Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Bug new album "London Zoo" released July 21

As one of the finest examples to be heard from the cross-pollinating UK Dancehall, Ragga, Grime,
and Dubstep scenes it has been Kevin Martin's project The Bug (as in wire-tapping) that has taken
the morphology of this pan-genre evolution the furthest. Points of reference in his genre pushing
(creating?) project has been as far-removed as ealy Industrial Noise, the muted Drone palette of
Thomas Koner, the obvious Dub and Dancehall working of the bass, delay and rhythm, soulful
intonations of Roots Reggae and the bravado of underground Hip-Hop and urban street culture.
All delivered with a decidedly Punked-up consciously post-colonial, anti-imperialistic and globally
aware political stance (translation: Confrontational). That he has also managed to develop a working
relationship as a cultural hub and producer/selector with some of the greatest voices, Toasters, and
MC's in the contemporary Reggae, Hip-Hop and Grime is a product of his other lesser known skills
as a visionary musical curator.

The superb "Poison Dart" single with Warrior Queen, released in 2007, acted as a taster for "London
Zoo" and implied a greater sense of the cohesion, fluidity and dynamics to his sound, the beats were
more steppin' and the assault less frentetic than on the proceeding album, 2003's "Pressure". What we
couldn't have speculated was that "London Zoo" would deliver not only a great single, but a consistent,
heavily varied, diverse and solid album. Right off its the voices that make this spectrum apparent, the
inflections, intonation, from London to Kingston Town, Martin's choice of MC's and Toasters is visionary.
The Straight-up assault of Roll Deep's Flowdan on "Jah War", Ricky Ranking's soulful invocations on
"Judgement", Killa P's booming annunciation of "Skeng", this powerful, charismatic cast of personages
gives "London Zoo" its political voice, and Political with a capitol 'P' it is. Martin's work has always been a
solid dub, bass, drum, drone, boom and thud of sonic assault and space, but not until "London Zoo" has
he found a corresponding cast of MC's that could deliver on the same disconcerting heavyweight worldview
his music has offered. Together they've forged this vision of the times in which we live and delivered it with
the confidence and skills necessary to put a solid foundation on that vision. Elevating it beyond just political
rhetoric or angst ridden rant, this is a music that delivers its message, and delivers it with BASS.

Link to The Bug - Ninja Tune site

Link to The Bug & Flowdan/Killa P "Skeng" video

Link to The Bug & Warrior Queen "Poison Dart" video