Martin Buttrich is famously as fluent behind a mixing console as in front of a virtual drum kit. That technical prowess, combined with a fascination for music of every shape, has resulted in outstanding releases on influential labels such as Planet E, Four:Twenty, Cocoon, Poker Flat, Nervous and Desolat. He’s also put his sonic thumbprint on many big ticket artists, notably receiving a Grammy nomination for a Tori Amos remix in 2003. Such diverse musical horizons are rare. While other prolific artists may have slowly watered down their music, Buttrich’s star has risen in diametric opposition. His vision has become more and more condensed, more and more crystallised. Flipping and puncturing grooves in a live setting is a snap for him, and he’s entranced audiences at festivals like Time Warp and Creamfields, at temples of boom such as Fabric (London), Womb (Tokyo), Cocoon (Frankfurt), Panorama Bar (Berlin) and Amnesia (Ibiza) and at worldwide Desolat Experience parties with Loco Dice.
When people say “Buttrich’s music sounds amazing”, they’re not just talking about the catchiness of his compositions or the way he manipulates beats into unique tapestries. His skills with a sonic scalpel – that esoteric ability to navigate the spectrum of audible (and inaudible) frequencies – have given him cachet among sound engineers. An incredible work ethic combined with a flexible, curious, and humorous approach have made him truly great at what he does.
Buttrich’s journey into electronic music began in clubs in Berlin and Hannover at the dawn of the ‘90s, when post-Summer of Love-Europe began to swing to its own hypnotic, machine-like groove. At 18 years old he began experimenting with production as X-Rotation (with Daniel Bross), which led to the projects Rhythm Assault, Sounds of Life and Phunk Diggaz (with engineer Andy Bolleshon).
Buttrich began a notorious collaboration with his then co-worker at Peppermint Jam distribution, Timo Maas, in the mid-‘90s (they worked the telephones together). After setting up his first studio in the basement of the Peppermint Park studio building, the partnership led to over 100 co-productions and remixes that included Madonna, Muse, Fatboy Slim. Josh Wink and Green Velvet. Buttrich has produced funk legend Bootsy Collins, while switching the patterns for artists including Tom Jones, Kelis, Moloko, Depeche Mode, Placebo, Yello, War and Roger Sanchez. His Azzido Da Bass “Dooms Night” remix with Timo Maas hit the UK top ten charts.
All the while he created an impressive library of beats and collected an arsenal of music production equipment for his studio in Timetools, a studio complex founded in 1997 in Hannover with a group of musicians. Buttrich is happy with the subtle crunch of an SP-12 sampler and the ‘smoky’ vibe of his analog mixing desk – adding a bass guitar or other instrument when necessary. But he’s not above having fun with a laptop either: approaching music programs as if they were video games. He doesn’t rely on any one machine or music composition technique, and his array of outboard gear is mouth-wateringly state of the art.
But he never loses touch with the gritty, human side of music, and the environments that it is played in.
Another key musical partnership, with Loco Dice, begun in 2002, undoubtedly inspired Buttrich to delve deeper into the musical histories that first lured him towards after-dark melodies. In a short space of time they’d built up a deep discography creating an era-defining sound in the process. They spent more than half a year living in New York in 2006/2007, with half of Buttrich’s studio set up in a rickety hideaway in Brooklyn that looked out over Manhattan’s vistas. Between late night production sessions and snowstorms, their Desolat label came to life.
Having his debut solo album Crash Test released on Desolat in early 2010, Martin Buttrich is taking his vision to the road, fusing wild imagination with solid musical architecture, cherry-picked inspiration with true perfection of his musical craft.
Since then constantly on tour, in 2011 Martin Buttrich still has dropped a remarkable collection of music – productions like “Fire Files” EP on Desolat or remixes for Marco Carola and Lee Curtiss amongst others.
Currently based in LA, Martin Buttrich is working on his second artist album and a jazz project called The Stoned Autopilot.
Through his work as Dj, Producer, Dancefloor experimentalist, Remixer, Collaborator and label owner, Paul Woolford has succeeded in bringing a rare level of artistry to the world of modern dance music and in doing so, made an enduring global impact. His name is synonymous with high-quality. Early 2010 will see Woolford push his creativity even further with a with Renaissance Platform double CD release cultivated from a large amount of the finest quality original material from right across the house & techno spectrum, some brand-new material solely produced for this release, exclusive re-edits, exclusive takes on Woolford remixes and all lovingly crafted, spliced & diced using modern technology to deliver a product that blurs the lines between mix compilation & artist album, retaining the excitement, advent and movement of the former, and holding the attention the way the best artist albums do.
As 2010 begins, the projects through Woolford’s Intimacy studio in 2009 alone include Depeche Mode (the single “Hole To Feed” released December 7th on Mute), Simian Mobile Disco featuring Jamie Lidell (“Off The Map” forthcoming 2010), Morgan Geist “The Shore” for Environ (for which Beatportal awarded a ‘Bomb Alert’ and DJ Mag included in their ‘Killers’), remixes on the Ewan Pearson-produced band Delphic for R&S, The Juan Maclean “Happy House” for New York’s DFA, DJ Hell feat P.Diddy “The DJ” for Gigolo in Berlin, and Chelonis R. Jones “The Cockpit” for Systematic, also in Germany. On top of these remixes, there has been a fierce release schedule for Woolford’s own singles on his Intimacy imprint which began in April with “Pandemonium”, followed in May with “Timebomb” and continued into Autumn with the “False Prophet EP”. These tracks sparked feverish dj reactions from the global elite of house & techno including the likes of In the cannon for early 2010 is a Renaissance Double CD Compilation consisting of many exclusive tracks, re-edits and remixes and brand new Bobby Peru material to include James Zabiela’s re-working of “Knives” as well as a series of singles for Intimacy and other cutting-edge European labels. Aside from these projects, Woolford has worked on production and remixes for the Mercury Music Prize-nominated act Maps for Mute Records, and is also working with the band Delphic in various capacities, having sequenced their Minimix for Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show. The quality of each of these projects speaks for itself.
Initially inspired by the constant throb of the radio throughout his childhood, the seeds of his future direction were sewn by the time a record-collecting addiction kicked in properly during his teenage years. This insatiable appetite for musical stimulation has driven Woolford to explore far beyond the cutting- edge house and techno that is his stock-in-trade, and led him down more experimental paths, embracing aspects of improvised jazz through his collaborative work with Paul Hession, and taking huge inspiration from the modern composition of Steve Reich. All this is distilled within the techno dynamic that Woolford has made second-nature.
Paul Woolford tours the world constantly as a guest dj of the finest clubs and festivals, and in keeping with this made his peak-time saturday night debut at Spain’s esteemed Benicassim in summer 2009 and also at Glastonbury. Both shows are more famed for their rock acts and it’s testament to Woolford’s wide-range and inclusive values that he is as much a viable option to these events as he is to a 500 capacity underground sweatbox such as D-Edge in Sao Paolo. Other events have included Warung in Santa Catarina, Womb in Tokyo, Goa in Madrid, Panaramabar in Berlin, Il Muretto in Venice where he held a 6-week summer residency, Chicago’s Smartbar, Paris’ The Mix, Manchester’s Sankeys & The Electric Chair, Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo’s Pacha, Riccione’s Cocorico, Dusseldorf’s Tribehouse, LA’s Avalon, Las Vegas’ Jet, Milan’s Amnesia, Zurich’s Q Club, a career-defining performance in 2007 at Serbia’s Exit Festival, Buenos Aires’ Creamfields event twice, Global Gathering, The Glade Festival, Glastonbury ) and has a frequently exhausting schedule that runs into overdrive in the summer when his main weekly residency at WeLoveSpace on Sundays in Ibiza starts. He was awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ in Ibiza’s DJ Awards in 2006 and nominated for one of DJ Magazine’s ‘Best Of British’ Awards in 2007. In addition to this, he now holds a monthly UK residency at Matter London at which he can approach things in a different manner more appropriate for this worldwide hub of dance music.
It is with this highly personal and chameleon-like ability that Woolford makes his mark, creating bespoke re-edits built purposefully for each environment, ensuring that you KNOW it is Woolford and Woolford-only in the booth when you hear them.
Many know Paul Woolford’s name through the 2005 slow-burning hit “Erotic Discourse”, released on 2020 Vision, the Leeds label with which he made his name initially. The success of this proved he has the ability to create a genre-defining sound and led to sales of over 15,000, capturing the imagination of DJs across the board from The Chemical Brothers, Richie Hawtin and DJ Hell to Francois Kevorkian, Laurent Garnier, Trevor Jackson and Erol Alkan. It was Erol Alkan that described the track as “a modern day psyche record” and the track became a classic, spawning a legion of copyists intent on imitating the studio technique at the heart of the track. Rather than replicate himself with a swiftly produced facsimile of the track as many and most djs and producers do, Woolford sharply turned left and his next 3 releases were EPs of detroit-inspired techno and deep house for UK stalwart NRK. The tracks ‘313’, ‘Sealed In Amber’ and ‘Demons’ proved to be amongst Woolford’s best work, and perfectly encapsulated that mood of integrity, rather than cashing on the previous success of ‘Erotic Discourse’. Since this time Woolford has given birth to his Intimacy label which is now his first home to explore the myriad of different facets from across the house and techno divide, occasionally dipping into heavy experimentalism as with the collaboration with world-class free-jazz drummer Paul Hession on ‘Vanguard’, and also releasing the work of other artists such as Jet Project and Mat Playford. Intimacy is set to step up a gear in 2010.
Magazine Covers have included DJ Mag August 2006 (with Nic Fanciulli), One Week To Live October 2006, IDJ in January 2008 with a photo shoot from Tate Modern’s Doris Salcedo installation “Shibboleth” (after a personal email from Woolford, Salcedo gave her express permission) and an exhaustive 5 page feature to mark the release of his “The Truth” album on 2020 Vision.
Irrespective of your position on the dancefloor or listening at home, Paul Woolford’s tropes and idiosyncrasies are unmistakable and he has become a force to be reckoned with in modern dance music.