Since the beginning of dance music culture, Frankie Bones remains known as an instrumental force. He’s recognized for birthing the rave scene in America in the early 90’s with his unique contributions to music, paired with a resilient New York attitude. He’s helped drive the scene forward for more than three decades and in 2017 his legacy is only getting stronger. It all began when he was flown out to the U.K. in 1989 to play a sunrise set at ‘Energy’ to 25,000 ravers losing their minds, (a morning still at the core of his inspiration for every live set.) You can still hear this passion in every full-on DJ mix or production which pulses from his now seasoned electric touch.
He’s the first American DJ whose success hit hard in the U.K. allowing a pioneer tour across Europe. 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. His influence on the scene extends beyond the music.
As young, underground graffiti writers running into subway tunnels to paint trains, Frankie and his brother Adam X’s infamous masterpiece, “Peace Love Unity Movement” train car was conceived on July 4, 1990. Their goal was to spread a message of peace in a violent era during New York City history. People soon began to learn what PLUM – eventually transforming into PLUR – was all about.
Continuing to push the movement through music, in May of 1991, Frankie and his crew started STORMrave, a series of illegal underground events in NYC, proving a legendary run until December 1992. They were held in abandoned warehouses, factories, and railroad yards becoming a model for similar gatherings of the emerging rave scene. The likes of Richie Hawtin, Sven Väth, Moby, Hardkiss, and Doc Martin all played STORMrave, which planted serious electronic dance music roots in the USA and inspiration beyond. Moby recently recalled, “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 where Bones was DJing. On this infamous night, he got on the mic and said, “If you don’t start showing some Peace, Love, and Unity, I’ll break your f*cking faces.” From this speech, (noting a raver from the party changed the ‘M’ for ‘Movement’ to ‘R’ for ‘Respect’,) the “PLUR” mantra for universal dance music culture was born.
Looking at his career, you’ll see the continued impression he’s made progressively made on electronic dance music over the past few decades. 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. As an Aria Roland artist, he demonstrated a live set showcasing 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, the highlight event during their month-long music festival in NYC. Red Bull captured the very essence of the STORMrave spirit, and for one night people experienced a moment that had been absent from NYC for 22 years. Notably, he played the 20th year anniversary party for Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in June 2016, breaking the record for any rave in the USA with over 400,000 attendees.
In the fall of 2016 he launched a new music label, Bangin Music, which has received major attention. His focus for the label is primarily techno, but keeping true to his roots, Bones has been re-releasing his classic Bonesbreaks series and contributing several brand new album releases to it. His original Bonesbreaks records inspired England’s early hardcore, breaks, and drum and bass scenes, influencing tastemakers from Carl Cox to Goldie is available on digital for the first time ever.
Most recently, Frankie Bones was recognized by publications like DJ Mag, Resident Advisor, Vice’s Thump, Redbull Music Academy, Insomniac, and The Daily Beast for his massive contributions to our scene. As a true innovator with a style like no other, Frankie Bones continues to push the boundaries of electronic music. He’s always been able to lead us on a memorable journey through sound, tastefully fusing the past with the present, but his key to the future is the true message of the movement, which will keep it alive forever.
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