The Bug – Infected EP review

Kevin Martin has come to us over the years under a variety of guises (King Midas Sound, Black Chow, Pressure, Curse Of The Golden Vampire, Ice, Techno Animal and God) but here Martin returns to Ninja Tune for a release under the dubstep alias which he first started releasing under around 1997. This one comes as a heavyweight double 12” release comprised of two new tracks featuring guest appearances from vocalist Hitomi in opener “Catch A Fire” and the legendary Roots Manuva in “Tune In”, plus relicks of influential classic “Skeng” from Autechre and funky tinged “Poison Dart” from Scratcha DVA.

Kicking off with original material, “Catch A Fire” featuring Kiki Hitomi, The Bug gets the EP off to a fine start with crackling noise, smashing kicks in the background of a dubbed out soundscape and delicate, bittersweet, reggae tinged lyrics laid over the top. Next up, “Tune In”, is a thudding, drawn out stomper with monotonous tones mirroring the sense that “time is running out” – words which add to the imposing sense of dread and echoed vocal passages.

The Autechre remix of “Skeng” (feat. Killa P & Flowdan) is a bleak, haunting interpretation with metallic thuds and muttering patois adding another layer of texture to the 2008 original, which garnered near universal praise when it was released and definitely bears a re-visit to bring it to a new audience in 2010. Finishing up with Rinse FM lynchpin, Scratcha DVA’s re-work of “Poison Dart” (feat. Warrior Queen), the Infected EP concludes on an upbeat tip, with tight beats rolling around shrill vocal work and funky rhythms to great effect. A quality release.

Belinda Rowse