LTJ Bukem

New and Notable Releases

Rating: NNNN

A full decade after dropping his classic Logical Progressions club anthem, London breakbeat pioneer LTJ Bukem is back, but it’s doubtful anyone will recognize him.

The two-CD Journey Inwards set is anything but a drum ‘n’ bass record. In fact, it’s hard to imagine most of this being played in a club at all, at least a club with a dance floor. With the DJ bringing live instrumentation and vocals into the mix, tracks like the title cut and the spacey, spy-themed Deserted Vaults are closer to sweeping 70s soul jazz than breakbeats. There was always a smooth side to Bukem’s club classics, yet while the Lonnie Liston Smith and Roy Ayers album sleeves prominently displayed on the inside cover should have acted as a tip-off, Journey Inwards is a most welcome surprise.

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