The Wire


Listen: new track by The Bug

August 2014

Stream "Swarm" a track made during the recording of The Bug's, Angels & Devils but not included on the new album

Angels & Devils features collaborations with Liz Harris aka Grouper, Inga Copeland, Miss Red, Gonjasufi, Flowdan, Justin Broadrick of Godflesh/Jesu, Warrior Queen and others. It's out now on Ninja Tune.

The Bug says about "Swarm": "It was written during the mid-compositional period of Angels & Devils, with The Spaceape in my mind as the vocalist, and later on I even tried it with Justin Broadrick from Godflesh on the mic too. But despite both vocalists recording fantastically intense performances, something about this track still screamed instrumental to me.

"The mid range was certainly the key to the electrical storm I wanted to create, and I really wanted to create a song that wasn't just all about the bass, which has become so synonymous with The Bug, especially after London Zoo (2008). So I added wave after wave of FX drenched frequency distortion to the layers of synthesized modulation, which is the fundamental character of "Swarm". Unfortunately, it was also this song which definitely encouraged my increasing addiction to the so called 'Eurocrack' modular synth format in the process of completion of my album.

“Modular synthesis is the audio habit I picked up from Sonic Boom, having been smitten by his EMS VCS3 unit, used extensively in various EAR recordings. (I subsequently bought an EMS Synthi A myself, which was properly rinsed for Techno Animal recordings/Live shows. I had only ever owned a Roland SH101 prior to the EMS).

"For "Swarm", the challenge was to not fall into the abstract, bleepy bloopy world of so much Eurorack noodling. I wanted to focus on atmospheric pressure, emotional tension and a sense of impending meltdown or collapse. And it was the first track on which the modular itself provided the central core of the song, not just its peripheral mood.

"Ironically, having put so much work into the construction of this track, it failed to make the cut for Angels & Devils because I couldn't find a suitable position for it in the album's storyline or narrative flow.

"But "Swarm" is not strictly about the tool itself for me – it is about the brainstorm behind the eyes and between the ears that is the most crucial element of any track, as far as I'm concerned. My modular set-up is just another means to an emotive end for me. But goddamn, I love getting lost in its infinite circuitry."



I love the new album, especially the first half upon first listen.

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