Review: Steve Bug - Simple, Thick & Raw

Steve Bug
Simple, Thick & Raw
Poker Flat Recordings (PFR 144)
words: Sarah Ikerd

Don’t expect dramatic build-ups and breakdowns from Berliner and Poker Flat bossman Steve Bug. As he informed Ibiza Voice last year: “For me it’s happening in the hips and in the head.” Like his long list of releases prior, “Simple, Thick & Raw” is taut hypno-house perfect for slow-burning parties and aurally absorbed revelers.

The four tracks are moody minor key affairs in keeping with Poker Flat’s history of slightly menacing funkiness. “Thickest Bass” is the punchiest with a tough and low vocal that proclaims “the thickest bass on the planet.” While this may not be exactly true, the sentiment sinks in with repetition and proper amplification. Steve Bug has an undeniable knack for crafting a clean, captivating groove. As Sasse put it: “Bug never lets you down.”

It’s easy to imagine combining any number of intoxicating acapellas with
Smoking Parrot.” Its sedulous echoes and breathy vocal sample evoke the backtalk from either fowl or foe. The atmospheric redundancy continues with “Life In Circles,” which is part of the digital version of the release. And the simple melodic patterns that propel “The Arpeggio” overlap and build slightly in intensity, smoldering without starting a fire.   

This is not a ground-breaking or surprising release. However it is highly useful and definitely the work of a stalwart professional.