In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their Bandcamp collections. While hearing new music played out by your favourite selectors has been put on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s never been easier, or more important, to support the artists and imprints releasing tracks, albums, EPs and comps in the midst of all the madness. In lieu of opportunities to discover new records on the dancefloor, Selections will give you the chance to nab sounds from the crates of tastemakers, and support the people behind them while you’re at it. Win-win, right?
This week, footwork veteran EQ Why curates a crash course in the high-speed, hyper-rhythmic sound of Chicago. Dipping into his collection, the prolific producer and DJ highlights works from pioneers RP Boo, DJ Rashad and Traxman, along with deeper cuts, futuristic genre fusions, and variations from the Japanese scene. These selections scratch the surface of a vital and ever-evolving sound, which emerged from young Black communities on Chicago’s South and West Sides in the late ‘90s, before evolving into a globally respected scene over the past decade thanks to seminal releases on labels like Teklife, Planet Mu and Hyperdub.
Born from juke and ghetto house, footwork is the sound of high-energy dance battles and parties, its rapid rhythms mirroring its dancers’ racing feet. It’s a vibe that EQ Why knows inside and out, having been embedded in the scene since the mid-noughties as part of the Bosses of the Circle collective. In the past decade, his production rate has been dizzying, with dozens of EPs released on his own Equalized Records, showcasing an adventurous, experimental take on the classic sound. Collaborations with the likes of Traxman, DJ Elmoe and DJ Roc, and two appearances on Planet Mu’s ‘Bangs & Works, Vol. 2’ compilation (as DJ T-Why) have further solidified his place in the pantheon of footwork, and he is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Check out EQ Why's Selections below.