Russell E.L. Butler has been a fixture on the Oakland experimental music scene for years, starting out with goth-inspired acid tracks as Black Jeans and moving into reflective house and techno. He was also a good friend of Cherushii, Nackt, and others who lost their lives in the fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.
Butler was at the show that night, and his eerie, four-on-the-floor single, "I'm Dropping Out of Life," comes accompanied with a short reflection on how he's processed his experience in the aftermath of the tragedy:
"The title has been on my mind a lot, since I almost lost my life in the Ghost Ship fire and watched as many of my friends lost their's. I came up with the title several months ago, in fact 2 of the tracks were shopped in a producer's group that Johnny (Nackt) and Chelsea (Cherushii) were a part of, both of whom I lost in the fire.
This release is about a commitment to life. The life that I refer to dropping out of, is a life where dreams are put on hold, where concessions are made in order to just survive. But that comes at a cost, one that is far too great for me to pay at this point."
The song is the title track from a forthcoming EP from Butler, I'm Dropping Out of Life, due out January 30. Check out details, pre-order, and read a poem from Butler here.