DJ Blade, who is notable for having been supported by LTJ Bukem & MC Conrad over the years, has recently lashed out towards MC Conrad, including Textures Music Group who owns the rights to his label One7Six Music Ltd. We recently came across DJ Blade's commentary by accident doing a simple Google search for "ltj bukem doesnt pay good looking records". We took it upon ourselves to address the obvious and perhaps some of the 'not so obvious'. Shall we begin?
Let's set the stage with the types of weak games that are being played by Good Looking Records, LTJ Bukem, Tony Fordham, etc; and how it's affected the artists involved in the process. Good Looking Records and Textures Music Group go back a lot farther than many of those who think they are in the know, actually know. LTJ Bukem first contacted us in 2008, 2 years after Textures Music Group was established as a collective of producers, eventually forming into a label that aspired to provide an outlet for other artists not dealing directly with Good Looking Records, but for those who may have wanted to in the future. At the time, and arguably presently, many of the producers involved with Good Looking Records and LTJ Bukem have had, or still do have, rose colored glasses on. In fact, many of these producers have no business savvy whatsoever. Notably, DJ Blade.
In recent years, Good Looking Records output of releases had come to cessation. The primary reason behind the hiatus was due to non-payment of their distributors, and likewise it's artist roster. In addition, during this hiatus LTJ Bukem had spoken of promoters who booked him for his 'Unlucky For Some' tour, in the interview he did for 'Manna', that claimed he owed them money, although, it's unclear why. He also mocked the bankruptcy Good Looking Records went through, which was being supervised by Tony Fordham (LTJ Bukem's Manager / Admistrative Head) to avoid paying their creditors in the early 2000's, which as a result is connected to the hiatus that Good Looking Records went through in the mid-to-late 2000's.
In recent years, Good Looking Records has relaunched. However, prior to that relaunch LTJ Bukem was inquiring producers to sign with his label. Scores of artists, such as Paul SG and Furney, were the supposed highlights of the label. An untold amount of these producers were signing '100 page contracts', ultimately, a contract that was worth less than the paper it was written on. We interviewed Paul SG prior, who made mention of an album we have never seen or heard of, like much of the music that has been signed to Good Looking Records, which also included a non-existent album by Furney. We were fortunate to receive an explanation from LTJ Bukem in 2011 amid Good Looking Records hiatus to which he stated, "not sure what you mean by other artists on the label, since we haven’t signed any officially to [the] label for a long time...please do elaborate....?" You might be thinking, how is it possible he hasn't signed any artists 'officially'? See an email below from LTJ Bukem's prior assistant 'Dan Soulsmith' regarding the 'official' signing process:
"...there have only been 18 tracks fully contracted at this stage. - all for the Bukem in Session 1 album. Your tracks, along with a further 250 are still at SRF stage. All these tracks will be contracted up ASAP (by some other mug who is on 25p per hour). There is no order to it, but from now on, only fully contracted tracks can be selected for release by Bukem. Getting those 18 tracks contracted for Bukem in Session was hard work! So from now on, Danny will only be able to select a track for whatever release / concept - from a songpool of fully contracted tracks. So just so you know... If you've been sent, and returned your contracts (by fax & post) - only then can your tracks be considered for release. That's the way they will be rolling now."
Amaning - "i also took back my release scheduled for GLO... the business ethics behind GLO is wrongful in every way... no way would i sign my Artist name away! I dont uinderstand why it still gets all the support from so many Artist these days... Labels like these realy hurt the Artist & the scene...tbh everyone has decide for themselves.. BUT you should make it clear to yourself you are signing away your rights, also your artist name.. hence why Conrad has changed his name..(had to)" We previously reported on this via Textures Music Group in 2013.
Con*Natural, formerly MC Conrad, responded simply by posting a video on YouTube carrying a subliminal message.
A longtime fan says, "Any update? I was speaking to someone who released on Bukems Cookin label back in 2004, he wasnt paid either..."
mSdoS says, "Unfortunately this story is true so far and have disappointed ALL OF US!"
Calibre, a legendary drum and bass producer stated, "We’d get the likes of LTJ Bukem coming through [Belfast] and the top guys like that and I’d give them a tape, but it was funny because some of the early guys ignored me and you had to be pretty determined to get heard. But I remember I did manage to get a tape through to Bukem and he called my parents – I was only about 20 at the time – and it felt like it was the big time, like “here it is!” but the release never happened and it frustrated me to a large degree. But things like that are good because you realise how fucking annoying the music industry is from the start. You need to be annoyed a wee bit like that to learn a bit about it."
After having read this article, we beg the question from our audience -- is DJ Blade soft in the head? Or sharp at the tongue? Concluding this article, to all those who spoke ill about our initial reports, don't say we didn't tell you so! It's all a matter of opinion. Or is it all a matter of fact?