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Baker's Dozen

Master Blaster: Kevin Richard Martin's Baker's Dozen
Jennifer Lucy Allan , August 19th, 2021 09:37

The artist also known as The Bug talks to Jennifer Lucy Allan about the records that changed his life, from anxious encounters with African Head Charge in Weymouth to being blasted by Swans at the ICA


Rhythm & Sound w/ Tikiman – Showcase

I was a bit of an asshole about reggae in general. I started off into dub, because all the people I knew into Bob Marley were just dickheads. But as time went on I become severely smitten by a range of reggae vocalists – Horace Andy, Barrington Levy, or dancehall MCs. But when I heard Rhythm & Sound and played it to other reggae heads, they were pretty dismissive, saying it was techno. I understood because of the 4/4 pulsations, and Tikiman wasn't Jamaican, you know, so, in a way they were right, it wasn't reggae.

There's a lot of people that make reggae who don't come from Jamaica that ended up adopting cliches and cultural gimmicks, but Rhythm & Sound were just so hardcore in trying to develop something fresh. Mark and Moritz were so respectful of reggae, but so respectful of where they came from, too. With The Bug the challenge has been to work with incredible reggae and dancehall vocalists and to do justice to my musical vision colliding with theirs, to avoid cliches at all costs and try to do something that was different. Hopefully, and thankfully, I seem to earn the respect of the MCs I worked with by just not Ja-faking it.

Tikiman was my first live MC as The Bug purely off the back of Rhythm & Sound. I learned a lot about how to work with MCs, he is such an incredible performer and artist. The first Bug show I played with him was a festival just outside Berlin. He is such a character – he invited all the crowd onto the stage and by the end. Modeselektor told me years later that they were the sound engineers for that show, and that performance in particular totally inspired them to begin Modeselektor, which is a huge compliment.