CD: The Bug, London Zoo

(Ninja Tune)

A multitude of MCs join producer Kevin Martin on his second solo full-length release as The Bug, adding their voices to a startling cacophony. From Warrior Queen's disembodied alienation to Spaceape's cold, hard contempt, social and political disaffection dominates the proceedings. Flowdan's menacing authority is as potent as ever on Skeng, while Tippa Irie runs rampant on Angry, blasting fire about everything from Hurricane Katrina to suicide bombers. Meanwhile, Martin is the deus ex machina who propels his forces into a sonic war zone, battling amid thickets of cavernous beats, juddering ragga rhythms and bass heavy enough to rattle your bones. Martin's use of noise and discordance is monolithic rather than frenetic - dense, yet endlessly involving, and always carefully structured for maximum impact. Moreover, as apocalyptic as his vision can be, the thrill as he pushes his sounds further outwards proves to be as seductive as it is forbidding.


Alex Macpherson

The GuardianTramp

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