The Bug feat. Flowdan


“I’d already started work on the album before the pandemic. I was already agitated enough with what was going on in the world, globally it felt there was already enough terror in the world, it already felt like it was spinning out of control but the pandemic added . . . spice. I was reminded of being a teenager in the cold war but this was even scarier because you didn’t know who the enemy was, and all the disinformation fed your paranoia. ‘Fire’ is an album that emerges from some basic questions - the world is a fucking mess and what do you do about that? Go with the flow? Challenge it? Challenge yourself? I can only move forward, and that’s what you can hear on ‘Fire’” - Kevin Martin, The Bug, 2021. 

Kevin Martin’s first new non-collaborative full-length album under The Bug moniker for seven years could not be better timed, and could not be more needed: ‘Fire’ - the third exhilarating part of an incendiary urban triptych, that began with 2008’s explosive ‘London Zoo’ via 2014’s mind-melting 'Angels & Devils' - is fourteen tracks that immolate the synapses, flail the body, that cinematically take you from arcing evocations of a bleak lockdowned city-scape to swooping deep-focus close-ups of Martin and his collaborator’s psyches at breaking point. The aggression, the attitude, the vertiginous scope and subterranean incisiveness, the destabilising unsettling frenzy of The Bug sound is marshalled to perfection throughout but ‘Fire’ is no mere reanimation of The Bug’s past - for Martin, the album is both a response to the unique circumstances of the past year but also a chance to reflect his own journey from reclusive sound-obsessive to family man, and his thirst - in a period of enforced hermetic isolation - for contact, for the mayhem that can only happen between people, noise and bass, the derangement of the senses that has been The Bug’s method and trajectory ever since it first crawled out of London’s deepest corners in the late 90s. To this wracked, rapt listener, it’s The Bug’s best yet, possibly the most ferociously realised and immensely moving music Martin has ever made, and still touches on those initial cravings and impulses that first propelled ‘London Zoo’ into your world like a pipe bomb through your letterbox. It’s a HUNGRY record in all senses.