Feb 27, 2012

Bleep Years day nineteen: LTJ Bukem's Horizons (1995)

As Bleep Years wobbles inexorably to its memory-gorged conclusion, we take one last gasp of the 1990s. After this, we fill in the final year on our grid above, then we mope around wondering what to do with ourselves.

1995: LTJ Bukem's Horizons

1995 was the year Robson & Jerome and Simply Red were at the height of their powers. Grunge had fizzled away, as had the anti-Thatcher musical angst. What was left? Two things. Drum. And bass.

LTJ Bukem was raised on jazz and classical music, and brought a melodic, breathy, atmospheric edge to drum 'n' bass missing from early jungle releases from the likes of General Levy. He seemed to build an empire with Good Looking Records, and it's thanks to him I got into Peshay, Photek and Blame.

I was a hack on a local newspaper in the mid-1990s, uncomfortable in my own skin and hungry for new experiences. Clubbing was my release, and I still remember the first moment I saw Bukem in action. It was in a big tent with lots of dry ice and herbal smells. Within a few years, I would have perfected the long d&b beatmatch: those intricate beats are, whisper it, deceptively simple.

Horizons is Bukem's signature tune, and it could be regarded as an anthem for the 1995 Me as I explored who I was, what I was into and how to get the next high. It's also a pants-flappingly great track.

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