SOUND THAT WENT NOWHERE : BUTCH @ BIJOU BOSTON 01.17.14

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^ at least his massive overlay mixes felt strong : Butch at the Bijou mkix board

—- —- —-

The first Boston performance by Butch, one of the top attention-getting DJs of the past four years, should have been highly anticipated by house music adepts. Yet even at its fullest, the Bijou dance floor saw hardly 250 fans — and that number did not last long. That his big dance floor hit “:No Worries” — for a year or more, a staple of almost every DJ set — reigned almost three years ago, with follow up similarly successful, certainly hurt Butch’s numbers. That his set sounded nothing at all like his current top ten downloads at Beatport surely hurt his keeping even that small number grooving till closing time. What was he thinkling ?

Puzzling it was to hear Butch — real name Bulent Gurler, from the ancient, Roman city of Mainz on the Rhine River in Germany — play a set of low-note grumble, slow drag tempoed and almost unvarying. The mood was desultory, unfavorably different from the jokey flirtations that lift up his current top ten list. There you’ll find, for example,, “Foxy,” “Detox Blues,”Desert Storm,” “Highbeams,” and “Pompino,’ his number one : tracks of light step, a jerky shove beat, a dark grin, and all manner of sonar sparkle gracing some of house jmusic’s wittiest monologues, preaches, and repartee. At Bijou, Butch played almost none of it. His talk drops — he tooled up many — blended deep and almost inaudibly into the sound blanket. His beat tones kept on keeping on, with few of the fizz and sizzle streak breaks that delight his Beatport tracks. He didn’t evn play “No worriers” !

Instead of flirty shady house music, he played rumble growling techno. It proved not by any means a wise decsion.

Much of his unvarying sound fell so flat that I had to force myslef to pay attention. Nor did he use his mixboard much, to improvise a progression, stutter an eight-bar, or shine any glow on a talk drop. mlostly he just cued up a track and let it play itself — which would have woeked just fine had he played his masterfully chatterboxing top ten tracks and more. His talk drops — “sleep together amnd sleep the day,’ “the info babe, the info, baby’ and “we size you up” — could each have driven a catchy story in rhythm, had Bugtch cared to craft them; but he let the opportunity pass, every time. his set’s best attribute was the long, powerful overrlays with which he often led from one atrck to the next. Overlay music has soul power to move even the thickest heart, and Butch’s overlays had soul and heat both; but he let the power generated therein go undeveloped ; again an opportunity missed, a desire squelched. No wonder the club floor cleared out shortly after mid-set, leaving barely 50 peopl ein the room for the set;s last half hour. Which, frustratinghly, finished strongly on a massive overlay mix that sounded like a sigh and felt like a shrug.

Local DJ Tamer Malki’s opening set had more movement, more variety, and spri9ghtlier talk. It was more convincing a Butch set than Butch’s.

—- Deedee Freedberg / Feelin’ the Music

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^ some stayed to set’s end — but not many

Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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