Local Review: churning butter – churning butter

Local Music Reviews

churning butter
churning butter
Folksonomy Records
Street: 05.24
churning butter = youtuber apology video + royalty free beats

Editor’s note: I got tricked. A member of churning butter informed me that while they listed their Bandcamp location as “Salt Lake City,” they actually live somewhere in Canada, making the “BBL Drizzy” reference even more appropriate. That being said, of the ways that I could be tricked, this isn’t the worst. With the SLUG Editorial team, I have decided to keep the title and category the same, as changing it now would break all of our promotional links. This now is a public record of my fuck-up. Enjoy. –wphughes

Bandcamp has changed since AI-driven music programs like SOUNDRAW and Udio have hit the market, and unfortunately these dogshit programs produce records that sound good enough for Metro Boomin to remix the King Willonius track “BBL Drizzy” (which was forcibly removed from all streaming services) into the free-use diss beat “BBL DRIZZY BPM 150.mp3.” I’ve had to pull reviews midway through editing after discovering the track was AI-generated. My Bandcamp feed has become a minefield of unverifiable, seemingly highly-produced tracks. No call-outs here—though you can pick them out easily by looking at the uncanny album art and the ungodly high output from these shysters.

I’ll be honest, I wrote off churning butter’s self-titled EP as a potentially-AI-generated shitpost, but I think that was my bad. I heard this album when doing some local music research and made the assumption that a project like this couldn’t be made without some AI assistance. And while it is an entirely vulgar and deeply online project, it is a serious one, with a team behind it and some real deal production. Each track revolves around a handful of lyricists laying down shallow and filthy bars over high tempo drill/trap fusion beats. Occasionally, it mirrors the stylings of New York’s own 41, especially on their 2022 breakout single “Deuce” featuring Kyle Richh and Jenn Carter, though without any desire to say more than something about giving head or doing anal. 

The project is inherently meaningless and comes off as a group of friends creating something only slightly better than a Lil Dicky record. Tracks like “CUM FM,” “pussy squirt cannon,” and “big cunty couch” result in nothing but an attempt to link chronically online references to Eminem-style sex jokes, but in an odd sense, it makes the album fun and unique. I’d be lying if I said these guys couldn’t ride a beat and put forward distinguishable vocal stylings too. In a loose way, it reminds me of the SoundCloud rapper boom of the 2010s, but modernized to include references to Colleen Ballinger’s grooming allegations. One of the best elements of the EP is that you can easily hear that the group is having fun, which is fairly rare in modern production. There’s a strong emphasis, especially for local bands, to sound professional, serious and put together, which can drain the artist of the joy of creation that peeks through on the finished project. I appreciate that churning butter led with this aesthetic choice first and I think it makes a lot of the absurd vulgarity easy to digest. 

I can call the EP high-quality in terms of its technical aspects alone, and at times it can feel like a cosplay of a real trap/drill album (especially when the name of the group is reiterated multiple times on each track). But it’s unique, especially for Utah rap. Give it a listen. You’ll either fuck with it or you won’t. –wphughes

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