Tag Archives: juke

Itz Not Rite: R.I.P DJ Rashad.


Rashad TEKLIFE by Ashes 57

My beautiful friend Ashes57 lost her soulmate and colleague DJ Rashad last Sunday. I’m so so devastated for her, I’ve found it difficult to concentrate on anything else this week. I can’t imagine what she’s going through, but I can say that admirably, she’s decided to carry on with her solo show in Manchester which opens this Thursday, as a tribute to DJ Rashad. All proceeds will go to his family. Please show your support if you’re in the area, or even if you’re not – you can donate here: http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/Twenty-Twenty-Two/Ashes57-Exhibition/12159758/

DJ Rashad tribute exhibition by Ashes 57

DJ Rashad tribute exhibition by Ashes 57

I’m sad for the rest of his crew too, Teklife, for Hyperdub who posted this moving statement; for Chicago, Rashad’s home city; For everyone that knew him globally and of course, for his family & his friends. I’m sad that his incredible and prolific musical career has been stopped short at the age of 34.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard his music, in my little apartment in Paris. It sent me into a trance, it got me excited about new music for the first time in ages, so much so that I tried to write a decent article about Footwork, for a French magazine called Shoes-Up. The few times I experienced Rashad playing live (with DJ Spinn and once with Litebulb dancing, with a paper bag on his head) sent me and my mates and pretty much anyone in the vicinity into a frenzy.


DJ Rashad & Litebulb, Sonar 2012

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that sonically he was a game-changer, inspiring and befriending many, many a global producer and DJ. On this side of the pond – DJ’s Oneman, Kode9, Addison Groove and Ikonika, did a heartfelt tribute mix on Boiler Room yesterday; as did Bok Bok and P.O.L Style on Rinse FM on Sunday  (see below). 

Despite all this sadness & feeling of injustice on my brow, the cliché about death making us feel grateful for our own lives is ringing in my ears, more loudly perhaps than it’s ever done so. I think this is mostly to do with the epic creative output of a man that died too early and how evident the love that people all over the planet have for him.

Kode9 wrote on Twitter last Sunday:

For what it’s worth, Rashad makes me want to live my own life much more brightly, more truly, more happily, more positively. “Have fun and live life,” as he said himself in this recent interview.

R.I.P Rashad, thankyou.



“What do you know about this footwork?”

A few months back, I wrote an article about Footwork for French Magazine Shoes Up. Rather than post the whole article (which is nonetheless available on request), here is the introduction and the full answers to the questions that I sent to Terrasquad’s Agee and Litebulb, two of Chicago’s most well known Footworkers.

Footwork is the latest descendant of the revolutionary musical lineage that is Chicago House. While it and it’s sibling genre Juke have been a vital part of underground Chicago since the late Eighties, the past year has seen a rise in the popularity of the genre, largely thanks to web channels such as Ghettotekz and Walacam. Here you will find grainy videos of battle circles in which limbs, hands and feet twist, step, bounce and sway rapidly and incredibly to 160BPM drum patterns, chopped-up samples, warped bass lines and hand claps. Perhaps uncoincidentally, the term ‘Footwork” also crops up in martial arts and not unlike a combat sport, occurs inside a ring in which teams of dancers battle it out amid cheers and heckles. “Let’s Go!”

What can one expect at a Footwork battle?

LITE BULB: When approaching a footwork battle, be expecting a lot of competition and high energy, fun music, and a lot of trash talking. If you’re at the right place with the best dancers, be expecting jaw dropping moves – amazing talent and creativity at its best.

AGEE: If you’re at a footwork battle u should expect intensity passion creativity pain anger fun great music and spectacular moves depending on who’s dancing!

How long have you been dancing and what drew you to it?

LB: Myself have been footworking for about 5, 6 years now. I came in a nobody, and made a name myself with ambition, hardwork and dedication.

AG: I’ve been dancing for 16 years I got really good at in 2000 and start trying to make a name for myself .  What attracted me to footwork was the parties and the energy from all of the dancers I thought was intense oh and the most important the girls.

Where does a new dancer begin? Is there a rite of passage into the battle circle?

LB: To be honest there isn’t really a right of passage to the footwork game. Its a matter of showing up at the events where the best are and having right confidence to jump out there, do your best and show the greats why you belong, and that you have the heart for the sport itself.

AG: Well back in early 1990s you couldn’t just come out on the scene as a new dancer without being in a group and then your group would bring you out when they thought u were ready but times have changed and now you either go to TUFF (The Underground Footwork Factory), Warzone or Battlegrounds.

A Dummy Film: How To Footwork from Dummy on Vimeo.

You’re considered to be three of the best dancers in the game, what determines a great dancer?

LB: Being considered one of three best dancers is a great honor. The most important traits to have when coming into the game are: staying ambitious, practicing your craft, staying humble, and must importantly paying homage to the great legends who were doing it before you.

AG: To be a great dancer it takes dedication, time, creativity, and respect is the most important besides knowing your history about footwork and the greats before your time!

Do DJs react to dancers and specific moves or is it up to the dancers to adjust themselves to the beats?

LB: In most cases with the DJs, the dancers react to the DJs music. Some great dancers even get there names in tracks depending on how good they are in the industry itself. The music brings the dancers to life, and it goes vice versa for the dancing – without one, the other cant exist.

AG: With footwork the dancers react to the music first because footwork requires us to flow with the music! Our speed is 160 bpm (beats per minute ) the djs know what to play according to how intense the battle is.

This issue of Shoes Up magazine is based around the theme of tradition – what are the traditions or rituals surrounding Footwork?

LB: There is so much history that surrounds footwork. It’s been around since the end of 80’s goin’ into the early 90’s and has been around since. The Bud Billiken parade is a once a year event that exhibits the art form at its best and has been around for decades. Then there’s various skating rinks that hold battles and Juke parties all over Chicago, and also special events that hosts battles that only exhibit the dance style on Sundays called TUFF (The Underground Footwork Factory). We hope to keep the tradition going forever, evolving the culture around the world and building on the foundation that was started way before us.

How important is clothing to dancers? What do you wear on your feet?

LB: The clothes aspect of the culture are usually more urban like…its kind of like whatever you feel comfortable in is what you dance in. For me personally, I like being fresh – more Hip-Hop like, graphic tees, Levis, fitted caps and things of that matter. In most cases, all footworkers dance in gym shoes. I myself prefer Supras, Nikes, and Addidas, all great dancing shoes in my eyes.

AG: To alot of dancers clothing is really not important but to me it is i like to look fresh while I dance that’s just me. As far as shoes I wear all types of Nikes, Air Jordans and Addidas those kicks just go with my swag on the dance floor.

While watching you Footwork online I’ve noticed moves that hold similarities to Ballet, Shangaan and Toprocking; do you study or are you influenced by other forms of dance?

LB: I study so many other dance styles because as you can see Footwork is based on that persons own creativity itself. I study Krumping, Tutting, Top Rock, and I love the Jabbawockeez. Their isolations help me improve my neatness and helps me give the element that I’m floating…Michael Jackson influenced a lot of footwork moves as well, as there is a move named after him called the “Mikes”.

AG: I respect all types of dance I watch Breaking, Popping, Turfing, Krump, House and many more it gives me different ideas to put with my style.

What do you think about Hip Roll? Do you participate?

LB: I think Hip Rolling is a great art form for dancers that practice Hip Hop and other dance styles but it doesn’t mesh with footworking at all…and no I don’t participate in the style myself.

AG: Hip rolling is getting popular all over the world but very popular on the west side of Chicago. Me personally I don’t do it, but I have friends who do though!

How vital is the Footwork scene to Chicago? Has it and the culture surrounding it changed since receiving exposure outside of Chicago?

LB: The culture is very vital to Chicago because it shows character and lets the world know what we do in our city and why we love it as much as we do. Any Chicagoan thats from the suburbs or the hard inner city from the south, west, east, even the north side was raised on the culture and appreciates it a great deal and over the years it has evolved tremendously since the exposure picked up outside of chicago…there are more moves being created, and other dance styles being implemented to the culture as well..

AG: Footwork is very vital in Chicago its been going on since late 1980s and early 1990s and it’s crazy its just getting recognized now but it couldn’t stay hidden forever since its so unique! It was just a Chicago thing but were taking it international

Do you like the Juke inspired music coming out of Western Europe? Does it inspire you to dance?

LB: As far as the Juke music being created outside of Chicago, I love it, it shows that people outside of my normal atmosphere appreciate the culture as much as I do, and any Juke music makes me wanna dance because of how much I love the culture, I can literally dance to any music though.

AG: I also like the juke inspired sound coming from west Europe, Paris, and Switzerland. It has a similar sound but yea ill dance to it we can Dance to anything keep up the good work looking forward to working together some day






Vodpod videos no longer available.


This mix is the outcome of a beautiful email (below) sent to DRUMZ from a young man called J. ZOOMBA. Hailing from Spain and recently transported to South London, he wrote to tell us that amongst other things, he believes we have similar taste in music…he wasn’t wrong.

Noteably, the tracklist features artists such as Canblaster, Jamie George, French Fries & Riffs and is riddled with earworms, that I for one, have had the pleasure of feeling at some brilliant Youngunz, Club Cheval & Night Slugs nights here in Paris where D.O.T.S is currently based.

As well as being a sonic postcard of current Friday & Saturday bass orientated dancefloors, this mix is also an exciting indication of what to expect from J Zoomba’s new audio-visual night of the same name – PIRI PIRI, set to hit South London’s Amersham Arm’s on April 2. Expect great things.

Here’s the original email from J Zoomba :

I’m 22, London born, but was brought up in Spain where I started the first international Dubstep/Bass Culture nights about 4 years ago. Back then they didn’t have a clue how to take it (like most), but we kept on pushing and now its one of the main urban nights in the country.

We’ve managed to bring all types of bass heads, from Martelo and Redlight through to The Heatwave, Congo Natty, Foreign Beggars, Baobinga……… most of them for the first time in the south of Spain (we were based in Granada).

I’ve just moved back to south London a few months ago and have been working on a fresh take on the UK bass scene with a few like minded producers, trying to incorporate the Latin influence as much as we can.

We’ve started up a crew called PIRI PIRI, and we’ll also be putting on nights in south London (the first being the 2nd April). It’s mostly aimed to break down the barriers between the different UK bass scenes, and hopefully inject a bit of the unpretentious Spanish party vibe into the dance!
We’ll also be putting on documentaries before the gigs, based around the music we’re promoting (be it Baile Funk, Dancehall, Dubstep.. we’ve been speaking to this guy about putting on screenings of his mind blowing docs: http://rosforth.com/).
The venue is the Amersham Arms, and its also has a really vibesy little gallery in the top floor that we would be looking to use.
Finally, I heard Martelo’s mix you put up a few weeks back, absolutely massive. Like I said I feel we’re on a similar musical wavelength.
The mix is 1hr of jams, mostly on a skankin’ garage/funky tip, with the odd juke bootleg thrown in, a whole heap of dubs, plus some from myself and the Piri Piri mansdem!

D.O.T.S FALTY DL & Dave Q Hardbody Mixtape


(Click above)

… a loveletter to UK hardcore

I let out a massive “yeah-eh-eh-eh-eh” going through the entire scale when this mix came into our inbox last week from New York’s finest, Dave Q (Dubwar / Twis’Up) & Falty DL (Planet Mu / Swamp 81).  As good things come to those who wait, we held off until today, Love day, to share it with you.  Below is an email interview with Dave Q & Falty DL, explaining more about it. Enjoy…x

GC- Can you tell me how you made it, why these tunes, what’s it all about?

DQ- The mix is meant to be a loveletter to UK hardcore. We wanted to usebreakbeat oriented tunes at all tempos to draw a connection back to Jungle.  Falty did the first half of the mix. His tune “Hard” is the first track and pretty much sets the tone for the whole thing. He sent it to me a few months ago and it blew me away for how faithful it was to the style of pre-jungle breakbeat hardcore, but at house tempo andcompletely fresh. He gave the tune to Loefah, who signed it to Swamp81, and he’s continued to make a number of these sorta distinctly junglistic tracks that I think are really refreshing.  Muscular femininity is what we’re going for. That explains the female body builder cover photo 🙂  My part of the mix (the second half) is more strictly jungle, though mostly more obscure pre-1994 tunes, where you could still have a hard 4×4 kick drum. Since most of my dj sets have been including Juke atthe end lately, I’ve started pushing the tempo further up and ending with Jungle, which has surprisingly reignited my excitement for jungle. It has been particularly fun to discover a lot of stuff that was made before I got into jungle in ’95 (still my favorite single year for music in my lifetime).

FALTY – I agree with what D said earlier, this represents a lot of history and the present of hardcore music. What’s cool is it is backwards. Present day tunes first half, old school last half.

GC- What’s up with the ‘future garage’ tag/genre ?

DQ- I don’t really have too much to say about future garage. I don’t care for the term personally. Falty probably has more to say about it though.

FALTY – Future garage… errrr… not my fav term tbh, but I don’t really care too much about genre names these days. I try and remind myself how lucky I am to be a producer and not dwell on the petty stuff : )





In preparation for the launch of The D.O.T.S / Georgina Cook photography exhibition at LAVA gallery, our latest mix comes from sonic super hero MARTELO [Santogold / YoYo / EOTW]. After 6 months of tuning in to his distinctively thumpin’ production style and globally minded sets, radio shows and mixes, we’re pleased to present Martelo’s new and exclusive mix, a 64 min. snapshot of his current likes and a pure new music education for the rest of us.

D/L: http://hulkshare.com/owlb44nc5u7k

LAVA Gallery presents, Georgina Cook. Launch party 17 Feb 6-9 pm, music from Martelo and Skipple.

LAVA EVENT: http://www.lavacollective.com/010-Geo…



MIXES: Martelo FOLLOW: www.twitter.com/iammartelo