THE BUG: PRESSURE -
That East and West Indies have come together this summer to induce some
much needed spice into the tiring boom, the bip, the boom-bip cadence
of hip hop is news to no one, except maybe for the troglodyte brotherhoods
of midland, and their more refined cousins to the north, who believe Pop
Culture is bringing society to its knees. Perhaps it is, but that girl's
just grinding baby-displaying her flexibility. And her swaggering partner
shaking what he can, without spilling too much of the drink in his hand,
is only doing what comes naturally. Multiply this couple by one hundred,
jammed into the sunken dance floor at Plaid, writhing in unison, and you
have what amounts to the equivalent of a community engaged in a timeless
tribal ritual. In a minute the DJ, our modern day shaman, is gonna drop
some Jay Z vocals and pause just that moment before letting go the Punjaabi
MC instrumental on top. Of course the crowd goes wild-so he lets that
simmer awhile, before delivering the coup de gras.
The Bug, or Kevin Martin, who has more styles and pseudonyms than Dirt
McGirt, (Ice God, Techno Animal, Curse of the Golden Vampire) is the man
responsible for this final blow to the head. Not being previously familiar
with Martin's work I was somewhat skeptical of the flat red packaging
with what looked like a mutated yellow insect on the front cover. Less
than a minute later, we were sitting with our mouths open and our brows
wrinkled. We breathed expletives, rocked our heads back and forth like
possessed robots, got up and walked around in tight circles, only to sit
back down and stare at the screen in disbelief. We were obviously malfunctioning.
Here was something new. A new strain released by the Kid 606 label, Tigerbeat6,
at around the same time as SARS was elbowing its way onto the continent.
By the end of the first track we had a pretty good idea of what was going
on. Some idiot savant had taken the beeps and tweaks of electronica and
crossed them with the infective bass lines of dub and dancehall. Whether
its called glitch ragga, bionic bashment, or simply
dancehall for the twenty first century, the results are the
same; with the release of Pressure, The Bug has single handedly
created a new category of music that defies description. There are already
plenty of reviews out there wherein wordsmiths have done their best to
describe what Pressure sounds like. Most have failed miserably.
To avoid doing the same, I'll quit while I'm ahead, and leave the audio
for your ears and instead focus on what Pressure feels like:
Like getting smacked in the head with a spiked two by four and begging
for more. It feels like the better part of addiction-the highs.
The beats are impossibly good-they make perfect sense-nothing could make
them better. After you pick yourself up from the floor, you'll hold your
head in both hands wondering why you didn't think of it first. But the
beats are only half the story. In a recent interview, The Bug said Previously,
I've just been attacking minds with my music. Now it's an all out sonic
war on mind and body. To make Pressure much more than
just another summer ass shaker, The Bug has compiled an impressive group
of collaborators with various styles of delivery and component messages.
From the bittersweet crooning of Paul St Hilaire on Live and Learn
and Some Days, to the forceful, dark poetic narratives of
Trinidad native London based writer, Roger Robinson on Executor
and Night Steppa, to toaster Wayne Lonseome, the man no one
wants to face on stage at Sunsplash, chest thumping Fuck Y-Self,
to the legendary Daddy Freddy, once entered in the Guiness Book of Records
as The World's Fastest MC, in true yardcore style preaching
down the evils of globalization on the album's opening banger, Politicians
& Pedophiles, Pressure packs enough punch to level
anyone who so much as dared to glance at a bottle of All Spice once in
the ethnic aisle.
But the DJ has let that track sit long enough, and now he drops what maybe
the hottest track on Pressure. Killer featuring
He-Man and The Rootsman sounds like the soundtrack for every Post Apocalyptic
movie you've ever seen combined. To say the track is dark is an understatement.
The revelers are momentarily stunned by the initial impact, but then the
bass drives in, and puts the party into overdrive. R leans over and says,
it sounds like Louis Armstrong if he was the devil. I thought
that was the most apt statement to wrap up the feeling conveyed by Pressure
and in a world that seems to be teetering on the edge of oblivion, The
Bug's Pressure should be you're daily soundtrack.