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Kevin Richard Martin (uk)

Better known to most of us as The Bug, Kevin Richard Martin acts as a shapeshifter between genres. His contribution produced especially for Elevate, picks up where his album series "Frequencies for leaving earth", launched during the first lockdown left off. In this deeply personnal project, he devotes himself to intensely immersive soundscapes that develop a uniquely dystopian undertow.


How is the overall vibe in your city?

Surreal, as it has been since we first moved here one day before lockdown almost one year ago. We have yet to witness a 'normal' Brussels. But the sides of it we have witnessed, we like very much. Brussels has yet to open up in its full glory, but it has respected the battle against the plague...

Can you elaborate a bit on the mood you’ve been in, while recording your set?

I was told the concept was 'Momentum', But i chose an anti-momentum, meltdown cycle approach and sound, so it became a lament for 2020 as far as music, musicians and audiences were concerned. Let alone the millions who have died and/or suffered globally, due to this obscene virus. So i tried to convey the sense of loss, but also the feeling of hope, as we all edge closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.. I wrote tracks specifically for this set, and those became the genesis for a new pair of albums i will release on Friday via Bandcamp.

How do you feel about the overwhelming presence of digital / social media in comparison to the lack of social time IRL? 

I have never been a particularly sociable person...haha.... The invasion of my mind vua social media is a curse and blessing perpetually. I would always prefer social interaction to key tapping, but both have their merits. We should all aim forward but be aware of the price on our psyche. How you interact with the digital domain is open to choice. As always trust your paranoia, choose your influences carefully, and open your mind perpetually..

Does this at some point influence your musical production? The lack of the crowd? How?

Naturally i missed Bug style live combat in 2020. But the choice was to sink or swim. I chose to swim in my own thoughts and revel in my solo lab. The year helped me open up a fresh path as Kevin Richard Martin, that i would perhaps not have had the time or headspace to do otherwise... Like others battling against reality last year, i had no choice but to remain positive, especially with 4 mouths to feed in our household. Venues will open again, although circumstances will change, and iam already deep into mixdowns of the next Bug album, fully ready to declare sonic warfare on one and all...hahaha

The Elevate Festival 2021 theme is Momentum. Which social or political cause would deserve more Momentum?

All socio-political causes that celebrate progressive thought and change should be encouraged perpetually. Especially after suffering the caveman era retro bile promoted by Trump and his populist global allies which seek division and conflict socially. I believe all borders should be open and all prejudices should be broken. Seeing Black Lives Matter's assault on institutional/social racism was joyous.. Long live all those that fight for freedom whilst the dominant forces remain greed, tyranny and the obscene wealth continuously craved by the ruling classes. Young people have brought about change tangibly in the last couple of years, and long may that continue...


Lockdown Grooves is part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
In Cooperation with Ö1.


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