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27 May 13
29 Apr 13
Review: Landsky was one of the first German artists to dabble with deep house and here he shows his mastery of the form. "ET2" is built on dubby drums and a rolling rhythm, and the mixture of shimmering chords and a seductive female vocal nestle seamlessly into this arrangement. "ET1" is more restrained; the beats are slinky and metallic, the claps reverberate subtly, but the chords still carry with them an icy edge. On "Let it Snow", Landsky reverts to his electro house past; the bass is pulsing and noisy and the grinding analogue riffs sound like a herd of monkeys crush in a metal skip.
25 Mar 13
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".
18 Feb 13
Played by: Owain Kimber (Owain K), Henri Kohn, DJ Said, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Daniel Dexter, Eats Everything, Kerri Chandler, Juliet
Review: Bug is known primarily as a deep house producer, but this latest missive sees him taking a darker, more menacing approach. Maybe it's the presence of Foremost Poets that has led to this artistic swing, but there is no denying that "Adjustments" is more menacing than usual. Bug's own 'adjustment' sees a humming bass that tears and grinds and heavy claps combined to provide a backdrop for Foremost Poets' ominous vocals. Alex Niggeman takes it deeper and more chugging with his remix, but the standout remix is by Arttu; the bass is grainy, the groove abrasive and insistent - no wonder then that it sounds like Gesloten Cirkel doing house music.
14 Jan 13
21 Dec 12
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.
12 Nov 12
01 Oct 12
17 Sep 12
Review: The work of shadowy Japanese producer Kyodai, Never Know is more off the wall than usual Poker Flat releases. "Always", with its deep and dramatic building chords and tight claps, is similar to the direction that most of the releases on Steve Bug's label follow. However, "Hate Me Now" is radically different, with dense drums, a filtered disco loop and a vocal intoning 'have your turn' dominating. The title track shows that Kyodai is willing to take chances and its loose drummy groove houses a brooding, menacing bass and a bugged out vocal sample, the sum total sounding like a combination of Reese and St Germain.
03 Sep 12
04 Jun 12
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.
16 Apr 12
Played by: Tj Kong
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.
05 Mar 12
Review: Long before retro became a sonic currency du jour, Steve Bug's label was releasing killer dance floor tracks that made a nod to house music's heritage. This is certainly the case on End Game, where a sleek, trancey synth and a sexy but sullen saxophone riff call to mind the deeper, trippier end of 90s US house. The Reference version is more techno-oriented, as a rolling, filtered groove that breaks down to the sound of melodic flourishes takes prominence, but the over-riding theme is house music. This is borne out by the Deep Space Orchestra version, where clipped, stacatto drums underpin an epic, "French Kiss"-style build.
27 Feb 12
15 Feb 12
18 Jan 12
27 Dec 11
19 Dec 11
Played by: Owain Kimber (Owain K), Sean Gormally (Sean And Dev), Estroe, Shadow Dancer, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Axer Rouf, Ursula 1000, Phasen, Heidi
Review: It's a sign of the 303's enduring appeal that even ten years into the so-called acid revival, Poker Flat can release a compilation of backward-looking tracks that still sound fresh. Label boss Steve Bug leads the charge here with the sexy swagger of "This is Acid", but he has also surrounded himself with some of the finest proponents of contemporary 303 abuse. These include KiNK and Neville Watson, who contribute the gurgling tones of "Sleepless" and the bleeding 303 of Sven Tasnadi & Juno 6's "Generation A". However, if there is one track that defines the otherworldly, primal jack of the acid sound, it's the repetitive whistles and subtly building tones of Tin Man's "Blown".
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.
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.
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.
23 Sep 11
31 Aug 11
Played by: Rob Pearson, Christian Hornbostel, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Posthuman, Steve Bug, Plain Pits, Sascha Sonido
Review: James McGarvie-Munn aka James What flies solo for this outing on Steve Bug's label. While the London producer is best known for his collaborations with Dan Berkson, this release shows that he's adept at working on his own. On "It Feels Wrong", dubby drums play host to strung out vocals intoning the track's title and some trippy 303 action, while "In The Dark" has a woozy feeling and more warbling, out-there acid lines. Finally, Lee Curtiss reworks the title track. Focusing on the acid licks, he adds in some chiming percussion to make for a swaggering tech-house groove.
17 Aug 11
Review: As the title suggests, this compilation is culled from the fourth quarter of Poker Flat's catalogue, and what impresses most is its diversity. Clearly favouring an open-minded approach to A&R, Bug's label casts its net far and wide and covers a wide range of styles. From the menacing bass and symphonic flourishes of Martin Buttrich's neon trance "Cloudy Bay", through to the minimalistic groove and lullaby chants of Gudio Schneider's "Transmission" and into the sick, dubby house of Radioslave's remix of Trentemoller's "Moan", this compilation succeeds in representing many of modern electronic music's facets. By including the dreamy, Detroit pads of Aril Brikha's "Amire" and the atmospheric filters of Redshape's remix of Simon Flower, it also captures new interpretations of classic styles.
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.
08 Jul 11
17 Jun 11
Review: Steve Bug may be influenced by the sounds of classic house, but on this EP the Poker Flat owner shows that he and Cle have their own vision. Therefore, while the title tack revolves around a predatory bass, a succession of techy stabs pushes it into a breakdown, while the icy chords have an unquestionable spine-tingling effect. Similarly on "Monkey Shoulder", the duo borrow the driving, crashing snare drums from Chicago and the evocative pads sound like pre-disco Morgan Geist. Ironically, although it forgoes using Chicago's jacking past, "Shadows" is most in keeping with the city's past. In particular, the prowling bass and almost dainty, delicate melodies are reminiscent of classic Larry Heard.
28 Apr 11
Played by: Benny Grauer
Review: Steve Bug's label proves that its A&Ring is as spot on as ever with Come Down In Time. "Far Down" is a gloriously languid deep house track, its deep chords building over an elastic bassline. However, it's "Time Comes" that really impresses: sampling liberally from old dub reggae records, its lurching rhythm and vocal toasting snippets are tempered by steely staccato drums and a system-levelling bass. But that's not all: as the track progresses, Show B introduces jangling melodies lines that are reminiscent of early Villalobos tracks. The dub version is more dance floor friendly, but here too, the combination of heavy bass and sublime melodies drives the arrangement.
07 Apr 11
Played by: Pete Dafeet, Owain Kimber (Owain K), The Revenge, Neighbour, Shadow Dancer, DJ Kayowa, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Axer Rouf, Adultnapper, Tornado Wallace, Navid Izadi, Alex Mayer, Aliooft (Foto Rec.), Danny Daze
Review: Steve Bug has never made a secret of his love of Chicago house, and on his latest label compilation, delivers the eerie synths and doubled-up claps of "Jack Is Back". Like-mind Martin Landsky also focused on Chicago with his bass-heavy "V2U" and Redshape's view of the Windy City is coloured by the slamming acid of "Funny Green Hat". Deeper house influences are also audible - on Deetron's "The Maze" and Ribn's "Pancake", a paean to Carl Craig at his most sensual. However, the contribution that impresses most is KiNK & Neville Watson's "Night Time Raw", which forges LFO-style bleeps to the duo's usual jacking, insistent rhythms. It's a case of one step back and three steps forward.
18 Mar 11
Played by: Honey Dijon, Estroe, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Dirty Channels, Massimiliano Guaiana, Musumeci, Noir, Safeword, Groove Armada
Review: Despite its perception as a minimal label, Poker Flat has always pushed Chicago-influenced elements, so the 'back' part of the release's title is a little misleading. More importantly though is the artists' ability to mould their own take on this timeless sound. Steve Bug does this by using a stuttering 'j-j-j-j-jack' vocal sample and tougher than usual beats on the title track, while on "V2U" Martin Landsky dispenses with the ominous sound of "1000 Miles" in favour of a more understated but equally menacing bass, fused with rasping percussion. Best of all though is Cle's "Reaching Out", which combines a "Washing Machine"-style churning bassline with eerie synth lines.
04 Mar 11
Review: German producer Roland Appel's "Dark Solder" was one of the most played house records of recent years, and it sounds like "Fleurs Du Mal" may emulate it. Appel's productions are straightforward yet full of feeling and the chord-heavy title track is a case in point, building to the sound of spooky vocal samples and filtered bass stabs. The end result is an eerie, utterly distinctive tech-house track. "Rosario" is a crisper drum track that also features building chord sequences, but it's "Black Leather" that steals the glory. Based on a relatively similar framework, its chiming bells are enchanting and, coupled with a wailing banshee, makes for the spookiest, tranciest (with a small 't') house this side of David Alvarado.
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.
21 Jan 11
Review: US producer MANIK has released for Ovum, but the What Is Who EP sees him adapt seamlessly to the Poker Flat in-house style. In fact, the tumbling drums, sombre bass and nagging acid line on "Pure Liquid" suggest that MANIK was destined to release on Steve Bug's label. The title track supports this notion, with MANIK again deploying an insidious 303, but this time combining it with the kind of detuned synth riff that wouldn't sound out of place on a Martini Bros release. Finally, "Good4Me" is reminiscent of Martin Landsky's releases, with doubled up claps and jarring tonal stabs sounding like a malfunctioning computer game - further proof that MANIK has found his true home.
19 Nov 10
Detroit Grand Pubahs - "Nurse Hurse Jack Move" (Invasion Of The Body Jackers remix) - (8:49) 136 BPM
Played by: Audited Beats
15 Nov 10
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza)
22 Oct 10
Played by: Lee Burridge
22 Oct 10
15 Oct 10