The State Of Juke: Footwork in London

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It has not been that long since most dance music enthusiasts outside, let’s say, Michigan and Illinois (e.g. Chicago and Detroit) didn’t know much about
Photo provided by We Buy Gold
It has not been that long since most dance music enthusiasts outside, let’s say, Michigan and Illinois (e.g. Chicago and Detroit) didn’t know much about Chicago’s burgeoning juke and footwork scene. The evolution from house to juke did go pretty much unnoticed by European dance floors. When hearing the terms juke or footwork most people probably thought of mid 90s Dance Mania records and ignored the fact that something new and exciting was happening in the Windy City. While the local scene there was prospering, djs and producers like Traxman, DJ Spinn, DJ Rashad, DJ Nate, DJ Clent or DJ Roc shaped this hyperkinetic and raw new sound, it wasn’t until two years ago that juke finally gained international recognition.

In the process it inspired a new generation of young producers and djs (mostly) from UK’s vibrant dubstep scene (Addison Groove, Ramadanman, Mark Pritchard, Andy Stott or Machinedrum to name a few) to incorporate juke elements into their sonic template, while juke’s aforementioned key players started to travel the world.

Since then juke hasn’t slowed down in its evolution. Prime examples of this development are Traxman and DJ Rashad’s debut albums, released on Mike Paradinas' Planet Mu (the label, that is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for filling folks in Europe in on everything juke and footwork) and on DJ Rashad’s own Lit City Trax respectively, refining and pushing the sound to a new level. The way both Traxman and Rashad shred breathlessly through tons of (sometimes well-known) samples from dance music’s history, using their MPC’s to recontextualize and joyride them over furiously syncopated drum patterns at 160 beats per minute, is still one of the most exciting and bloodrushing experiences in contemporary dance music.

Needless to say that there have been a number of regular juke parties popping up all around the globe. London’s freshly minted "We Buy Gold" is one of them. On June 22nd J-Cush, one of Chicago’s finest, takes over the decks at the London Alibi. Being a key member of DJ Rashad’s Ghettoteknitianz family he will be accompanied by Midland’s Lenkemz, who has been making a name for himself with his idiosyncratic take on juke, jungle and beyond. "We Buy Gold" residents Das Boot and Jambie complete the bill for a special night-out full of maximum dance floor pressure.
Published: Jun 18, 2012
by Sven von Thülen (artistxite)
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