The Bug: Ganja / Flying
Ninja Tune

Mr. Messiah: The Dublab 7-inch

Mere months after his triumphant London Zoo release appeared, Kevin Martin's The Bug returns with Roll Deep's Flowdan and Killa P and Roots Manuva compadre Ricky Ranking in tow for two wild neck-snappers. The 12-inch's blink-and-you'll-miss'em cuts may race by in a mere seven minutes but they definitely make their presence felt while they're spinning. The “Ganja” title leaves little doubt as to what Flowdan and Killa P are jabbering about on the A-side when they tear into their lyrics like out-of-control pit bulls. It's a wild ride indeed but the tune's hammering bass thud, anvil beats, and knee-deep vinyl crackle are just as head-spinning. Thankfully the flip's “Flying” is slightly less frenetic, with Ranking languorously crooning over a midtempo funk groove, the mood still heavily tripped out and narcotized but less brain-addling. Those who loved London Zoo will most assuredly not be disappointed by Martin's latest material.

If “Flying” cuts the tempo of “Ganja” in half, Mr. Messiah's two-tracker slows the pace to an even deathlier, brain-melting crawl. The Dub Lab, issued in a 7-inch format, finds the Saint-Petersburg, Russia-based producer shifting the focus to a cymbal-driven drum pattern whose dub-funk beat lumbers like a zombie stalking live prey. On the A-side's “Part 1,” drums occupy the front line with a pinging sonar squiggle and spacey “boing” the sole melodic material and tiny dust-storms of grime present for textural sweetening. If anything, the BPM slows even more on the B-side's “The Dub Lab Part 2” as a re-animated corpse punctuates the toxic air with repeated groans. “(C)lub bangers for the undead” the provided text proclaims and truer words may never have been spoken.

December 2008