It can make you feel big and proud when you see through the ultra-abuse of marketing schemes from an over-desperate public relations firm. It can make you feel even better when you find out they’ve actually said something worth believing. Such is the case here. Just as we were told, the Bug’s Pressure is huge and brutal and speaker-shatteringly dark dub-as-fuck, a mainline hardcore dance throwback to British ragga bass and gabba art acid-house that’s at once a validation of its Rephlex and Tigerbeat 6 approval roots. And it’s the best goddamn thing Kevin Martin has ever done.
In case that’s a blank stare, Martin was the figure behind, at various times, Ice, Techno Animal, and Curse of the Golden Vampire. And it’s the same guy who’s worked with Alec Empire (anger!), Kevin Shields (credibility!), Anti-Pop Consortium (beats!), and Godflesh (ha!), demonstrating rare collaborative versatility in the face of predilections for eclectic guest vocalists and malevolent collapse/release Jamaican two-way dub exchange.
Where Pressure avoids spiraling into a patois UNKLE project is Martin’s unique industrial investment of emotion and performance, tightening both the Skinny Puppy drum machines of the batshit beat-based tracks as well as whole slow and manic dancehall numbers, including the rattlingly under-extended “Live And Learn.” Trinidad poet Roger Robinson, Run Tings label boss Wayne Lonesome, and Sofa Surfers collaborator Singing Bird bring evil-reggae emphasis to a lot of Pressure, which features a vocalist on every track. And the whole excuse for running around the streets with this is triumphantly summed up with the Daddy Freddy-accelerated “Politicians & Paedophiles,” which is Tricky’s “Vent” taken to U.K. pirate radio with a 2-step set of healthy anger and Jah Wobble voodoo dolls. Sick.