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Picking up plaudits left and right through an impeccable catalog of club cuts, Josh Butler is making an indelible mark as a primo producer. The tenacious talent from the UK is turning in his latest two-track EP on Noir next week, which throws a rub to house music and its origins. Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, the title cut, “The Essence of House,” is built around a recorded convo with Lono Brazil, a big-shot label exec who was in tight with heralded heads Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan. Skipping key phrases and tightly knit percs give Lono’s spoken word the proper sonic scenery they deserve.

For the run on the flip, Butler sides closer to floor, as he keeps the vocals sparse, electing to work them in at only the most opportune of times. With swinging drum programming and huge, sleek stabs, the tune falls in line with the forward-facing cuts he keeps busting over our heads.

Available August 24 via Noir Music.

Were you impulsive on this track, or did you have a sketch in mind before you started?
Once I had recorded the conversation with Lono talking about his musical experiences in late ‘70s/early ‘80s in Chicago with Frankie Knuckles & Larry Levan, I took the audio into the studio and made the basis for the track in a couple of hours. Everything came together really naturally, as I just jammed. There was no real plan, apart from capturing the authenticity, emotion and drive of house music.

Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process of this track that made you feel as though you were creating something pretty damn special?
I think before I had even touched any music, I thought it was something special. The recording with Lono was two hours long. I sat down and listened to the whole thing again before starting. It’s a fascinating listen and a rare insight to some of Frankie’s life and career.

Do you think advances in computer technology and gear have affected your creativity?
Yes and no. Yes, because there are very little limitations these days with sample times and VSTs, etc. But I feel this can also be a problem—for me, anyway. I enjoy working with some limitations and boundaries. I think it’s half of the fun and find it can be inspiring.

What’s the takeaway here? Is there a message or vibe you hope to get across to listeners?
The message is that house music brings people together, opens people’s minds, and creates positive attitudes. House music has an indescribable energy that people from all walks of life, all races, and all religions can connect to.

Choose one feeling that sums up this release, and describe it to us.

How does this production reflect your personality/ethos?
For me, clubbing/dancing has always been about clearing my mind—a sort of meditation. This track captures the essence of the atmosphere that was happening in Chicago at that time. It was all about “closing off the world,” as Lono talks about. “It was like church, man. People weren’t talking; the music was talking.”

Follow Josh Butler on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud
Follow Noir Music on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud



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