Self-Portrait: Butter Sessions

Its no east feat for a label to make it to 10 years in the game, but when its foundations are built on community values and the inspiring artists orbiting their musical sphere, it’s destined to go the distance. Thats certainly what Melbourne’s Butter Sessions contribute much of their longevity to.

Masterminded by DJ and production duo Sleep D, who are as much known for their own hazy, hypnotic output as their work on the label, Butter Sessions has become a breeding ground for like-minded artists from across Australia, and further afield, including Ewan Jansen, Jennifer Loveless, Guy Contact and Cale Sexton.

Its this extended family of artists and collaborators that form the backbone of their anniversary project, a three-disc series that celebrates the musical path they’ve trodden over the last decade.

In similar fashion, their Self-Portrait mix provides a snapshot of the sounds and artists who have made the imprint what it is today, encompassing the past, present and future of the label—as well as a couple of tracks from the label bosses themselves.

10 Years Of Butter Sessions is out now – grab all three parts from their Bandcamp.

Let’s start with an ice breaker, what’s your earliest musical memory?

M: Ragging Assyrian bangers at weddings every weekend with my parents.

C: Listening to my mum’s Silence by Delerium CD on the home hifi system.

Did you have a particularly musical upbringing?

We’re both self taught. Brought up on electronic music magazines / forums, experimenting, late night radio shows and underage clubs.

Taking it back to the beginning, can you tell us a bit about where the idea came from to start the label? What’s the philosophy behind it? How has that philosophy evolved since launching the label?

We started the label to release our own music. There wasn’t much foresight at that stage but we quickly realized we had an opportunity to create a platform to share music from our friends and the small but strong scene at the time (around 2012). The philosophy has remained the same since that realization. It’s always been about growing our community and propping up the music and art scenes we love as best we can.

Butter Sessions has supported many Australian artists since its outset and community is obviously at its core. Can you talk us through the family you’ve built around the label?

Absolutely. As we just said, the community aspect of the label is what keeps it going. We’re constantly getting inspired by new producers, artists, performers etc that pop up around us. It keeps us feeling fresh and full of ideas with our own music making too. We couldn’t ask for a better community to be involved in. We’re truly blessed 🙂

Are there any labels that you look up to or have inspired you along the way?

We’re usually more invested in artists rather than labels. With that said, Borft Records and Sex Tags definitely aligned with our philosophy and we found inspiration in their controlled but chaotic approach. We were lucky to work with both of them on multiple occasions which opened our minds to the possibilities and gave us confidence in the lawless angle we take.

Since starting Butter Sessions what has been the greatest difficulty you’ve had to overcome?

Probably juggling all the different things we do. Mainly the label and making our own music. Over the years as the label has grown, more time slips and balancing the two different mindsets can be a challenge. Also receiving records from the plant on time…

And the greatest achievement?

Keeping it going to this milestone 10 years.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about starting a label?

Build a community around it. Don’t fuck people over.

This mix is comprised of 100% original Butter Sessions material. Could you tell us a bit about it? Any tracks that are particularly special to you?

It’s almost 100%! Two of the tracks are Sleep D tracks coming out on Cocktail D’Amore soon. It features unreleased tracks from upcoming LPs by Guy Contact and Yuzo Iwata, an upcoming EP from POLITO and recently released tunes by Jennifer Loveless, Vanessa Worm, Cale Sexton, Furious Frank and Jon Watts. It’s like picking a favourite child…we simply can’t.

You’re about to celebrate your 10th anniversary, congratulations! How are you celebrating this milestone?

We just celebrated in Melbourne with three different parties, calling some of our favourite local artists on. We also just put out a three-disc compilation featuring over 20 artists. 

Aside from the 10 year anniversary celebrations, what else is coming up on the label? Any releases we should know about?

We have a few more albums coming up that we’re really excited about. Next is an LP by Guy Contact from Perth, followed by an album by Yuzo Iwata, an EP by Polito and Hybrid Man. Hopefully some other bits too! 

Time 2 L – Yuzo Iwata (Butter Sessions)
Earth Hydrosphere – Guy Contact (Butter Sessions)
Phantom – Sleep D (Cocktail D’Amore)
Against The Grain – Polito (Butter Sessions)
Out/Under – Jennifer Loveless (Butter Sessions)
Blue Light – Furious Frank (Butter Sessions)
Ishinoko – Haruka (Butter Sessions)
Mania – Cale Sexton (Butter Sessions)
To Be Continued – Vanessa Worm (Butter Sessions)
Prohaasation – Jon Watts (Butter Sessions)
Sundance – Yuzo Iwata (Butter Sessions)
On The Run – Polito (Butter Sessions)
Airbags – Sleep D (Cocktail D’Amore)
Hero – Yuzo Iwata (Butter Sessions)
Voices From The Bedrock – Guy Contact (Butter Sessions)

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