Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases a portion of a National Public Radio documentary video on Chicago Juke + Footwork. This post also includes some general information about Juke [music] and Footwork [dancing] as well as a few comments from that video.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, historical, cultural, aesthetic and educational purposes.
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WARNING: Some comments on the hyperlinked pages may contain profanity, sexually explicit language, and/or other content that may be considered problematic.
INFORMATION ABOUT JUKE AND FOOTWORK
The 2000s saw a rise in Chicago Juke, a faster variant of Ghetto House which began forming in the late 1980s. Chicago Juke songs are generally around 150-160 BPM with kick drums, usually in a One-And-Two A-And-Four style pattern[clarification needed], pounding rapidly (and at times very sparsely) in syncopation with crackling snares, claps, and other sounds reminiscent of old drum machines. The production style is often markedly low-fi, much like Baile Funk. Chicago Juke evolved to match the energy of footwork, a dance style born in the disparate ghettos, house parties and underground dance competitions of Chicago. RP Boo, a former footwork dancer, is generally credited with making the first songs that fall within the canon...
"Footwork is a style of related music and street dance that originated in Chicago. The dance involves fast movement of the feet with accompanying twists and turns, and usually takes place as part of a "battle". The music style has evolved from an earlier musical style, juke, a change pioneered by R.P. Boo. The style was popularised outside Chicago by inclusion in the music video for Dude 'n Nem's 2007 single "Watch My Feet".".
“14 tracks of Juke & Footwork: Enter the circle”
Like East London's much debated 'ardcore continuum, Chicago has an evolutionary lineage of dance music stretching waaaaay back from Blues and Jazz, through to Disco, House, Juke and Footwork. Most House heads have been long aware of the Booty or Ghetto sound of DJs Funk and Deeon since the '90s, but it's only in the last few years that the sound has gone hyperkinetic in the hybrids of young producers like DJ Nate, Rashad, Spinn and Roc, diffracting the linear energy of Chi-House into unstable, super-syncopated dancefloor essentials"...
[A comment to that article posted by Tim Deckgeneral, 14 Jan 10:54 ]
"“UK Footwork Takes off”
Tracks like Addison Groove - Footcrab have helped our scene immensley in the UK, We are just starting to integrate the sound into uk sets, mainly post dubstep people are picking up on the footwork sound and bringing it to a wider UK clubbing audience to massive effect.
I DJ and run a footwork label "Fresh Mess Recordings" in the UK, and am finding similarities to when I helped pioneer original Chicago House in the UK way back in 1987 with a Series of Jack Trax Compilations, I worked in A&R at the time and Along with Pete Tongs FFRR compilation, The House Sound of Chicago, we busted it open across a largely Hip Hop / Rare Groove UK Soundscape and House then became Massive in 1988.
The same cycle is about to happen again, a recession, Kids fed up with Tech House and watered down R&B, The dubstep scene is very receptive to post dubstep sounds such as Girl Unit and Instra:Mental and the urban underground pirate radio stations are gradually pulling in this Chicago sound, and as we all know 160bpm music works in the UK, because we have had Jungle and Drum and Bass scenes in the UK, so clubbers are not adverse to fast music...
This music has lit the touch paper... watch the BOOM in 2011 and 2012."
SHOWCASE VIDEO: JUKE + FOOTWORK MINI-DOCUMENTARY FOR NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
J-Cush Teklife, Uploaded on Dec 14, 2011
Mini-documentary by Wills Glasspiegel for NPR. Features members of the pioneering crew of DJs, Ghettoteknitianz, and dancers from Terra Squad, Red Legends, Taliban, Tribe, Leaders of the New School, Nu Era, Goon Squad and more.
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THAT DOCUMENTARY
Comment at .013
R.P. Boo - "Footwork is an art".
Comment at .014
TRAXMAN - "I’m a sampler. I do this..." [Shown with a number of vinyl albums]
Comment at .019
DJ Spinn - "The technology is so, pretty much on point that we can sample pretty much anything now [Shown holding up a vinyl album of Jazz musician Pharaoh Saunders]
Comment at .028-029
A DJ says: "What we do, we juke the tracks out”.
Comment at 1.54
R. P. Boo - "A lot of people claim that we got rap music, but they don’t want to hear it. Chicago’s roots is dance."
Comment at 2:00-2:28
R. P. Boo - "I used to be a dancer, and a lot of the dancers with me, the [???]*. dey were more a footworkers. But we never knew in the years to come that it would become a style of music to help them out. As much as I was on the turntable, a lot of people that was jukin, just stopped and just looked at us doin the footwork and said they just learned and say “Well, hey, instead of standin in one spot dancing with these girls, I like to do move on they feet, and the rest was history.”
*Question marks in brackets indicate that I'm not sure about the three words that were said there.
Comment at .2:48-3:53
An unidentified [?] DJ - "I look for the sounds that, that’s not being used, or you know what I’m sayin. If it’s old, or if I gotta, if I gotta take that sound and chop it up, you know what I’m sayin, that’s what I’m gonna do, I’mma, I just wanna make it different... something futuristic and soulful…or Jazz, I’m a big Jazz fan. Anybody can make a footworks track…it’s what you’re doing with it. Bring the soul out."
Italics added by me to highlight that comment.
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/jook-juke-words-phrases-in-caribbean-in.html "Jook (Juke) Words & Phrases In The Caribbean & In The USA"
Thanks to those who are featured in that documentary and thanks to the producers of that documentary. Thanks also to all those who I quoted in this post.
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