It's been a while since London Zoo set the world of electronic music alight with its sonically anarchic, thematically bleak presentation of the early 00s capital, but such is the potency of Kevin Martin's sonic dispatches as The Bug that his name still carries a lot of a clout, even if over the past few years he's only dropped a couple of 12"s and a couple of projects as part of the much gentler King Midas Sound.

Now, though, The Bug is gearing up to release his next full-length on Ninja Tune and has unleashed the Filthy EP as something of a primer as to what we can expect. There isn't much too it; it's only four tracks long, and there are only two beats on it, (each one with its own guest on one track, and with faithful Bug collaborator Flowdan on another slightly tweaked version). But it's a short, sharp shock of an EP that, while certainly slighter than what Martin has gotten us used to, is still a pummelling aural sucker-punch.

The marquee track here is the Danny Brown featuring 'Freakshow', but in a somewhat surprising turn of events, it's not the best thing on offer here. The beat is fantastic, a trap-infused horn blasting stumbler, and Danny is on point like he always is, but it doesn't end up transcending the way that you would assume a collaboration between these two would. Maybe it's the way that Brown compulsively gobbles up any beat that he touches, or maybe Martin's particular lane of bassy rumble is just better suited to darkness and inner-city British griminess rather than Brown's extroverted sex and drug talk. Both artists bring their A-game, and 'Freakshow' will function perfectly fine as a dance floor riot starter, but it is not as revelatory as you might expect a meeting of such minds to be.

Things crystallize a little better once The Bug is more firmly ensconced in his comfort zone. Flowdan and Martin work so well together at this point, (don't forget that it was Flowdan who killed it on London Zoo highlights like 'Skeng' and 'Jah War'), that any collaboration between the two is almost guaranteed to hit heavily, and this holds true here. His work on the 'Freakshow' beat, titled 'Dirty', doesn't surpass Brown's but gives the track a whole new type of politicised aggro slant.

When, at the EP's close, he's given a more traditional, dancehall inflected beat on 'Louder', he tears it apart in what becomes Filthy's most satisfying moment. Hot on the heels of Daddy Freddy's menacing diatribes over the same beat on 'Kill Them', it's a lyrically more light hearted party jam, allowing Flow to flex the muscles that years as a veteran grime MC have afforded him. And then, just like that, it's all over; it's no earth-shattering statement akin to his last full length, (an EP was never going to be), but if your appetite isn't thoroughly whetted for his next one by the end of its run, you might want to take a couple of seconds to check your pulse. And then rewind it back.