Inspired by THIS POST at Scott Hansen's (aka Tycho) music/art/design blog, I thought I'd do an LTJ Bukem: Logical Progression VOL 1 post as well, since, strangely enough, I've been listening to this album quite a bit lately, sixteen years after it's initial release in 1996. 1996 was an awesome time for electronic music, as this classic double disc compilation set the standard for "atmospheric drum n' bass", and Aphex Twin took Dn'B to twisted new levels of abstraction on his "RDJ Album" while Squarepusher debuted with his hyperkinetic masterpiece "Feed Me Weird Things", pushing the drum n' bass envelope even further on Richard D. James' newly launched Rephlex record label. So, 1996 was the year d n' b ruled electronic music, evolving with each month it seemed, into something more exciting and new. Still, despite all the innovation, Bukem was more interested in making the sound accessible, good for the dance floor as it was for the couch in the living room with the lights turned off. While drum n' bass by nature is an urban genre of music, it's interesting to note how many people mention how well this album in particular works for them IN nature. This is something I've always been interested in and found to be true with my own personal experiences, as I'd drive through the back roads and country hills of Pennsylvania at peak Autumn-time, playing this stuff out in the car, only enhancing the drive and the sights before me.
"We ended up building a battery-powered backpack and walking around in the forests above San Francisco, blasting this sort of music through the mist and Eucalyptus trees." - Scott Hansen/Tycho on his music influences
One of my faves from this album is a track called "Horizons" courtesy of Bukem himself- a powerful, widescreen stormer fused with a great Maya Angelou vocal sample at the beginning, setting the defiantly optimistic tone from the get go. After about two minutes, the sub bass kicks in nicely, and you have to hear this one with some good speakers or headphones to understand what I mean here.
"Each new hour holds new chances for new beginnings, the horizon leans forward offering you space to place new steps of change." - Maya Angelou
Next up is a track called "Links" by a duo known as Chameleon, better known to fans as the legendary Global Communication. Chameleon was just one of too many aliases for the still active Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard, who for the most part have gone different routes with their electronic music. You can hear a much more immediate sounding, rawer version of "Links" in its earlier incarnation (called "Amazon Amenity" by "Link"!?!) on the "A Theory of Evolution" compilation mix, which was basically a mix including a bunch of Pritchard/Middleton productions showcasing their ever-evolving sound. What I love about this one is the sample lifted from the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", which, like the Maya Angelou snippet, sets the tone well, and was something I adopted as a personal code for living from the day I heard this one.
"I said it before and I'll say it again. Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller
I could have chosen so many more from the album, but this one by Photek always stood out for some unexplained reason. Just listen!
"I felt this while thick snowfall, wayback 1995/96 and walked with my earphones on, watching the biggest snow flakes tumbeling down on me. I felt this moment was a gift to me." - Akurat 73, referring to Photek's "Pharoah"
In the meantime, Tycho is currently touring with the Album Leaf. He'll be coming to DC soon (got my tix), so if you're in the area, and you like good music, you'll be in for a treat.