From the North of England to dance floors all across the globe, Josh Butler has made serious headway with his high caliber house sound. Cut from the outspoken West Yorkshire club circuit and propelled towards the forefront of global club land’s next generation, an early affliction with solid club hits has made his name an essential one. The sound of Josh Butler is a club lover’s affair. Infatuated by the prospect of making people move and taking like minds into the early hours with intense club cuts, a packed room and a good vibe is what truly summoned Butler to the cause. On home territory, Josh has become something of an ambassador to the next generation of integral house advocates. True to the momentum of his releases, the past two years have seen global ears have prick to this groove favouring talent.
Josh Butler shares with MEOKO has a chat with us about his DJing career as well as sharing his top 5 tracks for summer.
Hi, thanks for chatting to me! Right now I’m in sunny old Leeds, UK working in the studio. Between this and touring keeps me busy.
If you had to describe your sound – or your unique selling point- what would you say?
My sound is House! Often my influences are drawn from other genres but it’s always rooted to House music and has to work on the dance floor.
You’ve helped take the classic structure of house music and meld it with outside influences and a disparate palette of influences. Do you think that the rise in popularity of dance music in the commercial sphere has contributed to a burst in the underground?
Oh yes 100%. I think people who have been introduced to dance music from the commercial side of things, who have a passion for it will want to dig deeper and want to discover where the commercial influences came from. This is 9/10 from the underground, lesser known artists and labels. This is where the real magic happens haha.
You’ve had a fairly busy couple of months lately and have seen your stock grow as a DJ – but how long has it taken you to get to a point where you are now? Have you had a particularly easy – or difficult – time?
It has taken me most of my life to get to this stage but I knew that I really wanted to make a go of this around 10 years ago. Obviously I was in no position to then, it was just a dream. But I was passionate about it. I lived in New Zealand at this point (age 16) and I moved back to the UK, on my own to start studying Music Technology at college. My family where still over in NZ for about 6 months so that was tough.
How did you first enter the world of electronic music? I read that you caught the production and DJ bug at a very early age.
Some of my first memories of electronic music were from my parents. My Dad is a big Pink Floyd fan and my Mum was in to the 90’s dance compilations CDs and Faithless, Delerium etc.. Then a friend introduced me the ‘Music’ playstation games haha. I was hooked and just went from there, then progressed on to Propeller Heads, Reason at age 13-14.
It also been stated that you approach your music with a less is more attitude – do you think that in electronic music there was a period of noise driven, overly produced music?
Yes by far I think simplicity stands out more. If the elements are right, why over complicate it?! Don’t get me wrong though I can still appreciate the over production of pop music. I think as technology moves forward, producers utilise it and aim for the most clinical sounds possible, but sometimes its just not needed.
You’re going to be playing at FOUND this year, a cutting edge party that focuses on quality 4-4 music. What can we expect from your Dj sets, and how would you approach this in terms of style and aesthetic?
FOUND is gonna be amazing!! Really excited for it. You can expect chunky house and techno grooves!
In fact, is this your first festival set, and if not, how do you approach it to that of a club? Are the two fairly different in lots of ways?
I played to a few pretty big festival crowds last year, which was a great experience but also challenging. Going from my usual club environment to an open air stage was quite a contrast, but I think they went really well. I never have a set list, I feed off the crowd, the environment and how I feel at the time.
You signed to some interesting labels, including MadTech and MTA, which is the label run by Chase & Status. How has your experience with working with labels affected your career so far?
Well I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for ‘Got A Feeling’ getting signed at that time I may still be dreaming about the position I’m in now. I had a release on OFF Records a few months before with Darius Syrossian, which was a big deal for me!! although a few months before MTA approached me I was job hunting. Having interviews at the bank etc, it could have all been a very different story.
Hailing from the North, have you seen many changes in your home scene? Is house music – and electronic music in general for that matter – becoming more accepted and widely acknowledged there?
In the time I’ve lived in Leeds there has been a massive increase in the amount of House nights. Of course, there have always been the key parties here but when I first moved to the city, Drum & Bass seemed to be everywhere. Maybe it’s just I’m not in those circles, but I don’t seem to hear of many D&B or Dubstep nights now. But yes maybe even people who were in to more Indie/band based music are exploring dance music nights now too.
Finally, what’s next on the cards for the rest of the year? Lots of gigs and a few more releases perhaps?
The rest of this year is looking crazy! There are some very very exciting collaborations in the works at the moment. I have just finished 2 remixes, 1 for Leftwing & Kody’s Lost Records and 1 for MTA. Also I will be in Ibiza and doing some festivals.
Josh Butler’s Top 5 Summer Playlist
1. Sidney Charles & Santé – All Night Long
2. Josh Butler – Take that
3. Di Chiara Brother’s – House Culture (David Glass Remix)
4. Tender Games – In a Mess (Dale Howard Remix)
5. Josh Butler – Feelings & Meanings
Catch Josh Butler play at FOUND festival on the 14th of June
Click HERE for more information