The Bug – Angels & Devils

Album Review by Bram E. Gieben | 06 Aug 2014
  • The Bug – Angels & Devils
Album title: Angels & Devils
Artist: The Bug
Label: Ninja Tune
Release date: 25 Aug

This isn't the Bug album you are expecting. By splitting the album in two, Kevin Martin addresses some big themes and shows himself to be a producer of remarkable depth and sophistication, eclipsing even the seminal London Zoo in the process. Grouper's Liz Harris is up first, with the ethereal, shoegazing dub of Void, a track that feels like drifting in amniotic bliss, removed from reality.

Fall is more recognisably Bug territory – "Tell me the story of your city," trills Inga Copeland over a brooding bass riff and clattering, muted percussion. Instrumentals Ascension and Pandi explore densely atmospheric realms, hinting at a placid calm beneath raging surface tension, sensed but unseen. Save Me, featuring Gonjasufi, is the crossing point, a mournful dirge, the placing of a coin in the old boatman's hand. 

On the other side of the river we are plunged into inferno, as Killa P and Flowdan murder a rhythm that is half ringtone, half machine gun; a blast of ferocity. Fuck A Bitch, featuring Death Grips, matches it with a defiant attitude as exciting as it is illicit. Function, featuring Manga, is the sound of broken machines, both organic and mechanical. On Angels & Devils, Kevin Martin pushes farther and harder than ever before – and it's his strangest ideas which beguile the most.