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Steve Bug: Fabric 37

Steve Bug: Fabric 37

Release Date:2008

By Michaelangelo Matos | Posted 3/5/2008

Few people making or DJ'ing quasi-experimental dance music have as seemingly little interest in mystique as Berlin's Steve Bug, founder of Poker Flat Recordings and Dessous Recordings, one of the most popular of the major German minimal-techno labels. On this, the 37th edition of London superclub Fabric's mix series, Bug seldom draws attention to himself, compared to Fabric's other mix curators.

Michael Mayer's classic 2003 Fabric 13 offered wide-screen mood-swings; Akufen's 2004 Fabric 17 delighted in aural quirkiness; Ewan Pearson's 2007 Fabric 35 was warm, lived-in, and largely song-structured. By contrast, Bug sounds as vaporous as his selections. The opener, Sunshine Jones' "Anywhere You Are," leads off a run so seamless you only notice things have changed deep into track six, Brit-soul man Ben Westbeech's "Hang Around (Wahoo Main Mix)." Bug and his mix seep in slow and sneaky and dark-purple-hued, adjusting themselves to the contours of the room. Only occasionally do you look up and go, What the hell was that?

That humming-right-along flow is one of Fabric 37's primary strengths, as well as its potential stumbling block. Bug's selections (and his almost invisible mixing) can elude you if you're not already immersed in German(ic) minimalism. But the DJ's obvious adoration of his chosen style's many strands--there are only three Dessous tracks here, and none from Poker Flat--make Fabric 37 the kind of set that can surprise you after putting it on weeks or months after having filed it. It goes out on an up, too: Rejected's "Lost" and Gui.tar's "Red Doggy" make for a supremely logical, relaxed, sweet-toned end game.

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