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30 Nov 11
Review: Adultnapper shows that he's a tortured soul on Fair. While the title track is based on jazzy, skittish drums and features the kind of lost-it detuned chords one would expect from the US producer, it's the vocals that really make this track come alive. Strangely soulful yet sombre, the line "somebody please, try to connect me" sums up the reflective mood. Hosh's remix makes the drums dubbier and wraps a sinister acid cloak and melancholic piano lines around the vocals, while the dub version opts for a more upbeat approach. Featuring the same dubby drums, its chiming riffs and chugging groove don't detract from Adultnapper's existential crisis.
15 Feb 10
02 Nov 11
Review: Steve Bug's label has a long and proven track record of releasing new interpretations of classic house, and Universe is no exception. "2 Points After You" may wiggle and groove with the cheeky undercurrent of late 90s UK tech-house, but it also jacks to the primal sound of late 80s Chicago. "Parallel Universe" offers a similar unison, albeit with a different outcome. Its steely, driving drums are pure Terry Francis, but the swathes of acid licks and the mysterious make vocals sound inspired by Phuture. Finally, Mereu opts for a deeper approach with "Revived" as Detroit melodies vie for attention with doubled up claps.
15 Oct 10
26 Mar 12
Review: Alex Niggemann follows the same approach as that which led Steve Bug to set up Poker Flat many years ago. Taking inspiration from classic house music, the title track features a resonating bassline and heavy claps, which provide the basis for uplifting keys. Niggemann hasn't just taken inspiration from classic deep house, he even samples a vocal from an old house record. The key difference between the past and the present documented by Niggemann are in his usage of extended breakdowns. They are audible on the title track, but also on "Curious", where ominous chord and electro synths climax together and then drop unexpectedly. The Moodapella version of "Wait" meanwhile looks to Ibiza for inspiration, with a sultry guitar playing over Niggemann's rumbling bass.
04 Jun 12
14 Jan 13
08 Jul 11
Review: It sounds like Andrade was weaned on some of the late 90s and early 00s tackle! "All In" boasts the jarring discordance of electro house before it became a hipster soundtrack and "Lies" is an acid-tinged rolling groove with a vocal narrative about loneliness. However, it's the title track that stands out here: as it progresses, the niggling riff sounds like the modern version of the one that drives Josh Wink's "Don't Laugh", but it's the bad ass bassline, a booming sub that could have been spawned after years spent listening to London tech-house and 2-step, that really captures the imagination.
01 Aug 05
06 Jun 08
Played by: Chris Deepak
10 Dec 12
Played by: Owain Kimber (Owain K), Boris Dlugosch, Kid Who, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, In Flagranti, Steve Bug, Fab Mayday, M.a.n.d.y., Tulioxi, Salvatore Freda
Review: Veteran German house producer Dlugosch shows the new guard that he still has the magic touch. The title track is a forceful but feisty club groove, its warbling synths set to a backdrop of gurgling acid and crashing cymbals as an unknown vocalist promises sweet nothings. "Sweet Talk" is even more seductive; this time an old school ooh ooh vocal snippet is fused with swirling filters and a limber low-end rhythm. Admittedly, the remixes are of a high quality; Show B drops a deeper version of "Knalldrang", Nico Lahs swathes the arrangement in tranced out melodic layers that sweep in across his stepping rhythm and In Flagranti drops a version that pulses and jacks in all the right places.
30 Sep 02
Played by: Christian Malloni
27 Mar 08
17 Apr 06
04 Mar 13
Played by: Anna Maria X, John Digweed, Ramon Tapia, Silicone Soul, Karotte, Daniel Dexter, Droog, DJ Hell
Review: It's no surprise that Daniel Dexter's deep, jacking sound has found a home on Poker Flat; after all, this is the style that label owner Steve Bug has championed for years. What does come as a surprise however is the range of Dexter's work. "Birds" is a drummy affair, peppered with disco samples and leading into a trance build, there's the grainy, detuned bass of "No House For Old Men" and his version of Zombie Disco Squad's "Righteous Sound" sees a heavy sub-bass pitted against a reggae vocal. But Dexter's main strength is fusing deep sounds with club-primed rhythms, as he so adeptly demonstrates on the chord-heavy "Storm" and the jazzy keys of "Papillon".
30 Sep 11
Review: Despite its title, Daniel Dexter's new EP on Steve Bug's label mines a path that straddles both classic and current styles. The title track is a typical modern deep house affair, thanks to its filtered chords laced with insistent bleeps, but Dexter draws on the back catalogue of Reese for its purring, menacing bassline. Likewise, "Who knows Motor City" is based on a typical DJ tool tribal groove, but the use of incessant acid lines provides a glimpse of the past. Finally, "The Other Day" is a deep, reflective groove with a resonating vocal sample that recalls the work of classic house producers like Gemini.
07 May 12
Review: Daniel Dexter combines jazz and classic house and techno influences for a special release on Steve Bug's Poker Flat. The title track unfolds gradually, its Chicago drums and menacing bassy undercurrent giving way to a squalling, deranged sax solo. "There Will Be Jazz" is somewhat more nuanced, with loose tribal beats leading the track into a breakdown that spills out warm, liquid jazz riffs. However, it's on the final track, "Murder", that Dexter really hits pay dirt. There, a soaring, Reese-style bassline provides the backing for the most sensuous saxophone solo this side of vintage Dave Angel releases from the 90s.
25 Feb 11
Review: Although he has released on other respected labels like NRK and Meerestief, Durango's natural home is Poker Flat. This is apparent on Mosaic, where he succeeds in amalgamating brittle, understated beats with dreamy chords and pulsing basslines. While the title track unfolds to the sound of a tranced out chord sequence and tight claps, it's really "Foreva" that captures what the label is about, featuring breathy vocal samples, dreamy melodies and the kind of snaking basslines that prevail in Steve Bug's DJ sets. By contrast, the organic drums of "Domp" almost sound out of place, but the repetitive vocal sample intoning the track's title ensure that it's never too far from the Poker Flat style.
17 Mar 08
26 Apr 04
01 Nov 04
01 Nov 04
Played by: Deepchild
21 Nov 08
15 Mar 10
Played by: Krummstoff
Review: Only his third LP in an established career that spans nearly a decade and a half, Before We Say Goodbye is Irishman Donnacha Costello's latest album that deals with the topic of techno in his own unique and beautiful way. Released on Steve Bug?s Berlin based label Poker Flat, the album proves that techno music can harbour the skill, emotion and diversity that is so often missing within it.
Much like his 2001 masterpiece Together Is the New Alone, this LP taps into an ambient texture, but builds it with techno rhythms and pulsations. By keeping his club sentiment at bay, Costello delivers a subtle album that flows with the kind of natural current that is often lost within techno productions.
Weaving in and out of styles, up and down tempo ranges, the LP is expertly crafted to take you on a journey that ebbs and flows with purpose. From the deep and melancholic but groovy slow burners such as "Leaving Berlin" and "A Warm Embrace" that set the LP off, Costello moves into an old school mood on "It's What We Do" before hitting his stride with the more up tempo offerings of "No-One Is Watching" and the onomatopoeic "Roll It Out." On the second half of the album he winds things down with tracks like "With Me Still," "Stretching Time," the mournfully melodic "The Tug" and the beautiful "Last Train Home" which finishes the LP off in aptly reflective mood. Such is the musicality of Before We Say Goodbye that it feels like an album crafted outside of techno and underground dance, but at the same time using the sounds and the flavours of the genre to redefine the way we view ambient techno in the UK.
10 Mar 10
Played by: Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House
14 May 10
Played by: Filq, Maelstrom, Charles Webster, Shadow Dancer, Deepchild, Juno Recommends Deep House, Sasha
Review: DWhen an artist releases an album that immediately gains the respect of critics and fans alike, often their label will look to capitalise on the success with a quick remix package, pulled together to exploit the hype that surrounds the release. However, Donnacha Costello?s LP from March, Before We Say Goodbye, was not just a great album. It was genre re-shaping one, taking techno into a beautiful, emotive and diverse place where it rarely finds itself. Poker Flat, recognising this outstanding achievement, set out to deliver a remix EP that lives up to the original album and the emotions that it stands for. By drafting in Lawrence and production duo KiNK & Neville Watson, they have resoundingly accomplished the task.
Dial's Lawrence, who like Costello poses a real musicianship in the true sense of the word, manages to glean out yet more emotive depth from the Irishman?s pristine "Leaving Berlin" with smothering strings and a glowing wash of synths. We find the German in a sultry mood as he combines a rich, dubby atmosphere with beautiful melodic structures. As the track evolves, dense strings and softly pumping percussion begin to wrap themselves around the memorable hook of the original. Rush Hour duo, KiNK & Neville Watson turn in a classic acid rework of "It?s What We Do." Jacking all the way with a cruising bassline and tough drum machines, the duo bring a distinct Chi-town feel to the track but merge it with modern and skilful studio know-how.
27 May 13
25 Jul 08