We speak to Kevin Martin about his new LP, which lands in August via Ninja Tune.
It's Martin's first LP as The Bug since 2008's acclaimed London Zoo. In the time since then he's kept busy with his dub project, King Midas Sound, releasing the 2009 album Waiting For You... through Hyperdub. He's also put out a string of EPs as The Bug for Ninja Tune, and inaugurated his Acid Ragga label.
Angels & Devils boasts a long list of collaborations, with Death Grips, Grouper's Liz Harris, Gonjasufi, Flowdan, Miss Red, Justin Broadrick of Godflesh, Roll Deep's Manga, Warrior Queen and copeland all featuring.
"Personally I feel Angles & Devils is both more seductive and hateful than London Zoo," Martin told RA. "I thought long 'n' hard about tearing up the blueprint of the sound of London Zoo after releasing that record, in a very reactionary manner, but I then realised that was a knee-jerk reaction and instead thankfully decided to just try and getter better at my craft and aimed to intensify my own sound."
You can stream snippets of two tracks—"Save Me" feat. Gonjasufi, and "Fuck A Bitch" feat. Death Grips—via the SoundCloud (or "SoundBug") player below. We spoke to Martin this week about the project:
The LP is called Angles & Devils. Does this title provide some insight into the themes you explore on the record?
Yes, for sure. The record was an exploration of opposites. It was consciously linked to themes of escape and damnation, beauty and repulsion, as it grew all the more wilfully intense. It was about locating heaven in hell, and spotlighting the hell in heaven. It may also have been called Angels Or Devils. Using metaphors as a vehicle for emotional release was crucial.
It's your first LP as The Bug since 2008. How long did you spend working on it? And how would you say the mood of this record compares to London Zoo?
I've been working on this album constantly since London Zoo, but life got in the way to varying degrees of enlightenment and curse. Detours were planned and challenged, after I set out to consciously stretch the parameters of London Zoo in both directions simultaneously.
How did you go about seeking out collaborators?
When I tried to construct a narrative flow for the record, many of the vocalists I approached were already in my head, as key potential elements of the emotional puzzle. And many of my collaborators on Angles & Devils are fierce individualists and originators, so this ensured for striking contributions, as the incredible guests weren't just appearing as a rent-a-voice situation.
They were all allies for me, definitely not mercenaries, and aside from each person being chosen for their instantly recognisable voice/sound they all seem to share my need for music as transcendental force, or just pure therapy, haha! And what was particularly shocking/humbling for me, was that all the people I approached were already aware of my work to varying degrees and were definitely into it. Amazing really.
01. Void feat. Liz Harris
02. Fall feat. copeland
04. Mi Lost feat. Miss Red
06. Save Me feat. Gonjasufi
07. The One feat. Flowdan
08. Function feat. Manga
09. Fuck a Bitch feat. Death Grips
10. Fat Mac feat. Flowdan
11. Fuck You feat. Warrior Queen
12. Dirty feat. Flowdan
Ninja Tune will release Angels & Devils on August 25th, 2014.