Josh Butler Interview: the beauty of making music is experimentation

We caught up with rising star Josh Butler as he prepares to tear Gorilla limb from limb on Saturday 24th May.

Jimmy Coultas

Date published: 8th May 2014

Image: Josh Butler

Part of the glory of house music's recent resurgence in the pop charts has come because the underground has got more interesting. Case in point rising star Josh Butler, who has been taking the thud of classic house and mixing it with a wide variety of disparate influences to create his own sound.

It's seen him release on labels owned by house music puritans Kerri Chandler and bass music superstars Chase & Status (Madtech and MTA), collaborate with Darius Syrossian and Hector Couto and support from BBC Radio One big guns Pete Tong, Annie Mac and B Traits alongside underground mainstays such as Green Velvet, Steve Lawler, Maya Jane Coles and more.

He's scheduled to add a swaggering groove to pop starlet Ellie Goulding in the summer and is off to plays Covert & No Hassle's joint effort at Gorilla in Manchester on Saturday 24th May alongside the Adana Twins. Ahead of the show we caught up with him.

Hello Josh. Are you looking forward to heading to Covert on May 24th? Is Manchester somewhere you particularly enjoy playing?

I’m really looking forward to this one, yerr! Manchester is quite a special place for me. My first real experience of playing House music in at a decent club night was at The Attic near Oxford Road. A few years later I then had my first residency for iDiOSYNC at Joshua Brooks.

For those of us who haven’t seen you DJ, how would you describe one of your sets?

Energetic house music made for the dance floor. I sometimes venture in to areas of tech house and techno as well depending on how the party is going.

How did you being signed to Chase & Status MTA label come about? Did you have any idea that ‘Got A Feeling’ (below) would be the Beatport Award winning monster it turned out to be? 

It came about quite randomly actually. I got a phone call one evening a couple of years ago, I was on my way back from Morrison’s doing the food shop haha. It was Will from Chase & Status. He said that they loved the track and wanted to work with me. That was that!

When I wrote the track there was never any goals for such success, it was really unexpected but it means so much more because it was a natural process, nothing was ever forced. My friend, Jose, who sang the vocal really nailed it!

You’ve recently put out a killer EP on Kerri Chandler’s MadTech imprint. It seems you've taken a darker, tech-ier tone with this one. Do you enjoy experimenting with differing styles within house and techno? 

Yep, the 'No Frills' track (below) is a slightly darker, stripped back dubby groove. I listen to all styles of music so I find it hard to stick to producing just one area of house. For me the beauty of making music is experimentation and drawing influences from everywhere I can.

What have you got lined up for the summer? Are there any festivals you’re looking forward to playing at?

I have a fair few Ibiza dates lined up for Tribal Sessions, Creche, and We Love. More info on those soon. Also I’m buzzing for Secret Solstice in Iceland and Found Festival in London.

It seems in the last couple of years your career has really gone into overdrive. What do you think it is about your sound / style that people are lapping up? 

I have always been determined to bring elements of my other favourite genres in to my music and I think the timing was just right for what clubbers wanted to hear. House music is about energy, so coming from a Hard House background, I feel helps me create this.

Have you any more productions or remixes on the horizon that we can look forward to?

Of course! I have a couple of remixes out over summer. One for Leftwing & Kody’s label, Lost Records, and one for MTA. Then over the back half of summer will be some more original releases, so stay tuned.

And finally, you have the power to throw the ultimate rave. You can play alongside any DJ from the past or present. Where would you have it, who would be on the bill, and what track would you play to define the evening?

Interesting! I am really in to the idea of parties in abandon spaces so it would be in an old abandoned theme park.  The bill would be something like: Carl Cox, Kerri Chandler, and Laurent Garnier Live. Then other side of the park would be a reggae soundsystem with Lee Scratch Perry, Mad Professor, Johnny Clarke and I would play a King Tubby tribute set!

Upcoming Events At Gorilla, Manchester

Here are the next 4 upcoming events At Gorilla, Manchester

Parable presents: Booka Shade live in Manchester
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Parable presents: Booka Shade live in Manchester

Gorilla, Manchester

31st May

11:00pm til 4:00am (last entry 2:00am)

Minimum Age: 18

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

Parable make their debut in Manchester this May and we're bringing along our good friends Booka Shade!

Reggae Bingo - Manchester - Sat 1st June
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Reggae Bingo - Manchester - Sat 1st June

Gorilla, Manchester

1st June

7:00pm til 10:00pm (last entry 8:00pm)

Minimum Age: 18

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

Reggae Bingo - Manchester - Sat 1st June 7-10pm Gorilla, Manchester

Official Parklife After Party with Uncle Waffles Featured event
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Official Parklife After Party with Uncle Waffles

Gorilla, Manchester

9th June

11:00pm til 4:00am

Minimum Age: 18

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

Parklife x Habitat present the Official Parklife After Party with Uncle Waffles.

JAMES - Afterparty
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JAMES - Afterparty

Gorilla, Manchester

14th June

11:00pm til 3:00am (last entry 12:00am)

Minimum Age: 18

For ticket prices, please click here (Additional fees may apply)

Join us at Gorilla for the JAMES Afterparty on Friday 14th June. We're spinning tunes from 11pm in t...