- Despite their mastery of house music, everything Steve Bug & Clé churn out when put in a room together has a distinct acid flavour. Their first go around on Poker Flat back in '07, the Silicon Ballet EP, set the precedent, and now with their second full single release, the Seven Hills EP, they hold true to form.
On the A, the duo initially lull listeners into a false sense of comfort and warmth with an unassuming tech house beat. Bug and Clé's patented old-school drums are expectedly present but there's nothing to indicate where this track eventually gets to... until the first melody creeps in. Then it all gets a bit ravey. A menacing staccato groove soon gets overtaken by multiple layers of overwrought strings that manage to create a sense of euphoria coupled with an unshakable feeling of unease at the same time. The melodies are sharp, and although cushioned with sweeping pads for the most part, never try to be warm and welcoming.
"Shoulder Monkey" stays at the rave. It's a groove piece, holding tightly to a mid-'90s aesthetic, driven incessantly by firecracker percussion and snapping hats. Simple in its delivery, it counteracts the intentional iciness of "Seven Hills" and replaces it with a warmer rhythm.
A Seven Hills
B Monkey Shoulder