The ‘M’ word is currently the most overused descriptor in dance music, but as long ago as 1997 Bug saw fit to call his first mix compilation 'Da Minimal Funk.’ Ten years later on this, his seventh mix CD, Bug's philosophy hasn't altered much. But if it ain't broke, why fix it?
Rather like Richie Hawtin, Bug’s approach has been to embrace new DJ technologies as they arise: he’s moved on from vinyl to Final Scratch out in the clubs, and now he constructs his mix CDs with Ableton Live (Unashamedly so – the cover of 'Bugnology 2’ depicts Bug at his laptop stretching and editing.)
But where 'Bugnology 2’ disappointed, for me at least, 'Fuse Presents…' presses all the right buttons and then some. Bug’s technique is clever enough to keep things simultaneously linear and lively, but it’s his superior selections which impress most here. Plasmik's 'Eight to Nine' opens proceedings nicely, but we already seem to be peaking by the second track, Samim's remix of Pier Bucci's 'Hey Consuelo.' Peaks and troughs are what this mix is all about though, and there is symmetry too. Old tracks such as Johnny Dangerous' 'Problem 13 (Beat That Bitch)’ recall classic early nineties New York house (the track is obviously a Bug favourite – the hard to find edit by Marc Houle was ubiquitous in his sets a few years ago), while the Foremost Poets 'Reasons To Be Dismal' and Justin Martin's remix of 'Vesuvius' by Square One update the sound during the second half of the mix and provide possibly the most dramatic section.
Creating the perfect mix CD is now harder than ever, thanks to the Internet and glut of competition out there. What's a DJ to do? Act on impulse and record the spontaneous outpourings of a live set? Or be more calculating and opt for something that may not be quite as edgy but has symmetry and shape? Thankfully Bug's on his game here and strikes the perfect balance between the two, not only in style but in track selection. There are tracks by the always interesting Poker Flat artist Guido Schneider as well as Martin Landsky, My My and the Bugman himself, whose 'Wet' really ratchets the mix up a notch. And of course that difficult last track. When you want to gradually descend from dancefloor carnage, make life easy for yourself, because there are few better, more evocative set finishers (or beginners) than Rhythim Is Rhythim's 'The Dance.'
The devil's in the details with this collection. The use of Ableton keeps things nicely under control, and as the mix evolves each track has contributed in its own special way. Bug arrives at a sense of syncopation by cunningly arranging the big stars and bit players on the stage. A belter from Bug.
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Tracklist: Fuse Presents Steve Bug1. Plasmik - Eight To Nine
2. Pier Bucci - Hay Consuelo (Samim Remix)
3. Namito - Joujou (Martin Landsky Remix)
4. Johnny Dangerous - Problem #13 (Beat That Bitch)
5. Seph - Dash (Heartthrob's Acid For Bongo Interpretation)
6. Guido Schneider - Halo
7. Efdemin - Lohn & Brot
8. Mikael Stavöstrand feat. Big Bully - No Turning Back
9. Steve Bug - Wet
10. Guido Schneider feat. Florian Schirmacher - Transmission (Bets‘N’Bluffs Edit)
11. Foremost Poets - Reasons To Be Dismal? (Beyondsight version)
12. Square one - Vesuvius (Justin Martin’s ‘I Hope It Doesn’t Blow’ Mix)
13. MyMy - Moneybowl
14. Bangana - Skrik (Dub)
15. Move D - Anne Will (Vincenzo Remix)
16. Rhythim Is Rhythim - The Dance (Living Room Mix)