Band of the Day

2013.05.09

Steve Bug

Slow-burning tech house with steely oscillations of expert bass beats
Familiar sensation crawls under the skin. Add sugar to help it all go down.
lyrics from Moment Of Ease feat. Emilie Chick

One of the leading online magazines for electronic music, the Resident Advisor, once called Steve Bug the “Gentleman of Techno” referring to his sense of duty and dependabilty as one of the world’s most renowned DJ and producer. The same professionalism that made him hardly miss a DJ gig at all, can be found in his work as a music writer, producer and owner of the Poker Flat Recordings label. Every step he takes is well considered, but always refined with his own fine humour. Since the early days Steve Bug remained a multi-faceted artist who refuses to back down from the limelight. A dedicated, energetic and constantly surprising talent, Steve is nothing less than an electronic music ambassador, a much-loved spokesman to the people, and for good reason. Grown up in Germany‘s techno and acid-house heyday, Steve Bug‘s love for a perfect groove is as apparent now as it was back then. From the first steps as a DJ it was clear there was a strong talent waiting to be nurtured. With a bit of encouragement from Superstition‘s Tobias Lampe, Steve‘s very first productions were released in 1993 and his music story began. Besides this, his DJ skills and a keen, innovative ear led him not down the typical path of the early nineties trance and harder dance scene, but towards a fresher, hybrid sound merging stripped deep house, tweaked out acid and more minimal forms of techno and electronic music. The result was the first ‘wave‘ for Steve, as his Raw Elements label, debut album “Volksworld”, and the classic compilation “Da Minimal Funk” lifted his sound and his name through the ranks. Further compilations and singles followed, as did the growth of the Raw Elements label alongside artists like Vincenzo, Märtini Brös and more, continually surprising and re-inventing the template for the genre. In 1999 Steve broke yet more boundaries with the launch of Poker Flat Recordings, and his classic song “Loverboy”. Introducing a darker, yet totally funky and grooving sound, the huge club hit opened Steve‘s eyes to new territories and new possibilities. Needless to say the Poker Flat imprint still runs strong today, over a decade since its inception, and Steve now stands as a figure head for the hugely popular ‘tech-house‘ sound that the label pioneered and that is lately enriched by deeper shades of house music. His first album for Poker Flat, entitled “The Other Day” stands as a testament to a futuristic, melting pot of sounds and ideas, where musical diversity and experimentation meet soothing night-time dubs and dancefloor workouts! As musical partners to the Poker Flat sound, his labels Dessous and later Audiomatique evolved - Dessous catering for more classic deep-house sounds fused with cutting edge production from top artists, while Audiomatique, stands for a very modern house and techno sound, allowed even crazier moments to be explored. Countless productions, remixes and one-off studio sessions with key producers ensued, all carrying the Bug‘s name further afield, and higher up the musical ladder. Following on from his third studio longplayer “Sensual” in 2002, which marked his international breakthrough as an album-artist, the essential “Bugnology” mix series, along with high profile mix CDs for Cocoon, Fabric, Fuse and more, continued to rouse support for Bug‘s much in-demand DJ style, and propelled him further across the globe, touring far and wide. Apart from touring, producing and remixing Bug always kept developping his Poker Flat label. Milestones have been the more or less annual label compilations such as “Bets’n Bluffs”, “Dead Man’s Hand”, the anniversary CD-box-set “All In”, “Shaping Elements” and most recently “Gunslingers and Greenhorns”. Alongside albums by artists like Martin Landsky, Märtini Brös, Guido Schneider, Trentemøller, Donnacha Costello, Argy and lately TJ Kong & Modular K and Alex Niggemann, Steve likes to explore new concepts like the “Forward to the Past”-series that pays homage to the Detroit & Chicago (Volume 1) and Acid (Volume 2) aspects of classic electronic dance music in an outfit made of modern production techniques. In spring 2012 Steve finally hosted the first official Poker Flat events in London and Barcelona to much applause. Still driven by the hunger to break new grounds Steve Bug presented his fifth studio album “Noir” in October revealing yet a new and fresh approach. “I play all over the world on a constant basis, and always come back with different impressions”, says Steve. “Accordingly, this changes the music that I produce. I’ve had the idea to make a concept album for some time, but on the other hand, that’s not the way I work. My music expresses my moods, and of course, they are always changing”. “Noir” is his most mature longplayer he delivered so far. From the driving opener ‘Tell Me Why’ to the emotional closing track ‘The Seventh Victim’, he crafted a rounded, atmospheric album that throws a long and impressive shadow over most contemporary dance albums.