Music / Track of the Day

Track of the Day: Butane – The Pressure [Extrasketch]

Although Halloween is officially behind us I’m sure there are a few parties abound this weekend to extend the holiday a bit longer and today’s TOTD attempts to stick with that vibe. . I personally dove right in on Wednesday and went to see the legend Juan Atkins perform at a intimate pop-up show that was the perfect marriage between geek and techno, with costumes thrown in for good measure. The show was hosted at MIT Media Lab lobby, and featured 2 rooms of dancing delights. Juan hopped on the decks at 11 and went well past his allotted time enthralling crowds with his blend of classic vinyl and new school techno.

I digress! Today is sort of related as I return to the TOTD series with some fresh techno from SF native Butane, and his latest single ‘The Pressure’ off his Turnt EP released today via his new-ish imprint Extrasketch. Butane has has solid footing in the scene for quite a while now, supplying my sets with some amazing music as well as some great DJ tools from his celebrated Little Helpers label. ‘The Pressure’ is the second song off this 3 track EP, and has all the ingredients for one of those extra late night sets, when all the lights are off except for the flickering of the mixer and decks and the entire room is on the same wavelength.

I don’t usually get hung up on genres, but it’s safe to say that this track has a wonderful minimalistic aesthetic to it. It’s actually some I always love about Butane’s music, and how he has the ability to create impactful dance floor music with just a few distinct sounds. It’s personally something I always struggle with in the studio; trimming things down. If I’ve learned anything, especially from his Little Helpers releases is that getting just a few instruments, drums and FX just right will go a long way!

So to start, I’ve had a listen to the track a few times now, and at first I thought the vocal sample was playing tricks on me. I thought it was trying to say ‘the pressure’ and the vocal cut was just manipulated heavily… However, after a few goes around I’m quite certain it’s saying ‘compression’. Either way, the outcome was effective as the vocal is captivating and has a certain hypnotic effect to it as it drones along to beat.

This track sets the tone off right from the get go, and establishes itself with a thumping kick, and brooding sub. The looping vocal starts out heavily filtered, almost inviting the audience to get a bit closer to speakers to have a proper listen. A slapping tambourine and claps join the arrangement to progress the track forward, as an eerie synth stab joins in on the fun. What’s great is that without warning the vocal line just opens up, and were off to the races! The final touch to this track that I love is this combination of a looping hiss and shaker that give the percussion just the right amount of energy and shift to keep the listener and their feet fully engaged.

All in all the whole EP was a treat to listen to and has already gotten me pretty excited for a follow up from Butane and his Extrasketch. You can check out the whole EP here:

Enjoy and celebrate the weekend safely!

Alex

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