Bug Powder Dust

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"Bug Powder Dust"
Single by Bomb the Bass featuring Justin Warfield
from the album Clear
B-side "Bug Powder Dust (remix)"
Released 1994
Genre Dance, Breakbeat
Label Island
Writer(s) Tim Simenon, Justin Warfield
Producer(s) Tim Simenon

"Bug Powder Dust" is a song by Bomb the Bass, released as the band's eighth single in 1994 as the first single from the Clear album. Featuring Justin Warfield on vocals, the track is primarily dance music blended with rap and breakbeat.


Lyrically, "Bug Powder Dust" is essentially a homage to the author William S. Burroughs. Crowded with seemingly random images and 'in' references from pop culture, Justin Warfield's lyrics adopt a Burroughs-type view of the world.

However, through its use of Burroughs imagery - both fictional and biographic - as well as pulp science fiction iconography from the period, "Bug Powder Dust" also mimics the author's mashing up of fact and fiction by becoming simultaneously about, and of, Burroughs

Burroughs' most famous work, Naked Lunch, made famous his cut-up style of composition, which, alongside the subject matter of his novels, sought to question reality, mimic the brutality of sensory overload in modern life, and reproduce the confusion of inner-logic smashed by drugs.

In "Bug Powder Dust", Justin Warfield adopts Burrough's hallucinatory perspective, but plays it off against the bragaddocio of hip hop. Where a traditional rapper would compare themselves to the endurance, strength or impact of a famous object, person or quality, Warfield uses seemingly cryptic pulp images instead.

The effect is of a narrator - like Burroughs - who apparently possesses a perspective on life that cannot recognise the difference between fact and fiction, sanity and madness.

Bug Powder Dust was accepted by the British Hip-hop community, and makes an appearance in many rundowns of 'classic' British hip-hop and rap tracks.

The track incorporates a bassline by Alphonso Johnson, as performed on the title track of Flora Purim's album, Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly. Johnson is probably best known as having been with the jazz-fusion group Weather Report.

In 2013 O*Solo Recordings releases a new EP called Mega Dis containing a new version of the song titled Bug Powder Dust (2013 ReDusted).

Commercial versions[edit]

  • Bug Powder Dust (Radio mix) 4:20
  • Bug Powder Dust (Dust Brothers remix) 5:35
  • Bug Powder Dust (Bug Powder Drums remix) 5:38
  • Bug Powder Dust (Chemical Brothers Mix) 7:02
  • Bug Powder Dust (Sound Furnace Edit) (UK Album Version) (3:49)
  • Bug Powder Dust (La Funk Mob Mix) (5:43)
  • Bug Powder Dust (Kruder & Dorfmeister Session) (7:24)

External links[edit]