By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
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By Scott Reitz
222 Hickory St.
Denton, TX 76201
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With his Thursday weekly at Simone Lounge alongside Usual Suspect (Anthony Robackouski), Butler, who plays as Ruby Rhod, is one of the few DJs in Denton who has not only been committed to a weekly dance event, but equally committed to pushing a blend of classic and forward-thinking music to a population that's traditionally been very rock-oriented. Butler says in terms of electronic music, people in Denton typically "don't know what they're listening to."
"I think a few more successful house party dance shows could draw them in. I am very much trying to recreate the party that happened a few weeks back," Butler explains, referring to a house party with DJs Andrew Barton and Bryce Isbell. That party had a light rig and a quality sound system, and he knows it's going to take something similar to get people to dance.
"It's got to feel dark, windowless and it doesn't necessarily have to be dirty, but just a hole-in-the-wall space that's a rectangular prism that people can just climb inside and dance," he says.
Formerly an avid supporter of the Denton punk scene, Butler was a member of the Angry Businessmen and even had a tape label he used to put out local bands' albums. This work led him to be an active member of the Denton music community, and gave him experience throwing parties and getting people interested.
After stumbling upon a 2-step/garage mix earlier in the year, he started browsing the worlds of UK funky, garage and future bass music, and has not looked back since.
"I could originally appreciate electronic music because I'm into hip-hop," Butler says. "It's music that's mostly sample-based and has a lot of electronic elements."
When faced with the task of getting other people to make the jump, though, he says it's a bit more difficult.
"Sometimes people just have to be fucked up at dance parties," he says. "I usually try to play a vocal people know over a song they don't know to get them used to it, but I think a few more successful house party dance shows could draw them in."
Butler's quest to present music that's related to dubstep, but not part of the laser-bass "brostep" movement, has led him to push Denton's producers to start DJing, often guesting at his weeklies, and put him in a dual role as DJ and scene curator.
"Many good bands leave Denton," he says. "And God bless 'em, get out if you can. But for those still stuck here, I want to find something fun to do."
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