It seems that Kevin ‘The Bug’ Martin has given us enough time to digest the all-righteous anger and bass heavy assaults of London Zoo. Despite nearly three years passing since the acclaimed release, the album’s critical survey of survival in crumbling capitalist London is for many, as apt as ever. New release Infected is to act as a platform between London Zoo and The Bug’s forthcoming ‘dub battle’ with legendary producer Adrian Sherwood.
Having lent his talents to last year’s King Midas Sound album, Waiting For You, Martin reunites with Hitomi, the vocalist from this project, for the EP’s opener Catch A Fire. The track is a rework of dubstep monster Skeng that replaces the original murderous verse, courtesy of Killa P and Flow Dan, with dulcet, floating vocals from Hitomi. Catch A Fire, Martin’s first collaboration with the industrial/metal guru Justin Broadrick (Jesu/Pale Sketcher and ex-Goldflesh) since their early nineties Techno Animal project features a reflective guitar contribution from the aforementioned, dripping in atmospherics and sheer gutsy power.
Next up Martin recycles the same deep dub styles used with King Midas Sound on Tune In. He hooks up with Roots Manuva who provides vocals on a new version of Poison Dart. The stomach-churning track sits hand in hand with Rodney Manuva’s hypnotic, lazy, lingual voodoo.
The release also features two remixes personally commissioned by The Bug. The first came about after Martin tuned into a 5-hour marathon podcast from Warp Records legends Autechre, the electronica/noise duo were invited to remix Skeng – and I’m pleased to report that it’s as deadly as it sounds on paper. A raw, minimalist hip-hop rhythm, that sits perfectly with the unaltered original vocal. The second remix comes from Rinse FM’s breakfast show host Scratcha DVA. The UK funky star was invited to scramble Poison Dart and cement this 4-track release.
Words // Josh Thomas