Bug, The & EarthConcrete Desert
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.