Sunday, January 4, 2009

Yr Bugging Me, But It Feels So Good

Part 4 in my saga on my 2008 music favorites. If yr interested, check out previous posts on Steinski, Neon Neon, and Portishead. This one concerns The Bug (government name Kevin Martin). His London Zoo was my fourth favorite album last year. Take a look at the video for "Skeng":

London Zoo is a pulverizing work from the jump, an aptly named number called "Angry". The album is littered with one word titles with the same impact and focus. "Skeng" (weapon). "Insane". "Fuckaz" (fuckers). "Warning". "Judgement". Palpable dread alternates with righteous fury in passages that are physically impossible to ignore. The Bug is Kevin Martin, a longtime dabbler on the more abrasive fronts of British electronic music, best known as half of Techno Animal. His projects are notable for their uncommon coherence and lack of compomise. As a producer, he's all over the place, but always present (and noisy). Martin was an early proponent of the dubstep scene, and London Zoo may be a high water mark of this moody, bass driven genre. The precision with which the musical violence here is delegated, however, lean harder on the pure dancehall influence of the last Bug album, 2003's Pressure. While that work was a classic of full body dancefloor assault, on London Zoo Martin is much more expressive with his toolbox. A handpicked assortment of guest vocalists complete the crushing gravity, bringing forth the best aspects of the British Jamaican heritage to rail lyrics/sermons from what sounds like hell itself. Enraged, sinister, and clinically earth shattering, London Zoo is a terrifying (if club-ready) dispatch from a wicked world that cannot accept apathy and demands change.

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