When the word got out that Buttery was going to record a new album using a small secluded farmhouse in Zululand as the studio, many of the friends and musicians he played with over the years arrived to contribute to his latest work. Such is the respect this world celebrated musician commands.
This background, with if you listen carefully, the sounds of owl and cicada left in the mix, have given what is largely an acoustic album, a lovely grounded, earthy mix which, if nothing else encourages you to stop and listen, to accept or reject, to enjoy or otherwise; one thing it will not do is leave you without an opinion.
The list of contributing musicians is legendary with Gareth Gale, Qadasi, Chris Letcher, Dan Patlansky, Will Ackerman, Shane Cooper and many more adding their talent and expertise to what is a true world-fusion mix of sounds both instrumental and vocal which, although is reflective of largely a South African tribal confluence, also reflects change, a new, fresh way of listening to what is essentially the pulse of life.
The rhythms shift and change from the almost discordant sounds of Werner Meets Egberto in Manaus to the mellow and interestingly titled Floop, where the various instruments used are more specific, delicately played and interwoven with the Wurlitzer organ, tying the elements into what could be considered a meditation.
And so the various pieces change and shift to the final piece 3/4 In The Morning, reflective, mellow, and gently played acoustic guitar and upright bass, creates the essence of the night gently letting go to a new dawning, a new beginning.
Buttery’s young life was influenced by his family’s love of music, his mother playing piano and his brothers on guitars. Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Dylan and Bob Marley where amongst the albums of choice played at home. Add to this, the sounds of the Zulu tribesman playing their Maskanda music, the sitar and tabla from the Hindu Temple close by and you immediately have a wonderful, unique and influential melding of sounds, cultures and traditions which today is reflected in this album.
The one dominant emotion which presents over the over again is the sound of musicians, all of immense talent in their fields, coming together to create the vastly enjoyable, entertaining sounds of what is billed as world-fusion, melodic-instrumental, African folk, ambient and groove-driven psychedelia, effectively a pot-pourrie of elements.
But in reality it is a great sound, moving and shifting with the essence of the land, the culture, the choice of instruments, the time, place and the sheer pleasure that comes from being able to cut loose, to jam, to simply be at one with that instance in time when that note, that moment of perfection, is created.
Different, intriguing and most definitely, entertaining.