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LTJ Bukem - Bukem For The Weekend

Author: Justin Levy
Friday, 8 February 2008
Danny Williamson, aka LTJ Bukem, has an inspiring outlook, a new album, and a world trail of DJ residue set to spread to the Playground Weekender this March. 3D’s Justin Levy examines the drum n’ bass legend and his trail.

For Williamson, drum n bass wasn’t premeditated – it was evolution. In his teens the piano, drums and trumpet spawned a jazz and soul appreciation, which lead into mixing. Hip hop moved into acid house which turned into breakbeats and then on to hip house.

“Drum and bass just came out of hip house, a strong 9-O-9 kick drum in a house movement with a kind of breaks shuffle,” he begins. “Then the cutting element in the tune got more dominant and I got more into it.

“I think drum n bass just came out of my love of reggae, jazz, soul, disco – that’s the best way I could describe it. I took all those elements from my past, and thought, ‘This sounded great, and before I knew it I was labelled this musical drum n bass guy.

“There really is an underground scene all over the world, and people want to come and see it. Music for me is very personal and means a lot to me. Coming into my mid teens I was playing parties; instead of getting drunk and pulling girls I was behind the reel-to-reel wall, deck and tape machine playing music, y’know, and that got me really heavy into it. I was a DJ before I knew of a DJ. A lot of commercial music doesn’t really do it for me. And I think all over the world there’s people that feel the same way and wanna check out all different styles, and drum n bass has definitely been on the up since it began.”

Williamson is always DJing. Australia is part of a world tour away from his London home, in which he has monthly residency at Fabric with his drum n bass bonanza, Bukem In Sessions. He also has a new album out, Switch, with Drum Toolz on the B-side, and will continue to produce this year – but his passion lies in live.

“The last 15 years has been one big tour,” he admits. “Actually I’m a DJ addict. If I don’t play out for a few weeks, I get shaky hands. I love playing and I’ll never stop.”

For his recent 40th birthday, he even provided the night’s entertainment.

“My mate/host was like ‘C’mon Danny, you gotta bring some tunes’, so I brought two boxes of old soul and ended up playing four/five hours and it was a fantastic night. I love being in control of music in my environment,” he says. “Everyone with their hands in the air singing classic soul tunes, it reminded me of why I got into music in the first place.”

WHO: LTJ Bukem
WHAT: Plays Playground Weekender, Del Rio Resort
WHEN: 7 – 9 March