Kevin Martin, AKA The Bug, has announced plans for a new Ninja Tune-associated 7-inch label called Acid Ragga, with the first release due out in June.
The label will be a platform for Martin to explore a new music style of his own creation, which, as the title suggests, is a kind of bastard child of acid and ragga. But don't expect any euphoric acid nostalgia: "this time there will be no smiley faces, no ecstasy, and no future," as the press release puts it. Martin gave us his own explanation of the concept earlier this week via email:
What exactly does "acid ragga" mean?
For me, it's a term that works on many levels, and an idea I had many years ago.. I told Ed DMX in the early Y2k's that I was gonna crunch the concept, just after I bought a Devilfish modified TB-303. Unfortunately it took me this long to get my shit together, hahaha...
Technically, philosophically, aesthetically, I craved a collision of the raw, rugged, sexiness of bashment with its sassy bionic swing, and the sheer head-fuck quality of the best acid, with it's bad trip, time warped, dystopian funk. My love of the TB-303, the 808, Phuture classics like Cocaine/Only Friend, Underground Resistance, Steely & Clevie, Daddy Freddy, Cutty Ranks, Ninjaman and the robo-raggamuffin gyrations of the best boom-boom bap which has led me to this point of departure.
A jump off point where Phuture gets syncopated by Dave Kelly, King Jammy's gets filtered by Plastikman, Stakker Humanoid gets re-routed to Kingston Jamaica, and all points lead to a total meltdown... I was never a raver, I was a child of PiL's "Death Disco," so I prefer Acid Ragga to fuck heads and remove the smiley faces, and this label is fuelled on pure dread, paranoia, analogue circuitry and digital deviancy. A sonic shockwave where the target is now the body. You get me? Hahaha.
Why only 7-inch releases for the label? Will there be digital releases?
Because I'm selfish, I'm still absolutely addicted to purchasing 7-inch Jamaican singles, and I want to keep vinyl alive. Some tracks will appear on my forthcoming album Angels & Devils on Ninja Tune, but as yet I haven't decided which ones..
Will the label only be for releases by The Bug, or will you use it to release other artists as well?
Initially, I definitely set this up as a new foundation for The Bug to explore, probe and mutate, but who knows where it will lead... I got strong allies like Stereotyp and Mark Pritchard (who already admitted to biting my Acid Ragga idea, you bastard Mark!), who I rate highly and would like to involve in some way further down the line... The future is open thankfully.
Do these releases differ significantly in style from previous Bug releases?
Initially when I started as The Bug and set up the Razor X label, I basically wanted to take peoples' heads off and release 7-inches that would destroy parties. With Acid Ragga I want to take peoples' bodies out, and mash up the dance proppa, haha... I'm trying to bridge a sound that's simultaneously futuristic and retro, sleek and corroded, sweet and sick. It's more minimal, less noisy, but a continuation of my insectoid mission.
The first release on Acid Ragga features guest appearances from Daddy Freddy and Hype Williams member Inga Copeland. Daddy Freddy will also appear on the second single, Ganja Baby. No release date for that one yet. You can stream a clip of "Can't Take This No More" over on Ninja Tune's SoundCloud page.
A1 Can't Take This No More feat. Daddy Freddy
B1 Rise Up feat. Inga Copeland
Acid Ragga will release Can't Take This No More / Rise Up in June 2012.