Welcome to .ext e n s i o n, the electronic arm of Flagpole's Homedrone blog.
First, press play:
In art and maybe life, creation itself is an evolutionary act, even if that evolution applies only to the creator. Roots are important, but once you jump into the river… just listen to Chuck (above).
"Footwork," in terms of electronic music, is a modern form of song and dance with its origins in Chicago House. At some point in history, certain producers and labels started speeding up the beats, and cutting down the phrases - breaking it down to 808 kits, hot claps, and dirty samples, in an effort get get that booty jukin'. Cats took their own voices, among other things, and churned out sexy, exhaustively paced tracks that are so fun you could party to one side all night.
"Juke," which I'm told was originally used in Chicago to describe anything that was really poppin' off, eventually became known as the way people were dancing to these Ghetto House tracks. As the tracks and dances continued to speed up, and the style gained proximal fame and reference, the term became more closely associated with the tracks themselves. So, shit got fast and crunk, and then, I don't know, RP Boo? What? Right. Jazz. Something happened and things got weird. Underground, in the Low End, the Southside of Chicago, a more anti-commercial, sonically adventurous sound brewed.
Patterns and structure became mutated; sub bass was dropped in hypnotic doses; and samples spoke volumes in simple phrases repeated into infinite obscurity. Dance battles between crews killed parties in favor of esoteric, subtly symmetrical, blindingly fast circle pits. At this point, kids were popping around the thing at velocities that can slow your perception of time and space. If it's all starting to sound pretty psychedelic, I feel you. Deep hood darkness inspiring the juice for positive and radical communal creation.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, where things are as they are, regardless of our popular acknowledgment, people live. Like most American pop culture, Chicago sound has made itself known around the globe. For better and worse, things are (like Chuck said) inevitably mis- and then re-understood, re-appropriated, and then live anew in their own environments.
Recently, I've heard examples of austere, minimal yet relentless, deeply reaching (into musical history) and seriously *street* jams coming out of the Euro-net. Strange, heavy, Chi-inspired, dope music adorned with abrasive and impulsive life art is creeping from frigid corners and harsh spans of the global ghetto. I'm probably not the first to tell you, but it's COLD out there. This stuff is icy in every sense. I've never been one for rules, so we're going to forget that "some of it isn't in 4/4," or whatever. These tracks are bringing enough of their own lives to the table that it doesn't matter who owes what. It's going down; and they're ready.
What's going down? I don't know. I don't know what they think the "trap" is, or if they have footwork battles, but a few of them make me feel like *I* don't even know, myself. This prologue is starting to become a feature act, so let me get to it: your friendly author has mixed a few of these tracks up for you in hopes you might forget anything you've read here. Maybe you've already hit play?
VTGNIKE - EDUARD ROSS (RUSSIA)
DJ AZAMAT - GET $ (KAZAKHSTAN)
RAH JUSTIFY - TRUE SOUTH [ORNINE REMIX] (UK)
ZEBRA KATZ X BOYFRIEND - WINTER TITTY [LENKEMZ REMIX] (UK)
NAS - LATO, ZIMA, DOPING [ENTUR REMIX] (POLAND)
INSULAR - PYRAMIDS (DENMARK)
HONEY SHAIN - HVAD HAN FÅR [DRIPPIN RE-FUXXX] (NORWAY)
DJ AZAMAT - ARNOLD (KAZAKHSTAN)
LEMONADA - VITALITY (IRELAND)
LISBENT - SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI FOOTWORK (DENMARK)
KLUMBEN - JEG KRIMINEL [LISBENT REMIX] (DENMARK)
MUNCHI - PAPERCHASE (NETHERLANDS)
H00DUMENTARY - FUCK IN DA CLUB (SWEDEN)
VTGNIKE - ARE YOU THAT SOMEBODY (RUSSIA)
For more editorialism on footwork as a whole, head to: soundcloud.com/m-o-l-o-c-h/chambermusic-90-5fm-vv-e-r-k