The Bug is the alterego of London-based Kevin Martin, and he has been tearing up the speakers for a good while now. This is his first full album since around 2014, and it is full of dark, doomy and dystopian sounds.
He uses guest vocalists on most of these 14 tracks (Flowdan and Logan on at least half the tracks, plus several others), all singing or rapping over KM’s heavy, heavy processed dub treated trademark sounds.
The first few tracks are apocalyptic, referencing future years and world destruction – the rapping in West Indian/London patois, the echoes, delays and beats furiously bubbling away…
And it continues throughout! It is pretty much a full assault on the senses and really never lets up. The variety of samples and beats is quite astonishing, for example ‘War’ (featuring vocalist Nazamba) which gives all kinds of weird sounds until the (as usual) massive bass and percussion kicks in. Every track yields up more interesting sounds, too many to mention in this brief review.
The LP is a bit of a challenge to see through, but overall it is masterful piece of work which cements The Bug’s unique sound in the very heart of progressive UK music – does it upset the dub purists? Who knows, but its use of dub techniques is very nuanced – and all the guest vocalists are excellent.