The Bug, Pressure

Adam Sweeting

By Adam Sweeting

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A weird, wild ride of dub, bass and Jamaican MCs that hits the primal sonic G-spot

Having previously masqueraded as Techno Animal and Razor X, Kevin Martin hit a primal sonic G-spot with Pressure, his second album as the Bug. Martin's electronica-patrols had already made admirers out of Aphex Twin and Andy Weatherall, while Razor X Productions (a collaboration with the Rootsman) explored his fascination with Jamaican dancehall. With the Bug, Martin devised a blueprint for shaking his electronics in a blender with gobbets of dub and bass and a team of Jamaican MCs. The opening onslaught of "Politicians and Paedophiles" is like a razor to the windpipe, with its machine-gun barrage of bass and percussion underpinning triphammer rhymes simmering with sleaze, menace and murder. "Fuck Y-Self" grabs you by the lapels and yells its scalding anger in your face, and the screams and banshee wails of "Night Steppa" evoke a sub-world of struggle and deprivation. But the Bug can also find space for real poetry, such as the spookily lyrical "Thief of Dreams" or the elegiac "Living Dub." It's a weird, wild ride.