Still Trippin’


DJ Taye’s genre-expanding approach to footwork was set in motion when the producer was still in his late teens, as 2012’s Overdose on Teklife picked up on the collective’s future-juke mission statement and dropped a batch of tracks that sounded borderline rave-ready. Five years later, that broad-vibes techno-eclecticism would flourish on his first for Hyperdub, the stunning Still Trippin’, by finding all the ways to not just work with but work around footwork’s trademark rhythms. The rapidfire programming of his drums waxes and wanes, shifting from familiar staccato juke structures to the blurrier traditions of dance: think “2094” pulling back the hyperspeed hi-hats every so often to let the resonance of his melodies evoke the same hypnotic mid-tempo waves present in g-funk and bass music alike, or the way that the Chuck Inglish feature “Get It Jukin’” shapes the dynamics of footwork around a tempo suitable for rapping (even if “I’m’a have to rap this slow”) while the future-boogie synth breathes like a Dam-Funk instrumental beneath it. Per Teklife tradition, most tracks are collaborative efforts, and the pull between Taye’s foundational Chicago cohort (i.e. DJ Manny) and his next-gen out-of-town peers (namely DJ Paypal) isn’t as cut-and-dry as you might expect — in fact, it’s the Manny tracks, like the acid-jungle incursions of “Need It” and the giddy Atari spasms of the bloopy bomb-dropping “The Matrix,” that most draw off tradition by mercilessly fucking with it, while the Paypal cuts like “Truu” and “Pop Drop” lean closer to the pure unadorned footwork of their predecessors — albeit with a greater dose of rhythmic anarchy. (That said,the fast-forward microchopped-violin(!) of “Bonfire” is deeply weird in a shock-of-the-new kind of way.) And while these make for great tracks, Taye pushes them into great songs, his presence on the mic as a rapper shadowboxing his own beats offering the strongest case yet for footwork as a crossover-ready vector of dance, R&B, and hip-hop while still remaining true.

Nate Patrin

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