Review: Footwork legend Boylan touches down for the first time on the Teklife imprint with some classic footwork goodness in a backpack full of original heaters, joined this time by a number of top quality collaborators. Firstly we witness the abstract vocal stretching and high pressure drum skips of 'Can't', before DJ Manny, DJ Tre & Poo join the ride on the super high energy drum switches and alarm like melodies of 'Key Control'. DJ Hank then gets involved with the big room synthesizer chimes and heavy 808 rolls of 'Report To The Floor' before we round up this very creative body of work the pinball melodies of 'Invention', putting the finishing touches on something very special indeed.
Review: 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.
Review: 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!
Review: Montreal-based & Norway-born Slick Shoota, aka Marius Garberg Mevold, makes his way into the annals of Teklife with the Function LP. Coming up over the last few years experimenting with a darker, neo-gothic attitude toward harder-edged footwork; freshest vibes from the album come through most on "Jellyneck". With breakbeats and hardcore influecing the productions here much as other UK-centric sounds like industrial and dubstep, rave sentiments both vocal and synthwise appear in "Mtl Hardcore". For the real broken and experimental rhythms check "See Me Flex" - sound the alarm! To heavier themes and atmospheres displayed in the darker "Desire Path" next to uptempo beats, house-rave fusions and explosive kung fu percussion on "Special Tek". Welcome to the life.
Review: 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
LET ME SEE YOU NAKED (feat DJ Juicy) - (4:21) 79 BPM
WORK DAT MUTHA FUCKA (feat Steve Poindexter - Footwork remix) - (4:52) 80 BPM
TO DA HOZZZZ (feat DJ DEEON - remix) - (4:46) 158 BPM
4 DA LYFE - (3:58) 159 BPM
WILDCARD (feat Jana Rush) - (3:43) 120 BPM
OSAKA - (4:45) 107 BPM
Review: Next up we take a quick look at the latest drop from Teklife, who invite Traxman back for the second edition of the 'Tekvision' series, this time consisting of seven tracks, all boasting unique footwork energies. From the high rolling kicks and smart sampling of 'It's Lasting Bass' and 'Let Me See You Naked' to the lo-fi hardcore inspired arrangements of 'Work Dat Mutha Fucka' alongside Steve Pointdexter, this project packs some serious heat. Our highlight has to be the super atmospheric harmonic structure and padded soundscaping of 'Osaka', which fuses the high energy drum movement of footwork with some stunning melodic structure with great results.
Review: 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.