Steve Bug

Bugnology, Vol. 2

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Steve Bug's second mix disc in what now appears to be a series, Bugnology, Vol. 2 is in ways a classic artifact of its time down to the cover art, where Bug is mixing not at decks but on a Macintosh laptop (with the friendly help of a bug at that). The mélange of songs and styles worked with is in a generally microhouse vein, even if the term itself has long since lost specific connections with its origins -- having figures like John Tejada on here instead suggests a larger continuum, though the crisp, compressed beats and textures inevitably call labels like Kompakt and Perlon to mind. As a sit-down listening experience, Bugnology, Vol. 2 works better than some mix discs thanks to the artists and overall aesthetic, propulsive but low-key -- at once the antithesis to trip-hop and an implicit kissing cousin to same. A downer on the disc, though, is how almost too readily the songs blend into one another -- it's a testimony to Steve Bug's mixing skill, but not to the individual qualities of the songs, that they should sound similar. It's not one note throughout, thankfully, and standouts are apparent -- Matthias Tanzmann's bass grind on "Bulldozer" is appropriately filthy, while Carl Craig's remix of Theo Parrish's "Falling Up" gets a fantastic placement toward the end of the mix. Other tracks of note are Heartz 4's "Intimacy Girl [Someone Else Remix]," with its crisp, full-bodied beats and slurred sing-speak lyrics, and Jay Hunsberger's murmured vocal start-stop "Move On."

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