On September 15 and 16, the San Bernardino air will be booming with bass from across the music spectrum when dozens of electronic music heavyweights and up-and-comers bump and grind through the looking glass into Nocturnal Wonderland for three nights and two days of camping and dancing. Among them is Northern England’s Josh Butler, who started generating buzz in 2011 thanks to gigs in the UK, a residency at Sanky’s Ibiza, and winning DJ Mag’s Best Breakthrough Producer Award in 2014.
Most recently, Butler dropped a remix of “I Want You (Forever)” by Carl Cox, which was included on his Toolroom podcast with Mark Knight in August. “I went for a tense breakdown that builds using some of the original sounds before dropping into a fresh, dancefloor-friendly groove,” he says of the remix. It was a circle-of-life moment for the DJ and producer, who was first turned on to Coxy as a kid.
“I was just 18, and I went to his Revolution night at Space. Fatboy Slim was also on the lineup that night!”
Butler’s other influences include Kerri Chandler, who released Butler’s No Frills EP in 2012.
“We first met when I was playing Showcase in Paris. Kerri invited me over for a Madtech label party, and we hung out at the club before the party began. Kerri is a very knowledgeable guy, and he is always happy to share his passion for house music with me and others around him.”
Others who have supported Butler in his rapid ascent include Nile Rodgers, with whom he toured a few years ago. “It was an absolute honour to tour the UK with Nile and play the warmup sets for the band,” he recalls. “It really is an experience I will never forget!”
To get us in the mood for the bucolic shenanigans sure to ensue at Nocturnal Wonderland, Butler prepared an exclusive mix for Insomniac.
“The mix contains some brand-new music from myself and also artists from my label Origins Rcrds, alongside some tracks that I’m enjoying from a number of other artists,” he says. “I have tried to treat this mix as if I was playing in a club, so throughout the mix, it slowly progresses, evolves, and explores a few different avenues within house music and my tastes.”
Whether it’s in a club or outdoors, Butler clearly knows how to move a crowd.
Nocturnal Wonderland 2017 takes place Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16, at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. For more information, visit the official website.