Release Date 02/08/2010 (Planet Mu)
By Sam Constable
Next up on Planet Mu is newcomer Nathan Clark (aka DJ Nate) hailing from the Westside of Chicago. His debut comes in two, firstly from his first pressing on Planet Mu wax, and secondly, the style. Since the tender age of 15 Nates been the proud producer of a style known has Footwork.
Footwork tracks are essentially instrumentals created for Footwurking or Jukin – a dance style originating from Chicago in the US, used for kids & crews to compete with each other. A distant relative of the breakdance style of uprocking crossed with foot moves that have their roots in Jazz dancing.
The Footwork sound has its roots in Chicago House, and the influence and speeds of the pioneering ghetto house label ‘Dance Mania’ is clear. The tough sentiments and hip hop influence is all there, but the fast linear hypnotic 4×4 sound of those records has been re-calibrated and given an ultra syncopated treatment to test dancers.
The EP comprises of 6 tracks, each offering a pleasingly stripped back and melodic beat. Layered on top of this is a continuous vocal sample, which is usually the name of the track or a sentence made up of it. This is then split, sped up, slowed down, reworked or twisted in some sense throughout the track.
Like myself and the majority of people reading this, it’ll be your first introduction to Footwork. If I were to attempt to make any sort of comparison I’d describe the beats themselves as a combination of stripped back versions of early 90s hip hop in structure and sound, with sprinklings of modern day dubstep in atmosphere and fx.
The title track “Hatas Our Motivation” is literally just that. One solid backdrop of hollow drum work coupled with solemn horns. The sample hook of the track “Hatas our Motivation” is then played at different pitches and in different segments continually throughout.
“Ima Burn Him” offers up slightly more. A vocal stab pads out the drum hits, whilst the sound of a handgun being cocked punctuates the two. The vocals then repeats in much the same manner as the first track, but this time with not as much force allowing the beat a chance to shine through.
The remaining tracks all employ the same approach – stripped back beats and looped vocals. Taking into account that this is the first time I’ve come across DJ Nate and Footwurking, I have to say the sound doesn’t appeal to me. In a dance sense I can appreciate how this would offer a diverse and difficult challenge for dancers to work against, but for me musically the songs hold no interest short of a few plays.
Your mind should never be made up by one man’s words though so hit the link below and see what you make of the sounds. The single stands as a prelude to the album and is released 2nd of August in Vinyl & mp3 format.