Kevin Richard Martin – Sirens LP (RM 4103LP)
Room40 presents Kevin Richard Martin (The Bug)’s Sirens, his solo debut. “When I was 22 I managed to acquire Techno Animal‘s Demonoid 12″; I can still recall the intensities of sound that marked the first moments of listening to it. The sense of bass as a tactile surface, that rolling groove and the howling sine waves and dub sirens that scorched with a type of sonic burning sensation that to this day makes my hairs stand on end. A year later I heard Ice‘s Bad Blood, from there I discovered The Bug, a band called God, a sound movement called isolationism and much more; all of these projects had one nexus point. In 2015, Kevin and I book-ended a series of concerts at Berghain for CTM festival. For his performance, Kevin debuted a new work I’d heard very little about called Sirens. I remember two things distinctly about the performance. The first: he opened the set with a blazing passage of bass and dub sirens that transported me back to those initial moments of encountering his work. The second was the feeling of absolute, crushing bass. Not before, or since, have I felt a sense of sound pressure like this. Unlike his other work with The Bug, the consistent bass carrying in the space was literally breathtaking and there were moments when it seemed difficult to see clearly as my eye sockets were vibrating in a way I’d never experienced. Sirens, which documents the intensities surrounding the delivery and early days of his first child, carries in it a sense of deep affect. The album, unlike the live work, traces out a dynamic sound world that is both tender and caustic. Within each piece, microcosms of sensation unfold, Kevin deftly maneuvers us through the tumultuous journey. Sirens somehow creates a sense of time that is without anchor and foggy in a way that is profoundly unique. Martin has remained a point of constant inspiration for me over several decades now; to have the opportunity to share his first ever solo recording brings me the utmost pride. His new work Sirensis a life journey transposed into sound that is truly personal, but effortlessly universal. It is the start of a new chapter, one that I know will only strengthen his place as one of the critical voices in contemporary electronic music.” –Lawrence English, March 2019 Mastered by Stefan Betke at Scape Mastering.