You can’t learn house music, you have to live it before completely understanding it. Or at least you need to be around the scene for a certain amount of time to achieve a full awareness of the way it is produced, the magic it can create and the way it combines past and present in a unique way. It’s a tough challenge and we could start this little review with an abstract of the history of the genre – or we cancel that and just point out that Andy Butler, the mastermind behind disco project HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR is a highly qualified expert of everything house music once was and today – again – is. From the roots back in Chicago in den 80s, to the New Yorker branch Butler helped creating with, up to the ‘hear and now’ in form of the currently rising comeback of the traditional house-music besides all that fancy and shallow DAVID GUETTA-like rubbish.
Ever since Butler visited his first techno parties in his home town Denver as a teenage kid he got infected with the music, the dance vibe, the soul and groove. Especially house music became an obsession for the young man – he started playing this disco-influenced and always a bit more funky and soulful sounding variation of classical techno with a passion as DJ. His project HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR came later and transported the oldschool vibe into a new era. Butler and his group became icons of modern day queer culture – not only in New York City. Freedom, liberty and good vibrations – it is what house once was and shall also be again today in the understanding of Butler. For his contribution for the legendary DJ-Kicks series, the producer attempted the balancing act of combining all these influences into one fine and grooving DJ-set that is just too irrisistable to leave its listener cold.
A view on the tracklist already hints the direction of the HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR DJ-Kicks – it’s not about big names or hits, it’s about the vibe, the real influential classics from the genre. Butler selected a lot of the old 12-Inch-singles he played and still plays when he is DJing – recently witnessed at an amazing set on this year’s Berlin Festival. Records from the late 80s and mid 90s, the high peak of Butler’s club presence. But there is new stuff too, like Release Me, an exclusive track by his group for this sampler. And due to its oldschool atmosphere, it fits seamlessly into the vibe of the set. Funky and deep basslines, a lot of percussion, house piano riffs and adorable vocal contributions make these tunes sound warm and natural, although they are pretty rough and the same time. It’s this balance Butler loves within classical dance hits. And us – being still beginners in the scene – couldn’t be happier about such a lovely and honest introduction to this world as with the one Butler presents.
HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR
electro / dance
from New York, United States