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The Bug announces first album in seven years

'Fire' is coming out on Ninja Tune

  • Words: Paddy Edrich | Photo: Caroline Lessire
  • 30 June 2021
The Bug announces first album in seven years

The Bug has announced his first solo full-length album in seven years.

The 14-track release is called ‘Fire’ and will be released on August 27 on Ninja Tune.

It is the third in his series of projects on Ninja Tune following 2008’s iconic ‘London Zoo’ and 2014’s ‘Angels and Demons.’

The first track called ‘Clash’ featuring Logan was released on Tuesday, June 29.

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The album comes after The Bug returned to the studio following a period of enforced isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bug said: “2020 was the worst dystopian nightmares made real - part of me was panic-stricken, the other part of me was ‘how am I going to stay sane?’

“I’ve got to support 4 people and it might be YEARS before I play shows - this was at the back of my mind making the album.

“Just to keep calm I got into making solo albums which was meditative, got me back in touch with myself and enabled me to rebuild my studio which kept me working and helped me keep my head straight.

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“It was crucial because I’ve realised through life that what keeps me grounded is music. I used to think I wanted to bury myself in NOW, reality, sensation, information but as time’s gone on I’ve realised I want to actually make a parallel world in sound - the studio gave me an escape from just how fucked up the world was last year.

“That feeling of external chaos but really questioning yourself internally is something that all the MCs, in different ways, reflect on ‘Fire’.

“And I feel I’ve grown - making music not just as an egotistical pursuit but to support my family has meant I’ve stopped overthinking things.

“We KNEW when tracks were finished and loosening my maniacal control over the music, letting it breathe and come together more naturally. That’s something I think you can hear throughout the album.”

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The album will feature previous collaborators like Flowdan, Irah and Daddy Freddy alongside newer names such as Logan, Nazamba and FFSYTHO.

The project also sees The Bug return to his explosive yet deeply moving sound that was best heard on the critically acclaimed ‘London Zoo.’

He added: “I've always been addicted to the physicality and intensity of sound: I started The Bug because I wanted to make music for a soundsystem I had in storage, and the live experience of The Bug has always been something I wanted to reflect on record - I’m always looking for fuel to the fire and live shows - and MISSING live shows in lockdown was a real impetus.

“I’m always asking - how can I ramp this up MORE? How can I get people more out of control? For me a live show should be unforgettable, should alter your DNA, or scar you for life in a good way - that’s always been my goal, to set up shows that are unforgettable.

“I like friction, chaos, fanning the flames with sound, and this album is the most reflective of the live show in terms of intensity and the sheer fuck-off attitude of those shows.”

1. The Fourth Day (feat. Roger Robinson)
2. Pressure (feat. Flowdan)
3. Demon (feat. Irah)
4. Vexed (feat. Moor Mother)
5. Clash (feat. feat. Logan)
6. War (feat. Nazamba)
7. How bout dat (feat. FFSYTHO)
8. Bang (feat. Manga Saint Hilare)
9. Hammer (feat. Flowdan)
10. Ganja Baby (feat. Daddy Freddy)
11. Fuck Off (feat. feat. Logan)
12. Bomb (feat. Flowdan)
13. High Rise (feat. Manga Saint Hilare)
14. The Missing (feat. Roger Robinson)

Paddy Edrich is a freelance writer, follow him on Twitter

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