The Bug @ Good Life – Bassic Boston – 10.10.14

1:15 AM, GOOD LIFE, BOSTON – I walk into the men’s bathroom, pass up on the urinal filled with with vomit, and walk into the stall with the busted lock. I stare at the half-finished tallboy spread across the floor, catch snippets of early-aughts radio rap leaking in from upstairs, and suddenly the cold, apocalyptic drone of the air raid siren overflowing from the downstairs seems much more fitting. Sometimes our actions beg for an atomic wiping of the slate.

My Bloody Valentine was loud, but tolerable at the back of the Boston HOB; Dinosaur Jr. was ear splitting, but mostly played with mid-range frequencies; The Bug absolutely assaulted the ears with gritty, distorted bass, snares like gun shots, and (literally) room shaking sub-bass. It was completely overwhelming in the best sense. For an hour and a half, Good Life’s downstairs became a testing site for The Bug’s unique blend of experimental dubstep, grime, and ragga. More than “loud,” it was disorienting, confusing, and unlike anything I’d ever really witnessed before.

The Bug, accompanied by Manga on mic duties, traveled through much of his terrific output over the last two years while mixing in heaps (and heaps and heaps) of layered, crunched up bass, sirens, drones, and blinding noise. Initially it was not entirely clear if The Bug was pushing the system too hard, intentionally manufacturing the cacophony, or a little bit of both.

Cue Manga manically spitting bar after bar into the tunnel of noise, like screaming into a jet engine. He insists: “louder, louder, louder, louder, louder! We need it LOUDER!” He is insane.

Add another “how the fuck did he come up with this?” frequency into the already overcrowded mix.

Ring the air raid siren again.

It was then apparent that everything was going to plan. The Bug simply wanted to be loud as fuck.

Eschewing what anyone would refer to as a “technically tight mix” (e.g., something Youngsta or Hatcha might cook up), The Bug was more concerned with building mountains of rotten, mutant noise from the lowliest industrial parks and city sewers, blowing them up, and dropping badman basslines into the void. It was sloppy, cocky, and punk.

The reaction from the crowd was visceral. The troopers up front, mere feet from the system, were dancing alongside Manga like the world was actually ending, throwing up gunfingers. I watched others, passersby, I’m sure, walk out of the room with visible looks of disgust on their face, as if The Bug had started hurling his own shit into the crowd. Many bowed out. Those that stayed were merely swept along in the sonic landslide.

And then it was over. The planes stopped dropping bombs, Manga stopped firing off rounds of rhymes, and I no longer had to wonder how many disgusting sounds The Bug had left up his sleeve. The room, about 1/4 of its initial capacity, was stunned, scattered.

Unfortunately, this was the last installment of Bassic, Boston’s legendary dubstep & future bass party. I don’t envy whoever tries to follow this one up. Much respect to everyone involved with Bassic, we’ll miss you.

  • KeLL


    • Kyle Risley

      Not bringing my ear plugs was a rookie move.