There was a flurry of excitement around the start of 2018 when news broke that The Bug and Burial were to release a collaborative EP. That record - a two-tracker issued under the name Flame 1 - was all we hoped it would be, a greyscale soundsystem destroyer full of skull-shaking sub and degraded atmospherics.
Now, about a year and a half on from Flame 1, The Bug and Burial come through with the follow-up. The basic premise remains unchanged on Flame 2, with the ones born Kevin Martin and William Bevan offering up a pair of tracks that will seriously test the capacity of the club’s bass bins. Both ‘Dive’ and ‘Rain’ also come cloaked in the same gritty, cavernous reverb that was all over Flame 1’s ‘Fog’ and ‘Shrine’.
The major difference between Flame 2 and its predecessor is tempo. While both cuts of Flame 1 set off at around 135-bpm things are notably slower this time around. Indeed, only ‘Rain’ runs at a speed that could be considered DJ-ready - and even then the track’s slow lurch aligns it more with the other recent drops on Martin’s Pressure Records (Nazamba’s ‘Vex’, JK Flesh’s In Your Pit EP) than nimbler tracks like ‘Archangel’ or ‘Skeng’. Meanwhile ‘Dive’ eschews the dance altogether, aiming instead to twist into something slower and more monolithic. The resulting track is a buzzing wall of sound that skirts close to what Martin did on his 2017 collaborative LP with Earth.
Masters of noise The Bug and Burial keep it dark and dense on their latest Flame collaboration.