Kevin Richard Martin is of course the man behind Techno Animal, God, King Midas Sound and of course The Bug. This strike out under his own name is the debut on wax of a new work which was made to document the feelings Kevin had around the delivery, receipt and early days of his first child. The record is therefore tumultuous, emotional and at times heartbreaking. Lawrence English realises a long held dream by releasing it on his Room40 label.   

Vinyl LP £21.99 RM4103

LP on Room40.

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  • Sirens by Kevin Richard Martin


Sirens by Kevin Richard Martin
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9/10 Ant 19 June 2019

When the second of my three children - my beautiful daughter was rushed back into hospital with a very serious illness at just a week old, it was, without doubt, the most TERRIFYING chapter of my life. I’m not religious, but I can tell you, I prayed to higher forces. Words cannot explain that feeling, and where words fail, the universal language of music comes in pretty handy.

Kevin Richard Martin aka The Bug etc. knows that feeling all too well when his child was extremely sick at birth - it’s a heartbreaking tale, but fortunately one with a happy ending. He’s very candidly shared his experience through new work ‘Sirens’ released under his given name - and it’s his most personal and intimate record to date. Martin is a master of heavy music - this is a different kind of heavy, with a contrasting emotional weight and impact.

Comprised of fourteen pieces, it shows a more vulnerable and “human” side to the man than we’ve seen previously -- not that The Bug, King Midas Sound etc. is the work of a cyborg but you know what I’m getting at.

I’m not entirely sure whether the album was created during or retrospectively to the events in his and his family’s life - certainly the track titles offer a narrative like a diary or a journal. Martin’s sound palette/vocabulary on this album seems to really capture the absolute fragility of human existence. It’s a dark cathartic rollercoaster through fear, pain, hope and optimism - a window into his heart and mind during troubled times. This isn’t some spooky dark ambient horror score type business - this is REAL - genuine fear articulated through sound, and yet there’s beauty to be found. As dark and often foreboding as the album is, there are moments which are incredibly elegant - with a sense of love that seems to permeate a number of the pieces.

A brave, bold, soul-stirring, profoundly affecting record that often feels like we’re in a state of limbo somewhere between life and death. Highly recommended.


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