Russell E.L. Butler

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Biography

  • A Bermudian artist working in New York
    Pronouns: They/Them Russell Ellington Langston Butler is a Black artist from Bermuda, living and working in New York City. Russell has painstakingly cultivated a unique artistic expression that integrates and investigates themes around process, technological innovation, the archive, and decolonization. Their works have taken the form of vinyl records, digital audio releases, live A/V performances, and special archiving projects. Russell’s work has been featured in publications like the New Yorker, Resident Advisor, the East Bay Express, New York Dance Music zine Love Injection, and Bermuda’s national paper, The Royal Gazette. Their dynamic performances have helped them keep a busy tour scheduled, traveling as far and wide as Ukraine, France, Portugal, and the Netherlands to name a few. Through their work with modular synthesizers, Russell has been awarded grants and positions as a featured artist. In 2016, Russell began working with the Synthesizer Library in Portland, Oregon as an artist in residence. There they recorded, performed and held workshops for students. As an extension of this work, Russell’s expertise as an electronic musician was documented in the book Patch & Tweak by Kim Bjørn. This is an educational book about the development and implementation of modular synthesizers. In it Russell shares the intersections of their experiences as a Black, Queer, Trans immigrant in America and how that has informed their process as a musician. In 2019, Russell was awarded the Traveling Scholars Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts to continue their work with modular synthesizers at the Synthesizer Library’s Prague, Czech Republic location. They would utilize this time to create over 30 compositions, some of which have been featured on NYC label Mr. Saturday Night and pioneering Berlin techno outfit, Tresor. Most recently, in 2021, Russell has worked as a featured artist, digitally archiving records from the collection of House Music pioneer, Frankie Knuckles, as part an installation created by Theaster Gates in a group show curated by renowned writer and curator, Antwan Sargent, titled “Social Works”. They have also featured on a digital and vinyl compilation celebrating the 30th anniversary of pioneering Techno organization, Tresor. Russell also works professionally as a recording, mix, and mastering engineer, an educator, and a consultant for special audio projects and films. Russell loves to spend their time reading, connecting with friends and family, researching the latest in music technology, and cuddling with their cat SKRRT.
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    Selected discography

    God Is Change - Opal Tapes - 2015 The First Step - Black Opal - 2016 The Home I’d Build for Myself and All of My Friends - Left Hand Path - 2018 Constructions Vol 2 - Self Release - 2020 Blah Blah - Mr Saturday Night - 2020 Emotional Bangers Only Vol 1 and 2 - Self Release - 2020