There have been few record labels that made such a remarkable impact on the landscape of electronic music as Poker Flat did. First label release came from its founder, Steve Bug, in 1999. His 3-track EP of deep, minimal, “techy” house, colored with glitchy, mechanized beats alongside moody pads and sinister chord progressions, established Poker Flat sound from the very start.
Early years saw Poker Flat’s residency at Sternradio, Berlin, which quickly built a cult-following amongst clubbers and DJs, with guests including Josh Wink, Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Daniel Bell and Luke Solomon. One of the label’s milestone artists in mid 00’s, well known to the Croatian audience, is also Trentemøller. Several singles and EPs on Poker Flat before his monumental debut album “The Last Resort”, one of the albums of the decade according to Resident Advisor.
Key to the success of Poker Flat was their steadfast refusal to chase musical trends, instead remaining focused on their originally established style. “Out of fashion since 1999” is the label’s tongue-in-cheek slogan. Often imitated, but never bettered, with more than 300 releases in their catalogue, Poker Flat was established to be a true original, championing both established acts and rising stars.
In 2019, as the 20th anniversary rolls around, Poker Flat will continue to do what it’s always done: keep putting out exceptional electronic music from exceptional artists. It’s reassuring to know that in an age of unnecessary showboating in every aspect of music, Poker Flat is rolling on the same track it has always been on. Long may it continue!
„Mihai was on his sound from the beginning“- says friend and booking agent Benny Grauer. „It has a unique quality. Any time you hear it you know that’s Mihai. He’s done it for years, and it is perfect.”
Born in Sibiu, Romania, which, at the time, lay on the fringes of Europe’s thriving dance scene. It was the early ’90s. Electronic music was flooding London, Ibiza, Berlin but only a tackle reached his ears. With no clubs, record shops or dance culture Mihai’s dream of being an electronic artist seemed remote. „I couldn’t DJ, because there were no clubs”, he says with a chuckle. But he could buy software, so he started making records. Lots of records. The work of the determined young artist began to catch people’s ears.
His first track was signed to International Deejay Gigolo in 2005, and dozens of releases followed on imprints including Bondage, Highgrade, Poker Flat, Bedrock, Dessous and also his own label Cyclic, established in 2012. His CV now includes most famous clubs: from Berghain and Watergate in Berlin; to London’s Fabric and The Egg; to D-Edge, São Paulo; DC-10, Ibiza; and more.
When DJ and a producer Markus Homm steps behind the decks he has the unmistakable confidence of someone who knows exactly how to galvanize the dancefloor. His grooves have one clear mission: to get people to move their bodies.
Markus makes this look easy, in part, because he has probably spent more waking hours on the dancefloor than anywhere else. Born in Romania and raised in Germany, Markus began ballroom dancing at age 12 and went on to become a world-class professional dancer.
His passion for electronic music blossomed as a teenager in the mid-90s. „House music was in the charts, on the radio and TV, “he recalls. „One of my first nights out to my local club I saw Ultra Naté perform ‚Free‘. I got into that sound, lots of vocals, grooves, very happy positive music. “
Music continues to be an escape from the rigorous training seven days a week, but Markus approached it with the same dedication. There was never a „master plan“, just passion and the organic evolution of his dancefloor grooves. Since his first official release in 2008, Markus has maintained a steady release schedule on labels including Highgrade, Dynamic, 8bit, Poker Flat, Bondage Music, Saved Records, Bedrock and Still Hot.
And that small remark of the Special Guest Star at next tanzen – stay tuned for more updates, and a couple od suprises!