Artist: Martin Buttrich
Title: Well Done
Label: Four Twenty Recordings
By: Colin C. | 28 November 2006
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Serafin Mix

Martin Buttrich "Well Done"

Out Now on Four Twenty Recordings

To say that Martin Buttrich has been an integral part of what "progressive" is today is quite the understatement. By hiding behind numerous aliases, while also keeping Timo Maas' productions on point, he has crafted an impressive catalog of work. Most of us know Martin from the Silver Planet releases he crafted as Mad Dogs (with Timo, Leon Alexander & Andy Bolleshon), as well as their work as Orinoko, but there is a solo side to his work and its only been in the past few years that he’s been able to step into the light under his own name. 'Well Done' marks the 28th release for the Four:Twenty label, and finds Martin evolving past his known body of work and into a simple, yet effective production sensibility.

With the original starting things up, we find Martin picking up where his last Four:Twenty release leaves off; minimal, sexy tones pulsating over a deep mind numbing experience. This is quite the change up from his earlier work, as both he and Timo are developing a new found respect for minimal, quirky grooves. The opening of 'Well Done' reads like a Plastikman track as a low pulsing bass line wanders as thin, echoing percussions move in to slowly build the track. It really isn't until the two-minute mark where the sub bass kicks in and the track evolves into something a little more dance-able. The hypnotic feel pulses onwards, now complete with a squelchy synth line filtering in backed by a thin, rolling tom pattern sucking us further into Martin's world. The breakdown is also kept simple, building down to the tom roll briefly before launching back into the groove. This is one of those tracks that grows on you each time you listen to it. At first glance you might quickly come to the conclusion that this is just another "electro" tune, but with Martin's skills he's able to make something far more haunting and mesmerizing. Pulling this out at midnight in the main room might clear your floor, but strategically placed in the opening set, or layering it into the bug-out sounds of 4-5am will find it doing the trick just nicely.

With the remix duties relative new comer Serafin comes in with his interpretation, which again stays in form with the latest direction Four:Twenty is taking. Keeping the minimal approach he drops in with a hollow kick and clap as his twelve minute remix kicks off. The catchy simplistic quality of the original is lost in this interpretation as Serafin works out a slightly more cluttered arrangement and really leaves nothing in the low end to shuffle this along, yet the original riff gets to ride in the front of his groove as we fall farther into his remix. It isn't until about half way through before he slips us down out of the deeper elements and into a sparkling synth arp. Here the track makes a 180-degree turn into an uplifting minimal house groove complete with floating pads. It’s an interesting take, but at this point feels more like an original production than a remix, having the majority of the original feel of the track replaced. At about the nine-minute mark it begins to get more soothing and starts to leave me wondering how we got here. I would be a little fonder of this mix if he had found a way to incorporate that great sub bass lick under the floating elements that he conjured up, otherwise it feels too detached from the original.

My only complaint would be the lack of a stronger remix; this track would have been better suited to a Daniel Taylor or even an Elias Tzikas mix to add some grit. However, this will be one of those releases that people will either love or hate, depending on how attached you are to the past work by both the label and Martin. I personally am glad to see both parties trying something new, even if it means turning away from a sound that was some-what commercially accessible. To me "progressive" music needs to stay progressive, and Martin seems to be amongst the ranks that are still trying to accomplish this, even if it means stripping away all the lush, drippy, stacked up soundscapes that made 'Sudden Journey' the gem that it is.

Music Reviews -more-