- There’s virtually no such thing as a bad Steve Bug production. He and his engineers always come up with something slick, immaculately-groomed and club-effective. There’s a distinctive style to Bug’s work – the clickiness, the space afforded each element of percussion, the growling, groovy basslines, the moody synth crescendos – but it’s a style that can sometimes amount to little more than formula. Every once in a while the Poker Flat proprietor will come out with a “wow” record (examples from recent years include ‘Loverboy’ and his remixes of Sian’s ‘Sei’ and Freaks’ ‘The Creeps’) but these are invariably interspersed with rather less inspirational releases – of which ‘Wet ‘n Dry’ is unfortunately one.
A-side ‘Wet’ strongly recalls, intentionally or otherwise, Bug’s collaboration with Cle for the recent ‘Bets n Bluffs’ compilation, ‘Oneandhundredandthree Eggs’ (though the title is a lot more agreeable). A full-bodied kick meets with a snappy, pressurized snare, the space between occupied by a simple shaker rhythm that will, on a system at least, set bodies moving with its unusual prominence. The elastic bassline – nipped, tucked and drained of all its fat – is bound to get feet moving, while the aggregation of acidic synth lines is subtle and intense.
There’s something important lacking, though, both on ‘Wet’ and B-side ‘Dry’ (which ploughs a similar furrow but, as its title implies, is a little more tight and reduced). That important something is a significant hook, a melody or motif that would distinguish these tracks from the thousands of perfectly stylish tech-house records made this year. It sounds a trite criticism, but without a worthy hook between them these tracks sound more than a little soulless and forgettable. The bottom line for many will be that ‘Wet n Dry’ will rock the clubs regardless – and it will. It just won’t change anyone’s life.