The Bug, aka Kevin Martin, is back for his first solo full-length album in seven years, Fire, out on August 27th via the ever brilliant Ninja Tune label. Featuring Martin’s beats and a plethora of MC’s, including longtime collaborators such as Flowdan, Roger Robinson, Moor Mother,Manga Saint Hilare, Irah & Daddy Freddy alongside relatively new names to the Bug stable like Logan, Nazamba and FFSYTHO. It’s one of the latter – Logan, that features in the latest release from the album, titled Clash.
On the album as a whole, Martin says “2020 was the worst dystopian nightmares made real – part of me was panic-stricken, the other part of me was ‘how am I going to stay sane?’” recalls Martin. “I’ve got to support 4 people and it might be YEARS before I play shows – this was at the back of my mind making the album. Just to keep calm I got into making solo albums which was meditative, got me back in touch with myself and enabled me to rebuild my studio which kept me working and helped me keep my head straight. It was crucial because I’ve realised through life that what keeps me grounded is music. I used to think I wanted to bury myself in NOW, reality, sensation, information but as time’s gone on I’ve realised I want to actually make a parallel world in sound – the studio gave me an escape from just how fucked up the world was last year. That feeling of external chaos but really questioning yourself internally is something that all the MCs, in different ways, reflect on ‘Fire’. And I feel I’ve grown – making music not just as an egotistical pursuit but to support my family has meant I’ve stopped overthinking things. We KNEW when tracks were finished and loosening my maniacal control over the music, letting it breathe and come together more naturally. That’s something I think you can hear throughout the album.”
Pulled along by Logan’s rapid flow and clever rhymes, Clash is a maelstrom of dark electro beats, clouds of electronic hue, and echo ridden, jagged sounds. It’s frankly breathtaking. Check it out, here