Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Friday, 13 February 2009

Butler wins Brits producer award

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

Bernard Butler and Duffy
Duffy handed both awards to Bernard Butler at the ceremony

Former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler has won the top prize at the Music Producers' Guild Awards, which doubles as a Brit Award.

Butler took the controls for recent albums by Duffy, Black Kids and Tricky.

Duffy was at the ceremony to hand him the producer of the year trophy and the Brit statue for best producer.

Butler beat Brian Eno, who has recently worked with U2 and Coldplay, and Steve Mac, who has produced albums for Leona Lewis, Boyzone and Il Divo.

Butler, who helped spark the Britpop movement with Suede, said artists liked him because he knew what they wanted and how they thought.

Producing was a difficult task, he said - adding that there was a "great prize" on offer.

Brian Eno
Brian Eno won the Brit Award for best producer in 1994 and 1996

"Not these [awards] - I mean the prize of making a great record that moves somebody," he said.

"I'm completely devotional about that idea - I have been since I was a kid.

"Pop music has currency that goes beyond lots of other art forms. If you can help lift somebody for three minutes out of a dreary existence then I think that's a major achievement."

Brian Eno collected the Music Producers' Guild (MPG) trophy - in the shape of a golden microphone - for innovation in production, with Bjork and Mark Ronson also nominated in that category.

"It's actually a really big honour to be presented with a prize by your peers," Eno said. "Especially when there are so many of them in the room that you admire and whose work you follow."

Elbow, with Craig Potter far left
Elbow's last album was produced by keyboardist Craig Potter (far left)

Elbow won two prizes - best UK album for The Seldom Seen Kid and best UK single for One Day Like This. Both were produced by the band's keyboard player Craig Potter.

The award for international producer of the year went to Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse, who has been at the controls for work by Gorillaz, Beck and Martina Topley-Bird.

Calvin Harris - best-known for his hit collaboration with Dizzee Rascal - won the prize for best remixer.

And the best newcomer prize went to Paul Epworth, who has been at the helm for recordings by Kate Nash, Bloc Party and Florence and the Machine.

The first MPG Awards ceremony, held at the Cafe de Paris in London, coincides with the return of the Brit Award for best producer after a gap of 10 years.

MPG chairman Mike Howlett said: "We hope this event will become an integral part of the music industry calendar for many years to come."

The awards were aiming to raise the profile of "the skills and talent involved in making great records", he said.

"Audio professionals are positioned at the very heart of the music industry - we make the content that is the industry's product - and it is important that we are acknowledged as vital and key contributors."

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