Interview: Butch

Butch. Real name Bülent Gürler. Born in Alzey, raised in Mainz, Germany. Currently residing at Watergate, Berlin. Previously Sankeys Ibiza and Robert Johnson in Offenbach Germany. Voted “Best Producer” in magazines Groove and Raveline two years in a row. Is collaborating with Ricardo Villalobos under the name ButRic. Has released records on Desolat, Cocoon, Rekids, Sei Es Drum, and Moon Harbour. His latest release, “Dope”, included into Seth Troxler’s DJ Kicks episode. But everything actually needed to be known about Bülent, aka Butch, by far does not fall under the facts.

First and foremost, he is one of the most hard-working artists in the industry. Spending five days a week emphatically producing music, as well as performing around the world at various parties, he is never off always on. Because he takes it seriously? No, knowing Butch, probably not. It comes naturally from his pure and bottomless love for music. It probably started even earlier than getting his 12 year old hands on his very first own record player, or recording techno mixes from the radio, and through over two decades already, has put the artists name on various lists of All-Time Most Charted.

Butch doesn’t put the mask of seriousness on things. It is evident in his ability to mix. Few artists flow through genres and emotional landscapes with such ease and fluidity as Bülent.

His openness to absorb influence and ideas from everywhere goes to his productions. He fuses house and techno beats with hypnotic tunes, sound elements and inclusions of live instruments. Butch experiments “within the grey-area space between music of the body and mind”. There is no space for love it or leave it.

All that you hear from Bülent, is driven by his explorative and extravagant personality. And it’s true that with Butch, you never know what to expect, neither in his music nor his answers to an interview question. It’s what makes him one of the most interesting DJ’s and producers in this industry to talk to.

Bülent, it is great to welcome you again. Almost a year has passed since your last interview with Deep House Amsterdam. How was this year for you?

It was a great year, Hohberg and I completed our album and it was great to explore more of my experimental side. Now I grooved myself back into my club-style and the first result of that is DOPE. I am really happy to welcome the club-season back with a tune like that!

Actually, your track “Dope” was included in Seth Troxler’s DJ Kicks. I’ve heard he was open about working on the mix while high on acid, do you think this is why your track got in?

Haha, I doubt it, even though you never know with Seth! I believe the track is in the mix, because it is being released on his label and because he loves the tune. I know he sees its impact of it on the dancefloor. But yeah, there are many ongoing psychedelic sounds in DOPE and they might have tickled his brain in particular when recording the mix, haha!

Routine is a killer of creativity, some would say. While you are called one of the hardest-working men in the scene and as you said in the interview last year, being disciplined to work on your projects brings inspiration to you. How do you deal with routine? Where is your escape?

Funnily enough, my routine is my escape. The two places I feel really at home at are behind the decks and in my studio. Nowhere else comes close. Why would I need to escape from where I love to be?

Guitar riffs in The Persistance of Memory, recent collaboration Songs of the Consciousness with percussionist Sebastian Hohberg and many other hints throughout your productions reveals not only your love for live instruments but results in beautiful productions. What is usually the first element of a production that comes to you?

There is no usual first element, to be honest. Sometimes I start with a simple beat, punching away on my MPC. Sometimes I just start with some chords or with a melody, or I have no idea and simply experiment. I always work with whatever comes into my head first or simply use the machine closest to get some sounds out of it.

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Don’t tell anyone, but among the editorial, the podcast you recorded for Deep House Amsterdam in May, has been one of the best received so far. How did you go about track selection and what is it you wanted to achieve with the mix as a whole?

See also: Free Your Mind Podcast #003 By Butch/

Oh, thanks, that means a lot to me! Well, in the words of the immortal Forrest Gump: “Butch is like a box of chocolate, you never know what to expect.” I am versatile in my taste and buy loads of different styles of music and like sorting the tunes. That way I learned how to mix different styles and still create an in-itself fitting whole. When I play a set, I also wander from style to style, but in a flow-like fashion – I won’t create cuts that waken people up from their hypnosis.

You mentioned last year an idea for a short movie. Could you tell us more on how did that project go?

The film-script is complete and Hohberg and I finished the album. It is only a matter of time, until it all gets completed. I am in no rush though. Good things take time.

I have to confess, The Persistance of Memory is my favorite release of yours. It got me wondering how do you come up for the names of your tracks in general?

I always give titles which convey the emotion I feel when I make those songs. This specific song is dedicated to Dali, because in The Persistance of Memory, time just melts away and it is an audible equivalent of a peyote trip to me, haha!

What track do you would wish that you would have produced/written?

The Sky was Pink, James Holden’s original, no question.

You dove into dance music when you were a teen and haven’t swam out of it for over 20 years already. Have you ever thought, what would you be in a parallel world if you hadn’t got that record player when you were 12?

In a parallel universe I am now in prison and in another parallel universe I am a visual artist of some sort, maybe a painter or making videos.

What has the residency at Berlin’s Watergate brought you professionally and personally?

A fucking whole lot of fun, haha! And friends to have fun with, which is the most valuable to me.

You have traveled and played in many amazing locations and cities around the world. If you were to consider relocating from Berlin, which city would you choose?

Honestly, no other place in the world.

Over your career, who has been your most influential teachers and role models?

Every DJ, from superstar to resident in an unknown club and every producer whose songs I’ve listened to and played has taught me something: Either what not to do or what works. Every person has something to teach you.

What is the best piece of advice you have even been given?

The best advice I ever received was: “Your music sucks! The elements in your songs don’t fit. You should stop making music!” I won’t say who said it, but I think nothing has ever motivated me as much as hearing those words spoken.

Artist Page Soundcloud