Release Date: Aug 20, 2013
Record label: Ninja Tune
Kevin Martin (aka the Bug) has always concerned himself with exploring the dirtier, further reaches of music. He has experimented with a range of genres, from heavy avant-garde hip-hop instrumentals with digital hardcore legend Alec Empire on the Curse of the Golden Vampire LP to his work with John Zorn and Napalm Death's Justin Broadrick on grindcore-/noise-influenced projects GOD and Techno Animal. One thing has remained constant through Martin's various musical experiments though, and that is the industrial influence, imbuing his productions with sequenced dissonance and underwear-ruining bass lines.
Kevin Martin’s relationship with bass isn’t so much an addiction; more a religion. A noise-loving rocker switched on to extreme sounds in the halcyon days of post-punk, Martin’s holy dedication to low-end now manifests itself in two dancehall and dub-influenced projects, The Bug and King Midas Sound. On Twitter, he vents his frustration at the venues that book him, only to find their fragile walls and weak soundsystems can’t accommodate his foundation-shaking basslines.For all Martin’s commitment to the heaviest dub sounds, his ears are always open.
At its best, Kevin Martin's The Bug project has beefed up the skank of dancehall with elements of dub and, more recently, dubstep and grime. The formula paid off on 2008's London Zoo, one of the most fearsome hybrids to emerge from the UK dubstep explosion. After five years and countless singles, Martin finally returns to his chief alias for a new album, of which Filthy is our first taste.
This isn't the same musical landscape that Kevin Martin left a crater in when he released London Zoo as the Bug five years ago. Even leaving aside every radical mutation and crossover blowup that's splintered off from the dancehall, grime, and dubstep scenes that ran through the album's veins, Martin himself has proven to be just as hard to pin down. The eerie, stripped-down ghost-dub King Midas Sound evolved from side project to remixers' platform to ongoing concern (don't sleep on the “Aroo” single).