This four-CD collection has all three of those – 1995’s Plastic Planet, Black Science two years later (both under the project title g/z/r) and 2005’s Ohwork (under the GZR name) – and listening now emphasises how much Butler was prepared to step out of his comfort zone, taking genuine musical risks.
He draws from industrial metal (with particular reference to Fear Factory) and alt.rock, as well as paying homage to David Bowie and Lou Reed. This means that even now these albums don’t sound at all dated, and will probably surprise anyone who hasn’t explored the Butler catalogue.
The fourth CD has rare and mostly unreleased demos, studio out-takes and live material, which somehow round out the story.
Manipulations Of The Mind is a reminder that Butler is artistically adventurous, never prepared to take the easy path. An inventive body of work.