Melbourne`s Butter Sessions are celebrating their 10th Anniversary. I have to admit that I was late to the party. The first I heard of the imprint was care of Noise In My Head / Efficient Space`s Michael Kucyk – who alerted me to Butter Sessions often pounding output, when he collaborated with them on the Domestic Documents Vol. 1 compilation in 2017. Having covered that release, I kept in touch with label founders, Sleep D, aka Corey Kikos and Maryos Syawish. Particularly taken with their more dubby excursions – although definitely not balearic, and seldom supplying soundtracks suitable for sipping sunset cocktails – I’ve tried to squeeze in reviews of their Funky Alternatives wherever I can. Roy Batty Jr.`s industrial electro, and surprise gamelan gong meditation, Guy Contact`s 303 techno and trance shapes, Mousse`s ruff, rude, jack, Cale Sexton’s post-house Detroit-influenced ambience, and Turner Street Sound`s mutant dancehall, all rocked my boat, as did Polito, Midnight Tenderness, Ewan Jansen, Furious Frank, and Nummer`s electric shaman-ship.
These birthday celebrations find Butter Sessions releasing a trio of E.P.s, featuring 22 artists, and representing members of the Butter Sessions family – likeminded avant techno activists – from all around the globe. While the label`s focus has always been on the local musical community and homegrown talent their roster here extends to folks from the States, Japan, France, Canada, and neighbouring New Zealand. This, I guess, the result of – prior to the pandemic – a lot of these young people interacting, making friends and connections, as they check out Europe, and especially Berlin.
Make no mistake, the music here is pretty heavy. Expect no half-stepping. The kicks do just that, while the snares are industrial strength. B-lines growl and dubwise rattles, raising room shaking walls of sound. Wild rituals of dance-floor derangement, devils in its details, shimmying in its shadows. Hypnotic sci-fi sequences refracted like neon reflected on wet city streets. Teflon-coated tribal tones and distant ceremonial chants. Gated drones creating kinda kosmische (ecstasy) symphonies – masterful mind-altering motorik. Righteous dub techno skanking to giant JA-inspired subs. There`s pace-y, playful, electro, fidgeting metallic funk. Bottom-ends booming. Beats and breaks constantly mutating – racing, dangerously, like rapid bursts of fire from a machine gun. Movie dialogue samples hidden deep within snarling and sleazy obsidian oscillations – their whispers like stalkers in the dark. Crackles of Tesla coil lightning shaking any vocals apart. Squelch-y boogie segues into woozy sound collage. Timothy Leary snippets ride a Cerrone / Supernature-esque throb – encouraging your surrender to the void. Oh yeah, and there`s acid, for sure – banging all the way to and through the Bardo.
Ten Years Of Butter Sessions is available to order over at Bandcamp.