♫♪  Cakedog - “CakeUp”

Under the Ahnnu moniker, Leland Jackson zones us into a dissociative mindset by airing individual samples into open spaces and looping them ad infinitum, allowing them to accumulate time-stretching artifacts and subtle effect processes as time slows to a crawl. Stripping his mixes of any legible percussion, he sketched out a mutant cousin of drone or musique concrète as filtered through an MPC-slinger’s rhythmic sensibilities on modern classic tapes like World Music and Battered Sphinx.

The music of Cakedog, Jackson’s 160BPM alter-ego, trades this hypnotic sample haze for its polar opposite: a vision of percussive footwork indebted to the Teklife crew that offers a heartfelt “RIP Rashad” while prodding at the limits of the style that the sorely missed DJ and his contemporaries pioneered over the last two decades. On “CakeUp,” a cut from his new tape Menace in the Phantom, Jackson cushions hi-hat clatter in reverbed synth pads, twinkling key samples, and a chubby upright bass groove. Syncopated kick drum bursts send the mix careening into double-time polyrhythms perfectly fit for the maxed-out maneuverings of footwork dance scene, as practiced in a network of venues, basements, and community spaces across Chicago’s south and west sides.

If you haven’t seen footwork in action with your own eyes, Cakedog can fix that for you. Jackson filmed the video for “CakeUp” straight to VHS on site at Battlegroundz, a seminal dance space on Chicago’s south side home to regular footwork meet-ups and battles. Given that the footwork / juke style has existed in some form since the early 90s, Cakedog’s deliberately retro visuals, complete with public-access style titles and flashes of grainy geometric abstraction, speak to the long legacy of dancers and producers that have pushed the style forward from its local beginnings to the international stage. However it reaches us, the footage or the IRL experience of footwork has the potential to stun its audience with its warp-speed steps precisely tethered to shifting rhythmic grids. Jackson’s video shines by giving into the awe of the exhibition, presenting just a few slices of the remarkable agility workshopped every day, battle by battle, by the style’s practitioners.

• Cakedog: https://cakedog.bandcamp.com
• Leaving Records: http://leavingrecords.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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