Calling The Bug a Jamaican artist is, naturally, a fallacy in the first place. It's one of many pseudonyms for Kevin Martin, who also worked in Sonic Boom's space-rock collective EAR and who, with Justin K. Broadrick, creates ambient techno as Techno Animal and hip-hop as Ice, among other projects. Despite his restless genre-hopping, Martin has enjoyed his greatest successes working with elements of dub sounds and processes, most notably his first album as The Bug (1997's Tapping the Conversation-- yes, named for the Coppola film) and his work as the curator of the landmark Macro Dub Infection compilations.
On Pressure, Martin's exploration of the wildly creative and vital sounds of contemporary dancehall works best when he's at his most abrasive and least distant from its Jamaican progenitors. Tracks with ragamuffin hip-hop pioneer Daddy Freddy ("Run the Place Red" and "Politicians and Pedophiles"), longtime Martin collaborator Toastie Tailor ("Beats, Bass, Bombs, and Weapons"), and the Rootsman and He-Man ("Killer") are the record's highlights, gruff and tumbling shards of sound system greatness.
When straying further from dancehall's frenetic, digital snap/crackle/pop, The Bug is less successful. Providing variety-- but with less interesting results-- are a handful of collaborations with London poet Roger Robinson, who offers spoken-word sentiments over sly ambient waves and rolling basslines, and former Rhythm & Sound mate Paul St. Hilare, who chips in with some Horace Andy-like falsettos.
Pressure is another blow to what I thought was an irreversible dislike of Tigerbeat6 Records and the juvenile, prankster-like approach to music that seemed to be the only feather in its creative cap. Then, after years of churning out sonic sludge-- often slathered over the works of far more creative artists-- dj/Rupture came along and had me at hello. Pressure (released on Rephlex in the UK) is another winner from the label. The more kinetic and abrasive the record gets the more it appeals to me, but its melange of elastic bass, distorted beats, and spacious pools of electronic dub offers a bit of something for everyone.PITCHFORKrelease the pressure...(megaupload)
release the pressure........(rapidshare)