Let's Talk: Josh Butler

British selector Josh Butler has seen more success in the past couple of years than most aspiring artists can only hope to see across their entire careers, with releases coming on labels like Rejected and Solid Grooves Records.

Alongside being a DJ and a producer, Butler also heads up his own imprint, ORIGINS RCRDS, where he has released tracks from Secondcity, Audiojack, Bontan and others in the past.

Now based out in New Zealand, he makes his debut on Dennis Cruz and Eddy M’s MÜSE, with his 2-track Switch EP. We got a chance to ask him about the tracks, what he has planned for ORIGINS RCRDS in 2021, and how he would put together the worlds first post-COVID rave.

Let’s Talk about your forthcoming MÜSE debut, how did this release come to be?

Over the first lockdown in 2020, Dennis and I did quite a lot of work together – talking regularly about music, ideas, releases and also making some collaborations. Whilst we were chatting he asked me to do a release for his label MÜSE and these two tracks came to mind straight away.

And it includes two original tracks, how did they come together in the studio?

These tracks were actually both written pre-covid. ‘Switch It’ was one of the last tracks to be recorded in my old studio before I moved out when the lockdown started. There were a few versions of the track and it took longer than usual to get it to a point I was happy with, but I think it really works now, it’s got some seriously weighty low end!

‘Addis’ was inspired by my trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where I played a really cool little event a couple of years ago. If you listen carefully you will hear some field recordings that I made while over there. The reason I sent this one to Dennis is he played for the same guys out there. Shout out to Guta and the crew at Full House in Addis!

Other labels that you have released with include Rejected, Hot Creations, and Solid Grooves, what kind of things do you consider when looking for a label to release with?

Firstly the style of the track will determine who I send it to. My productions can vary in style from the more uplifting house side of things to the darker, more techy sounds. But also little connections like the story I mentioned around the event in Ethiopia can help me choose where I place my records.

And your own ORIGINS RCRDS, where you have released tracks from Demuir, Secondcity, Bontan and others, what else can we expect to see on there in the near future?

We have a stacked release schedule this year! Tunes from Mat.Joe, Sydney Blu, Dantiez Saunderson, Dennis Cruz, Lauren Lo Sung, Dario D’Attis, Timmy P, and more music from Demiur as well as some up and coming artists like Manoova and Miguel Lobo. There’s loads more stuff too, its going to be a busy year for ORIGINS RCRDS.

At this point you’re a veteran of your craft, whether it’s production, DJing, or running labels, what advice would you give to any aspiring artists that are still early on in their respective careers?

The best advice I can give is to find your own style and make sure you’re offering something different to the infinite amount of music already around these days. Also, you better make sure you’re passionate about it because you’ll need to dedicate your life to it if it’s going to work – if you put in the work you’ll reap the rewards.

You’re currently living out in New Zealand, where we understand you also lived during your childhood, what brought that decision?

That’s right. The decision to move here when I was a kid wasn’t mine, my Mum and Dad wanted to emigrate from the UK. At the time I hated the idea because I had so many good mates at school in England. But once I settled in, New Zealand helped shape who I am today.

It gave me an appreciation and understanding of Maori culture and allowed me to connect to nature in a way I never would have when growing up in the North West of England. It was a very humbling experience as a young teen and the decision to move back during this period was heavily influenced by that.

And will you be heading back to the UK post-covid, or is New Zealand home for foreseeable future?

I will head back to the UK towards the end of the summer to do some shows and see family and friends, however my long term plan is to come back over this way more permanently. I like to shake things up every few years, and I feel that reconnecting with New Zealand has been really important for me.

Thanks a lot for chatting to us, and good luck with the new EP. Before we go, you’re given the task of organising the worlds first rave after covid, which venue do you book? Who’s on the bill? And what’s your door policy?

Venue: Tikal – which is an ancient city in Guatemala.
Line up: Patrice Baumel, Youandewan, Lazare Hoche, Truncate
Door policy: Weird and wonderful people.

Josh Butler’s Switch It EP arrives March 12th on MÜSE.