The Bug - Infected
Mouth watering at the prospect of Ninja Tune XX but haven't had the cash for it yet? Hey, they understand. Ninja Tune's released a lot of box sets and retrospectives over the years, and they've always been generous about letting some of those sets' exclusives go out on singles and EPs—what's good for the artist is good for the franchise. On this EP by Kevin Martin's project The Bug, two of the four tracks come from the label's new monster box, and one—the hurtling "Tune In," with Roots Manuva—is here in its vocal version while the dub is on XX. And far from seeming like castoffs and leftovers, Infected is tight and vibrant, furthering the grimy roots-and-futurism of 2008's London Zoo.
The two remixes here give that album's highlights a head-turning cleanse. Autechre's remix of "Skeng" takes an already Spartan track and makes it even more razor-sharp minimalist. The beat is so techy and tetchy that it seems to vibrate from within, like a neon light starting to fritz. It's total art music that kills on a system, one of the best remixes of the year. Scratcha DVA's relick of "Poison Dart" gives it the kind of champagne-spray fizz you'd expect, peppering up the snares and goosing the vocals with echo and the beat with old-fashioned analog FX.
"Catch a Fire" evokes Maxinquaye: the shaking bells and lolling electric piano, not to mention a snare that echoes like a bunch of firecrackers, are big enough to lounge in, and give Hitomi's desolate scenario ("Crackheads, pissheads, hood rats, undeads") a stoned, seductive above-it-all quality.
Fri / 12
01. Catch a Fire feat. Hitomi
02. Tune In feat. Roots Manuva
03. Skeng (Autechre Remix)
04. Poison Dart (Scratcha DVA Remix)