LTJ Bukem & Good Looking Records Insolvent!

Is LTJ Bukem & Good Looking Records Insolvent!?

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.

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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."

In other words, most of you who think you're 'signed' to Good Looking Records are in fact not signed at all. LTJ Bukem continues "that’s an interesting accusation directed at me and Good Looking, having supported this style of music and done so much for it in the last 20 years...also if anyone has a problem with anyone don’t you contact the person you have that problem with, so I actually respect you for saying this but these so called artists haven’t contacted me to say this, and no, I’m not signing tracks, and spending the money I have spent on a new web site currently being built with a view to just DJ-ing them I notice just doing things overnight in a desperate fashion, with no real promo, marketing plan hasn’t helped anyone over the last decade...maybe this disenchantment comes from personal lack of achievement and progression in a music world that is not 1995 anymore..?" LTJ Bukem persists, "it’s a no brainer if you want to create any kind of buzz with a track giving it out to the whole world makes it worthless, but what would I know, I’m just a label that’s signed and released nothing in 20 years right? Excuse my amusement....!"

DJ Blade's lacking perception is not his fault when he stated "The article a west coast drum and bass label printed about the subject of money, the split, fees etc which then got circulated was fake in its entirety, and if I remember LTJ Bukem was supporting that label and it’s music. Begs the question in these times why you would put down a guy who religiously goes out there week in week out to support / fight for a style of music and its artists. It seems everyone is a critic in this day and age but you shouldn’t print shit before you know the truth that lay behind it, or if you haven’t got the balls or brain to contact all involved before you run your mouth, more fool you." At the time DJ Blade wrote this propaganda he didn't know that we had already spoken with LTJ Bukem, prior to LTJ Bukem or Good Looking Records supporting anything we were doing at Textures Music Group. It was after we spoke to him about the aforementioned that he supported us. Furthermore, what we reported originally about MC Conrad being paid $200 a gig wasn't false. DJ Blade acknowledged this when he so eloquently stated, "The start of the end was when Conrad beat on his baby mother, gaining 3 counts of domestic violence...and got a criminal record, thus preventing him from going to many countries that require visa entry. This happened just before the start of a 2 month Asian tour that goodlooking had organized so all the flights purchased for the tour goodlooking took the hit on plus some promoters demanding money back, as they were entitled to, more monies owed. Plus for the future Conrad had fucked up all the hard work goodlooking had put into him."

To close out this lengthy piece, we'll provide you with some insight from the artists themselves, that way you won't have to take our word for it!

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.

Kasper, a drum and bass producer, also stated "Thats my point. I'm tired of sitting quietly like everyone told me to do. Both the artists and the consumers need to be aware. It's truly awful." He continues "It's a really sad moment for me too....I had so much respect for Daniel (LTJ Bukem) until he showed that he had no respect for me and many of my peers...where it stands now is this: Triple Vision (Celsius) and myself spoke with Tony/Danny at goodlooking. They admitted to the breach of contract (for my track summertime hustle) and that they haven't paid myself and many of the artists for "personal and business reasons." While glo has no validity to release my tracks Fluent Funk and Brooklyn Standard (meaning glo has no valid contracts), they are going to do so anyway. Ultimately, their response was, "yea we know, so sue us." Unfortunately, the cost of an attorney and legal fees make this a battle not worth fighting. Triple Vision and I decided to turn lemons into lemonade. We are selling the tracks cheaper, in more stores, and with a promise that it's supporting the right people without having to sign up for a life time membership scam. I strongly encourage people to never purchase anything from glo and want the young artists like myself to recognize their worth. All that glitters is not gold. While LTJ put our style of music on the map, his ego and the people he decided to surround himself with have blinded him to the harm he is doing. He has put his pocket book in front of the music he once dearly loved. Despite many of my peers encouraging me to stay quiet about it, I will not. Truth hurts sometimes, but it doesn't hurt me. I have nothing to hide."

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!"

Makoto, very politely, mentioned not being paid in his Red Bull Music Academy interview. You can watch here.

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?

You decide.

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