By E.R. Pulgar
Even among deep house purists who know the dynamic of the genre much revolves around community, and thus lacks a hierarchy, it is known that Martin Buttrich is a force to be reckoned with.
Founder of the influential house label Desolat, he is known over the world as a powerhouse figure in Europe’s dance scene. With the European house scene gaining momentum and being so widely represented in Brooklyn recently, as seen by Time Warp Music Festival’s wildly successful U.S. debut, it’s no surprise that the High Priest of the genre himself would make his way to one of Williamsburg’s most popular nightclubs for his “#9414 20 Years of Martin Buttrich” tour with associate and Desolat co-founder Loco Dice.
With two floors and a rooftop that welcomed club goers, Output was the perfect club to house Buttrich. The audience, all dancing off their faces, were wrapped in the intimate experience of getting lost and finding oneself on the dance floor. Although this effect is what the genre is known for, Buttrich’s prowess on the turntables proved to be a more intimate approach than most performers of the genre. One would not be far off if they said the set was reminiscent of a religious experience, with one of the genre’s leading DJ’s segueing dancers into the early hours of the morning with hypnotizing beats.
The mezzanine in the back of the venue where Buttrich, and Loco Dice after him, were working their magic was clearly visible and audible no matter what part of Output you found yourself in. Whether on the roof or the front of the turnstiles, there was not one person sitting down. The utter control that Buttrich had over his audience was intoxicating, which absolutely made up for the uncomfortable tightness of the space.
Even with the large venue, people were constantly on each other, and saw many fans going to the roof to relax for a bit. Those brave souls that stayed near Buttrich, dancing the entire night inside the venue without any breaks, were rewarded with an intimate set by a grandmaster of deep house that lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
This tour embodies the 20 years Martin Buttirch has spent in this industry: hard-work, not giving up, founding labels, signing DJs, and bringing his vision of the European scene across the world.
He has crafted an empire, and seeing him play such an intimate set such as this one shows a massive talent that has not forgotten his humble beginnings playing small clubs in Germany. It’s a rarity nowadays to see such a big act stay true to its roots, and Martin Buttrich is an embodiment of humility and stage presence, somebody well-deserving of a twenty-year career that shows no signs of slowing down.
E.R. Pulgar is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org