Russell E. L. Butler The First Step EP on 12" Vinyl
Following up from the highly regarded God is Change EP on Opal Tapes in 2015, Russell E.L. Butler returns in exemplary form to the label for this beautifully and brutally positioned EP of pulsating techno, modular synth acid flex and modern electro warp all conducted from his table of hardware. The A side's tracks "Without Fear" and "The Chill" see the sun up and glowing with their bucolic charm and rolling bounce, the depth of modular processing forming a kaleidoscopic centre one can stare into.
The B side is a much colder affair, the sun drops and mutated 101-esque squelch oozes out into the dark dance floor. Hard acidic burns carry the track out into closer "Privilege," it's formant synthesis swallowed and stomached sickly, the track is Butler at his best, marrying evolving percussive patterns and trademark Detroit-ish sulking pad's with a joyous sense of release in the lead acid line. Walking a thin line between light and shade this track introduces us to an artist reaching forwards with their machines.