DB Burkeman

DB Burkeman (also known as DJ DB) was a British jungle/drum and bassDJ who moved from London to New York in 1989. He was an early pioneer in rave culture in the U.S., credited as being partly responsible for bringing drum and bass to America. He was the co-founder of Breakbeat Science recordings and store, the first record store in the United States to specialize in drum and bass. He also was hired by both indie and major record labels, as well as music booking agencies to do A&R. Since 2010 he’s mostly retired from DJ’ing, and has worked in the art and publishing worlds, curating exhibitions and authoring 5 books focused on various aspects of pop & counter culture. He’s currently working on several new books, and exploring the idea of starting his own publishing imprint.

Origin London, England
Genres Electronic, drum and bass, jungle
Occupation(s) Musician, disc jockey, record producer, A&R, Author, Curator
Labels Breakbeat Science, Sm;)e Communications, F-111 Records
Associated acts
Musical artist

. . . DB Burkeman . . .

DB Burkeman was born David Burkeman in London, England. He first used the name DB when he began DJing by the name DJ DB in London in the mid-eighties. He fully changed his name to DB Burkeman when he moved to New York City in 1989. Arriving in New York in 1989 from London,[1] where he was resident DJ and promoter at the London version of The Limelight,[2] he soon had DJing residences at MARS, Red Zone and MK and throwing outlaw club events known as DEEP.[1][3] DB Burkeman is considered one of the early pioneers of electronic music, responsible for exposing the genre to a wider audience in the U.S. He first produced raves and club events based on a U.K. aesthetic and sound, then worked in A&R for Profile Records as an Executive Producer for some of the first Techno, House, and Jungle compilations in America. DB’s name became synonymous with the Drum & Bass scene in the U.S. when he and DJ Dara opened Breakbeat Science, the first all Drum & Bass shop. In total, DB produced and released 13 mix CDs during his DJing career. In 1990 he was hired by Cory Robins of Profile Records to work with VP Gary Pini as A&R scout. He has served as A&R director for Sm:)e communications and later went on to co-found the F-111 imprint.[3][4]

From 1992 till around 2005 DB was known in the U.S. for pushing and promoting the more musical and deeper side of Drum & Bass,[4][5] first with in 1992 his hardcore Breakbeat club NASA at The Shelter,[5] (featured in the Larry Clark film Kids[6] then with Gary Pini by launching Sm:)e communications for Profile Records and releasing the first Jungle singles and compilations in the U.S,[5] as well as signing DJ Dara, thus kick starting his artist career. He and Dara then opened Breakbeat Science,[3] dedicated to Drum & Bass.[4] It was the first record store solely devoted to Drum & Bass in the U.S.[7] In 2006 Breakbeat Science was responsible for the first compilation in the U.S. of the burgeoning genre of Dubstep. In 2011 he produced an eclectic monthly mix show called BLURRINGRadio for Clocktower Radio that ran for five years. Now retired from being a club and rave DJ, he worked in the music industry as A&R for AM Only, then Paradigm Talent Agency, also acting as their creative director, curating the art in all four of their U.S. offices till 2021.

In 2010, DB moved into art and publishing by working with Rizzoli to publish a book focusing on the culture and history of stickers called “Stickers: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art:.” AKA “Stuck Up Piece of Crap“. In 2014, he and Philip Kuperberg created “Star Warps,” an online digital book spotlighting art and artists who have re-appropriated imagery from Star Wars. Since then he has written three more books, “Stickers Volume 2” in 2020, & “Art Sleeves” in 2021, a 40-year history of art & design on album covers, both for Rizzoli. He & Rich Browd used Kickstarter to self-publish “The Sm;)e Book” in 2021, focused on the re-appropriation of the Smiley face, and they are currently working on a second volume.

. . . DB Burkeman . . .

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. . . DB Burkeman . . .