Few German electronic artists are as versatile as Steve Bug. His career as producer, DJ, and record label owner, spanning nearly 30 years, has encompassed many shades of house and techno, and has taken him all over the globe.
Born Stefan Brügesch in Nienburg, Lower Saxony, he began his professional life as a hairdresser before catching the electronic music bug. He started off with DJ sets in nearby Bremen and Hamburg, leading to a small residency in Ibiza in 1991. This enhanced his reputation and led to an invitation to play the prestigious Love Parade later that year. His career in music production began a few years later with the release of "Bride & Bridegroom" on the Superstition label. Several other releases on smaller labels followed, and in 1996 he started his own first label, Raw Elements. On this label he issued his first two albums: the compilation Released Tracks (1996) and Volksworld (1997). The label, however, would be short-lived, as Bug would pull the plug and start up two other labels — Poker Flat and Dessous — in 1998. Each label had its own aesthetic in mind, with Poker Flat concentrating on edgy dancefloor tech-house releases and Dessous focusing on deep house and downtempo sounds.
It wasn't long until Poker Flat found itself with several more sublabels — Audiomatique, B-Series, and Traffic Signs all appeared within the next year, while Bug's reputation grew thanks in no small part to collaborations with Richie Hawtin and Chicago tech-house maestro Common Factor for their Minus and Tactile imprints, respectively. His Da Minimal Funk and Bugnology series of mixes continually set the standard for minimal DJ sets. He also mixed Fabric 37 and (together with Chris Tietjen) Cocoon's Green & Blue 2010. Bug quietly established a reputation internationally for his DJ sets as well as his productions, and continued to record for his own labels as well as others worldwide. He released all his subsequent albums on Poker Flat: The Other Day (2000), Sensual (2002), the self-explanatory Collaboratory (2009), the mature, emotional Noir (2012), and the Langenberg collaboration Paradise Sold (2018). During 2020's COVID-19 lockdown, Bug retreated to his studio and began work on another album. Focusing entirely on production without being beholden to the dancefloor, he created Never Ending Winding Roads, a lower tempo, more contemplative effort than his usual fare, but still rooted in his classic electro-house sound. ~ Rob Theakston & John D. Buchanan