“When the past meets the present, the future arrives” — that’s forward thinking by DJ Frankie Bones. An American legend and one of the world’s most accomplished techno artists, his unique mix of optimism, tough sonics, and pure New York attitude has helped drive electronic dance music forward for more than three decades.
The man behind New York City’s Groove Records and Sonic Groove Records which were the vinyl gateways of the ‘90’s transatlantic rave scene, Bones knows the many threads of modern dance music like the back of his hand. After being flown out to the U.K. in 1989 to play a sunrise set at Energy to 25,000 ravers losing their minds, he never looked back. That morning is still at the core of him, and you can hear it in every full-on DJ mix or production which pulses from his electric touch.
While being the first American DJ to hit it hard in the U.K., Frankie also toured across Europe as the rave scene there began to grow. His 1989 release “Call It Techno” became a cult classic in Germany, and his “Future Is Ours” and “My House Is Your House” became the official names of the 1991 and 1992 Love Parades in Berlin.
As graffiti writers with underground status running into subway tunnels to paint trains, Frankie and his brother Adam X painted the infamous “Peace Love Unity Movement” train car on July 4, 1990, to spread their message of peace in a violent era of New York City history. People soon began to learn what PLUM was all about.
Bones was pushing the movement through his music. In May of 1991, Frankie and his crew started STORMrave, a series of illegal underground events in NYC which would prove to be legendary and ran until December 1992. They were held in abandoned warehouses, factories, railroad yards, and became a model for everything that was about to happen in the rave scene. The likes of Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath, Moby, Hardkiss, and Doc Martin all played at STORMrave, which planted serious roots of electronic dance music in the USA and beyond. Moby once explained, “Frankie Bones was our hero, because he had gone to Europe and he actually made records.”
On July 24, 1993 a fight broke out at an underground party in the Bronx. That’s when Frankie got on the mic and said ‘If you don’t start showing some Peace, Love, and Unity, I’ll break your f*cking faces.” It was from this speech that a raver from the party changed the ‘M’ for ‘Movement’ to ‘R’ for ‘Respect’. And PLUR has been the mantra for dance music culture ever since.
Take one look at his discography and you’ll realize the contributions he’s made to electronic dance music over the years. In 2014, Roland endorsed him with their new line of analog Aria gear. Several months later he played an epic Boiler Room set during the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, using the Aria Roland gear live, with true showmanship displaying his raw techniques. His Boiler Room set started off with cheers as he spoke the words to “Call it Techno”, an impervious manifesto for his sound and the global rave scene, using his headphones as a microphone… “The techno wave has grown with a style of our own, direct from Brooklyn. Essential funk kicking snare, make you feel it out over there, out of London. Call it techno. You can feel the bass. Call it techno. Techno bass….”
In May of 2015, the Red Bull Music Academy honored him with a very special STORMrave reunion party, which was the highlight event during their month-long music festival in NYC. Red Bull was able to capture the very essence of the STORMrave spirit and for one night people got to experience a moment that had been absent from NYC for 22 years.
Frankie recently played the 20th year anniversary party of Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in June of 2016, which broke the record for any rave in the USA with over 400,000 in attendance.
This fall he is launching a new techno label, Bangin Music, which will feature new music from himself as well as other under-ground and perhaps under-rated, old school and new school techno artists. Going back to his roots, he is also releasing his classic Bonesbreaks and Ghetto Technics series on digital for the first time in August of 2016, which will be available on iTunes, Beatport, and Spotify. His original Bonesbreaks records inspired England’s early hardcore, breaks, and drum ‘n’ bass scenes, influencing everyone from Carl Cox to Goldie.
He’s been recently recognized by publications like Vice’s Thump, The Daily Beast, and Insomniac for his unique contributions. The past is finally catching up to the present, and the future is here. You can call it techno.