Since 2010, Butterz have been representing for instrumental grime like few others, developing young producers like Royal-T, Flava D and Swindle while earning the trust of the older guard (Skepta, JME, Wiley and Kano have all performed on Butterz stages, and seasoned producers like Spooky and DJ Q have become affiliates).
2015 marks five years of Butterz, and has been the label’s most successful yet. Wiley, Footsie, P Money, Rapid and more have contributed to records on the label, and they closed the year with a double-CD compilation Grime 2015, but just as importantly they’ve built their regular clubnight, Jamz, into a mini-empire. There’s plenty to be down about in UK clubworld at the moment, but Jamz is a beacon of light – and it sells out up and down the country.
Produced and directed by Wouter Westen, with contributions from both the Butterz camp and some of grime’s biggest stars, this documentary charts the Butterz story so far. Pull Up pays a sincere homage to the underground rave scenes who’s origins derive from London UK, the mecca of some of today’s most widely appreciated and anticipated music and artists. The episodes explore in fine visual and audio detail each one of these cornerstone movements, unearthing the intimate relationships youth culture and the city share with each other in the development of the musical landscape.
Conceived from a genuine involvement in grass-root musical culture and not merely on popular trend, each portrait delves into the mechanics of the respective scene being investigated. From the people behind the labels, the collectives they represent, the newly emerging to the old hands spanning a whole spectrum of sound (notably Grime, Garage, Dancehall, Reggae, Drum ‘n Bass, Hip Hop and Bassline), they stand alone as honest chapters in an organic encyclopaedia of cultural insight and discovery.
The first episode explores Grime through the eyes of the Butterz label. Having been a catalyst since its conception in 2009 by DJ’s and curators Elijah & Skilliam, they have raised the label to the forefront of this young genre, seeding the sound back into the clubs through their infamous label nights. From breeding some of the truest greats to nurturing the dons of tomorrow, their energy resonates from the productions they release to those who jump on their sets. Now in 2015, the sound has earned its stripes, moving throughout the country and the world with Butterz leading the charge.
Witnessing Grime through their eyes, the camera literally embodies a member of their crew, capturing raw atmosphere and the characters who form it up-close on stage, behind the scenes, on the road and after the shows. Simultaneously, it amasses the madness, studio vibes, everyday pondering and reflections felt with a graceful cinematic overlay, underlining the authentic exchange between people, their surroundings, and the bona fide hustle of the scene’s DIY mentality to making it.