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Celebrating Twenty Years of Martin Buttrich

The quality-obsessed producer speaks to his origins in music, Tom Jones, and Detroit’s artistic relevance.
November 25, 2014, 11:32pm

Martin Buttrich never thought he would become a producer.

In the early 90's, he was a young man developing a love for electronic music as he experienced it in the clubs of Hannover and Berlin for the first time. Then at 16, he was exposed to music production through a friend who was writing music with nothing more than Cubase and a keyboard. It wasn't long before he began dabbling in his own productions and eventually releasing his first record on German label Adam & Eve in 1994.


"I never had a plan to become a producer," he said. "Things just came together on its own ovtomer the years. After releasing a few records my appetite for knowledge of production grew."

It wasn't long before his talent was recognized and people started asking Buttrich for remixes of their own music. However, rest assured that it wasn't only for dance music. "In the beginning I did everything under project names. This way I was able to do whatever I wanted for every genre I was interested in."

His open-mindedness helped him develop skills not only with synthesizers and drum machines, but also vocals integration and other instruments.

"The love turned pretty much into an obsession and I cared only for raising the quality of electronic music and turning it into a sound adventure. This led to people wanting me to work on their records."

Fast-forward to 2014 and Martin can reflect on 20 years of renowned success in the music industry. He has worked on a myriad of records outside of his own productions and cites some of his favourite highlights: Bootsy Collins, Tom Jones, Brian Molko, Kelis and of course his Grammy nomination.

"I'm still making music," he said. "It's a good excuse to celebrate among friends and music lovers."

Martin is celebrating his successes with his #9414 tour, which spans from September 20 to December 20. The tour features different guest artists and friends to share the stage with him on each individual date. He has just completed the first leg, where he performed in key European destinations. The second half of the tour will see seven North American dates and kicks off on November 26 in Detroit with Carl Craig.


"There couldn't be a better place to start the US tour than in Detroit with Carl," he said.

Buttrich and Craig are anything but strangers to each other. After initially meeting via MySpace in 2005, Buttrich released "Full Clip" on Craig's label Planet E - a song that received acclaim as Resident Advisor's top track of 2006. The song edged out classics like "Who's Afraid of Detroit," "In White Rooms," and "Mouth to Mouth" for the top spot on this list.

Reflecting back on earlier studio sessions with Craig, Marin said that the influence from Craig was undeniable. "Being in one room with him definitely made me a bit nervous as he has had such an influence on me," he said. "But aside from being a fan, he is a master behind the knobs and faders and it is always a pleasure to work with people who are extremely skilled."

Martin and Carl will be working on a collaborative track during his visit to Detroit and the song will be included on Buttrich's forthcoming album, Collaborator. The album will be released in 2015 on Martin's new label, Rhythm Assault. Each track on the new album will feature a different collaborative artist and he says this will influence the album a lot and already make it different than his previous 2010 album Crash Test.

But it's not only Craig who has had such an influence on Buttrich. "Detroit is somehow a brand itself. Detroit may not be the birthplace of all electronic dance music but it is definitely the school of simplicity, minimalism and rawness. It had an effect on me in many ways," he said. "The fact that so many artists come from Detroit and have had such an impact on what I do today is impressive. The rest is in the books of electronic dance history."

It's no surprise, then that Buttrich is also a veteran of Movement festival in Detroit. He's performed numerous times at what many consider to be one of the most influential electronic music festivals in the world. He says the festival has always been a great time and that he enjoys it just as much as a fan as he does an artist.

"I think the past two years I stayed for all three days of the festival. I love the mix of artists and music that is presented every year. For me, it's always a good way to see what is happening in other scenes and genres."


It is perhaps this acute love for music that has made him so successful over his long tenure as a producer.

But there will always be low points. And for Martin, a faulty studio set up was one of them. "The one [studio set-up] that was right next to my bed for about a year. My life was based on music 24/7. It was a bit too much at that point."

Now it seems he has created a healthier formula for himself. To us, this is a good thing. The electronic music community certainly stands to benefit from another 20 years of output from this iconic artist.

You can check on Martin's Facebook page for the remaining dates of his #9414 tour.