1996 was a pivotal year for me musically. It was the year DJ Shadow released Endtroducing and it was the year I was first properly introduced to electronic music, an experience that certainly altered the course of my life. Although Endtroducing probably ended up having more of a direct influence on my sound, the impetus for me wanting to create my own music was without a doubt LTJ Bukem’s Logical Progression, a continuous mix of what was later referred to as “Intelligent Drum And Bass”.
I was given the album by a friend (on MiniDisc of all things) and it served as the soundtrack to an entire semester of school. 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; some of my best memories of this city. Sadly, Drum And Bass took some pretty hard turns a few years after this and I just couldn’t keep up. There were a few practitioners of this sound still releasing (most notably, perhaps, Big Bud) but in general things sort of devolved from here on out — to my ears at least. There were several more Logical Progression compilations released after this one (which was later referred to as Logical Progression: Level 1), but none managed to capture the zeitgeist quite like the first.
I think beyond the music, the associated artwork also had a big impact on me. One of my first forays into Photoshop was essentially just a bad ripoff of this cover. I did a little digging and it looks like it was designed by Phillip Wells (aka Basement Phil). Here is a quote from him (unverified of course) on the Logical Progression Discogs page:
I organised the deal for this compilation with Pete Tong at London Records on behalf of Dan aka LTJ Bukem.
When he was sent to an artist studio to do the sleeve, I got a phone call late in the afternoon from Dan saying he could not come up with a sleeve he was happy with and would I come and help. So I left my office at Vinyl Distribution in Reading and made my way up to London and when I arrived Dan was all flustered as the sleeve had to be done that day.
I looked through loads of pictures before coming across the picture used. I knew it was the one because of the ray of light shining down on the Earth, and remember saying to Dan that it was the perfect image as I saw the music that had been released on the label over the three previous years had been a shining light for the DnB scene. – Basement Phil
So enough background, on to the tracks. These are a few of the standouts for me. Photek’s Pharoah (referred to elsewhere as Rings Around Saturn) is far and away the best song on the album and would definitely make my all-time top 100 list.
Photek – Pharoah
Chameleon – Links
DJ Crystl – Mind Games