Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In This Bitch

De Schuurman ft Jandro - Nu Ga je Danse

Trance bubbling in under three minutes from one of my favorite underage DJs in the Netherlands. I'm gonna go ahead and side with this stuff over most "Dutch house". What can I say, I love these drums, and this is still as ravey as Moombah but way scarier.

320 for all you DJ dorks too.

Father of Footwork

RP Boo - The Isleys

RP Boo was basically the godfather of footwork as a genre of music, taking juke from a 4-on-the-floor house pattern to the bent bass that not only changed the sound forever, but I'm sure changed dancing as well. One of his pivotal moments was when he butchered the pitch of a now deceased Wu Tang member's voice into an even more staggering utterance on Baby Come On and invented what most people think is a Nateism. Truth is Nate was in like kindergarten at the time and due to pre-Youtube era most people outside of Chicago don't know much, if anything about RP. He was also part of House - O - Matics along with several other DJs back in the mid 90s, one of the OG footwork crews. Never really receiving the credit he is due, it is essential that he be included on this blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Battle Groundz

I'm psyched to see that these videos are making their rounds on the interwebs. Battle Groundz is a great community of footworkers, DJs, and friends that do the damn thing regardless of struggle for a permanent space. Some of the best dancers in the city can be found "there", media coverage or not, and the spirit of competition meshing with kids just hanging out defines what goes on. Luckily my homie Neema tapes these on the regular, and has thrown a bunch of mind blowing videos up on youtube which you can see here. If you think this culture is dead in Chicago it's most likely because your showing up at Smart Bar expecting NOT to hear the same mixes people make for the internet. You can chalk some of that that up to the extraordinary segregation that on takes place in this city, but your still kind of lazy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Special Dance

Young Ace ft Lon Don - Juke N Pimp 2005

There's a certain single that's popular with the Kid Cudi crowd right now that may or may not have taken a few hints from this popular street single from five years ago. Maybe the group I'm talking about never even heard this, but as hard as they rep Chicago it would be questionable if they hadn't. Make judgments of authenticity on your own time, but simply put I would much rather listen to this on any given day. I'm not really a purist but the process of making juke "accessible" hasn't really worked out so well to these ears. Baltimore club's range of popularity makes sense because of its tempo, but why is it that whenever somebody tries to make an "internet hit" out of this stuff it results in something that sounds completely sucked dry of the energy that permeates the local phenomenon? Can we at least get a Watagatapitusberry? I sense the force in plenty of European records, but a few miles from it's birthplace it completely misses the point. The genre is by no means dead locally or elsewhere (rather the opposite), but a lot of the wrong people are at the forefront of it's success, and seem interchangeable with any other localized "ghetto genre". If it were D.C. you likely hear them talking about go go and so on. I guess kids just can't seem to shake backpack rap for whatever reason.

Trying hard not to call anybody out...just saying.

Before There Were Whores

Farley Jackmaster Funk - Jack The Dick (S.M.M.F.D.) (from Jack The Bass 12" 1985)

There are definitely records on Trax that I would rather listen to, but for historical purposes here is the first ghetto house track ever. Well sort of, the first house track I know of that curses at least, predating Whores in This House and such by almost 10 years. While a lot of DJs cite early records like this as an inspiration to express naughty language, guys aren't so excited about being able to say "bitch" on tracks anymore. One individual even mentioned subconsciously stopping this practice to some degree. I think that's enough proof that it's not just "mindless club music" as I've seen it referred to, and the strong experimental nature involved is a lot more risky in the booth than bedroom genres often labeled "conscious".

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shanty Tech Ceremonies

Samo Sound Boy - The Bandit (from The Bandit EP 2010)

Begging for a late pass on this monster, and what the fuck is in the water out in L.A. these days? Or rather, what the fuck are they blowing on out there? I think the California supply got tainted by an error in the space program because the smoke clouds are ultraviolet. This brings together the three elements of successful music to me. Weird, banging, and beautiful and it can't make up it's own damn mind. Like a shortwave recording of all the best stations at once. The Bandit EP brings precision splicing on the world heat club DNA: gold teeth picking up the signal on some vacant, glassed-in mesa, sound systems spilling drinks, gargling sirens, tentacle couture. I fully agree.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Se Me Mimi Meme

Flexman - Dill Dill Dill

Limb By Limb is one of the staple dancehall tracks of early bubbling along with anything on the Bam Bam, Murder She Wrote, or Fever Pitch riddims. It's shown up on like every 90s mixtape I've heard and the words Dill Dill Dill are littered throughout battle tracks. It chops up so nicely, almost tailor-made for the genre. I guess Cutty came through to a DJ Moortje show in Rotterdam back in the day only to get mad at the DJ for playing his song too fast. Pitching things up can be risky territory so it's understandable, but this is still a classic. If your not an audiophile this is a good transition from dancehall chunes to getting the dance floor weird, but unfortunately for those of you who are I only have this at a lower bit rate. Since it's such a straight forward remix it really wouldn't be too complicated to make your own version anyways.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Proto-House Vol 1

Frankie Knuckles - Live @ The Warehouse 1977

I don't really see the point in posting much old house or disco since you can find that elsewhere, but I'm a huge Chicago history buff. I also love hearing early DJ sets, and this one sits between the time when the dancefloor had to wait between songs and variable pitch control. This gives a good idea of what went down at the Warehouse during the house music boiling pot era, and if you feel like your still missing out put a bunch of streamers up in your apartment and snort some blow. The club was located at 206 S Jefferson St, which was considered the South Side in 1977. Now occupied by office space in Oprah's West Loop, reminding me of a lot of other inner city boundary lines being pushed outward much like Harlem and elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

La Nouvelle Danse

Dakar Gucci - Instru Logobi Zinzin 2009

In light of Spoek showing us that African kids in France have the craziest hair, here's some Logobi that sounds like an amusement park ride.

And rest in peace Guru.

5:00 AM Music

Margot Hotus Salinas - E Tu'u Maheke te Ariki Nui (from Akave Heke: Holy Music from the Easter Island 1999)

I have this stupid obsession of collecting music from small islands with sparse populations that might be the case of lame exoticism or obscurity fetishism that I just can't help. Being a poorly traveled city person I think it's hard not to be interested in these places, and there are incredibly beautiful things going on in these parts of the world. Which is why I was psyched to find something from a place that's mysterious on its own. I put this one on for the first time while pulling all-nighter after my ears were shot from too much bass, generally the perfect time for something like this. Music from far off Archipelagos tends to be the perfect to watch the sun come out. The best moment to be absolutely floored by music.

I hear that modern music there is a hybrid of folk from the island and sounds from Chile. If anybody has some of that, holler at me.


Sabakoe - So so da gwe (from Internet 2002)

Not really getting the concept of this kaseko band calling their album Internet. Generally I'm a lot more drawn towards other forms of music from Suriname, and tend to skip most heavy-jazz influenced genres out there but these guys are great. All of their album covers are as weird as this one too. It's not a bubbling club remix, but it sure is a nice warm weather tune.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Footwork Flicks

I took some shots of the Sunday night Battlegroundz crew that you can check out on my flickr "Footwork" set. It translates pretty poorly to photos, but I tried. Not having a good flash doesn't make it much easier either. Keep checking it for more attempts in the future.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Suriname In Ebony

Buku, a huge archive of books, articles, photographs, and paintings that relate to the history of Suriname has made it impossible for me to get anything done lately. The above is a 1967 issue of Ebony about the racial diversity of the country that remains even after half the population moved to the Netherlands soon after 1975.

"Why come here for a story?" queried the sixth 'Black Dutchman' I met.
"Isn't Suriname a multiracial country?" I asked. Don't all of the people live together in harmony?" "Yes."

"Wouldn't you call that unique in a world torn by racial strife?"
"Perhaps so," mused the man who takes his way of life for granted.
Forty-five of the next 50 people I interviewed agreed that they live in a peaceful coexistence under a flag made up of five stars representing the five races of mankind; that in Suriname, East meets West and the twain is an elliptical orbit on the flag joining the stars together. The dissenting five are not so sure. With the coming election, Surinam's racial paradise is threatened by a power struggle between the two dominant groups: the Creoles, mixed blood (no matter how dark) descendants of African slaves who head that bauxite-rich nation, and Hindustanis, the east Indian descendants of contract laborers who have passed the Creoles economically, are catching up with them educationally and overtaking them numerically.

Read the full article here.

(Found via Afro-Europe)

Friday, April 16, 2010

...And Jump

DJ Daycard - Hole Up And Jump

Lift Up Yuh Leg And Trample on the Mars Antilles.


DJ Pat Man - Wooo

Strangely enough, I have about 5 footwork tracks with the same title, all of which use a different sample but sound almost the same. Similarly looking into phonetics like the broad range of there's some ____ in this house, if you see em point em out, or When/my ____ , I______, __ ___ ___ and get excited, and other patterns in the ghetto house spectrum. Except with naivety of composition that results in the playful nature some of us tend to lean towards. If you liked the Killa E track I posted before, this is lush like the kind of sounds that get shoegazer bands wet.

Turn Up The Bass (pt 2)

Silvio Ecomo & DJ Chuckie - Moobah (Afrojack remix) (Starfoxxx juke remix 2010)

A remix of a remix of that Dutch house track that's been getting a lot of attention lately, this time around by Chicago's own Starfoxxx. The degrees of separation between music are disappearing faster than I ever thought imaginable. I joked about dreams of kids in Suriname making juke a few months back, but that Anti-G track I posted made that one pretty much come true. And on the opposite end we have this. The only thing is that club promoters and drunk dance patrons basically gave up here, so don't expect it to be played locally. However it's already been spun by France's Booty Call Crew, so kudos to all you out in Europe once again.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The roots of footwork go back to the early 1900s in Detroit and Chicago, but obviously you can go on forever connecting the dots back the beginning of time. However, it's probably more interesting to take it one step at a time because while I like to believe music is all caveman grunts in the end, that label cloud on the right makes it hard to back up my theory. We are lucky to have some video proof of the existence of older dance crews available to us, this particular individual being Freaky Will who was important to the new wave of footwork dating back to the late 80s jit scene that rode the ghettotech wave.

For a deeper reading into Detroit history, go here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm Ready

DJ Assault - I'm Ready vs Footwork (from Straight Up Detroit Shit vol 4 2000)

Don't be fooled because this isn't exactly straight up Detroit shit. This is straight up classic italo matched to Waxmasters footwork anthem, possibly requiring more than just sliding up the pitch control. Back before laptops but during the rise of ghettotech it's rumored that DJs would actually break open their Technics and solder in more powerful potentiometers to speed slower records up faster than the turntables could handle. I believe I even heard a story about somebody using a power drill to get the plates to spin faster or something ridiculous, but I can't seem to find my sources at the moment. In general these Assault mixtapes are good, with lots of surprises such as this one. I can't help but think about old Jeff Mills sets, done a bit faster.

Chicago Tribal

DJ Ken - Sept 2006 Chicago Latino Festival Set

An old tribal set from the annual Latino Music Festival. I don't know who this DJ Ken fellow is, but I definitely want to know more about this stuff being played in Chicago. My experience with that is limited to hearing some blaring out of cars but that is all. While I don't imagine it's that big a deal here, I imagine I'm probably just not invited to the right raves. This mix isn't exactly mind blowing, but I don't think tribal house in any format really is to begin with. It certainly can be (hi DJ Mouse), but I think in most cases it's just a lot of fun. This is for those that want to hear what was going on almost half a decade ago with Latin tribal, which from what this example shows was pretty different than what's happening in Monterrey, ect today.


01 - George kranz - Din daa daa
02 - DJ Dero - Electrica Salsa
03 - DJ Javier Bazan - Tumba y Marimba
04 - Joy Marquez - Mexican Raices (Tribal Dark Mix - b1)
05 - Daddy Yanke - Limpia Parabrisas (Dj Javier Dee Remix Version 2.0)
06 - Dj Javier Dee Feat Barbie - Te Kiero (ricardo reyna rmx + Jakal)
07 - Match and Daddy - Pasame la botella - Dj Tribo Caliente Tribal Mix
08 - La tumba babata ( remix )
09 - Javier Morales v.S DJ Topo - Wara Wepa - Culebritika
10 - Acapulco tropical - Cangrejito playero
11 - DJ Lucho presents La Cubanita - Toca Me
12 - The Rumbar - Tocasamba (Kortezman Extended Mix)
13 - DJ Ninote Y 1260 Boys - El Ritmo De La Matraca
14 - DJ Sobrino - Tamales OaxaqueÒos_Tribal Mx
15 - La Montze - Guitarrero 2006 ( Dj Tribo Electro Tribal Mix)
16 - Global Deejays - The Sound Of San Francisco (Clubhouse Extended Mix)
17 - Dj sobrino - La Marimba_klubb tribal remix liquid beat
18 - Dj Javier Dee Feat Barbie - Te Kiero (ricardo reyna rmx + Jakal)
19 - DJ Sobrino - Banda El Recodo - Pena Tras Pena (Rmx Tribal Mix 3)
20 - DJ Antena - La Danza De Los Monjes (Remix Mark Alvarado 2006)
21 - DJ Sobrino - Step duranguense_tribal mix
22 - DJ Sobrino - Arboles de la Barranca

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Major Taser

Anti-G - Full Up 2008

This dude did EVERYTHING wrong. He's like the Antichrist of Dutch House. Fuck your rave music for a moment and sink into this sinister son of a bitch the same way you would a Wiley beat and clap along like your in Chicago. It's unfortunately hard to come across much in the vein of ghetto bubbeling grime house but this is the centerpiece of it. I have a bit of trouble believing this is over two years old, because it fits right in with 2011. No lasers, just smoke machines and dance floor beat downs that end in somebody getting shanked with a broken bottle.

Juke This

DOWNLOAD (datpiff link)

Originally, this was going to be part of the "Weird Mixtapes" focus, not due to the sounds it contains but due to the fact that it's really the only juke tape on Datpiff. The only one worth hearing at least and believe me, it's well worth hearing.

Beatz is a rapidly upcoming producer from Englewood and this tape is sort of like the demo version of his actual Juke That vol 1 mixtape dropping on the 23rd of this month. Instead of picking a side, he's taken the club aspect of juke and brought it up at a footworkers anonymous meeting. Ass poppin with adrenaline levels off the charts. A few words from the man himself:


Preview his upcoming tape here.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Slackk - Eski House Mix

DOWNLOAD (archive.org link)

Fantastic mix detailing Wiley synth stabs making babies with Caribbean drumming, conceived to the sweet tones of Ginuwine. I've never been able to keep up with England, the place where music nerds actually seem to be the same people that actually care. It's really exciting to me how much bubbling exists within, for it makes my obsession with it feel like one that actually might be relevant after all.

Another bomb dropped on me by the club terrorists over at Lower End Spasm.

Genealogy of Cuban Music

Click picture to enlarge. I must do one of these for Chicago now.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Now for the record, Daft Punk sort of drive me up the walls. Not their own music, but the millions of annoying kids that find it necessary to pretend to be them. As a group who has had utmost respect for their own musical influences, a lot of their fans seem to have almost no respect and in general are the equivalent of a Grateful Dead cover band in terms of music I give a shit about. I'm naming no names, and no disrespect towards Ed Banger. Now enough of my rant, because this post is about my favorite gesture Daft Punk ever made.

Teachers was directly modeled after shout out tracks that hold the last spot on the b-side to many ghetto house records, especially those on Dance Mania. Instead of naming off the various neighborhoods or fellow DJs in Chicago, they put together their own calling to their influences from the Windy City with intentions to reach out to their mentors. The existence of their homage triggered some attention to stir up across the Atlantic that you might recall reading from my talk with DJ Slugo last spring. "People kept telling us 'ya'll on this record teachers'. I was like we some neighborhood cats we don't know what no damn teachers is". Funny enough during our afternoon together someone in the room even referred to him as 'Slewgo', mocking the mispronunciation of his name that the Frenchies made. Daft Punk got in contact with Ray Barney and had lunch when they came to town with Slugo and Deeon, and on their return home put out their paean to the work of local legends. They put their own style into the same context that shout out tracks were originally done in the city of their heroes, and the results caused smiles out here and over there.

"Still to this day people are like, 'How did ya’ll get that shout out on that record?' We didn’t get them to do that shit; they did that shit on their own. I love them because they respected us for what we’ve done. When they came to Chicago they saw what we were making our tracks on and they were trippin’ like, 'Are you serious? Ya’ll are making those records on this stuff?' We ain’t got those big ass studios and all that shit."

-DJ Slugo, Sept 2008 Demencha interview.

In My Lamborghini

Z Factor - Fast Cars 1983

Beat Electric dropped some serious Chicago history yesterday, and that was this lovely little gem that even predates On & On, the record that many claim to be the first true house record. Jesse Saunders is known throughout the world for his many accomplishments, but Mayor Daley never gave him Dance Mania Founders Day as a holiday like he did Jesse Saunders and the Pioneers of House Music Day (July 17th). Pretty shocking that the later really happened ether, but talking out about Illinois government could get my internet shut off.

Monday, April 05, 2010

A Year of Mixtapes

I've been meaning to say something about this great project put together by Chicago's own Chrissy Murderbot, and the recent juke edition of the series reminded me to do so. A genre-specific mix every week for a year, compiling the tracks that made them tick in the first place. Often dealing with very foreign subjects to most, things you might not think you'd be interested in at all. He saves you the trouble of putting any effort into exploring scary territories like happy hardcore, Quebecois disco, and other stuff that might even be cringe inducing. Every volume is put together with care and obsession, no matter what the theme of the week might be. A wonderful observation of dance music that takes more than just a huge music collection, but self discipline as well.

Trip The Fuck Out

El General - Te Ves Buena (DJ Nano Batuque Remix) 2009

I made my neighbor "trip the fuck out" the other night after playing him a bunch of older dancehall and reggaeton from the stash that made him reminisce about 15 years back when El General came to Chicago. He assumed that dude "turned into a fuckin' crackhead" but last I heard he was reading the bible. Coincidentally I found this great remix of my favorite track of his the same night. Your ass is likely to fall off shaking it in speed with this one.

Friday, April 02, 2010


Top Cat - Molten Metal (From Red Zone 12" 1997)
Top Cat - Drumbalaya (from Red Zone 12" 1997)

Right off the bat I'd like to apologize for how poor the quality is on this rip, it's one I haven't been able to obtain physically yet and I don't want to pay 50$ for it on Ebay. The amount of money I make selling vinyl outweighs the amount I spend these days, not because I want to but because food is a basic need for survival. Personally I'd rather be able to hear these old Dance Mania 12"s in any form than wait for them to be put into "print" again. The later of which will most likely never happen if they aren't Deeon, Slugo, or Funk records.

Top Cat remains a mystery to me. Discogs links him to Patrick Prins, a Dutch producer who released a bunch of stuff in the 90s which I doubt is correct. Especially considering there are no records in Dance Mania's core catalog that aren't made by Chicagoans. Not that I know of at least, even Detroit is absent maybe due to Assault's Fuckadancemania. Plenty of the roster appears on European labels but there was no room for outsiders even within the span of almost 300 12"s. What a bunch of snobs! This release contains some great skeletal snare heavy ghetto house tracks (Drumbalaya) and congested synths (Molten Metal) that look good stacked up against some of the weirder, exploratory records released during this era. My favorite ones, that is.