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Bukem finds balance

Drum and bass legend, renowned MC return to Whistler

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Who: DJ Bukem and MC Conrad

When: Thursday, June 5, 9 p.m.

Where: GLC

Tickets: First 100 are $20, $25 afterwards

Danny Williamson, better known in the DJ community as LTJ Bukem, may be a veteran DJ, but he hasn’t lost any enthusiasm for the craft — when he talks about music, his excitement is almost palpable.

“I’m kind of just really buzzed up about the whole music scene at the moment,” said Bukem. “The music itself, for me, is better than it’s ever been in the whole time I’ve been doing this.”

And Bukem has been at it for a while.

He’s regarded by many as one of the founders of drum and bass — a type of electronic dance that emerged in the early 1990s — though he remains humble about his roots in the genre.

“I definitely carved out my own kind of style, not intentionally. That was just the music that I loved, you know?” he said. “…People kind of pinned me down as this musical guy on drum and bass, and I suppose I have seen that evolve and people do get excited to maybe hear something a bit different from the norm.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Bukem was still in the UK playing a few gigs at outdoor festivals. But he’ll soon be coming to Whistler to perform with MC Conrad at the GLC.

He makes a point of coming to Whistler during every Canadian tour, though this is the first time he’s played in Whistler during the shoulder season.

“I normally kind of do a Canadian tour at the beginning of the year — I have for the past three or four years — but I’ve always kind of said I’d love to come back when it’s a bit warmer,” he said. “I’m always like freezing my ass off, basically, when I come there in January.”

Like many other musicians, Bukem was introduced to music at an early age. But he wasn’t just playing in the high school band; he played trumpet and drums, and was a classically trained pianist. An introduction to jazz-fusion led to the signature style that eventually carried over into his own music.

Bukem first met MC Conrad at a rave on a farm back in 1992, and invited him to team up after he heard Conrad performing with someone else. Now, over 15 years later, they still feed off of one another’s energy.

“I still phone him at like at four in the morning and say, ‘look, check this tune out!’”

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