[Mixtape] Kevin Martin, a career in Dub part. 2

After travelling the first decade, let’s talk about everything Kevin Martin produced under the name of The Bug. From his own Industrial Ragga under his famous alias to his most recent album in collaboration with Dylan Carson of Earth.

The Bug (1997-)

Kevin Martin introduced the songs he had composed under the name of The Bug during Techno Animal shows. As he recalled during an interview with the LA Times, as soon as he started playing his songs at the end of Techno Animall shows, « all the dudes started disappearing and all their girlfriends moved forward. And then there were four girls jumping onstage and rocking out to the early Bug tracks. Justin (Broadrick) and I were behind the mixing deck, laughing hysterically. That had never happened at our shows before. » There is something truly infectious about the Bug‘s rhythm. No matter who he invites as a guest on his songs, from his most famous tune with the singer Warrior Queen, the infectious and hypnotic Poison dart, to the sound system killer and aptly titled Louder, the man constantly refreshes his sound to make it as vital and futuristic as ever.

King Midas Sound (2009-)

Whereas Martin composes on his own and has frequent collaborators, like the toaster Flowdan, King Midas Sound is a legitimate band with another composer, Roger Robinson, and the singer Kiki Hitomi. The music the trio composes is more reflective than The Bug and less prone to turning crowds into a mass of swaying bodies. King Midas Sound is the kind of music you would like to listen if you want to meditate and to look at yourself from the outside. Their latest output, a collaboration with Christian Fennesz, is even more about soundscapes and abandoned landscapes where nature would have claimed back the cities man had abandoned.

Sirens (2016)

Sirens is not a project but a piece Kevin Martin created under his alias of The Bug. Linked only to his main output by the volume the piece was apparently played (unfortunately I was not able to attend), it was described on the official press release as « rhythmless, immersive, and constructed from sirens, foghorns, and bass drones, the work encourages a body/mind wash, in an attempt to lose all sense of time and place. » Sirens is more or less the music more closely related to SunnO))), a band he appreciates, that he has ever produced. The description made by a reviewer Callum Davies for Cultured Vultures seems to confirm that « The volume, combined with the staggering deep depths the subs were able to achieve meant that every tone, beat and bass blast reverberated through your entire body. ».

The Bug VS Earth (2014-)

The Bug‘s more recent project is a collaboration with Dylan Carlson, the mastermind of Earth, the band that influenced SunnO))). Through Martin‘s interest in bass, repetitive and cyclic music and volume, it’s not hard to understand how these two musicians could find some common interest in each other’s music. The pair first produced a 12″ with two songs, Boa and Cold, published by Ninja Tune, until the release of Concrete desert, a full-length album where they could continue experimenting with the combination of Martin’s minimalist beats and Carlson’s guitar soundscapes. They will perform these songs together and there is no doubt that these experiences will be backed by a very loud sound system. After all, they are all about that bass.


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