It’s one thing to be heavily regarded as an innovator but it’s a whole other level of talent that’s required to maintain such an immense title. Since the birth of the minimal sound Steve Bug helped forge over 10 years ago with his Berlin-based, Poker Flat, Dessous and Audiomatique Recordings empires, the acclaimed producer has enjoyed an exceptional career also releasing a plethora of records on Raw Elements, Superstition whilst also appearing at clubs the world over. But despite his own impressive rise as a dance-floor connoisseur, Bug has also carved a sharp-cut sound amongst the ever ferocious noise of the electronic scene and scouted new trends by providing a definitive avenue for all the stand out acts that feature on the label’s roster. So with a new EP released this month, a whole host of works in the pipeline and Poker Flat’s 15th Birthday to celebrate, there’s no doubt that Steve will continue to pioneer sound for a long, long time yet.
Stepping in to Room One alongside Craig Richards and Alex Niggemann next month, Bug very kindly has given us a few minutes of his time for a quick catch up…
Hey Steve, how are you? Have you had a busy start to 2014?
It's been alright; I started the year at Studio 80 in Amsterdam and headed to Miami to play at Treehouse afterwards. I spent a few days in Playa Del Carmen for the BPM Festival and then two nights in LA to play at Sound. Last Weekend I’ve been at the Block in Tel Aviv, in Klub K4, Lubljana and now I'm on my way home from my show at Bob Beaman in Munich. In a few days I’ll finally get to go skiing for a week. I’m so looking forward to that!
You’re the brains behind Poker Flat Recordings – something you described as ‘love for the sounds of early Detroit and Chicago house’ in an interview with us back in 2010 – four years later, do you feel the label is following the same vision?
Yes I think so. We start this year with my new EP, it is called Simple Thick And Raw definitely some Detroit and Chicago vibes there. It is followed by a release of Vince Watson, including a Marco Resman Remix, definitely some Detroit vibes as well. But it is also important to us to have an ear on new trends and to combine those elements…
And you’re responsible for the A&R – how do you go about finding the right music for the label?
I simply look around and ask people to do some stuff for us, but sometimes people just send some amazing music that fits the label.
What artists are you excited about breaking this year?
We celebrate our 15th anniversary this year. We might feature some of the earlier talents of the label on a special release and we have a special Marco Resmann EP coming up, as well as a Spanish guy called Carlos Sanchez. But there is also much more in the pipeline...
We really enjoyed your new EP ‘Simple, Thick And Raw’, what else have you been working on in the studio? Is it in the same vein as the EP’s production or have you been working on a few different vibes?
I've been working on several things, most of it is very different, but I might keep on doing more tracks in the direction of that EP, I really enjoy playing those tunes.
Anything we can look forward to being released in 2014?
My track Lion On The Hunt, that I did for the Get Physical On Ibiza Compilation last year will be released again with remixes by Matthias Tanzmann and Smash TV and there is going to be an EP I did together with Jake The Rapper on Poker Flat in spring. I am also working on a new Ovum EP and loads of other stuff.
It’s no question that you’ve been in the industry for a long while– I’m sure there’s been some quite definitive points within that time – where do you see it going over the next few years? And where do you think those developments are going to be?
No clue, right now it is very hard to say, there are no real trends coming up, but maybe that's a good thing. I've always preferred to simply play tracks that I really like no matter if they are hip or not. Trends are not really helping the music in general.
Last year, I noticed that there’s been a conscious decision made by a lot of clubs to try and move forward with certain ‘policies’ eg/ no filming and taking photos and this whole ‘don’t face the DJ’ thing. As a DJ and a listener, do you feel we should be making the experience as personal and as organic as possible?
Yes, close your eyes, move your hips and enjoy the journey.
To talk about how you approach putting together your own DJ sets – we’ve read you talking about the ‘smoothness’ of transitions being important in various interviews – what is it about a DJ set that works for you?
Hard to say, but I think it is about something like a flow and keeping it interesting with surprises.
Has there ever been any set where you really thought that was pretty much perfect?
There have been many, but it has been a while since the last time I really enjoyed the whole set of someone.
Finally, you’re playing for us in RM1 alongside our main man Craig Richards and Alex Niggeman – what does playing for fabric mean to you and are there any particular records you’re going to be picking out for us?
I never pre-prepare my sets, so I will be digging the crates while I am playing. What is so special about fabric is that you can go pretty much every direction you want to go and people will follow. I really enjoy playing in Room One, after all these years it is still a great room with a good energy.