A staple feature of Ibiza’s party scene for several years now, Josh Butler is a DJ you know you can trust to deliver a set that doesn’t rely on obvious, safe tracks of the moment.
It’s for this reason that he’s being booked for the likes of Paradise at DC10, and why industry legends like Groove Armada are releasing music on his label, ORIGINS RCRDS. It’s also why UK promoters, Love Amplified, have chosen Josh as one of the headliners at their debut Ibiza event at Benimussa Park on Friday 26th July.
We caught up with Josh ahead of the event this week to find out a bit more about his summer, the changes he’s seen in Ibiza, and how he prepares for a set.
Somehow, we’re now halfway through 2019 – what have been your standout moments from the first 6 months?
I know it’s flown by hasn’t it! Earlier on in the year I did a round-the-world trip – starting in New York for Viva Warriors, then to Miami for Miami Music Week and then straight over to Australia & New Zealand for a three week tour there before finally finishing up over in Indonesia and Asia on the way home. It was one of the best trips of my career to date.
I’ve also just got back from a long weekend on the West Coast of the States which was brilliant. I’m a big, big fan of where the scene is going in the USA right now.
With the summer in full swing, newsfeeds are inevitably filled with Ibiza posts – have you got a big summer lined up on the island?
I played my first Ibiza gig of the year a couple of weeks back at Hï Ibiza with Black Coffee, Nastia and Lazare Hoche which kicked off my season with a pretty high standard and was actually my first time playing there. Looking ahead, I’m also very keen for my sets at Solid Grooves later this month and then returning for Paradise at DC10 in September.
It feels like there have been a lot of changes this summer in Ibiza – what are the biggest changes you’ve seen since you first started coming here, either as a clubber or a DJ?
It honestly changes every year. The whole world is changing more rapidly than ever these days. My first time in Ibiza was over 10 years ago now. The main difference is there was no social media!!! That alone allows for a much more blissful escape from reality, which is what going to Ibiza was all about for me. It was about switching off from the outside world and tuning in to some of the most cutting-edge dance music on the planet at that time. The Balearic magic is definitely still there if you know where to find it, but unfortunately it’s become quite hard to escape groups of silicone-filled faces taking selfies for their Instagram stories…
Later this month, you’re playing for Love Amplified at Benimussa Park for their debut event on the island – what do you think is the most important thing that Ibiza promoters need to consider for their events these days?
This venue is going to be another first for me as an artist. I went to Zoo Project here when I first started going to Ibiza so I’m mega excited to finally play here 10/11 years later. It’s a very tricky question for me to answer, because of course I’m not a promoter, however, Ibiza is obviously a very competitive place to throw an event so finding that little thing that makes you stand out from the crowd is of course key.
Benimussa is one of Ibiza’s most unique venues – which do you think is more important to the vibe of an event, line-ups or location?
I definitely think both are equally as important, you can of course have one or the other but if you manage to get both right, you’re doing things properly. Also, the running order of the line-up is always key, I love progression in terms of both music and energy over the course of an event.
Do you approach daytime events differently to a night-time club set?
Usually yes, but my sets are never the same twice so this is actually the same with every show. I actually take a huge collection of tracks ranging from 100bpm warm up material through to say 130bpm peak time, and I have no idea what tracks I’ll play until I’m at the venue. I always try to arrive an hour or so before my set and stand in the middle of the dance floor to feel out the vibe, figure out where my head is at and suss things out from there. Some of my favourite sets this year have been daytime/early evening ones!
Speaking of club sets, we hear you’ve got a club tracks album on the way?
Yeah that’s right. I don’t really want to use the term ‘album’ as such though because for me an album needs a concept and progression. I’m actually not really a fan of dance music albums! For that reason, mine will be released as two separate packages – it’s more a collection of tracks to show the range of my personal tastes and also the scope of styles and genres that I both enjoy and play, essentially like I mentioned in the previous answer. So, expect material from the slower, classic sounding deep house for those warm-up/daytime sets, to some more heavy hitting, forward-thinking house tracks.
And finally, what else have you got lined up for the second half of 2019?
I’ve got some really cool festival gigs coming up such as Eastern Electrics in London, 18 Hours Festival in Holland and also Electric Zoo over in the States, so keep an eye out for me across your summer! I’ll also be playing a couple of ADE gigs with my mate Joris Voorn in October, whilst on the release front I’ve got a release coming up on Solid Grooves called ‘Right Time’ and I’ll also be back on remix duties for my label ORIGINS RCRDS as Groove Armada return to deliver their second EP with us.
Josh Butler will be playing at Love Amplified Ibiza on Friday 26th July @ Benimussa Park. For tickets and more information HEAD HERE.