Exclusive Interview With Butch
“My source of inspiration? Love, light and life just interested me so much that I dared to knock at the door of the cosmos”
His musical influences came from his brother, when he used to record techno mixes from the radio as he was out partying all night long. He absorbed every influence that entered his ear. If there would be one word how to describe Butch, it would indeed be ‘diverse’. ‘Techno heads love him, house heads love him, as well as the deep and dirty and the light & bright. Few artists flow through genres and emotional landscapes with such ease and fluidity as Bülent, challenging preconceptions of the dance-floor and the expected outcome in the process. Just recently his jazz-styled track ‘The Infamous’ skyrocketed into the Beatport charts, proving that the masses can also take interest in something that sounds different than the mainstream.
The spark behind his excursions is natural: as a music lover he’s always stayed open to different styles and aesthetics. As an artist, he’s always allowed himself to express his take on each genre – it’s true that with Butch, you never know what to expect, other than consistently fresh and unique output.
During ADE, Butch can be heard at two events on October 18th: Visionquest at Loveland ADE and Dockyard Festival. Where he will share the stage with an international line-up of highly regarded colleagues and friends. With ADE now clear in sight, we hooked up with the German-born to talk about his expectations for the Amsterdam events, his disregard for the word ‘genre’ and his upcoming album.
You are being referred to as one of the most versatile producers in electronic music. What makes you desire exploring diverse genres in electronic music?
Genre names are only that: names. I don’t go about making friends depending on their names. I have friends called Yusuf, Sebastian, Ho, Carmen, Seth, Rimah, Thomas, because I don’t care about the name, but about the person. The same goes for the music. I don’t like a song because it is House music. I like many songs, which can be placed in the genre of House music. That doesn’t mean I might not also like a song, which people categorize as Experimental Glitch Techno, whatever that may be. I don’t care what that means, I care about the feeling I get, when I hear the song. That’s how I work on my music as well. I don’t think: I want to make a Techno tune. I just make a tune. It’s other people’s job to call it Techno, my job is just to make what I make.
What is your main source of inspiration?
Love, light and life just interested me so much that I dared to knock at the door of the cosmos, haha! Going to the studio and just starting work, even when I don’t feel inspired, usually results in inspiration coming to me. I think being diligent and disciplined with yourself to continually work on your projects brings inspiration automatically to be honest.
Some might say that provocative is your middle name. What makes you push the limits? Adrenaline?
I just say what’s on my mind and hope for people to misunderstand it. My hopes are never disappointed.
Is there something that you always wanted to do, but you never did for whatever reason. Be it a collaboration with someone, a project of your own or simply something crazy?
There are countless projects are in my head. I’d love to work with James Holden and George Clinton sometime. Apart from music, I’d love to create an alter ego called Sir Robert Plantewhick, who goes around town and secretly puts bundles of 500Euro notes into other peoples’ pockets. To do that I have to be a rich son of a gun first, so that project is on hold for now.
In the beginning of 2014 you teamed up with Sebastian Hohberg to create this new concept of mindstimulating music and “psychoacoustic” sound, which resulted in creating the Otherside label. What inspired you to undertake this new challenge in such a specific sound?
Curiosity, encouragement from friends and passion for the topic. My trippy, more experimental tunes on some of my first releases were what caught Ricardo’s attention years ago. Last year, when we were working on our ButRic EP he encouraged me to get back into that vibe. That was cool of him, because secretly I had again been working a lot more with psychoacoustics again, but his positive support inspired me to explore this field more. Sebastian is the perfect partner for that, first because he is a fully fledged musician and also because he loves that kind of subtle work as well. Hohberg and I first started to make music back in 2006/2007. We both love making music to open your heart, tickle your brain and move your butt!
Sebastian Hohberg is a long time friend and studio partner, but what was the turning point for you two to come together in this project?
It just naturally developed. The common ground had been found, the curiosity was there and we just met up again and again and again until it was clear we wanted to create something big together.
What other artist can we expect to see on the Otherside?
Christian Vogt is the next one coming. We focus on one project at a time. Whoever comes after Christian, gets our undivided attention then.
The Otherside is still pretty fresh. How do you imagine the label in 3 years from now?
That’s a very good question. I actually wanted to meet up with Hohberg next week to discuss that in detail, thanks for reminding me, I’d better text him right away! Of course I want us to be releasing mind-blowing music and I want us to be doing our part to stimulate and inspire people around the world with exceptionally wonderful music.
What was going on between you and Ten Walls in the beginning of this year?
Oh, that’s high class confidential information! Haha, I’m kidding, nothing is up, all is cool with Ten Walls.
Your debut on Desolat was in May 2013 with an EP called “FTS EP”. Your new release “Sinus Tones & 808s EP” is expected in October. As we are very excited, can you tell us more about this EP?
The EP contains four tunes and a bonus track. It takes you from my post-Love Family Park euphoria (“LFO”) via the yearning feeling I had after a gig in the Middle East (“Delusion”), up to different spheres of trippiness (“Sphere”), directly into a Berghain-like sex song called Tone 2.0. It starts off monotonously and then simply explodes. Just like sex in Berghain, haha! Oh and for those who get the bonus track “Busy B”, that the debut release of my alias called Großmeister Butch Blitz.
What is your relationship with the Desolat guys?
That’s a relationship of unconditional love and maybe sometimes a little bit too much fun haha! I have huge respect for their achievements and their work. Big shout out to my Desolat guys, let’s rock this!
We know you have been working on a new album as well. Can you tell us more about that and what can we expect from it?
The album is a ride through space, time and various states of consciousness. When we completed the album and showed it to some friends, basically everyone had the feeling that this is a very visual project, meaning the music definitely evokes images in the listeners inner eye. So we decided to go full throttle and are currently working on a short movie for the album. The album is of course an album in itself and now has actually grown to also be the soundtrack to a short-movie. So even though the album is complete, I am excited to say that this project is even more alive and in the making as we speak!
Where are you going to release the album/which label?
We haven’t decided yet, we are currently talking to a few lovely labels.
Now that summer is over, upon us is one of the most important events in the electronic music scene – Amsterdam Dance Event. You are going to play on two events in one day – the Dockyard festival at NDSM and Loveland later on. Will you be preparing differently for both of them?
Honestly, I never think that far ahead. I go to the studio every day when I am not playing a gig and this way I simply live from moment to moment. As soon as I arrive at Dockyard I will dive in, absorb the vibe and will play what I am inspired to play at that moment. Then I will go to Loveland and do the same, take up the energy there, love the opportunity to share music I love with people who love to dance and do my best to create a wonderful experience for all. Every gig is an opportunity to do that.
You have been in the scene for quite some time, for about 20 years now. Looking back at the very beginning, and comparing to now, are you happy with where you stand in your professional career?
Yes, I am really happy with my career. I am very grateful that I live the life that I live.
What do you have prepared for the new year?
I am currently totally absorbed by the short movie project that I have running, not spent a thought on what will happen after that really. Now that you ask though, it is very clear to me: I’ll focus my energy on the live-set with Hohberg and rock every cool club in the world with him!