A tech house heavyweight returns to a powerhouse label.
Martin Buttrich - Northeast / Southwest
When, in 2006, Martin Buttrich released his second EP under his own name, after more than a decade spent producing behind the scenes for other artists, he did so through Planet E. Resident Advisor contributors decided "Full Clip" was the best club track released that year, and listening back 12 years later, it's easy to hear the appeal. It had a majestic, symphonic quality that brought to mind some of the best music from Planet E label boss Carl Craig. The EP's follow-up, in 2008, included the equally anthemic "Stoned Autopilot," an emotive, synth-driven track it'd be easy to imagine closing an Innervisions or Afterlife party in 2019. Northeast / Southwest is Buttrich's return to the label, and it finds him trying to reignite those old flames.
"Northeast" is the closest in spirit, especially its grand synth lead, which could have come from the same synth patch he used on those past records. It takes its time reaching a crescendo, with Buttrich pouring on atmospheric details until the synths reach an explosive peak. "Southwest" is also a gradual builder but it uses more low-end swing to get people moving. Buttrich loses some momentum when he takes his eye off the bassline, with the melodic development becoming too busy and unfocussed. DJs who use loops could have fun with the track's first couple minutes, but perhaps it's better to stick with the A-side, which doesn't reach the levels of Buttrich's past Planet E glories, but is a worthy continuation of the lineage.