Five Essentials: Alexi Delano & Butane
Swedish producer Alexi Delano and Stateside’s Butane are certainly no strangers to the odd collaboration or two. The last few years have a seen the two combine for a handful of raucous, functional releases – firstly via Butane’s alphahouse imprint back in 2013, and following that ‘The Missing Story’ on Alexi’s suitably-titled Alexi Delano Limited a year later.
Both further proved their ability to marry rhythm with drive for maximum effect with assumedly relative ease. Jump forward to the present and their collabotative sound of course carries the same raw momentum, providing the 200th (!) release for Butane’s own, relentlessly productive Little Helpers.
The EP’s numerical track names are a clear indication of what’s to come: sparse percussive elements attack rather than populate but here the minimalism of previous works is replaced by unapologetic, club-ready shuffle. A marvellous way to usher in Little Helpers third century of releases…
To celebrate this landmark release, we invited the two to lay down their Five Essentials in true b2b fashion with a handful of Little Helpers material thrown in for good measure. Tech house heat right here!
1. Zia: Fracture – Turbo (Alexi Delano Remix)
This is a remix I did for a new artist on Tiga’s ‘Turbo Recordings’. The original has this female vocal line that I looped and made it into a hook that grows as my broken beat pattern rolls underneath it. From the original version I also took a distorted sounding synth-line that reminds me of a 90’s Prodigy track and I alternated it with the vocal I wanted to try something a bit different from what I usually do I got lucky because it’s been working quite well this one.
2. Francisco Allendes – Aroa Leon – Desolat
My Chilean countryman and dear friend Francisco recently gave me his upcoming album on Desolat and it’s full of proper jacking house tracks. Aroa Leon is one of them and besides the heavy beat with a killer 909 kick + a haunting vocal loop he occasionally adds a sequence from his beautiful modular system. Gets me every time. [No audio for this and the next, you’ll have to keep your ears peeled!]
3. Azimute – Morning Invasion – New Future Series
Another great gift, this one from Césare Marchese and Philippe Quenum aka AZIMUTE. They gave me this track more than a year ago and now they even have allowed me to use it as the first release on my new label -New Future Series (NFS). This is probably the track that I have been playing the most lately. It consists of a looped pad that slowly filters over a solid beat and a syncopated bass line. Some delayed vocal snippets and percussive organic instruments that come in and out of the groove help create an intense mood, this goes on and on till it gets you in a Kung Fu grip. This tune has never failed me.
4. DN3 – Silence – Irma Records
This to me is a beautiful piece of music that brings to mind Miles Davis, St German and even some Carl Craig. I’ve had this for a while but I decided to take it with me on the road once again. It works equally as well in the Club (if dropped at right time) or at home while having a romantic dinner. Think Modal Jazz meets electronic music.
5. Alexi Delano and Butane – Track 1 – Little Helpers
Yes, I will shamelessly plug this one. Hehe ‘Track 1’ from our upcoming collaboration EP –Little Helpers 200- on Butane’s own tool based record label, is a track that puts a lot of emphasis on two things: the baseline and an almost uncomfortable vacillating synth that swirls across the no nonsense beat; a simple combination that makes this track very effective.
“Any thoughtful and well-rounded DJ will probably tell you there are considerable challenges to making “top-whatever” lists, lest we be pigeonholed as only playing this or that specific style of music. I’m not going to over-think this. Here’s a cross-section, in five tracks (from House to Techno), of what you might hear me playing in clubs right now. Please buy all of these and feel good about supporting the indie artists and labels who make this great music.”
1. Tato – Temple (Balanze Remix) – Soloman’s Forest Records
First let me give a shout out to this cool little label out of Montreal I recently discovered.. The seem to have really discerning and diverse taste, and none of the music is cookie cutter. I really appreciate people who do things a bit differently. This track has an old-school sensibility, warm, weird, spastic and funky.. perfect for my housier DJ moments.
2. Flashmob – Little Helper 190-3 – Little Helpers
I’ve been playing this everywhere since we signed it many months ago, and it has never let me down. The baseline is pure filth. The track is a lesson in simplicity, which is exactly what we aim for with Little Helpers. I made a custom edit for myself that really turns the party up, but that’s not online so it’s none of your business. The original does the trick just fine, trust me.
3. La Fleur – Arms Around (C2 Affected Mix)
What list would be complete without paying respect to one of my favorite producers of all time, Carl Craig. He’s responsible for so many classics.. I own close to everything he’s done. This was released fairly recently, and it’s just catchy and clubby and fun and pure. Total party jam.
4. Chris Colburn – No Smoke – Decoy Records
Veering a bit more techno now.. This one isn’t new, I’ve been playing this regularly since it was released in 2012 and it just keeps finding it’s way back into my sets. Really the mark of a great track. When it’s time to get into a bit heavier-style techno, this is how I like it.
5. Butane – Armageddon (Techno Redux) – Alphahouse
Well that escalated quickly (shortest warmup ever!). Since we’ve gone off the deep end, I might as end with one of my own. This is straight up after-hours heat, if I’m allowed to say so myself. Anytime over the past year I’ve found myself playing in the right situation: early morning, dark room, smoke machine, big sound system, dance floor locked in.. I let this one rip and it does exactly what I intended it to do when I made it.
Alexi Delano & Butane – Little Helpers 200 EP is out November 3rd.