German House Music Explained: A Guide To 5 Essential Tracks By Butch

There aren’t many producers who can claim to have exerted as large of an influence in as short an amount of time as Mainz, Germany’s Bülent Gürler, better known as Butch. His productions and DJ sets string together disparate musical styles while while also maintaining an expertly-honed dance floor mentality. Butch’s mastery over distinct vibes—from massive peak-time breakdowns to after-hours psychedelia—and his penchant for bucking expectations has led his records to find their way into nearly every major DJ’s bag.

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Butch’s success is due in no small part to the one-hundred-plus releases he’s put out in the last five years. If tackling these on your own seems a bit daunting, we’ve compiled a list of must-listen material to get you acclimated before we celebrate Butch’s birthday at our Telekom Electronic Beats Clubnight at Galerie Kurzweil in Darmstadt on March 29. Take a listen below.

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“No Worries” (Cécille Records 2011)

This 2010 classic shows the more playful side to Butch’s distinctive sound by oddly chopping a classic house sample but mangling the lyrics. In an interview with Resident Advisor, Butch recalls a feeling in the club when he and several friends had one track stuck in their heads because they couldn’t understand what the singer was saying. “No Worries” accomplishes the same effect: the strange vocal cut will have the groove firmly implanted in your brain for days on end.

“ButRic/Balam (With Ricardo Villalobos)” (Sei Es Drum 2017)

On most of his peak-time, big room releases, Butch has a tendency to slip a more minimal or psychedelic track onto the b-side. While ignored by some, these tracks have regularly found themselves into Ricardo Villalobos’ sets, which eventually evolved into a regular collaborative project between the two artists. “Balam” shows Butch’s deeper side, where he crafts hypnotic, minimal beats speckled with samples and nature recordings that draw the listener in as the beat builds. Its gradual escalation and retreat are a far cry from his behemoth breakdown cuts, but these characteristics show a depth of creativity that make Butch a must-watch producer.

“LFO” (Desolat 2014)

Part of his Sinus Tones & 808s release for Desolat, “LFO” shows Butch in a minimalist, grayed-out zone. The spaced-out track eschews psychedelia in favor of heavy hardware grooves supported by a constantly-modulating synth that simultaneously lifts you up and slams you back down. Its hard, peak-time techno groove shows yet another shade of creativity in Butch’s versatile style.

“Dope” (Play It Say It 2015)

A new track that dropped in most world-renowned DJs’ sets seemingly all at once, “Dope” is Butch in pure form, endlessly looping infectious tribal drums while building atmosphere from small sound-bites. The record’s warm, deep house suddenly floods with crowd noise, building an immense amount of tension before dropping back into the groove. The eight-minute loop may not be ideal “home listening,” but it’s made for that perfect night-defining moment in a club.

“Sweet in the Morning (Vocal Version)” Cécille Records 2011)

This multi-faceted builder of a tune has hues of Butch’s different sides. The track begins with a circular minimal bassline that cracks open as nature samples and softer synths wash in. As vocals break through the mix, the rest of the track reduces to soft washes of noise. Giving you bits of euphoria before dropping back into the beat, “Sweet in the Morning” encapsulates that perfect amount of nostalgia juxtaposed with the right amount of driven, heavy rhythm.