny Brown with the sinister croon of King Midas Sound's Kiki Hitomi over a horn-laden trap swagger to devastating effect. "Louder" pits Flowdan in the depths of a nauseating half-step march, while "Dirty" takes the London MC into a barrage of equally nerve-jangling drum rattles and alarm-clanging stabs. Long-time Bug collaborator Daddy Freddy rolls up his sleeves for "Kill Them", anchoring the dread stomp with a fearsome growl as anthemic as it is nihilistic.
Review: This EP finds Kevin Martin zooming in on some of the themes of Angels & Demons, the long awaited new LP from The Bug, naturally showing a diverse approach across the spectrum of his dread-filled half-step swagger. Two versions of "Void" drape themselves across the first side in a heavy-lidded fog of distant melodics, static interference and restrained beat business, while on the flip "Black Wasp" likewise takes two strung out routes through submerged menace and laconic grace. Like a sharp slap about the chops, side three finds Manga spitting out a monolithic grime performance over "Function", while Daddy Freddy is on side four with a perfectly devilish turn on "Blaow".
Review: It's been some six years since renowned misery guys Kevin Martin won plaudits for London Zoo, a typically dark, intense and aggressive full-length that showcased his unique ability to blend dubstep, grime, dancehall and dub techno textures into nightmarish new shapes. Angels & Devils, his belated follow-up, is intriguingly different. While the second half of the set is blessed with plenty of robust, floor-friendly riddims (each blessed with vocals from a range of impressive collaborators), the first half is an altogether more downbeat affair. In fact, it's these moments - the droning, dub-inflected ambience of "Pandi" and the bluesy, soundscape dub-soul of "Save Me" - that hit home hardest.
Get Out The Way (feat Killa P + Irah) - (3:40) 140 BPM
Get Riddim - (3:40) 140 BPM
Review: Bad to the bone... Following his remarkable fusions with Earth earlier this year, the Bug continues to flex his finest collaborative muscles with two dirty, paranoid grime cuts. Flowdan takes the lead with an autobiographical tale over a cosmic dirge that palpitates with industrial rawness. Next up: Killa P and Irah who get savage over a sizzling reese bassline that builds and smoulders with intensity of a Hardware night at The End in 2005. Complete with two riddims, this is The Bug at his most direct and dangerous and ready for the dance.
Review: if there is one collaboration that we have bowed down to over the last few years, it's most certainly this new found friendship between London's Kevin Martin aka The Bug, and American doom metal guitarists, Earth. One wouldn't immediately make the connection between inner-city future-grime music and suburban stoner rock, but the two styles were in perfect unison, and this is because they're both fascinated with dark, looming clouds of bass. Whether that's through virtual synths or badass bass guitars, it doesn't matter, because the mood is mightily present. Concrete Desert is the alliance's debut LP, and it's all guns blazing from start to finish; tunes like "Snakes vs Rats" or "Metal Drone" represent exactly the sort of freshen-up that each respective act needed - on the one hand, The Bug could have done with some more external influences to the melodic constructions, while Earth needed a new framework to enter the minds of a new, European audience. We've dubbed this style 'metal drone', and we're pretty sure that it's gonna stick after you've hit the ol' play button. Top quality stuff - highly recommended!
Review: Kevin "The Bug" Martin and Dylan "Earth" Carlson have finally teamed up for a collaborative release on the UK's mighty Ninja Tune. To be honest, both the artists and the label have all achieved institutional status by now, so you know its highly recommended from the onset. Each artist has been involved in many scenes and genres over the years, ranging from ambient metal to minimal drones and experimental two-step and "Boa" is exactly that, a weird and wonderful mixture of styles and influences. "Boa" and "Cold" share a slow tempo and a set of heavy, metallic guitars weaving over desolate soundscapes and rattling percussion. This is cinematic music to say the least.