Roman Flügel might be one of the German house/techno scene’s best-known names, but he’s also one of its slipperiest characters.
Most house and techno fans will be casually familiar with Flügel: he has, after all, had a major hit (‘Geht’s Noch?’), co-founded a crucial label (Playhouse), and churned out releases with enough regularity to continually remain a going concern. For many, he’s a welcome but benign presence, releasing average-to-great material with a tech-house edge throughout the 2000s. All well and good, but hardly the full story – barely even a chapter, in fact.
With releases dating back to 1992, Flügel’s discography is on a par with that of Uwe Schmidt or Wolfgang Voigt - an enormous, wildly varied collection of forgotten classics, genre experiments, commercial triumphs and missives from the leftfield. Where Schmidt is a peacock, flaunting his particoloured plumage, Flügel is a chameleon – unshowy, hard to pick out, commendably adaptable. His history is one of legion aliases, from Alter Ego through Eight Miles High to Soylent Green. It’s also characterised by restless shape-shifting: electro, Hardcore, deep house, jack, speed garage, and vibraphone-enhanced pop all make appearances on his rap sheet.
There are constants (an enduring association with fellow producer J.E. Wuttke; an interest in precision and punch) but, for the most part, Flügel’s canon is notoriously tricky to trace a narrative through. As such, it’s high time for a clear, comprehensive OS map of planet Flügel. Consider it a potted history of Flügel’s long career – the life and times of one of European dance music’s niftiest Jacks-of-all-trades.
You can catch Roman playing at Fabric London on 27th April as part of the Live At Robert Johnson tour.
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