Debukas might be a new name to enter the music scene, a quick google reveals just a remix of The Wild Beasts ‘Hooting & Howling’ and guest vocals on Simon Baker’s recent ‘Traces’ album, but he’s got a colourful and varied past. Not many people can hold claim to being a teenage pop star, taking the Japanese charts by storm, signing to Grand Royal and hanging with The Beastie Boys.
More recently he has been residing in the UK electronic underground, releasing Weatherall and Tenniswood approved underground electro and techno influenced by Detroit greats such as Cybotron, UR and Direct Beat. His occasional forays overground have been due to his slick production skills being in demand from some high profile bands and producers.
Debukas is the first solo project where he has been able to blend his love of underground electronics, leftfield pop and more importantly showcase his superb vocals. The music is strongly informed by the original Chicago and Detroit sounds of Larry Heard and Carl Craig but equally classic electronics from the likes of Yello, Gino Soccio and Klein & MBO. His vocals come to the fore in soulful bursts of song, and also in the very fabric of the tracks as percussion, riffs, melodies and FX, making his music instantly recognisable but also totally original. A self confessed analogue freak, (check the youtube footage of his Model 500, Aaron Carl and Nitzer Ebb tributes) he creates a rich, warm sound, that can only come from years of knob twiddling on vintage synths, a sound most producers would give their right arms for, but the Debukas sound is only completed when the vocals enter the equation and make it something very special indeed. His sound may look overseas for some inspiration, but to me it could only have been born in the UK, following a rich tradition of quirky electronic songwriters from Thomas Dolby right through to Matthew Herbert.