Good Looking Records is a jungle/drum & bass record label, formed in the early 1990s by pioneering DJ/producer LTJ Bukem. The label specialized in what became known as Atmospheric Drum & Bass, very much ‘spacey’ synthesizer driven with elements of jazz & soul although some releases have a more darker amen break style to them. The label is synonymous for its crystal clear-pin sharp production & lavish sci-fi influenced record covers which were a trademark of the label. After the label’s mid 2000s hiatus all 12″ singles issued after were housed in a plain grey card sleeve with the label’s logo on the front cover.
Some of the label’s Drum & Bass releases went under the banner of Looking Good Records. These also featured identical sci-fi influenced sleeves, not unlike those on Good Looking. The only difference between the two was the Good Looking releases had a yellow spine while the Looking Good had a Royal Blue spine.
Artists who have released on this label include LTJ Bukem, Photek, Blame, Blu Mar Ten, Seba, Makoto, Big Bud, Nookie, Q Project, MC D.R.S., Furney, Future Engineers, PFM, Peshay, Intense, Artemis, Tayla, New Balance, Greg Packer and Vice Versa.
In the UK around 1990 the dance music sounds of “house” and “acid house” had evolved into “hardcore” and “breakbeat techno” and “rave culture”. What was later referred to as “drum & bass” and “jungle” developed as offshoots from the “rave” scene. Through DJing at such raves with acclaim LTJ Bukem naturally turned his hand to production. In 1990 he produced his first track “Demons Theme”. Bukem soon grew frustrated with the lack of control over his own recordings, so in 1991 he formed his own label Good Looking Records. Early Good Looking tracks like “Atlantis” and “Music” provided a soulful, melodic alternative to the prevailing hardcore tracks then in vogue.
By 1994, LTJ Bukem had formed his second label Looking Good Records and begun the formation of an artist collective including Peshay, Aquarius (aka Photek), Blu Mar Ten, Blame, Nookie & Tayla, — similarly inclined towards melodicism and epic expanses of sound.
In 1994 Bukem also launched the legendary club night “Speed” at the Mars Bar in order to promote Good Looking’s approach to sound. With Bukem & Fabio playing breakbeat records while MC Conrad provided verbal gymnastics, it soon became one of the most popular clubs in London.
In 1996 the release of Logical Progression signaled Good Looking’s commitment to the drum & bass and jungle community providing shelter for a unique band of producers.
In 1996 good looking introduced the Earth series of compilations. The Earth series showcases a range of mid-tempo musical styles from hip-hop, lounge, cosmic funk, and future soul, jazz and house music. The most recent volume – Earth 7 featured a DVD with 5.1 DTS surround sound.
1998 saw the release of the first Progression Sessions mix CD. These live recordings capture the vibe of the Progression Sessions tours & residencies from around the world. Now in its 10th edition, the Progression Sessions series documents the musical direction of Good Looking Records through the years and illustrates the live element brought to each event through the complementary pairing of LTJ Bukem’s music and the vocals of MC Conrad. Progression Sessions documents the emergence of drum & bass on a global scale.
Into the 2000s, Good Looking Records continued to release further Progression Sessions mix CDs, compilation CDs and vinyl. The last release, the 76th in the vinyl catalogue, took place in 2009.