by Don Crispy
Before it settles into fresh digs at the
much-anticipated new Daikanyama club Unit, slated to open
next month under the management of former Liquid Room staffers,
Japan's long-running breakbeats event Drum & Bass
Sessions brings visionary LTJ Bukem to town for another of
his seminal Progression Sessions events.
Hailed by some as the godfather of the genre, Bukem was weaned
on jazz and R&B before being transformed by the English
rave movement of the late '80s.
"I used to go to Biology and Sunrise and think 'Fuck
me, man,'" he recounted in an interview with
the www.drumandbass.co.uk website. "Systems, people
having a good time, you couldn't have that anywhere
else. So I was there every weekday doing it so hard it was
stupid. When I started making tunes, that was the thing I
wanted to be involved in."
Credited with softening the hardcore breakbeats sound with
soulful melodies and jazz-influenced chords, LTJ began to
make his mark in the mid-'90s. Setting up residency
in London's Mars Bar, Bukem and friends, who were to
form the nucleus of the pivotal Good Looking record label,
began to weave their own magic, attracting a growing following
to their events.
Forming Good Looking in 1994 as an outlet for his own and
others' material, Bukem began releasing a number of
Logical Progression and Earth series albums, which have come
to be regarded as definitive works of drum'n'bass.
Around that time he also began making regular appearances
at Drum & Bass Sessions at Liquid Room.
In recent years, Bukem has forged strong links with Japan,
signing young producer Makoto to his label and releasing many
of his tracks, with a Makoto album, Producer 8, due out this
week. An acoustic engineering major in college, Makoto describes
how he linked up with Bukem on the Good Looking website: "I
sent a demo to Good Looking and got a reply back from Bukem
straight away. [He] replied with a letter telling me to make
the beat less frantic and to make changes to the arrangement.
I was very pleased about it, and felt like I was dreaming.
We then started to contact each other and discuss my music.
This led to me signing to Good Looking."
Makoto will accompany Bukem in the DJ booth for the upcoming
Japan tour, while longtime Bukem collaborator, MC Conrad,
who has also released his own debut album, will man the microphone.
Progression Sessions@Ebisu Garden
Room, 6/26, 11:30pm, ¥3,500 (adv), ¥4,000 (door).
Tel: 03-5424-0647. Info: www.dbs-tokyo.com
Credit: Earth Planning