Fast-rising producer/DJ Josh Butler is one of DJ Mag's current favourite house music producers, with recent tracks like 'Rebirth' and 'Miss You Less' nestling in as staples for warm-up sets by various DJ Mag Allstars over the past few months.
He's released on labels such as Lost, Viva Music, Ultra and Madtech in the past and has got a rush of releases coming out over the next few weeks — including 'Essence Of House' featuring Lono Brazil on Noir, the 'Snake Skin EP' on Avotre and 'MITIM' on Materials. He also recently released Fatboy Slim's collab with Macy Gray, 'Love Life', as part of Skint's 20th birthday celebrations.
Josh is just coming off the back of UK festival appearances at Secret Garden and SW4, and he held down a seven-date Ibiza residency at Sankeys over the summer. He also toured with disco legends Nile Rodgers and Chic earlier this year. Here, Josh sets out the tracks helped shape him into who he is today, owning up to an early grounding in trance...
01. PINK FLOYD 'Welcome To The Machine'
“My parents are huge fans of Pink Floyd, so I was surround by their music from an early age. ‘Welcome To The Machine’ is a song that still fascinates me. Hearing the swelling synth sounds and mechanical samples were so alien to me when I was younger. Also lyrics such as 'You’ve been in the pipeline filling in time' used to baffle me.”
02. RON HAGEN & PASCAL M 'Take You There'
“I remember first hearing this on a 'Trance Anthems' CD from around 2000. I would have been aged 10 or 11 at the time and had just started to discover basic music production software. There’s something about the vocal hook in this track that resonates with me. I feel that three-word phase has had a lot of impact on my style of production over the years. It’s powerful, energetic, thought-provoking... yet so so simple.”
03. TOTAL SCIENCE FEAT. MC CONRAD 'Soul Patrol'
“I'm a big fan of liquid drum and bass, this track was actually my ringtone for about two years and I’m still not tired of hearing it. For me, Conrad’s voice is the perfect balance between the MC world and deep soulful melodies. That’s what I try and achieve with my more soulful tracks.”
04. NIGHTMARES ON WAX 'Les Nuits'
“Ibiza chillout CDs were always something I’d buy if I saw them in shops. Nightmares On Wax records were (and still are) some of my favourite things to listen to during my down-time.”
05. KERRI CHANDLER 'In My System'
“Kerri is a huge influence on me in general, but this is a track that satisfies a lot of my musical tastes. With its beautiful chords, soulful vocal and stripped-back drum grooves, it can suit a lot of environments and situations. I think that’s what creates such a timeless-sounding record.”
06. GROOVE ARMADA 'Superstylin''
“I remember I was about 12 and my friend bought this on 12-inch. We sat around one turntable on his parents' hi-fi system playing it over and over again, slowing it down, speeding it up and scratching it back and forth. And to this day it sounds unreal, the bassline in it is untouchable! It has no doubt had some influence on me over the years.”
07. MR LEE 'Pump Up London'
“I’m sure a lot of people will agree here... a classic acid track with a hip-house/rap vocal such as this. It got me excited from the first time I heard it.”
08. JOCELYN BROWN 'Somebody Else’s Guy'
“Disco, soul and funk was never really something my parents listened to, however once I discovered it, I never let it go! This track has the ideal combination of all the right ingredients, which makes a classy, timeless pop record. It’s also a direct link to house music. Jocelyn Brown has sung on some of my favourite Masters At Work records, which have been a big inspiration for me.”
09. THREE DRIVES 'Greece 2000 (Original Mix)'
“Trance was a big part of my entry into dance music. The details that accompany the melody in this track are what make it standout. This was a regular one for me when I bought my first pair of decks, trying to figure out how to beat-match.”
10. TJR FEAT. XAVIER 'Just Gets Better'
“I used to buy the odd garage compilation CD as a kid and this is a track that always stood out for me. I feel the drum patterns in garage have influenced my outlook on drum programming and getting such swing, even from minimal layers.”