Beneath the monolithic redwood that is modern dance music are ritualistic roots. Finding the duality between music-to-get-trashed-to and social commentary is one of the many missions of German sonic explorer Bülent Gürler , known to the wider world as Butch. "The music I do is for the people... I want them to forget their troubles for a few hours and just have a good time no matter if they listen to it in a small club or big club, festival, car audio, radio or at home."
Eyes Wide Open, his second studio album, finds that harmonious blend between the opulent Amnesia Haze and the biting Under Satan's Authority. Whether providing the soundtrack to a weekend bender or condemning an unjust war, he makes sure to never sacrifice the groove. The ecstasy is in the openness of the form to Butch. "When you produce an album it's much more fun producing a spectrum of music that ranges from chill-out tracks over warm-up tracks to tracks that set the dance floor on fire. I think it would be boring to produce an album that has 18 peak-time tracks."
Many listeners claim to see colours when engulfed in music. Butch visualises the impact of his tunes on a live audience. "When I´m in the studio I´m trying to imagine how a track would work when being played in the club or on stage. It´s part of the process." The journey from conception to public consumption however can be a bumpy one. The producer acknowledges "It is possible to notice some differences in how people react to the music depending on their background. But it's not a question of good or bad, it's more like a challenge to catch the vibe and let them have a good time."
The maestro of movement, who has both German and Turkish heritage, is currently residing in the bustling cosmopolitan city of Mainz, just outside Frankfurt. He says that it's a "Hotspot for electronic music with many good clubs, labels and festivals." The most famous festival in Mainz is the colourful carnival known as Fastnacht, or Carnival Shrove Tuesday.
The good ol' days of lugging around giant pieces of equipment and booking expensive studio time are a distant memory. Inexpensive gear and the makeshift home studio mean that anyone with a heartbeat can pump out their vision of an epic. "Producing music nowadays is something almost everyone can do at home," Butch echoes. "When I started to get involved with producing music [back in the nineties] the studio equipment was really expensive. So I did my first experimental productions something like 7 or 8 years ago when the technology was available and affordable but it still took me until 2005-2007, when they were good enough to be interesting for labels to release. As far as presenting the music I switched really early from Vinyl to Final Scratch and later Serato with Time-Code Vinyls. It makes things much easier, especially when you are on tour a lot and you don't have to carry two heavy records cases." It's evolve or die in the music biz.
"Apart from that the internet changed everything. Today there are so many labels and thousands of releases every day that it's hard to keep an overview. As far as acceptance I think dance music is established with all its subgenres. Its interesting to see how the scene evolves, new trends are born or old ones are being revived."
The birth of the DIY aesthetic has also created the opportunity for enterprising artists to form their own imprints, without waiting on that fat label contract. "The philosophy behind my own imprint Bouq is easy to describe with the slogan 'by friends for friends.' A positive, family-like relationship with artists, partners, media and fans is as fundamental to us as is the love for creative work."
The freedom thus gives birth to innovation. "Creativity needs a certain kind of independence which is why my album Eyes Wide Open was released on my own imprint. I wanted the artistic freedom to do what I want to do and only Bouq could really guarantee me that independence." Aware of the double-edged sword that is popularity, Butch summarises "I had a lot of positive feedback and the sales numbers are more than satisfying. I think it was a good time to release the album after the hype around No Worries. So people had the chance to get to know my whole artistic spectrum. Of course there are always some voices that are not entirely satisfied but that is normal. You can't please everyone." Amen.
Butch [UK] plays Revolver on Sunday February 13.