Tag Archives: Footwork

Gabber Modus Operandi Galvanize Indonesian Folk Into Feverish Footwork

gaber modus operandi

If one were to drop in to any random point across the 31 minutes of Indonesian duo Gabber Modus Operandi’s almost absurdly dense new album HOXXXYA, it’d be difficult to pinpoint what exactly is happening with the sound. Some melodic and rhythmic elements of the production reflect local influences like a grimy mirror. Album closer “Sangkakala III,” for example, is built around a tinny melody derived from a type of Indonesian trumpet called a slompret, while the preceding track, “Padang Galaxxx,” brings to mind the trance-inducing, repetitious vocal kecak performance style that originated in the band’s native Bali. Most of the album registers north of 180 BPM, vouching for the band name’s shoutout to Gabber and their stated affinity for Chicago footwork pioneer DJ Rashad.

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Album of the Day: Jlin, “Autobiography”

Experimental producer Jlin created one of 2017’s landmark albums with Black Origami, which blended the steely electronics of footwork with warmer atmospheric sounds. The results were unusual—esoteric yet oddly familiar, reminding the listener that dance music can exist in several forms. So it’s no surprise that Jlin has rewritten the script for Black Origami’s follow-up, Autobiography, which is a commissioned score for British choreographer Wayne McGregor.

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The Inventive World of Japan’s Juke and Footwork Scene

Full Tono

Photo by Jun Yokoyama

All Kouichi Furutono wanted to do was expose Japanese audiences to the skittering sounds of Chicago juke music.

“Ten years ago, only 120 to 130 BPM house and techno, along with 170 to 175 BPM drum & bass music, existed in clubs,” the Osaka artist, who records and performs as DJ Fulltono, says. He adds that tracks moving at 160 BPM—an average speed for a juke cut—were just not common in Japan’s dance community in 2008: “At first some people said ‘That’s too fast,’ but on the contrary, it started getting attention as unusual music.”

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RP Boo’s Semiotics of Footwork

RP Boo

Photos by Will Glasspiegel

Personal markers are dotted like a trail of breadcrumbs through RP Boo’s music. Some of them are more visible, like the well-known samples—such as First Choice’s “Let No Man Put Asunder”—which he’s used repeatedly through his 20-year-plus career. In other cases, they require closer attention. His lyrics could point toward a song cherished by a family member. A lifted vocal, in another instance, might nod to a track which carries significance in footwork circles. It’s music that rewards close attention, but doesn’t necessarily require it.

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Surly Artfully Blends Polish Jazz and Chicago Footwork


At first glance, Polish jazz and Chicago footwork aren’t two genres that go hand-in-hand. One is an improvised art form forbidden under Stalinist rule and recorded as part political protest, part experimental exploration; the other is the frenetic electronic patterning of rhythms and dubby bass produced to inspire dancers to move. Yet, for New Zealand-based producer Scott Ludvigson, aka Surly, the connections are apparent. His latest EP, Trip to Warsaw, is a collection of jazz-influenced footwork; its songs feature eerie horn samples, rattling basslines, and pensive melodies that inspire both movement and introspection.

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Footwork Takes a Step Forward With DJ Taye’s “Still Trippin’”

Tay Teklife

Photos by Andy Scott

Dante Sanders, aka DJ Taye, was born midway through the 1990s into a household along 93rd Street on Chicago’s South Side. His father made sure ‘70s jazz and Chicago house were part of his musical upbringing; his mother, one of his biggest supporters to this day, passed along musical aspirations of her own. “I feel like every mom was probably singing in the car, but my mom was always singing in the car, listening to everything passionately,” he recalls. “[She] raps in the car still to this day. OK, mom. She told me that she used to want a Casio keyboard, I don’t know why she couldn’t get it, but she always wanted one. So now she sometimes says that she’s vicariously living through me.”

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Oceantied’s Distinctly Indian Footwork


Bangalore-based Ketan Bahirat, who creates electronic music under the moniker Oceantied, was watching a dance troupe known as the Baane Mane Gopalpura perform the ‘Dollu Konitha’—a drum act native to the province of Karnataka—when inspiration struck.

Boasting religious origins, the ‘Dollu Konitha’ is often staged for both entertainment and spiritual purposes. Performers sling a dollu drum — a type of percussion popular in Karnataka—around their neck as they play, leaving their feet free to dance. Their slow and fast rhythms transfix viewers, similar to the delicate balance between full and half-time tempos on Oceantied’s banger “Tribes.”

The number begins with haunting flute melodies weaving between steady intervals of beats that resembles the show’s dollu drums. Vocal cries then enter the mix; up to this point, the track resembles progressive or experimental bhangra. But shortly following the one minute mark, warped basslines kick in, and footwork fans know they’re in for something special.

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