DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad - "Dubby" (feat Danny Brown) (4:25)
Review: Anything on Kode 9's Hyperdub is always eagerly anticipated and for due reason. This time the legendary DJ Spinn steps up. Chicago footwork legend and collaborator with the late DJ Rashad schools us on how it's done, like only a DJ of his calibre can. On the first side "Throw It Back" grates at you with its acidic mono-synth facing off with a relentless sub bass assault. The title track "Off That Loud" asks "What you smokin' now?" and cuts up that very phrase over a rapidly collapsing rhythm, all so typical of the Windy City street sound's style. Also on the flip there's a collaboration with the late DJ Rashad featured, that's "Dubby" featuring the rapping of none other than Danny Brown.
Review: Skubi steps into the limelight with his debut release for Modern Ruin, an imprint reserved strictly for the finest in footwork killers. "Brain Music" is basically a modern hip-hop lick with cavernous low-ends and that familiar juke vocal stutter. The same goes for "Wet", a relatively darker, dreamier sort of affair. Remixes comes from none other than Slick Shoota and House Of Black Lanterns, the former opting for a jungle swing while the latter twists and funks that juke into an even nuttier bundle of drums and percussion. Large.
Do Not Fuck (feat DJ Manny, DJ Spinn & Taso) (3:38)
Review: After his unfortunate passing, Chicago's footwork pioneer DJ Rashad is still having tunes released, and in our opinion that is the sign of a true legend. This EP comes courtesy of London's equally cutting-edge Hyperdub imprint, the stable run by the legendary Kode9 and an outlet which has already seen releases from the late American producer. "CCP2" features another don of US juke music DJ Spinn and it's a classic Rashad joint with fast-paced percussion and 808 licks, and 'Cause I Know You Feel" is a little more soulful and broken in its groove. "Ya Hot" features Taso and it's a deeper, more hazy kinda cut, whereas "Do Not Fuck" goes for the wobble bass beneath its skippy beats and wailing sirens, rounded off by production appearances from DJ Manny, DJ Spinn and Taso.
Review: Wow, this is quite some album from Planet Mu! You may not be so familiar with Jlin, a footwork producer with a couple of contributions to the second Bangs & Works compilation Planet Mu released, but the Indiana based artist is quite the talent on the basis of Dark Energy. Jlin has gone on record to say this album has been in gestation from some time and explores darker themes than you would usually get on a footwork album. There's a real confidence to her productions at times on this album, "Black Diamond" in particular has a wonderful swagger to its syncopation, and in "Expand" Jlin offers an intriguing collaboration with RVNG Intl's resident voice manipulator Holly Herndon.
DJ Rashad - "OTS" (fea Spinn, Taso & Manny) (4:25)
Heavee - "8 Bit Shit" (4:39)
Tripletrain - "Never Could Be" (part 2) (3:19)
Durban - "I'm So" (3:13)
Taso - "Drop That Thang" (2:49)
DJ Chap - "Glacier Bae" (4:26)
DJ Paypal, Feloneezy & Jackie Dagger - "U Should No" (3:49)
Review: The Teklife crew get busy in every direction for this epic RSD collection of which all proceeds to do DJ Rashad's family. Solid steppy juke and footwork flavours through and through, highlights include the rifle modem chitter of "Do This Again", J-Dub's R&B flexing stop-start jam "All I Feel", Sirr Tmo's psychedelic slo-mo soliloquy "Live In Chicago Subway" and DJ Paypal's madcap mangled disco, tape-stop fondling "F M Blast". 21 tracks in total, each one primed for the dance, there's no better way to pay respect to DJ Rashad's legacy.
Review: Originally released on a limited run last summer, Waajeed's evergreen juke ballad "Love U 4 Life" gets a final revisit. Limited to 225 copies (complete with a certificate to prove its authenticity), both versions tell a very different story... "Love U 4 Life (melody)" is an exercise in deft sample chops and skippy juke dynamics while "Love U 4 Life" is a much darker jam that tips a nod towards classic electro before dropping into the original R&B sample right on the last chapter. Both kill it in a way that only Jeedo knows how.
Posse Up (Traxman & Jammin Gerald factory mixx) (3:43)
Work Dat (original mix) (5:16)
Da Ride (feat Eric Martin - Ride Out mix) (4:00)
Cocain Acid (original mix) (5:06)
Catch Da Fever (original mix) (5:23)
Review: Longstanding Chi-town ghetto blaster Traxman returns with six originals on Dizzy Tunes. As with any of his work, the whole EP is a physical, floor-focussed assault built up from heady loops on analogue kit. "5000" tips a nod toward the electro foundations with rich helpings of synths over gently swung (but still pretty pummelling) drums, "Posse Up" takes us deep into early 90s Detroit with its nagging vocal sample and classic reverse-style tweaks, "Work Dat" is a barking mad slab of acid craziness while "Da Ride" is a deeper, slipperier journey that shows how momentum can be surcharged with the addition of just one simple hi-hat. Deeper into the EP, "Cocain Acid" is straight up tech with a really sinewy acid line that's executed so well it could make Mr G pour a rum in celebration while "Catch Da Fever" is a jacking ode to his hometown's house music. Armed with a stupidly hooky sample, we've no doubt the likes of Farina or Carter will be dropping this. 5000 reasons to cheerful. Well, six actually.
Review: A new footwork voice surfaces from Greece as Dolgotron makes his debut on the Streetstyle label with two paranoid juke joints. Nodding both referentially and reverentially at the rudiments classic electro, there's an icy analogue sense of seriousness to "Intuition". "Get Fonky" does little to shed light on the situation; darker and even more minimal again, it's all about the ricocheted snare hits and tripped out vocal hits. Doom grooves.
SK Simeon - "Doper Than Dope" (Machinedrum remix) (3:08)
SK Simeon - "Ram Dancehall" (Machinedrum remix) (3:46)
Yaw Faso - "All Of Mi Life" (Machinedrum remix) (3:24)
Yaw Faso - "Memories" (Machinedrum remix) (3:32)
Review: Machinedrum steps up to Big Dada to deliver four highly physical twists on Aussie Enchufada affiliates SK Simeon and Yaw Faso: fusing footwork, dancehall, Afro beats and classic ragga jungle, each cut slams in such a gully way they make Major Lazer look like the president of the My Little Pony fanclub. Highlights include the neat countering of emotional vocal soul and machinegun drum bullying on "Memories" and the insane drum rolls on "Ram Dancehall". There's a reason this has been pressed to heavyweight vinyl. Bad it up.
Review: Footwork pioneer (and many would argue founder) RP Boo delivers his second Planet Mu album Fingers Bank Pads & Shoe Prints. Two years have passed since his Legacy album and here we find him at pin-point sharpness, re-shaking and reshaping the genre once again. Instant club fire hangs off most tracks like a supersized suit but it's the subtler, more reflective beatwork that really stands out such as falsetto-flickered Dilla-isms of "Your Choice", the operatic madness of "Sleepy and the cinematic sample dynamics of tracks like "Daddy's Home". Another foot-provoking document that will serve as a reference anchor deep into the future.
With Uuuuuuu (feat Feloneezy & Jackie Dagger) (5:17)
On A Cloud (feat Nangdo & DJ Taye) (4:06)
Say Goodbye (feat Keiska & Tielsie) (7:30)
Review: The fledgling DJ Paypal joins the likes of Lapalux, Martyn and Mr Oizo on the mighty Brainfeeder, and he does so with his inimitable blend of footwork-driven electronica, and mind-bending pseudo house. This extended EP features nine solid dance bruisers, starting with the jazzy drum rolls of "Ahhhhhhh" that fuse neatly into the likes of "Awakening", a gorgeous piece of nu jazz complete with the sexiest trumpets we've heard in a while, and "Sold Out" itself, a delightfully bumpy ride along a rollercoaster of percussion and starry melodies. This is jazz for the next millennium.
Review: Detroitian beatsmith, Platinum Pied Piper and Tiny Hearts founder Waajeed flips from Jeedo to Jeedeci for this unique slice of space-aged hip-hop. Fusing elements of juke, trap, techno and classic 90s R&B to great effect, both versions carefully balance the stark out-there beats with the soft harmonies and rich chords of the R&B sample. Fans of anything that's been delivered on DJ Shadow's Liquid Amber will be all over this.
Review: Shake It Maschine and Mr Pigman's Simpig project comes correct with their debut full-length release Strangers. A fusion of future beats, trap, jungle, footwork and even trance, there's a great sense of the cosmic throughout as synths and snapped, shaken and bend backwards over robust drum patterns. Highlights include the carnivalian arpeggios and otherworldly instrumentation of the title track, the dungeon trap trippiness of "Genetics and the jazz-flickered, Stray-like stepper "Breeze". With a body of work this strong Simpig shouldn't be strangers for very long.