LJT Bukem

Hope Works // Saturday Rave - Room: Mothership // Set Time: 04:00-05:30

Daniel Williamson  better known as LTJ Bukem  is a British drum and bass musician, producer and DJ. He and his record label Good Looking are most associated with the jazzy, atmospheric side of drum and bass music.

Bukem was trained as a classical pianist and discovered jazz fusion in his teenage years, having a jazz funk band at one stage. By the late 1980s, he decided to become a DJ and gained fame in the rave scene of the early 1990s. His stage name came from his nickname "Book 'em" which derived from the TV show Hawaii Five-O where the character Steve McGarrett would say "Book 'em Danno" when someone was arrested.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, using the main melody from Lemon Sol's song "Sunflash".

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. 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 BlameSeba, Big Bud, Blu Mar Ten, DJ Dream (Aslan Davis), Future Engineers, Tayla, Aquarius (an alias of Photek), PeshaySource Direct and Artemis.

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 popularization of hardcore music in the UK during the mid-1990s.