Strip Steve grew up in Bordeaux, started on the turntables at 14, and was putting down techno and house tunes by the time he was 20. He soon relocated to his newfound spiritual home in Berlin, and has since released more EP’s and remixes, mainly via Boysnoize Records.
Now we’ve got debut album Micro Mega, which hit my radar via the single Astral Projection. The track features, quite surprisingly, those dreamy popsters Puro Instinct, stirring the girls’ hazy tones around and upon the dancefloor. It works wonders, like Blondie at the disco. Just don’t be expecting any more such woozy wonders here – we’re heading into some choppier waters.
Stomp, another single, was built for the clubs. It’s house music that beats like an overactive heartbeat, with orchestral hits, staccato notes that flicker fast and a dance-like bassline. I’m not finding much new ground here.
The Robert Owens collaboration One Thing was probably a high for Strip Steve. Owens is, after all, a giant in the Chicago house story and Steve revels in creating a sparser and yet wholly effective backdrop. With its low-whispering house beat, the soulful vocals and deep spoken voice direct a more restrained piece – as we’d expect with the personnel on hand.
As a complete set we circle acts like Daft Punk’s over-funked vibes; they just spin a little faster for the house crowd. Strip Steve constantly opts for cut-up notes repeated in fast succession, like his Apple Mac is caught tripping on the musical timeline before he manages to reset and resume.
This record will work fine at 2am within the overcrowded clubs (it what it was built for), but there isn’t enough originality to impel me to play Micro Mega anyplace else, though I might slip Astral Projection onto my next mixtape.