With the semi-regular feature .ext e n s i o n, Will Cash reaches deep into the Internet to map electronic sight and sound.
Photo Credit: Sich Mang
Part 2 of our Cloud series will cover artists who work or have worked with Chicago Footwork. Footwork, a dance genre born of ghetto house, has been sweeping the globe for a few years now and is one of the most aurally exciting new forms out there. (Check out our previous feature here.) These artists don't work exclusively in footwork and a few notables who don't post often were left out for that reason.
RP Boo / Arpebu
Buuuuu. Kavain Wayne Sr. is one of the originators of the abstraction that defines the footwork sound. RP's tracks play with the space between in a singular and psychedelic way. Hypnotic, overlapping circles of sound hover over the speakers, in and out of synch with your notions of correctness. His constructions carry a humble (or deceptive) air of simplicity that invites the listener to let the complexity within wash over them for a totally immersive experience. "Sounds: that's what the speakers R 4."
Bonus: Interview by another entry on this list.
Rashad is the biggest name in the feet game for every reason. Creator of some of the deepest feeling bass movements in modern sound, he is leading the Teklife crew into the pop consciousness with his innovative and evolving takes on track making. He is an intensely prolific and peripherally aware creator. Classic sounds cycle through his warped machine and emerge with new life, new force, and new direction. His music is alternately emotional and ice cold, familiar and yet completely fresh. Clean, cool, king.
"Sich Mang, you crazy." These 2 freaks from Chicago have five feet and six arms in 12 degrees of shit. Former and current projects include deranged, oozing hardcore, Supreme retinal defecation and this mixed up juke-baby called Sich Mang. Mix topics include Joe Rogan's experiences with DMT, "Music Zone Rent Paid Worldwide," and like, a lot of weed. Sich Mang prints on sheets of acid with familiar global-pop textures and makes you drop every hit. This is rhythm music with glorious abandon of all fucks, imbued with a revolutionary spirit.
Dave Quam, as previously mentioned, is a multi-talented individual. In the past two years, his regionally ambiguous Massacooraman project has really taken off. Dave's snakelike drum programming and hyper-aware DJ sets carry a DNA that is distinctly his own, even alongside his burgeoning peers in Fade to Mind and Teklife. The sounds come from places deep and wide, sonically and geographically, and everything he posts is worth a listen.
Japanese Juke is getting really, really good. Foodman, Paisley Parks, Bootytune, and Satanicpornocultshop (among others) have found a weird, sparkling niche to dig into. I'd be lying if I said I knew exactly what was going on here or how they work live (their pictures always involve several dudes with mics), but I fucking love it. These aggressive, unpretentious, and overwhelmingly precise tracks catch the movement of the footwork style with an exciting fidelity. Plus, these dudes seem weird as hell.
食品まつり a.k.a foodman
Foodman, let me count the ways I love thee. Shokuhin Maturi: track maker, DJ, painter, master of surreal abstraction. Foodman's recent posts have been more experimental or acoustic forays, but page back a bit (there's a lot of goodness here) and you'll find a wealth of head-spinning, deep bass messages. The tracks carry a spiritual undertone as a result of both their disorienting yet soothing chaos and their source material which often contains bits of Noh or traditional Japanese instruments. Highlights include: MARO DE GO, mori he go and OOKI TORI.
徳島のタンバリン a.k.a. tarnbarin
Tarnbarin is my most recent find on this list, and from the looks of him, possibly the youngest. But who knows; I can't read much of what he writes, and he doesn't leave a lot of clues. I can say that he has been consistently posting some Hard tracks. Some of this stuff fits right in line with the Teklife godfathers, and I bet someone will pick him up for a release soon.
Speaking of Teklife, here's a big guy. Nate Boylan is a high school science teacher on the South side of Chicago by day and one cold motherfucker by night. Boylan is another on our list with a distinctly recognizable stamp on his tracks (beyond his "BOYLAN" sample). His syncopation really hits hard by playing against your expectations. He likes good soul or hip-hop samples that might be cliche or predictable in less deft hands, but takes them into new contexts with his jarring sub drones. Boylan is an OG.
Vtgnike are one or more willfully or necessarily obscure Russian street artists and bearers of the amazing url: soundcloud.com/404. Russian ghetto to the core. This work interests me beyond description—not only their footwork dirges and house mixes, but their intense tumblr of Soviet oppression, humor, culture and resistance. These kids seem like some of the best allies you could have if you found yourself out in the cold under the dark hand of Putin.
This unknown, possibly Chicagoan DJ posts short, densely layered mixes of classic and contemporary tracks. This sounds a little blase, but the result is actually very satisfying. The tracks come off more like re-mixes than just mixes, usually anchored by some thick, ambient tones throughout. No names, no words, just tracks.