Steve Bug

Fabric37 (Fabric)

Steve Bug will not make you run through the streets nude. Using digital production suite Ableton Live, Bug has strung together 22 druggy, dubby, minimal-funk tracks that will cause responsible rejoicing among tech-house fans. The head of German label Poker Flat, Bug has delivered to London's Fabric an appropriate followup to fellow Berliner Ricardo Villalobos's Fabric36, in that Bug's mix is unhurried and at times nigh holographic, though less cagey and inverted. And — like Greek physicist Archimedes in the bathtub yelping and supposedly streaking through Syracuse — Bug's entry in the Fabric series is all about density, displacement, and the eyeing of contrasts.

On Fabric37, the standouts aren't really standouts. Cavernous, groggy production by Sunshine Jones, Peace Division, Afrilounge, Mikael Stavöstrand, Adultnapper, Ryo Murakami, Matthias Tanzmann, Phonique, Gui.tar, and others navigates a flushed furrow of micro details and brief vocal burbles without relying on explosive riffs. Like a bathtub of gently flanging rhythms, a sometimes-off-center but steady undercurrent of similitude floats this mix. So in order to absorb its charms, you must not listen straight ahead but rather at the furthest lip (preferably with headphones), because that's where the ripples are most willowy. Bug introduces new elements not as big splashes but as gradual changes in volume. Long transitions speckled with bleary tinctures are the norm, such as when Anja Schneider's "Belize" melds into Chloé's rework of Rework's "Love Love Love Yeah" into nearly the second minute of Stavöstrand's "Can You See thru My Eyes," making a diffuse trough of broiled accents almost six minutes wide. The mix reaches maximum submersion halfway through, and its last third sees modulating stabs percolate into glossy, ascending melodies. It's a cleansing session, one in which total aerated immersion makes up for nakedly manipulative eureka moments.

 
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