Bang a drum for LTJ Bukem

LTJ Bukem is playing at The Blockley May 9.  Credit: LTJ Bukem
LTJ Bukem is playing at The Blockley May 9.
Credit: LTJ Bukem

 

Yo, Adrian, LTJ Bukem’s coming to town.

Yep, it’s a fact. The U.K.-based drum-and-bass legend is one big “Rocky” fan.

“Ahh, yes, the Italian Stallion,” says LTJ Bukem, aka Danny Williamson, via email. “Rocky … goes the 15 rounds and looses. [It's] Rocky showing his guts, falling in love, proving that anything-is-possible attitude. ”

Williamson, who performs May 9 at The Blockley, has a bit of that anything-is-possible attitude, too. He’s the one who put the drum-and-bass genre, a style of electronic dance music, on the map in the early ’90s.

“I was 9 when ["Rocky"] came out and remember running round school laughing, shouting ‘Adrian!’ at any given opportunity,” Williamson says. “Yea, stupid I know. I also read a while back it was created for under a million dollars and made over $200 million — amazing.”

That’s the business man in Williamson talking. He founded his own record label, “Good Looking Records,” in the early ’90s and has since played around the world, making Philly a regular stop.

Williamson has remained a steady draw despite the vicissitudes of the mainstream American public when it comes to electronic music. The latest EDM blip on the pop radar was dub step.

“New musical genres are always exciting, and there’s been so many over the last two decades,” Williamson says. “There’s fans of each … with each you either love it or hate it, or love it all!”

His music is electronic at its core but infused with the aura of live music, especially jazz and soul. It’s fitting that a concert by jazz great Chick Corea put a young Williamson on his musical path.

“When I was 10 my then-piano tutor took me to see Chick Corea at the Albert Hall in London,” he says. “Indeed he was responsible for inspiring and influencing my musical direction, which lead to drum and bass.”


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