The fifth release from Chicago's Teklife Records is Greenlight by DJ Manny. The label audaciously claims that it is 'a masterclass in footwork production' by one of their leading figures: and it's a fair call. Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, Manny has been dancing since the age of 10 and is said to have some of the best moves on the scene. The footwork sound 'has developed in unison with the dance style that accompanies it' and he has an intuition for what works on the dancefloor when channelling his energy in the studio. Instead of sampling (like many of his peers on the scene), he has created his own sounds on the album, giving it a more personal touch. Tracks like "Ghost Out" are dark and dystopian street sound, while there are mellower moments like "You Looking Good" (bridging the gap between liquid drum & bass) while the spitfire beats of "Life In This Bitch" features frequent collaborator on the album: DJ Taye.
Chicago footwork and juke producer Heavee drops his debut album on the teklife imprint following a plethora of releases on other labels such as Tar, Booty Call, and Ten Toes Turbo. WFM contains a collection of absolute floor bangers alongside peeps like the late great DJ Rashad. The title tune "WFM" was built alongside DJ Phil, another long-standing member of the teklife crew, while the appearance with Rashad himself, "It's Wack", is a minimalist rap-trap showdown that you might have heard somewhere before (flylo FM on GTA 5). The tunes with DJ Paypal are total fire, of course, particularly the crazy beat shuffler "So High". This one is not to be missed!
The Teklife collective feel as if they've been around for donkey's years but, in reality, this is only the label's seventh outing to date, and they've truly come a long way since their debut. In case you hadn't clocked on, this is pure footwork magic at its purest level, stepping and twisting all sorts of sample chops, building and deploying all sorts of nutty riddims. With 16 cold-ass killers to choose from, you certainly won't be stuck for choice, and there is so much vibe to fill your sets with - just leave it playing from start to finish; we're pretty sure you won't be lacking an audience. Dutty, Chicago-inspired business
A leading figure and respected elder in the Teklife family, Traxman has waited patiently while releases from young upstarts like Taso and Dj Earl have been enjoyed by footwork lovers all over the world. Now the time has come for him to take centre stage, presenting a collection of new material that demonstrates his mastery of the sound. Cornelius Ferguson is a mainstay of the Chicago underground, with a discography stretching back to the golden era of Dance Mania Records in the '90s. Ghetto house was an important precursor to Footwork, and Ferguson was a key figure during this transition. Highlights on Tekvision include the jagged deepness of "Be Gagen" (featuring DJ Earl), while "Drop It Down" and "Twist The Party Out" pay homage to the origins of juke and footwork.
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