Steve Bug

Fabric 37

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Making drab, tedious minimal techno is easy -- throw a rock in London or New York and you'll probably hit a DJ who's doing it right at this moment. What's hard is making minimal techno that delivers what the faithful want without driving newcomers into a defensive slumber. Steve Bug knows how to walk that line; his contribution to the Fabric label's DJ mix series is essentially mood music, but somehow manages to avoid falling into the facile and repetitious tedium that characterizes so many of his colleagues' work. His secrets are easy to discern if you pay attention: notice the very subtle swing that he uses to spice up the grooves on both "Anywhere You Are" by Sunshine Jones and "Consequences" by DJ Swap, for example. The dubwise touches that are easy to overlook on those two tracks are brought more aggressively to the fore on Peace Division's laconic "In the Wall (It's Voodoo)." On "Inspire [Abicah Soul Remix]" by Gene Hunt he injects a quiet hint of Latin percussion, and he nicely showcases Ben Westbeech's soulful vocals on "Hang Around [Wahoo Mix]." One of the album's strongest tracks is a slightly glitchy and jittery song called "Worked It Out" by Phonique, a track that manages to feel simultaneously mystical and strangely nervous. Very nice.

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