Josh Butler is set to put out the first of three vinyl-only release under his new KAHU alias. Beaverworks is the first, an intuitive, tribal club cut that draws on Josh’ s experiences of Maori culture as a youth. As a limited edition project, KAHU provides Josh with the opportunity to exhibit a darker side to the underground house that he has become so synonymous with.
We spoke to Josh about his new project, his influences, and why his newest productions have been split into a new alias. “In my spare time I’m always in the studio making something, not always for a specific release but I have now started to build a collection of similar sounding tracks genre wise.”
The word KAHU comes from Maori mythology and means Harrier Eagle. Josh spent most of his youth growing up in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand where Maori culture is part of everyday life. “The style of music brought back memories of my time over there and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. So the idea went from there.”
His sentimental connection to New Zealand is part of the explanation for the vinyl exclusivity. “I still buy vinyls as much as possible and I’m hooked on it. I think there’s something really special about buying a record, there’s a personal attachment that you don’t get with an MP3. Because this project was partly inspired by my time spent in New Zealand as a teenager, it felt right to keep it exclusive and kind of sentimental. ”
The last time we spoke to Josh, he revealed the breadth of his influences, and it is exciting to see these manifesting themselves more explicitly with the new project. “The percussion is based around tribal rhythms with elements of dub reggae delays and the use of space in the mix but I think it still remains in the House and Techno world.”
“The KAHU music is slightly left field compared to my usual productions. Generally more minimal, a little harder and heavily influenced by tribal rhythms.” This is not to say that the two projects can coexist. “This project is about expressing another side of my musical personality so I don’t see there being any harm in associating the two aliases.”
KAHU is due to release 6 tracks on three vinyl-only EPs. “I have no plans after the 3rd release yet but never say never”.