By Vince Bellino
Walking through Los Angeles can an interesting experience, one that isn’t always easy to process. Such is the inspiration for “Don’t Walk These Streets,” a song off the collaborative album between producer Kevin Martin (The Bug) and guitarist Dylan Carlson of drone outfit Earth, collectively known as The Bug Vs. Earth
Concrete Desert blends The Bug’s sense of melody and electronic influences with Earth’s buzzing, heavy soundscapes.
Martin, who hails from Berlin, describes his experience in Los Angeles while recording Concrete Desert that inspired “Don’t Walk These Streets.”
“‘Don’t Walk These Streets’ was really written as a reaction to feeling absolutely alienated and set adrift in the surreal manifestation of the American Dream that is L.A,” he says. “It’s a smacked out jazz, fuzzed up trip, into a social void, that I wrote after realizing there is zero safety net in the States for anyone that falls off the gravy train. And as a pedestrian walking a lot around the city in my stay during the recording of Concrete Desert, I attempted to conjure the feeling of sheer dread that I felt wandering across the Hollyweird landscape.”
Carlson, who lived in Los Angeles for a few years in the late 90’s, echoed Martin’s impressions of the city.
“Well, it’s something Kevin really noticed about LA and I confirmed it for him,” Carlson says. “You’re viewed as crazy if you walk anywhere in LA (more than a block or 2) or use mass transit - even though when I lived in LA 97-00, I did both regularly. Kevin is conceptually more involved with titles and stuff, I’m more of a guitar slinger/hired gun. In this track, the guitar is definitely the most abstracted from traditional guitar sounds, which I quite like.”
Ninja Tune will release the entire album of spaced out soundscapes that is Concrete Desert on March 24. You can preorder the record here.
Photo By Phil Sharp