The Bug ft. Warrior Queen: Poison Dart
Ninja Tune

London-based producer Kevin Martin (aka The Bug) merges dubstep, dancehall, and ragga into a mind-melting Molotov cocktail on this five-track EP, which includes two lethal originals (“Poison Dart,” “Skeng”) and three remixes by Skream (Tempa), DJ Baku (Japanese mutant turntablist), and Kode 9 (Hyperdub).

In the viral “Poison Dart” original, Jamaica-born MC Warrior Queen engages in a ferocious call-and-response war over a nightmarish tribal-dub skank and hornet swarm bass pulse. Skream then mutates the tune by adding sputtering Moog warble and morphing the groove into a slamming stomp. Even wilder is the treatment by DJ Baku which shreds Warrior Queen's voice and then splatters it against Flowdan's equally shattered vocal and equally deranged synth treatments. The primitive and raw “Skeng,” featuring Flowdan and Killa P, is strong too but Kode 9's “Skeng” remix impresses most of all, not for being more crushing than the others (it isn't) but for being so startlingly original. With mutant dancehall and jittery handclapping passages given an echo-drenched viral mix, the tune undergoes a total metamorphosis, and becomes an alien, six-minute skank that's unlike anything you've ever heard before. If this single's a reliable indicator of what's to come, The Bug's forthcoming album on Ninja Tune should be amazing.

February 2008