Techno psychonaut Butch is in town for Habitat’s rooftop party this Sunday, September 21. CLAYTON LIN chats to Butch about his beat-juggling origins, his special brand of EDM, and his vision for Sunday’s live show.

“I simply go to the studio every day I’m not on tour. After a very strenuous tour I sometimes have a day off, but nearly always I simply go back to the studio the next day and work for another 8 hours or so. The rule of thumb is: When I’m not on tour, I’m in the studio, every day, the whole day long. And I love it!”

That sums up the energy in which German-born (Alzey) and -bred (Mainz) electro maestro Bulent Gurler, better known as Butch, goes about his life as a DJ. He has plied his trade for over 20 years and knows his game inside and out. An artist that re-invents and experiments at will, Butch’s music is fluid – for him, genre is superfluous.

“I’ve grown very open over the years. I started out, as I mentioned, as a straight hip-hop guy, really into turntablism, very focused on the skills involved,” says Gurler. “All I loved listening to were those rough, super-fresh beats and mean raps. I first really got, really felt electronic dance music – house and techno – when I heard it in a club. That was quite a big shift for me. Over the years I’ve grown to appreciate classical music, pop, jazz, funk, all kinds of rock, whatever. I don’t care about genres, simply about the feeling I have, when I listen to it.”
Right now, Gurler and his long-time friend and musical collaborator Hohberg, a percussionist, are working on a project titled OTHRSIDE, his only release for this year. Butch keeps the details under wraps, but spills a little on what to expect.

“We both love making these trippy, hypnotic tunes together, and in the beginning that’s basically the music we made,” he says. “During the process we opened up more, experimented more, and worked with singers and other kinds of influences. Whatever we do, you’ll always find psycho-acoustic effects that play with your perception. Basically our theme is to make music that tickles your brain, opens your mind, uplifts your soul and moves your butt!”

When he is not working in the studio, he is on the road, with Hohberg in tow, as he plays to revellers in clubs all over Europe, where he made his reputation.

“Hohberg and I have clearly divided the roles we play and who does which work,” he says, of their live shows. “I take the role of fondling the controllers, handling the sound and the computer. I play the part of the conductor in the set-up, while Hohberg plays the synths and the electric drum-set and percussion.” That same level of organization is carried over into his studio.

“Hohberg and I have fixed days for us to get together, we plan those ahead of time. Of course, if he’s spontaneously got a free slot, he might just call through and come round to the studio at the spur of the moment. Usually we start making a tune together and then I work on it another day by myself. Then he comes back again and we re-work it and so on. A song takes a few weeks from the first conception until it’s complete.”

Butch will be landing his feet on Australia this week, with the first leg of his down under odyssey being at Perth, on the 19th. This isn’t his first time here, and he’ll be familiar with his audience and what they want.
“I stick to my guns: good ass music and a great party! In my experience Australians are always up for an incredible time and I’m sure we’ll boogie hard together as we do.”