Release Date: Aug 12, 2008
Record label: Ninja Tune
Amultitude 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.
All the great British writer/producers of the past two decades have found their own trademark equilibrium between guest vocals and backing tracks. Massive Attack's first three albums all achieved this, as did Tricky's. All three Leila albums come to their own unique internal understanding, and the Chemical Brothers have never lost the knack of integrating a wide range of co-conspirators into a coherent scheme.
London Zoo, the latest missive from London's Kevin Martin, a.k.a. The Bug, is heavy enough to be one of those peak statements, an album that feels like the logical culmination of the notorious producer's 20-year career. That's quite something, considering Martin's participation in projects like Techno Animal, God, Ice, and more recently Razor X Productions.