Batu | A bossman of breaks, bass, techno and Timedance

Published on Tuesday 6 September 2022

Batu is emblematic in every sense of the word. The Bristolian produces, DJs, runs the label Timedance and curates the En Masse festival. Ahead of his E1 debut on 17th September for the Waterworks afterparty, we shine a light on the world of Batu and his innovative imprint.

Based in Bristol, Batu founded Timedance in 2015 and released his first EP on the label called Cardinal / Domino Theory to set the tone of the imprint—a mutation of bass, leftfield techno and breaks. A slew of releases followed suit and championed the talent stemming from Bristol’s celebrated scene over the years, with the likes of Ploy, Bruce, Laksa and Metrist producing imaginative and off-kilter electronic music.

Batu programmed eponymous label parties in the UK too, starting on a local level before bringing the sound of Timedance to The White Hotel in Manchester and London-based spaces like Corsica Studios and Village Underground. With his profile steadily growing in the UK, international pre-pandemic bookings platformed Batu further. In 2019, he lapped the globe, from gigs at De School in Amsterdam to The Fusion Factory in Denver, and many more besides.

As part of his DJ Mag cover story earlier this year, Batu admitted he was close to burning out during this period. Like many artists, 2020 marked a shift in Batu’s trajectory and forced him to stop touring, allowing him to reflect on his musical path so far. Producing music in the new lockdown-induced setting of his kitchen table rather than his studio, Batu created the first sounds of his debut album called Opal.

Released in April 2022 on Timedance, it’s a quintessentially Batu-type record. The 11-track body of work dips into delicate melodies to more broken-beat rhythms, avoiding genre pigeonholing. It illustrates his free-flowing and experimental approach as a producer, and it’s the kind of album the listener can get lost in, with vast, swirling soundscapes and a wealth of trippy textures and wonky rhythms weaved throughout

Raised in the picturesque surrounds of Oxfordshire, Batu studied music production at Bath Spa University before migrating to Bristol, honing his craft and immersing himself in the scene. Today, Batu still lives in Bristol, and his musical milestones continue to drop. Last year, he delivered his Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 and this month, he’ll run the multi-venue music and arts festival, En Masse, in Bristol with the help of local artists integral to the south-west circuit. First up, catch him in the Warehouse with the Goodness crew on 17th September.

Tickets here: