What happens when you put two artists – namely Kevin Martin and Dylan Carlson, aka The Bug and Earth, respectively, both explorers of everything….heavy, together. Well, you’ll have some idea if you picked up the Boa/Cold EP, made during the sessions for The Bug’s ‘Angels & Devils’ album back in 2014, but, taken from their forthcoming album on Ninja Tune ‘Concrete Desert’ which drops on March 24th digitally, and May 5th on physical formats. But here’s something new, taken from the album, called
Although the two are known for their particular styles – Carlson for his so-called Ambient metal, and Martin for his experimentations in bass, they’ve come together to make something more cinematic. In fact, Kevin MArtin says, the album could be understood as reflecting a ‘mistrust of “Hollywoodisms,” and the shadow of Hollywood fantasy that looms large over life in LA, and the USA in general. “Dylan’s a master at amplifying the flavour of America,” he says, “but not the side we see in this Trump climate.” For Martin, the “American dream is like a nightmare under Trump” but Dylan captures the “best side of that dream, a utopian openess.” “I hear the writing of Cormac McCarthy in his music. His playing conjures deserts, and wide open spaces.” In “Concrete Desert,” Earth’s sonic landscapes, its far horizons and vast spaces, are underpinned and propelled by Martin’s ear-worming rhythms and percussive genius.
Beginning with these almost minimal bass beats, Carlsons guitar shatters the calm with its presence, as the backbeat shuffles and there’s this eerie tone that cuts through things. AS it continues so it almost begins to collapse and unfurl, these explosions of sound and the guitar becoming more prevalent and seemingly more urgent. Eventually it is destroyed, with just that eerie tone left to remind us. Heavy. In more ways than one.