Butch aka Bülent Gürler

Butch's t-bone techno
Surely last year must have been the busiest year for Bülent Gürler aka Butch, one of the best and limelight techno producers from Germany. Hailing from Mainz, Butch is widely known for his entertaining and still tough techno productions, covering all mainstream, underground and so called minimal-tech aspects of contemporary electronic music.

He was nominated for the "Best Techno Producer" at 2007 Beatport awards, although he did not make it through, he continued working hard in his studio and kept the fans rocking with his delicious and smart productions mainly released from Great Stuff, where also sees the release of his enormous debut double CD "Papillon". Containing a mix CD made up of the best releases of Butch and Bülent Gürler, "Papillon" offers a wide spectrum of electronic music and mainly techno at it's best.

Butch productions always contain claps, cartoon samples, ethnic crumbs and pumping basslines as well as weird grooves and chords. He definitely has taste for doing good and above the line electronic music. His releases from Great Stuff, A.F.U. LTD. Craft and Trapez shows winde range of techno he is capable of.  And his sales show that people like him so much! So do we! Here is the Butch interview, a bunch of T-bone techno and words from the man himself...  

Can you talk about your days as a kid and as a graffiti artist? What were your inspirations at that time?

Hmm, I expect I have always had creative energy. Basically that is what artists do, they express their emotions through their art. Painting was something that connected me to my friends, it was exciting and something to look forward to during the days. Basically that was the start of my schizophrenic problem . At daytime I was this normal Turkish boy with little to do or say, but at night I could make my own mark on society! 

And what happened then and you started digging vinyls and DJing?
Well, I wasn’t really a crate digger as such, I loved and still love vinyl, but simply couldn’t afford it. After having watched Wild Style and DJ David, who actually break-danced on his record player, I knew that was my thing. So I became a Turntablist and in my opinion, if you’re good, you don’t need many records to have a cool show. As I said I only could afford very little, so I learned how to make the most out of a few break-beats and sample-records. Great experience and fun!

You are the rising techno producer from Germany (you already had a fame for your name Butch and was nominated for the best Techno producer at Beatport Awards this year) but i really wonder your family's home city in Turkey? Also i wanna hear some about your childhood memories. Have you been visiting Turkey at the summer time?
Hmm, I have a small problem with Turkey. My father died when I was little and to be honest, I never really got the support from my family from abroad, I would have needed. But of course I am Turkish. At least that’s what the Germans say. The Turks say I’m German. I say, I’m Bülent. But of course it can also be lovely being in Turkey, I like the more open-hearted mentality, not taking yourself too seriously and, very big plus, the weather and countryside.

What will you say about being a 2nd (or 3rd) generation Turkish man living in Germany?

I am lucky to be in Germany, even though that is connected to a lot of problems as well. Germany is the only country where you can be born without being offered the citizenship. Basically that says it all! The idea of being German-by-blood is still very dominant, which doesn’t make it very easy to be seen or to see oneself as German. That really sucks! Also this integration shit, I mean, yes, Germany has a lot to offer and yes, there are some things I don’t like about Turkish mentality, but the Germans could also learn from our culture. That is what they don’t get, they could really also get something out of it for themselves. Integration here means; ”-be like us, walk like us, think like us and shut up!” But I don’t want to shut up!

What about the Turkish community there, what are they up to? Will we see more artists or producers like you? Will you be a role model for them, because it seems that your carrer will go on evolving...
I don’t know man. All I can say is, it has been a very, very long and hard road to be where I am today and I still have fears of not being able to pay the rent and eating in 5 years time… I tell everyone who has problems: Be creative and active in your free time and get a good education! And if you’re lucky, you might earn money with your creativity, but don’t reckon with it.

What effected you the most on doing electronic music and especially techno?

The vibe, man, when a bass-drum kicks in, you are alive! And as I said, I always loved the night life as from my spraying days!

You have such different monikers and you release a variety of electronic music but i am curious about what other stuff do you like to listen?
A lot of guitar music, big SOAD fan! I also play the guitar in my free time. And I love good oldschool Funk, I love HipHop, Wu-Tang, Onyx, Snoop… Everything with some rawness in it gets to me, even though I have recently found love for cheesiness, as long as it’s well down or at least got good ideas in it!

There is always a little bit of humour and ethnic crumbs in your music, like in the track "Tickles", you had the "Ud" riff sampled. Do you like traditional and world music and binding it with your musical approach? In other words what is your sound formula?
If I can’t get something out of my head, I do it. Simple as that. And the groove elements have to sound good! Very important!

Other than AFU, Great Stuff or Trapez, which other labels and producers do you like these days?

There are some very good labels interested in me; I will work with AFU again soon, not just because Thomas [Heckmann] has one of the best pair of ears ever, but also because we get on very well! Then my friend Amir and I have started a brilliant label called bouq.records, I will also release there together with Amir. I have also done a song with Virginia Nascimento that is signed to Area Remote. And there is a lot more in the pipeline, trust me, it’ll be good (smiles).

You have a really busy booking schedule. Where do you like to play the most? Or let's ask you best experience ever? Where was it and how was it?

My parties at 50Grad are usually very very good! But then again, there’s no place like home . Rex Club and Cocorico were cool as well.

What do you think about minimalism being less popular these days (except Berlin) and the deep funky and nudisco madness all over?
I don’t know, it’s all just trends. They come and go. There is good minimal, there is good house, good disco, good deep and good uplifting music. And of course good Techno. I will never say I only play this or that, I try and build up a set, that functions, introduces the listener to different electronic styles and still is homogenous. Not always easy, but my ambition!

You debut LP "Papilion" was named after a movie which inspired you. Could you please talk about it a little bit?

Well, I spent the last two years at two places: The studio and the club. Like a prisoner, same as Henri, the protagonist. Well, maybe a bit more voluntary than him . The next connection is, that the film is very good. Same as the album .

How was the process of selecting tracks and finishing the album?
I just produced and produced and produced and produced. I had loads of material, none worth being simple digital releases, but then again I can’t have 20 singles coming out in one year, that’s a simple overkill. I had 18 songs on the Original album, but Great Stuff and I chose to make a 12 track Album with a second CD a “Best-of.-Butch” mix. I am proud of my work and changes throughout my career. I love hard beats as well as dubbed out house, “don’t pigeonhole me!” is what this double CD tells you!

What other releases will we hear from you soon?
The first priority is this album. I’ve got a remix on Suchtreflex, the label run by our friends Piemont from Hamburg, coming out in November, which is very laid-back and lovely. But I think you’ll only get solo projects of mine again next year.

What do you think or know about the Turkish electronic music scene? Do you have any suggestions to the bedroom DJs and producers around here?
Eat more sucuk! And don’t close your mind towards music and find out what connects the music you like!

Beer, wine or Rakı?

Absinth! If Gaugin and Van Gogh loved it, why shouldn’t I ? No, only joking, I’m probably more the shot-drinker, cause I don’t really like the taste of alcohol!

Is there anything you would like to add or say to your fans?

Buy music and especially mine! Don’t think about dogma’s that hurt people. And don’t do drugs!

Interview: Christopher Çolak
16 November 2008


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