Frankie Bones has remained an instrumental force in dance music culture since the beginning. Not only recognized for birthing the rave scene in America in the early 90’s, his unique contributions of music paired with a resilient New York attitude have helped drive the scene forward for more than three decades. And in 2017 his legacy is growing larger than life.
The man behind New York City’s Groove Records and Sonic Groove Records, which were the vinyl gateways of the ‘90s 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.
Before long, his influence on the scene extended beyond the music alone. 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 during New York City history. People soon began to learn what PLUM – which would eventually transform into PLUR – 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 proved legendary and ran until December 1992. They were held in abandoned warehouses, factories, and railroad yards – and became a model for similar gatherings that emerged from the rave scene. The likes of Richie Hawtin, Sven Väth, Moby, Hardkiss, and Doc Martin all played at STORMrave, which planted serious electronic dance music roots in the USA and beyond. Moby recently 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 at which Frankie Bones was DJing. On this infamous occasion 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. He used the Aria Roland gear live, demonstrating true showmanship with his raw techniques. His Boiler Room set started off with crowd 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 made for 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.
He played the 20th year anniversary party for 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.
In the fall of 2016 he launched a new music label, Bangin Music, which has already received major attention. He’s focusing the label primarily on techno, but going back to his roots, he has been re-releasing his classic Bonesbreaks series available on digital for the first time ever; and has already released several brand new albums from the series. His original Bonesbreaks records inspired England’s early hardcore, breaks, and drum and bass scenes, influencing tastemakers from Carl Cox to Goldie.
Frankie Bones has been recently recognized by publications like DJ Mag, Resident Advisor, Vice’s Thump, Redbull Music Academy, Insomniac, and The Daily Beast for his massive contributions. As a true innovator with a style like no other, Frankie continues to push the boundaries of electronic music. He takes us on a memorable journey into sound.. Piecing together the past with the present, holding a special key to the future.. Keeping the true message of the movement alive for all time.