Review: Second time around for Apes Go Bananas' "Kerri On", a heartfelt tribute to U.S deep house don Kerri Chandler that first appeared on wax back in 2015. This time round, the Steve Bug and Cle produced original mix - a suitably bumpin' U.S house style roller rich in jammed-out organ riffs, spacey synths and warm, undulating bass - comes backed by two fresh 2019 remixes. First James Dexter offers a deeper and woozier interpretation build around even heavier bass, spacey riffs and chunkier drums, before Langenberg wraps the duo's headline-grabbing organ stabs around a dubby bassline and stripped-back drums.
Review: This is a typical Steve Bug release and this is what makes it so impressive. Like much of his back catalogue, it effortlessly flits in mood from celebratory to deep before ending up in tripped out mode. The title track sees the Poker Flat boss in typically jaunty mode, with summery keys unfolding over an upbeat tech groove. "Thick As Mud" is much darker and rides a searing bass and tougher drums. Rounding off the release is "Pants on Fire", where Bug draws on his minimal background to deliver a pulsing, acid-soaked affair that is custom-made for after hour usage.
Review: Long before techno producers decided to revert to anonymity, there was the Traffic Signs project. Inspired by jacking Chicago house rather than the grainy minimalism of the hand-stamped vinyl brigade, the only clue that the series was European lay in the dry vocal samples on some of the tracks. By now everyone knows that the project was the work of Steve Bug, but it is worth hearing the series again to understand how the Poker Flat boss was so ahead of both the anonymity and jacking house curves. "VCM Nation" with its ponderous vocal and subtle snare builds over a menacing bass, is every bit as menacing as Joey Beltram's house records for Nu Groove, the scuzzy bleeps of "Noize Alarm" blew the electro house sound out of the water, while the androgynous vocal and dense drums of "Infiltrate" remains an irresistible combination.
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.
Review: This split release is the first in a series of four records celebrating the German label's 15th birthday. First up is owner Steve Bug, whose "A Shot In The Dark" track gets remixed by Taylor. With a subtitle 'Trapped in 92', it is no surprise that Bug's deep chords and jacking house is infused with dark snare rolls and even some stray gun fire! The Organ Grinder's version of Boris Dlugosch's "Sweet Talk" is just as raw, with the insistent chords, sprawling acid lines and jagged percussion sounding like something from Ian Pooley's mid-90s catalogue. By contrast, youANDme's "Quince" is cleaner, crisper, more precise - but still likely to appeal to those who love the kind of tripped out house that Poker Flat specialises in.