Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

4. The BugPressure

I can’t remember if we’d heard Techno Animal just before, but we knew Kid606 who ran a label called Tigerbeat6, and The Bug’s record came out on that. I think like most of the ones that I’ve named here, it was like that moment when you hear something and you’ve never heard anything like it before, and you have to play it over and over again, and you get obsessed by it. And I think that’s how I always know that that’s an artist that I want to put on at Supersonic. There are millions of bands out there, but I think part of my role for Supersonic is taking maybe the 30 most interesting ones of the moment that have some relationship to one another and whittling it down for people to have that experience over a weekend.

At the first Supersonic, Kevin Martin from The Bug played with Warrior Queen, so you’ve got this really sort of harsh MC-ing happening and then these really heavy beats, but there’s still a heaviness in the same way that you’d be drawn to in terms of like metal music or punk. That first Supersonic it was such an eclectic lineup. We just wrote to James Murphy [from LCD Soundsystem] and were like you’ve got to come to come and play, we’re in the home of Black Sabbath. So, we had LCD Soundsystem play, we had Pram performing, we had V/vm and Coil. It was just a one-day festival at that point and… I wouldn’t say it was a fluke, but we didn’t really know what we were doing. We just made this thing happen having been to Sonar. There used to be a pond at the Custard Factory, and we built a stage over that, and while Coil were on stage someone from the audience jumped into the water, swam across and then got on stage with Coil. A friend turned to us and said, if something had happened, if he had electrocuted the band, it would have been our responsibility. It was at that moment that everything changed from just putting something on and just trying it out to suddenly being really responsible for health and safety and all of that sort of stuff.

The Bug’s latest album is very similar to that first album Pressure and actually The Bug are playing at Supersonic this year. And I think you’ll see through this list we build relationships with artists where it’s not just about a one-off performance. Artists are constantly evolving in terms of what they do. With someone like Kevin Martin, he’s collaborated with Moor Mother, with Justin Broadrick [Godflesh], he’s collaborated with Dylan Carlson from Earth. It’s really interesting to be on that journey with an artist.

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