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Butch Cassidy Sound System

Alex Smoke

Welcome to the world of beat technician, professional prankster and all round musical genius Butch Cassidy. The much anticipated debut album ‘Butches Brew’ is a diverse and fascinating installment of reggae bliss from the man behind the Butch Cassidy Soundsystem, 26-year-old musician, writer and producer Michael Hunter. Michael’s gritty, yet harmonious style defies all genre boundaries, and creates an organic sound often missing from modern reggae soundsystems. Over the last 7 years Michael has recorded under the name Pablo for Good Looking Records, Guidance, Fenetik and his brother Paul’s Red Hook Imprint. The last 3 years have seen Michael putting together the Butch Cassidy Sound System album project, an idea to fuse his obsession for rare breaks, hip-hop and early 70's soul and Jazz with roots reggae, as he says ‘because nobody else has done it’. The results are pretty amazing. Look out for Michael’s diverse production, showing us why the Butch Cassidy project is far more than just reggae. There is soul, funk, r&b, hip-hop and house all on show. Despite the main reference for the album being a firm focus on 70's reggae, Michael takes the individual tracks in very different directions. 'Brothers and Sisters' is an up lifting house tempo composition, that as well as being very popular with breaks DJ’s, when released on a limited 12" was played at Body and Soul for months and became an end of night classic. However, his version of the Meters classic 'Cissy Strut' on which he played all the instruments himself, is a perfect mix of funk and reggae that again when released as a limited 7" flew out of record shops everywhere. For the recording of this project, Michael collected together all the vintage instruments, (which he played himself, even naming track 8 'The Putney after one of his favorites, which if you've ever seen one looks like the old Battleships game!) compressors and effects. He also mastered the album from two inch tape, to achieve the authenticity of sound he wanted, and to create, a perfect mix of funk and reggae. On top of producing the best reggae album of the year Michael also seems to find time to release the prankster from within. The story goes that Michael sent a white label to John Peel with a press release saying that Butch Cassidy Sound System was an 8-piece band from Birmingham. Peel played the track and introduced it as the above-mentioned combo. As a result of Peel playing the 12” Michael was contacted about taking the ‘band’ to play some festivals in France. He said they couldn’t do it as the Bass player had broken his arm…