The Warp debut by Glaswegian Ross Birchard is certainly one of the most interesting albums that 2009 has dropped in our collective laps. Butter is a beautifully chaotic swirl of influences: L.A. glitch-hop, smears of Warp’s spacier back catalog, and at its weirdest there’s charmed allusions to 1970’s prog/experimental masters The Mahavishnu Orchestra. It’s a wonderfully experimental affair, something far more worthy of the Warp branding than the label’s current top seller Veckatimest.
Trying to pick a song to feature here was a bit of a challenge. On the whole, Butter is a long and twisted affair, a bit exhausting to listen to from front to back. It’s strangely uneven too, with some songs congealing more than others, though that is often the byproduct anything so experimental. Still, it’s still one of the best this year has brought forth.
When I first took a pass at the album, the track that kicked my ass the hardest was ZOo00OOm, because…well, I’m a sucker for a killer synth lead. Amidst the hard stomping ghost of an electrified Dilla beat and the fluttering Casio bleep accompaniment is a hard synth that creeps out an almost cheesy sci-fi sounding melody. It’s one of the more linear and charmed tracks on the album; equal parts head-nodding wonky goodness as well something to put on at high volumes to scare the piss out of your cat.
Seriously though, I’ll throw $20 bucks on the table for whoever can get Outkast back in the studio and have Hudson Mohawke produce the album. Fuck, that would be epic.
Also epic – the Butter album cover:
Butter was released by Warp Records on October 27th 2009