The Bug Vs Earth

Concrete Desert

Image of The Bug Vs Earth - Concrete DesertImage of The Bug Vs Earth - Concrete Desert
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Record Label
Ninja Tune

About this item

Like master painters exploring a subject over a lifetime’s work, Kevin Martin and Dylan Carlson - The Bug and Earth, respectively - have each been mining and defining their genres for more than 20 years. They’re united by an interest in - really an obsession with - heaviness. They search for, examine and break the boundaries between beautiful and ugly, minimal and maximal, light and dark - but The Bug and Earth always make music that is heavy in the most thrilling of ways.
The record’s beautiful, chiming melodies are like shards of sonic light, glowing in currents of heavy bass darkness. There are pulsing soundscapes, ambient pinks and whites, and irresistible grooves. This is music that grips you entirely, and catches you in its lava-flow – an astonishing, primal album of vast depth. In making it, Martin decided to break from The Bug’s obsessive study of groove, tone and texture, and think more cinematically. The result is a wondrously visual album, akin to finding oneself wandering amongst the rocky red hills of the Californian deserts. In fact, he says, the album could be understood as reflecting a ‘mistrust of 'Hollywoodisms,' and the shadow of Hollywood fantasy that looms large over life in LA, and the USA in general. 'Dylan’s a master at amplifying the flavour of America,' he says, 'but not the side we see in this Trump climate.' For Martin, the 'American dream is like a nightmare under Trump' but Dylan captures the 'best side of that dream, a utopian openess.' 'I hear the writing of Cormac McCarthy in his music. His playing conjures deserts, and wide open spaces.’ In “Concrete Desert,” Earth’s sonic landscapes, its far horizons and vast spaces, are underpinned and propelled by Martin’s ear-worming rhythms and percussive genius. Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Napalm Death/Techno Animal/Jesu) the influential noisemaker and long time Martin cohort was invited in his JK Flesh guise to the sessions to make 2 tracks “Dog” and “Pray”, which both feature as bonus tracks. Broadrick grew up in the concrete desert of central Birmingham in the 70's/80s, and here he verbalises the void at the core of that urban hell. There is an additional third bonus track ‘Another Planet’ available on the B side of the JK Flesh vinyl and as a digital download.

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