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Influences Pt.1: Logical Progression

Posted by Scott


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

31 Comments Leave A Comment

1

Tetsuo says:

August 16, 2012 at 12:38 am

“pharaohs” is indeed the peshay & decoder remix if rings around saturn, as found on photek’s form & function

oh, and did you know that mark pritchard and tom middleton are the guys behind chameleon? http://rndm.ly/kN

3

Tetsuo says:

August 16, 2012 at 1:07 am

@scott whoops, you are right – that’s indeed the original version of rings around saturn. thanks for the heads up on the pharoah sanders sample.

i’m sure you’re familiar with mark pritchard, he’s just using too many aliases (e.g. harmonic 313 and afrika hitech). i can imagine you’d enjoy his beatless track called “?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q8k8qgo60w

anyway, you just got me into the mood for some more bukem! :)

4

Dave says:

August 16, 2012 at 1:14 am

Wholeheartedly agree with that Scott; fantastic album. I would add Goldie’s ‘Timeless’ from ’95 to that too. There was loads of great DnB around that time. My mates and I would religiously listen to two of the great proponents of the scene, Fabio and Grooverider, on Kiss FM London whilst ‘relaxing’.

6

andrew says:

August 16, 2012 at 3:07 am

This album had a massive effect on me in 1996 as well. I had it on tape, but sadly it didn’t have the full thing on it. I still love listening to this even after 16 years.

7

53T says:

August 16, 2012 at 5:48 am

The “Earth” series from LTJ Bukem is also full of awesome material (and decent artwork as well).

8

steve says:

August 16, 2012 at 5:56 am

Yes, great post! 1996 was indeed an amazing year for electronic music, and Logical Progression was in heavy rotation. Funny you posted this, ’cause I was just listening to this a couple of weeks ago, getting all nostalgic in my car as those first marvelous vocal samples from “Horizons” hit my ears. At the same time, I watched Dark Days again on Netflix and was once again reminded how awesome “Endtroducing” was and thought about the night I saw DJ Shadow at Nation in DC in 2002. Orbital’s “In Sides”, B12′s “Time Tourist” and Aphex Twin’s “RDJ” album were huge that year too!

9

Machinetwelve says:

August 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Great times for drum and bass. I was mixing records back then and i remember these tracks! There was a lot of really good metalheadz, suburban base, and moving shadow stuff out around that time too. Snuggles/Slak used to mix these tracks quite a bit on a radio station here in Chicago. That era was a huge influence on me. Especailly the mellow stuff like this. T-Power was one of my faves from that time. Plenty of his stuff on youtube.

If you want to check out a great site with some mixtapes from this great era checkout http://ravearchive.com/mixtapes. I’ve found quite a few mixes from parties I was at back in the day.

11

ichi.one says:

August 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm

@SCOTT, you need to know pritchard & middleton, they are essential for the “uk 90ies housetechno” scene and made some classics under the aliases : Global communication, Jedi knights, Reload, Link & E621, and many more
i’m sure you know them :-)

12

Leon Barnard says:

August 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I first heard this album in a Radio Shack of all places. Some guy who was clearly too cool to be working at Radio Shack was blasting it from one of their boom boxes (ostensibly showing off the quality of the device, but really to help him endure the drudgery of working there). I think this was around ’98 or ’99. I asked him who it was and he spent about 10 minutes schooling me in the roots of electronic music and how pivotal LTJ Bukem was in then-recent musical sounds. I bought the album soon after and listened to it over and over. Still one of my favorites.

13

Lark says:

August 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I perfectly remember the day i came back from the local records shop with the 4 pack vinyl. That “Links” from Chamaleon was immediatly an experience, i still get goose bumps listening it right now. I don’t think Chameleon produced any other Drum And Bass tracks, it was a side project by the duo known as Global Communication. Check out some more Tom Middleton’s tracks.

14

Sean says:

August 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I had the good-fortune to see LTJ Bukem with MC Conrad when they co-headlined with Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) back in mid 2000′s. It was an excellent showcase of the spectrum of electronic music. I’m surprised that STS9 has never shown up on the ISO50 blog, as their music and design seem to fit in with what is going on here. LTJ Bukem was my firts introduction to D&B.

15

steve says:

August 17, 2012 at 5:32 am

Yeah, just dug out that Quango Sport comp – delightful mix – always loved Kid Loops, and great artwork! As for the Chameleon track, you can hear a rarwer, earlier incarnation of it from the “Theory of Evolution” compilation put out by Warp back in the day – a great mix of Middleton & Prichard productions.

I almost forgot to mention FSOL’s “Dead Cities” from 1996 as well – incredible stuff. On a side note, Those guys (Dougans & Cobain)happened to be nextdoor neighbors with 4Hero at the time, who produced an amazing intelligent D&B album under the “Jacobs Optical Stairway” alias (R&S).

18

Eric says:

August 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm

@Scott LTJ and this album are huge influences for me as well! 96 was around the time when I also first discovered good hip-hop and electronic music. This takes me back…

20

Alex / HeadUp says:

August 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

LTJ Bukem remains my all-time favorite figure in DnB, with his atmospheric and liquid sounds, two separate styles, he embodied what I consider to be the absolute best of the global scene at the time of its peak.

21

Ryan says:

August 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Great post. I would’ve included PFM Danny’s Song – the Aphex sample in that track is ridiculously well used (Z-Twig)

24

James says:

August 27, 2012 at 5:40 am

Used to listen to this album religiously. Reckon I was turning a bit nocturnal when it came out in my late teens. Your memory of the battery pack and forest gave me flash backs of doing almost the same thing! Would go on epic bike rides through the countryside on summer nights with mates whilst playing this on a Panasonic ghetto blaster. Another good d&b album from around then was Adam F – Colours. These two albums pretty much kicked off my interest in electronic music. So yeah, nice post Scott, cheers… And check out Middleton / Pritchard! Middleton’s Essential Mix is a keeper if you can get hold of it. As is his stuff under his Amba alias – ‘Moonbathing’ boarders on cheesey, but will probs float your boat :)

25

Seth says:

September 3, 2012 at 7:18 am

So far from seba&lotek captures that album so well for me.
Right there with you though, LP1 and Endtroducing definitely changed my life forever.

27

BenZ says:

September 26, 2012 at 12:48 am

Memories man…if ever there was a pivotal 96 sound that permeates my recall, it’s Logical Progression. Thank god I hung on to the CDs, did vinyl ever exist? few that I know of. After #2, I heard LTJ and Conrad fought a bunch and stuff kinda fizzled after that…
Nice series Scott! I want to see if Daytona 500 makes the cut :)

28

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October 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm

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29

Arzu says:

October 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Main room timeslots as follwos:9-10:30 2 Cents10:30-11:30 DJ M11:30-12:30 Kuze12:30 ?? LTJ Bukem & MC Conrad?? ???? 2 CentsPlus MC Duh on the mic for hopefully a good chunk of the night!Not sure about timeslots in the other room yet.Oh and the live painting should be kicking off around 10pm!Peace

31

dubstepsickness says:

November 21, 2012 at 7:08 am

Yeah, I discovered a Jungle compilation in the local record store near UNC in 1996 that had LTJ’s ubiquitous Music on it (along with Shy-FX’s Original Nuttah). I only checked it out because it had a remix of Ini Kamoze’s Hotsteppa as the last track. Later I found Logical Progression on CD and the rest is history. I used to nearly blow the speakers out on my college girlfriend’s Honda Accord blasting Wax Doctor’s remix of Drums in a Grip.