Poker Flat's 'Forward To The Past' anthology is back for a third round, and it's as slick and club-ready as ever. The brainchild of legendary producer/DJ Steve Bug, the formula remains the same: task a selection of veterans and new school producers with recapturing the style and mood of early club music, paying homage to the golden years of house and techno between 1985 and 1992.
Think: Chicago, Detroit, New York and acid everything — this is dance music history in the making. DJ Mag sat down with Poker Flat boss Steve Bug earlier this month, to talk through how he selected each of the artists for 'Forward To The Past 3' and what he loves most about each track.
You can catch Steve Bug this Friday 11th December, alongside Matthew Dear and Giles Smith, at Hidden in Manchester. Tickets here.
Wouter De Moor 'Bon Voyage'
"Wouter released an EP with us a while ago and was always consistent with sending new stuff. When I first heard the track, the idea of the third 'Forward To The Past' compilation was just born, so unfortunately he had to wait quite a while for ‘Bon Voyage‘ to get released, but I could see the track fit so well into the format, so I asked him to save it for us. ‘Bon Voyage’ is a journey into the deeper spheres of the early days with a touch of that futuristic feeling some of those tracks had back in the day."
Pavel Iudin 'Casino Time'
"Pavel got in touch via Facebook to send over a demo, he sent so many it took a while to go through them. Once I finally decided which tracks I wanted for the second Poker Flat ‘Wax Only’ series, he had changed most of the tracks, so I had to start all over again! But, I managed to choose four great tracks for that EP and I also found this amazing old school sounding Chicago-ish tune and asked him if he’d like to contribute it to the 'Forward To The Past' compilation, and he did. 'Casino Time’ reminded me very much of the early days, the simple arrange and the 909 rhythms plus that almost typical bassline, just great!"
Denny 'Acid (You’re Free)'
"Denney sent me a demo with a few tracks, and one simply stood out for me was ‘Acid (You’re Free)’ . Luckily Denny was fine with releasing this track as a part of the compilation. The track has a driving 303 acid line, some simple vocals, and that old school string sample sound that some of the heads may recognize from some records of the late 80’s. It’s a real trip down Acid memory lane!"
"Since I have been a fan of Quell’s stuff, I thought he’d be able to come up with something interesting for this project. I asked him if he wanted to send a demo for the project and he sent over a tune that I actually liked a lot. Slightly later I was trying to find the track on my laptop and I found ‘Inside’ he’d sent a long time ago, and I felt it was an even better fit. Luckily the track was still free and made it on the compilation. 'Inside’ has some solid and slightly distorted 909 beats, classic snare rhythms, plus an ‘LFO’- esque bleep sound, an almost poppy house saxophone and a dark synths baseline. I love it."
Manik 'Memory One'
"Manik had a release on the label a few years back and I always liked his productions. ‘Memory One’ is a very analog sounding track with modulating synths and smashing drum sounds. I like it because it is very Detroit techno but also sounds very current."
Bakers Dozen 'Reaching (feat. England Brookes)'
"Bakers Dozen is a rather housey side project by Simon Baker. Simon sent over the track almost a year and a half ago and I fell in love with them immediately and asked if he would be ok with releasing ‘Reaching’ on the compilation. ‘Reaching (feat. England Brookes)’ is a pretty deep and melodic track that adds something different to the compilation. It reminds me a lot of those early New York house tracks."
DJ Aakmael 'Dubb 3'
"What can I say, such a great producer when it comes to raw, sample based house music with a classic touch. ‘Dubb 3’ is another track that sounds like a Chicago house track from the late '80s. It has kind of a ‘Mr Fingers’ vibe."
Anaxander 'The Cruel Destiny Of A Tear'
He is another one of those very versatile producers making plenty of tracks in various styles, and a lot of them have like an old school vibe. ‘The Cruel Destiny Of A Tear’ is a dark acid track, that also reflects the early days of acid house out of Chicago. I really like the spooky atmosphere and the classic, simple arrangement."
Debukas 'Ocean Drift'
"I loved the album he did for 2020 Vision a while ago, which already had an old school touch. ‘Ocean Drift’ has a rather complex structure with plenty of analogue sounding synth grooves and beautiful string sounds — the typical 707 beats fit perfectly and underline the old school feeling."
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