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Cheat Sheet: Chicago Footwork

by Philip Sherburne

Cheat Sheet: Chicago Footwork


Chicago footwork is the most exciting new development in electronic music in ages, and it's spreading by leaps and bounds. It's not actually new, though; the quick-stepping sound has been bubbling up since the mid-'00s, when it evolved out of the club-friendly, down-and-dirty styles known as "ghetto house" and juke. Pushing the tempo to a frenetic 160 beats per minute, footwork did away with the four-to-the-floor pulse in favor of rippling, lurching syncopations, and it swapped out ribald call-and-response chants for more abstracted, psychedelic sonics. London's Planet Mu label gave footwork an international foothold with the 2010 compilation Bangs & Works, Vol. 1, and since then, the scene's key players have been working more furiously than ever, turning out powerful, hypnotic tracks that dazzle and bewilder in equal measure. Get up to speed with our selection of key cuts and killer records from DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, RP Boo, Traxman and more.

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