King Midas Sound man worships in the church of bass
Kevin Martin’s relationship with bass isn’t so much an addiction; more a religion. A noise-loving rocker switched on to extreme sounds in the halcyon days of post-punk, Martin’s holy dedication to low-end now manifests itself in two dancehall and dub-influenced projects, The Bug and King Midas Sound. On Twitter, he vents his frustration at the venues that book him, only to find their fragile walls and weak soundsystems can’t accommodate his foundation-shaking basslines.
For all Martin’s commitment to the heaviest dub sounds, his ears are always open. Take new EP ‘Filthy’, which kicks off with a cameo from Danny Brown, the Detroiter bringing his intriguing dentistry and guttural flow to an insistent skank of droning horns and snare rat-tat. There’s a cold soul to it, too, though, courtesy of King Midas vocalist Kiki Hitomi, who haunts the choruses with a ghostly trill.
Elsewhere, Martin pulls in a couple of other long-term collaborators. London rapper Flowdan leads on ‘Dirty’, a flexing of bass muscle that sees the sometime Roll Deep member “unleash the lava”, burning up mainstream grime stars (“My temper ain’t tiny”) and the fast-food industry (“putting shit in our food”). Then, Flowdan and Trench Town ragga MC Daddy Freddy both have a go on an evil rhythm with shades of classic Bug track ‘Skeng’. Freddy calls his version ‘Kill Them’, ladling on dread. But it’s the London MC who best epitomises Kevin Martin’s murky culture-clash, his ‘Louder’ a patois-packed war-chant. Only four tracks, but enough firepower to blow up the dancefloor. Watch out for falling masonry.