When Bukem performs it is impossible to not be in the same mode as him. It’s not simply a case of his firing lethal missives from the Good Looking omniverse, it’s something else, and it’s quite elevated. At the time, the whole room is simply locked down in unison, the sound galvanised and you realise you are simply in the presence of something Much Bigger.
Maybe it’s a result of those old days, of formulating chords and infusing the influences such as Chick Corea, of tightening breaks, pushing forward artistically, working also with input from esteemed peers in a growing scene such as 4Hero… it was all a case of the Producer pushing forward to extricate something fresh and new from the DJing level.
After so many stellar, decisive moments it was great to catch up (and to look even further back if you check the soundcloud below)
Damian Bennett: You’re one of the original & best purveyors of the outlook that a DJ set could be a journey. Are audiences still as receptive as ever to take the ride?
LTJB: That’s the thing I love about the scene, the open-minded crowds across the world that come out and let you take them on that musical journey, and take the ride with you.
DB: Where do you love to play?
LTJB: I love to play anywhere in the world, I love sharing what’s in my head musically.
DB: The music it’s roots in an era populated by word of mouth, (some) dodgy promoters, white labels, sets to 10 thousand people, camaraderie between DJs, all sorts of things. What are some of your views and thoughts of those times: did the unpredictability of the times help to shape the music?
LTJB: Whenever a new music evolves it’s an exciting time, but for me that excitement hasn’t diminished.
I can’t wait to hear the latest beat I don’t know, as well as discovering the ones you have missed along the way. I still love to hear a DJ drop something on me and ask WTF was that! Music naturally comes with that energy.
DB: I’m mindful of a story that a rave promoter once told you that your style wasn’t right or that you wouldn’t play a certain gig again as ‘too different/obscure’ to work with a crowd when you were starting, maybe that it was too deep. Is this true?
LTJB: Well, If you go right back to the start and listen to my sets they were as ravey as you can get. The point in time you mention was a little later when the musicality came through in my sets, say when I made ‘Demons Theme’ (below), around 1990. But for me it was always right.
I love all aspects/styles of music and those aspects come through at any time depending on what you get sent to play, and what turns me on.
(below, Bukem discusses some especially formulative times on Fabio’s show, late 90s)
DB: I will always ask: where do you see the next Goldie/Bukem/Roni Size/Andy C coming from, the person that can DJ and yet who also has a BIG presence about him/her?
LTJB: I think there are many, just look around you, some amazing producers, DJ’s in all styles. It’s different times so maybe they come through in a different way but right across the globe new names with a lot to offer are coming through all the time, each with their own characters.
DB: OK. You have been linked to some amazing talent such as Big Bud, Blame, Makoto and the list goes on and on… what sort of things draw you to a tune these days?
LTJB: What draws me to a tune? Simple, if I like it or not.
I get sent so many and the ones I’m into I contact that producer and let him/her know. It’s a circle of inspiration: the producer inspires me with a sound, track, and I let them know in the hope it inspires them to create more.
DB: How do you see the immediate future with this music?
LTJB: If you look at the musical output, amount of producers there are from a couple of decades ago when we started it’s not comparable. There’s so much more now, so many styles, many more labels and so on. The journey continues.