In the midst of the explosion of the acid house and rave scenes in the late 80s there were no strict genres - back then pigeon-holing was a nonexistent entity - and amongst the raft of visionaries introducing breakbeats into a rave scene still dominated by 4/4 kick drums was a young Danny Williamson, aka LTJ Bukem. With beginnings as a DJ on London's soundsystem scene, followed by the acid house days alongside the likes of Kid Batchelor and Mr C, it was a fascination with the sampler that sprung his career into pace. Whilst the likes of the Ragga Twins were fusing breakbeats with ragga samples and creating proto-jungle, Bukem's masterpiece, firmly rooted in his jazz piano background, was melodically and musically of another planet. His early productions that followed - including "Demon's Theme", "Atlantis" and "Music" - which built the foundations of the nascent Good Looking empire - carved out a defined niche in the developing scene. It wasn't long before other young beat makers rushed to get their music into Bukem's hands, from PFM to one Rupert Parkes aka Photek ("no one had heard of Photek until I was playing out all these sets of his productions"). As the 90s moved on and drum & bass began to develop as a distinct genre, Bukem and long time friend and supporter Fabio set up Speed at the Mars Bar in London's West End, a night that became integral to D&B's development.
"With the mix I really wanted to highlight what I'm doing as a DJ. I could've sat there with a computer and done what a lot of people do: a computer mix, which is great fun as you can do what you can't do live. But for me personally, I wanted it to be exactly what I do on a Friday night, strictly dubplates and records. I also wanted to represent people on the mix that I am working with on Good Looking, who I have a strong belief will have some longevity in what they are doing, and are going to be prolific artists in their own right. For me, it doesn't matter who the artist is, it's just about good music. That's been my ethos since day one."
And it's these artists that Bukem is representing on FABRICLIVE 46. A bold mix of new and burgeoning talent, this is a seventy minute sneak peek at the future of drum & bass. It's a simple formula - one genius, two decks and 18 great records. This is the mix which will re-establish LTJ Bukem as one of electronic music's maverick selectors - not afraid to shun the big tunes and, instead, stick to his principles, support the fam and remind the record buying world that Good Looking is still the relentless musical force it always was.