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LTJ Bukem in 2006
|Birth name||Danny Williamson|
|Also known as||The Bookworm|
|Born||1967 (age 48–49)|
|Genres||Drum and bass, hardcore techno, breakbeat, rave, trip hop, neo soul, funk|
|Occupation(s)||DJ, record producer|
|Labels||Good Looking Records, Looking Good, Cookin', Earth series|
|Piano, synthesizers, sampler, turntable|
LTJ Bukem is the stage name used by the drum and bass musician, producer and DJ Danny Williamson (born 1967). He and his record label Good Looking are most associated with the jazzy, atmospheric side of drum and bass music.
Life and career
He was trained as a classical pianist and discovered jazz fusion in his teenage years, having a jazz funk band at one stage. However, by the late 1980s he decided to become a DJ, and gained fame in the rave scene of the early 1990s. As a producer, he released a series of drum and bass tracks such as "Logical Progression" (1991), "Demon's Theme" (1992), "Atlantis" and "Music" (1993). His most notable release was the track "Horizons" (1995) which attained considerable popularity.
He then dipped in visibility as a producer, with his work running the London club night Speed and his record label Good Looking Records coming to the fore. A series of compilations entitled Logical Progression highlighted a jazz and ambient influenced side of drum and bass. The style became widely known as intelligent drum and bass, although Bukem himself was opposed to the moniker, unhappy with the implication that other styles of jungle were not intelligent. Bukem also explored the downtempo end of electronic lounge music, with sister label Cookin' and the Earth series of compilations. Some of the artists who rose to fame under Good Looking in this period include Blame, Seba, Big Bud, Blu Mar Ten, DJ Dream (Aslan Davis), Future Engineers, Tayla, Aquarius (an alias of Photek), Peshay, Source Direct and Artemis.
On 16 July 1995 he did an Essential Mix alongside MC Conrad. In 1997 he remixed the James Bond theme for David Arnold's concept album of James Bond music Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project. In 2000 he finally released a debut solo album, the double-CD Journey Inwards. The album heavily emphasised his jazz fusion influences. 2001 saw a remix of Herbie Hancock.
He ran the Speed clubnight in London with fellow drum and bass DJ Fabio.
He DJs extensively around the world, often under the 'Progression Sessions' or 'Bukem in Session' banners, with MC Conrad.
Style and influences
Viewed as an innovator in the drum and bass style, Bukem is known for developing an accessible alternative to that hardcore genre's speedy, assaultive energies. His style pays homage to the Detroit-based sound of early techno, but Bukem also incorporates still earlier influences, particularly the mellow, melodic sonorities of 1970s era jazz fusion as exemplified by Lonnie Liston Smith and Roy Ayers. Early in his career, Bukem was identified for his response to the "almost paranoid hyperkinesis" of breakbeat-based house music, and specifically for his reservations regarding the overbearing force of the hardcore mentality.
Bukem's music from the early 1990s onward represents his efforts to map out an alternative future for drum and bass by incorporating softer-edged influences culled from London's 1980s rare groove and acid jazz scenes. Music on Logical Progression reveals these influences, as does his approach on 1993's Music / Enchanted, which features string arrangements and sounds from nature. His use of keyboards, live vocals and slow- motion breaks on these and future releases earned Bukem's music the tag intelligent drum and bass. While this designation caused controversy within the drum and bass community, it also influenced the popularisation of hardcore music in the UK during the mid-1990s.
- Delitefol (released as a white label only Cat no. WIZ BUK 01)
- Logical Progression (released under the name LT Bukem)
- Demon's Theme / A Couple of Beats (Good Looking Records Cat no. GLR001 released 1992, repressed 2000)
- DJ Biz – Losing track of time (LTJ Bukem mix) released 1992
- Teach Me To Fly (LTJ Bukem & DJ Trace released 1992)
- Who Knows Vol 1 (released under the name The Bookworm)
- Bang The Drums / Remnants (LTJ Bukem and Tayla Good Looking Records Cat no. GLR002 released 1993)
- Return to Atlantis (LTJ Bukem and Apollo Two Good Looking Records Cat no. GLR003 released 1993)
- Music / Enchanted (Good Looking Records Cat no. GLR004 released 1993)
- 19.5 / 19.5 Reprisal (LTJ Bukem and Peshay Good Looking Records Cat no. GLR008 released 1994)
- Mixmag Live! Volume 21 (LTJ Bukem compilation /remix DMC Publishing Ltd Cat no. MMLCD21 released 1996)
- Logical Progression (a four volume label compilation series)
- Progression Sessions (a ten volume compilation/remix series released 1998–2003)
- Earth (a seven volume compilation/remix series)
- The Journey (LTJ Bukem and Mystic Moods Mystic Moods Cat no. MMOODS 6/7 released 1996)
- Mystical Realms EP (Good Looking Records Cat no. GLREP001V released 1998)
- Journey Inwards (2000)
- Suspended Space EP (Good Looking Records Cat no. GLREP007V released 2000)
- Producer 01 (2001)
- Producer 05: Rarities (2002)
- Some Blue Notes of Drum 'N Bass (2004)
- "Fabriclive 46" (2009)
- "Bukem In Session" Good Looking Records GLRBS001X 2013
- Sweetness Michelle Gayle (Mellow Drum n Bass mix by LTJ Bukem 1994)
- Feenin Jodeci (LTJ Bukem Remix 1995)
- Transamazonia The Shamen (LTJ Bukem Remix 1995)
- If I Could Fly Grace (LTJ Bukem Remix 1996)
- The James Bond Theme David Arnold (LTJ Bukem Remix 1997)
- The Essence Herbie Hancock (LTJ Bukem Remix 2001)
- Bush, John. "LTJ Bukem – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Harrington, Richard. LTJ Bukem. The Washington Post 27 April 2001: T.07. ProQuest Platinum. Online (31 October 2007).
- Chris Sharp, "Jungle." In Modulations: A History of Electronic Music, Peter Shapiro, Ed (New York: Caipirnha Productions Inc., 2000), p. 141.