Sunday, August 03, 2008

Album Review: The Bug

The Bug -'London Zoo.' (Ninja Tune)

In 2008, as the post-punk revival starts to retreat, it's good to note that the really exciting music being made in the UK is starting to have an impact on the general public and not just a few people with their fingers on the pulse. Whilst certain snooty types will sneer, there's a sense that dubstep and grime is impacting on the general public, what with Wylie having a no.2 single in the proper 'charts,' Dizzee Rascal spending a month at no.1 and Burial is currently favourite to win the Mercury Music prize. Anyone who makes allegations about sell-outs or what have you should keep themselves quiet or go off and invent the next underground thing to feel smug and superior about.

Though this album from London based producer Kevin Martin has not yet set the mainstream alight, I live and hope that it does. The Bug's latest album mixes hip-hop, techno, grime and dubstep to make one of the most astounding albums I've heard all year. This is the sort of album that grabs you by the throat, holds you up against the wall and cannot possibly be ignored. Featuring contributions from the likes of Tippa Irie, Warrior Queen and Ricky Ranking, this album has everything in spades. Anger, love, amazing sounds, all there. Opener 'Angry' does what it says on the tin. In many ways the sheer rage contained within Tipper Irie's delivery rolls the rage and passion of The Clash, Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine, and knocks them all dead. And that's just the opening track.

I hadn't heard The Bug before this record, though I had heard the three contributors mentioned. On one level, the album succeeds because it makes you want to investigate the entire back catalogue not just of Kevin Martin but all the contributors to the record. On another you want everyone else to hear it (I want to get better speakers for my car, for starters). And perhaps best of all, you reel from it when you finish listening to it, and go back and play it again and again, just to to take in the sheer mixture of work woven in here like some reggae family tree cum tapestry.

A very serious contender for album of the year.


The Bug featuring Tipper Irie -'Angry.' mp3

The Bug featuring Warrior Queen -'Insane.' mp3

The Bug's MySpace

The Bug on Wikipedia

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