- Martin Buttrich seems more comfortable when the spotlight is pointed at someone else. He's spent the better part of the last decade as the silent partner of Timo Maas and later Loco Dice, and even when he finally did strike out on his own in 2006 with 'Cloudy Bay' on Poker Flat and 'Full Clip' on Planet E, his reward – a growing fan base and press fascination – pushed him back behind the curtain. In fact, the bulk of his 2007 material found him reworking other artists rather than creating anew, including rated Loco Dice remixes for Dennis Ferrer, Carl Craig and Terre Thaemlitz, a Timo Maas remix on the Spiderman 3 soundtrack, and a big remix of Tracey Thorn under his own name, all of which received more attention than his 'Well Done' single. Unfortunately, his first original production since then feels half-hearted and dogged by his aversion to the limelight.
The aptly-titled 'Hunter' offers a sonic interpretation of a hungry predator on the prowl. Built on plinking percussion and a growling bassline, the track hits its stride with a syncopated motif that reverberates at the end of each phrase. Much of the beat drops out once the prey is in sight, and in its place a dread-inducing drone grows louder and louder, only to dissipate as dinner gets away. It's a decent tune which will do well with an already engaged dancefloor, but the relatively weak climax leaves it feeling tame.
The b-side companion, 'Hunted', is less intriguing. Stripped down to just a kick drum, snare and hi-hat, Buttrich brings in female vocalist Jokate to utter commands ("Hope, run, live, taste") without a hint of emotion, like Daft Punk's 'Technologic' sung by a dull human instead of robots. A docile, nearly-static melody eventually appears, but it’s far too late to salvage any interest. How this track managed to land the number one spot on Beatport's top downloads (albeit briefly; presently it's still in the top 10) is beyond me.
Overall, this is not Buttrich's finest hour, especially in the light of highly nuanced tunes such as 'Cloudy Bay', 'Full Clip', 'What's Your Name?' and 'Well Done'. Cocoon shined a spotlight on Buttrich, and he blinked.