About Daibutsu Music // BUDDHA BEATS Podcast


Having been around since before the iPod, I was always envious of my fellow local superstar DJs for being able to reach audiences the way they did. They had worked out a way to get heard. They were playing gigs, touring, or even being asked to fly overseas way before the term "International DJ" became a sought-after job title. I wanted that. I STILL want that. And as times have changed, so have the tools. Getting a radio show soon turned into having a podcast. Thanks to Adam Curry for coining that term. At the time, I wasn't as savvy with code, or even understanding how the Web worked, let alone how to get one of my mixtapes or CDs on the Internet. I was busy making the rounds, trying to get on a show, podcast, gig, whatever. Very difficult when you get asked "Who do you sound like? Josh? Nigel? King & Doz?"

"Hey, I sound like ME, alright?" I would reply.


This just kept happening over, and over, and OVER... enough to make anyone mad, discouraged, and loose faith in the scene. So, after being moody, and getting nowhere near where I wanted to be, I sought assistance from friends who had heard me DJ out, got them together, and explained what my game plan was. My friend April had turned me on to a few friends whom she thought would benefit from this venture as well, Steve, Wyatt, and Mike. All of us met up at Steve's place, and we sat down and discussed it. This was the birth of Burnin' Productions. We were going to throw our own parties, and make our own entry in the history of Philadelphia's underground rave and nightclub scene.

Seeing as how I was the most computer-savvy out of all of us, it was my job to create the flyers for our parties, which I happily did. They weren't as hot as the masterpieces made by Undr (who STILL is the undisputed rave flyer king of Philadelphia), but when he saw one of them he gave me kudos on it. That meant a lot to me. April had a friend who would be able to print them for us for free, or at a much lower price than normal. I would drive from the suburbs down into Philadelphia with a iOmega Zip drive and three 100Mb cartridges, and get the flyers made. The next time we all met up as a crew, we would head out into the nooks and crannies of Philly to the underground clubs, and hand out our flyers as the clubs were emptying out, which is 2AM in Philly. Yes, even though I had to work the next morning, I was out in the wee hours of the night, doing this.

We had secured (although with very strict rules and time constraints attached) a weekly at one of the toughest places to get anything going at the time: Ulana's Restaurant & Lounge. But for us, this was our chance to prove that we could add to the rave scene landscape for Philly, and we played our hardest, we had started to build our brand. I loved every minute of it, and wouldn't change anything. But, what goes up, eventually must come down. So in 1998, Burnin' Productions disbanded.


I used to think that losing what you have built was always a bad thing, but that isn't always the case. While losing one thing, or many things, even more opportunities arise. If I hadn't had gone downtown to meet with a club owner about getting to spin there, only to be asked the "Who do you sound like?" question yet again, or walked over to Liberty One Plaza, and run into Sam, who was running the JASGP Sakura Festivities in Philly at the time, I would have never learned about the upcoming trip to Japan, gone there, been inspired by The Daibutsu in Kamakura, and be forever changed by this 2008 trip, which lead to my creating Daibutsu Music, which led to our BUDDHA BEATS podcast. Now, I get to start over.

There is a quote, from the Oracle in the first Matrix movie, that is as profound as any speech you'll ever hear, and keeping this in mind has aided me in making the decisions I make, and when I tell it to anyone, they take it in, smile, and nod in agreement, or shake their head with it's simplicity. Here's the quote:

"We cannot see past the choices we do not understand." — The Oracle

If we were to all think before we acted a little more, when it comes time to look at our past, would we really regret anything? Please take a listen to the podcast if you have the chance. It is made with love, and given freely. It's fun to create, and even more fun when you let us know how you like it, by sending us mail, or adding yourself to the mailing list. Take care, and see you in The Temple.

—Brian K. James // The Engineer