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Midweek Mantra Mix 025: LTJ Bukem brings the vibes to Tipper and Friends

Wednesday is humpday, which not only marks the halfway point between the work week and the coveted weekend, but also Conscious Electronic’Midweek Mantra Mix (M3). We’ve been scouring the web’s most enlightening bass music mixes that align with our vision, to provide “a conscious way to consume dance music.” M3 spotlights both veteran and up-and-coming bass music artists whose music seeks to raise the vibrations of their collective listener base.

Legendary DJ and producer Dave Tipper is as much known for his music production prowess as he is for his live sets and hosted gatherings. His “Tipper and Friends” event series is a collection of both veteran and upcoming artists that have quite a bit to offer the world of electronic music. English legend LTJ Bukem is one such veteran who paid a visit to Tipper & Friends’ Full Moon Gathering, held at Spirit of Suwannee Lake Music Park in 2017.

Playing a special sunset drum and bass set, LTJ Bukem brought a mellow, atmospheric vibe to the first day of the event. Typically known for his jazzy flavor, the London-based tastemaker played his signature brand of chilled-out drum’n’bass and continued on a theme he’s been developing for nearly 30 years.

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A classically trained musician in his own right, LTJ Bukem was originally in a jazz fusion band before turning to DJing in the early nineties. His 1991 track, “Logical Progressions,” and his later musical series by the same name, had a monumental influence on the London electronic music scene. At the time, drum’n’bass (dnb) was typically considered a more intense, aggressive alternative to the sounds of acid house and minimal techno that were gaining rapid popularity.

However, LTJ Bukem and the artists on his roster at Good Looking Records began releasing dnb records that focused on jazzy instrumentation and melodic progression, as opposed to the usual rowdy breakbeats of the era. Their evolutionary sound was an instant smash hit, forever altering the UK dance scene and providing listeners with a much-needed, mellowed-out change of pace — all the while holding onto the high-speed tempos that mark the genre. What resulted was a subgenre that came to be known as “intelligent drum and bass.”

Building on this stylistic theme for decades, LTJ Bukem refined his sound and continued to take it worldwide as the years went by. His 92-minute Tipper and Friends set showcases the very elements that made him one of the forefathers of electronic dance music: from atmospheric progressions to jazzy melodies over chill drum’n’bass breaks. The Twilight Cosmic D&B set this week’s Midweek Mantra Mix not only because of it’s grounding meditative appeal, but because LTJ Bukem held true to his musical leanings to create a groundbreaking style that changed an entire genre of dance music.