Have you experienced life at one hundred and sixty beats per minute? This week in undergrounds sounds, your ears will be exposed to the fast paced and frantic beats of Chicago Footwork! This genre of dance music has roots in the House music tracks of the late 80’s and early 90’s. The steady four on the floor kick drum pattern and 120 bpm sped up to 140 with it’s mutation into Ghetto House. With this increased tempo came a focus on a short, hard hitting, repetitive sampling style. As time progressed the tempo was further increased to 160 bpm and more complicated syncopated kick drum and snare rhythms were introduced. Modern Footwork borrows heavily from rap and club culture, mutating samples of popular hip hop tracks into a completely new meaning.
One of the most prolific Footwork labels is Teklife. Based in Chicago this label is home to the genre’s originators such as Traxman, DJ Rashad, RP Boo and DJ Spinn.
In the mix above you can see the natural chemistry between DJ Spinn and Rashad as they play track after track of their own blend of lightning fast bass lines. The rapid transitions and high energy translate to packed, sweaty dance floors.
The sound of footwork is hard hitting, direct and focused. After doing away with all of the fluff, you are left with the bare essentials to get your body grooving and your mind zoned in on a singular point.
The name Footwork is tied to the dizzying dancing associated with the genre. The video for RP Boo’s Bangin’ on King Drive is a wonderful example of how to work it out to a Footwork track. Hopefully next time you need to burn some calories you put some Footwork in your workout playlist!