Butterz, DJ Champion’s Set at Cable, and Recording Raves

I’ve been listening non-stop to Champion’s set from the Cable rave for the past three days. I listened to some of Elijah and Skilliam’s set and wasn’t too into it. They tend to really showcase the Butterz roster, or anyone associated with them, every time they get on the buttons. Which is cool, but I can only listen to a Swindle remix for so long before I switch to something else. But regardless, E & S are consistently great, and everyone else’s set was massive.

It’s so interesting the height and distance Butterz goes to really make what they do more than just “something”. How do I explain this?… The Cable rave, which is essentially just a club night with DJs/producers coming to spin, was more than just another party– Elijah and Skilliam really mapped out the hype that went into the show. Day-to-day promotion of the show, yellow flyers & color branding, paper ads and blasts. As well as recording almost everyone’s DJ set and putting it up for download the very next day. When these dudes put something together, it’s not a show, it’s a capital-e Event.

And in London, where the party scene is oversaturated and you can find multiple club nights with incredible DJs on any given night, it’s hard to really create a stand-out party. But Butterz is the label, right? And a Butterz party is the party.

Like I mentioned before, Champion’s set really caught my attention. Though, he’s been getting proper attention from everyone for almost a year now. Critics typically would call him a UK Funky producer, but I get more of a grime consciousness from him, exploring how far Grime can go with that calypso 130 bpm pattern. I’d first heard of him via a Maxwell D spit with his tune “Lighter”, which sounds kinda like a Kuduro instrumental with a slick grime flex. Tune stuck out like a sore thumb.

The first-half of his set at Cable sounded a lot like his Fact mix that came out a couple of months ago. Going through big tunes like the Lighter VIP, Breach’s Fatherless, his remix of Bad Girl and Like a G6, Motherboard, etc. Big tunes that I really enjoyed jamming to in the car. Especially his “Like a G6” remix, which is massive. Terror Danjah barked: “This tune is fucked!”

I’d never heard so many wheel-ups, pull-ups and rewinds in a set before. Terror, who I enjoyed a lot and is an amazing MC, could not help but stop every time a massive wobble came on. I don’t blame him.

Champion’s second half was what I want out of any Producer-playing-DJ’s set– classics that sew the threads together and really highlight where the producer’s sound comes from. Sticky, Ms Dynamite, Wookie, Alias– these are all influences of Champion’s and he put those sounds on the frontline. Obviously all his tunes were rewound.

What I really liked about all of the Cable set recordings was how personal it made me feel when listening to it. If Terror Danjah said some ridiculous shit to the crowd, I laughed with the people inside the place. When Champion put up the Lighter riddim, and TD was yelling, I was yelling. It felt like some transcontinental synergy. Everyone at that rave and everyone bumping to the DJ sets in their car– I felt like we were all on the same page.

The guys at Boiler Room had the right idea, and Elijah and Skilliam, as always elevate the levels.

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