Teklife Vol 1 represents the first release for footwork trailblazer DJ Rashad's new Lit City Trax imprint, created in collaboration with DJ Spinn and associate J-Cush, and a label which promises to be the definitive label for Chicago's well established footwork scene. At a massive 20 tracks this album is a meaty proposition, and it's testament to Rashad's talent that the album is entirely free of filler. Showing the producer's talent for swelling low end and threadbare percussion, album highlights include his excellent DJ Spinn collaboration "We Trippy Mane" with nods to Juicy J, the analogue mayhem of "She Gonna Go", the manic 303 and 808 assault of "Da Life" and the juxtaposition of smooth Rhodes chords, horn samples and furious percussive rattle on "Kush Ain't Loud".
The tragic passing of DJ Rashad adds a heaviness to this release on Southern Belle, which finds the footwork trailblazer on searing form on a short and bittersweet four tracker. The title track is stark in its rapid fire arrangement of drums, while the vocal commands drill out a precise set of mantras. Rashad's regular cohort DJ Spinn chips in on "Come On Girl" which gets even more frenetic in its calls, while DJ Manny weighs in with the pair for the more melodically rounded "Do It Again" with its musical female hooks and a lighter touch on the beats. Gant-Man brings some Chaka Khan firepower to "Somethin 'Bout The Things You Do" that will surely set many a footwork dance alight with crowd-pleasing finesse.
Three pivotal figures in the evolution of Chicago juke music and the developing footwerk scene come together on this new EP for Juke Trax - led by DJ Rashad, who drops a pair of new, lightening fast clap 'n' bounce workers. "Nite Love" is cold and bare, with a diced up sample of Robin S' "Show Me Love" at its core, while "GT Music" uses a nice chunk of "Percolator" and throws in some scuzzed-up kicks and short vocal samples into a perfectly-structured and thrilling juke smasher. Elsewhere, Boylan samples Etta James on "Hands" and Lil Wayne on the brilliantly chaotic "Pistol", while all three producers join forces on the subby half-step of "Drinkin'".
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