ADE Interview: Steve Bug
Germany‘s very own taste-maker, trend-setter, mover-shaker-extraordinaire Steve Bug is a multi-faceted artist who refuses to back down from the limelight.
A dedicated, energetic and constantly surprising talent, Steve is nothing less than an electronic music ambassador, a much-loved spokesman to the people, and for good reason. Grown up in Germany‘s techno and acid-house heyday, Steve Bug‘s love for a perfect ???steps as a DJ it was clear there was a strong talent waiting to be nurtured. With a bit of encouragement from Superstition‘s ???????Tobias Lampe???????? in 1993 and his music story began.
Besides this, his DJ skills and a keen, innovative ear led him not down the typical path of the early nineties trance and harder dance scene, but towards a fresher, hybrid sound merging stripped deep house, tweaked out acid and more minimal forms of techno and electronic music.
Apart from guest appearances on respected labels as Get Physical Music and remix works on Aeon Records his 20th year on the circuit sees him paying respect to one of the most celebrated classics in House with a re-treatment of Foremost Poets “Reasons To Be Dismal?” as well as paying homage to the early days with the recent “Classic Jams” compilation on his very own Poker Flat Recordings label which brings his twelve of his personal favorites and long lost classics back to light again.
With so much going on, we decided to catch up with Steve Bug during his brief stay in Amsterdam during the 2015 Amsterdam Dance Event. Speaking after the massive Click showcase, everything from the evolution of ADE, back 2 back sets with Josh Wink, industry relevancy, and more are covered in this extended conversation.
“It was one of those nights…I really had the crowd by the balls.”
How has your ADE been? Aside from your event last night, what else do you have planned?
I just came in yesterday evening. We had a catered dinner at the club…Thai food, then went back to the hotel, then to the venue around 1am. Ambivalent was playing. There was a huge line outside!
There were 4 rooms, which sometimes I don’t like as people start moving if they hear just 1 track they may not be into, but the party was still great. In the beginning it was a bit weird, though, there was this long bar that was maybe 1/4 of the dancefloor, which people would just stand in front of. But, toward the end there was a group of people who were really enjoying everything from this point on the floor, so it made a much better view from above.
I didn’t get to check out many other stages though because Josh [Wink] was playing so well. I just couldn’t leave! He was really into it. Ambivalent also played a great set!
Tonight will be the Geist showcase, with Mathew Jonson, Magda, Benoit & Sergio, and Clarian at Closure, which is a place I really like. I played their recently and it was one of those nights. Mathias Kaden was there, since he was playing the next night, and told me that I really had the crowd by the balls. No matter what I would play people would follow. I would play really deep but could take it any place I wanted.
I actually havent been there yet. I’ve heard there is a certain Trouw-esque feeling in there…
…Well, it is way smaller, but it reminds me of old school Amsterdam clubs. When I first walked in I thought it had a Mazzo-like vibe. The bar was a seperate room and the dancefloor was just a dancefloor. If you shut down the lights it would be pitch black, which I love.
This club reminds me of my favorite club in Hamburg, which was designed in a similar way. I think, if I designed a nightclub, it would look like this. It is so much more effective, not having a bar in the middle of the dancefloor.
You’ve been playing a few sets with Josh Wink recently. How did this back 2 back collaboration come about. How do you guys complement each others sound?
This summer all our gigs came together without even talking about it. Clubs just asked us. The first time we did it, there were too many DJs at the Ovum showcase in Miami, so we only had a few slots available. Here we decided to play back to back for an hour, instead of playing half hour each. We had a few of these sessions at WMC.
Then, this summer we were asked to do a monthly residency on Ibiza. At first, Josh was a bit worried as it was a Saturday night, and Saturday’s on Ibiza are a bit slower, but in the end it was a good idea.
Musically, we are both very diverse and we meet somewhere in the middle. If Josh goes really deep, then I can go way deeper. Then, there is a point that Josh can get harder, which isn’t my style. Also, our mixing styles are very different. I am used to mix tracks together for a long time, and I really need to know the tracks to make this happen. I am about harmonic mixing and things of that nature…no looping really, just building up my sets. Josh mixes more on an effects based system, so he can easily build tension in a mix. For me, I could, but it’s usually not the way I play. For some reason, with Josh it just works…the music complements each other quite well.
The 2nd time we played over the summer was very special! We usually do 2 or 3 tracks each, instead of 1 to 1, but this time was the first time we did 1 to 1 the entire time and both enjoyed it very much. That’s the good thing about us playing together. We have a fun time and people see it. When we play on our own we’re so in to what we are doing, but when you play with someone else there is more interaction.
When was the first year you came to ADE? How have you seen the event evolve over the years for you?
I can’t really remember what year I came here first, but I was a professional already. What I do remember, is almost every time I came to play I left without really going to the actual ADE. I missed out on a lot of stuff, so I can’t really speak too much on it. I don’t even know why. There are so many interesting things happening. Maybe its the time of the year. After the summer I am usually worn out from traveling and then I’m en route to South American tours.
This is the first year I have been to ADE as a professional, but had been a veteran of Miami’s WMC. For a while it seemed like that event was the preeminent industry definition, but over the years it seems like ADE has taken that crown away. Do you agree?
I went to Miami the first time when it was all about American DJ’s, deep house, and classic pool parties. I was one of the first European DJs to come to play at the (Made Event) Sunday School for Degenerates. That was an amazing time! A few years after, a lot of European DJs took over and started throwing too many events. It became too much! The same went with other place like Sonar and BPM.
What is good about ADE, there is one centralized organization. Even though there may be too many events, at least there isn’t internal fighting going on. I’m tired of fighting over locations, crowds, and things.
As you say, though, ADE is definitely the top event of the year. People still go to the others, but Amsterdam is the key location now.
I suppose it has a good location between London, Berlin, Barcelona…
Yeah, it’s the first one, aside from Sonar, that is in Europe, and not in Southern Europe, so it is close to everyone. The biggest market is still here in Europe. Also, the Dutch people have a rich festival history, so there is already a big crowd.