DJ Spinn Off That Loud

[Hyperdub; 2015]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: footwork
Others: Teklife

Out on these streets, m’fuckas go into the crib when it gets chilly, turn on a computer, light up, sip up, and get to work. That’s the Teklife: car door slamming, pale sun gloss, jacket underneath jacket, Chicago Bulls, Akai sampler. Legs move, swerving, hatching angles, bumping, grooving then grinding, dropping, forming another angle again, blood flowing, sweat sweating. We’re dancing. Then back to that machine-galaxy shit. Reverb, ESPN, bathroom break. Back to that sampler. A snack, some soda masked in smoke. The world of the apartment building, or a small home full of these machines, the whole grand picture of Teklife and of what it means to dance to this music, to make it, to produce it, to keep on producing it even when it gets ripped off left and right, staying true to it like a religion, like Rashad would have wanted, would have dreamed, would have expected.

Murmuring chimes at dawn. Cold wind. Newscast from the other room. Chicago. The Bulls won. Even the beauty of the inner city seems to shine, yes. A leg in midair, with NIKES on below. But not yet. The computer is on. From one dancer to the other. One shoe to the other. Back and forth across the dance floor, waiting for your turn on plastic chairs. Waiting, energized. But in the crib, the dancing don’t happen yet. The music comes first, like the egg. Then that shit gains culture. South Chicago, West Chicago. Some of the young kids do their bop stuff, but we older cats still hold onto the dream of footwork. Sitting there trying to make music, a little light coming through the curtain from the street, sometimes there is a thought that becomes a sound that becomes part of a mix, and ultimately part of the dream. That someone will listen. Someone, listening in. Someone, dancing to it. To the rest of the world, this part of Chicago might as well be an exoplanet. To the DJs out here, this is what it is. Restlessly wandering these streets searching for the backdrop to the perfect track. Restlessly, restlessly, movin’ my legs so fast this concrete might as well be a frozen lake, just bangin’ that shit out.

Your big toe wiggles, and then that’s the end — it’s all over. Zoom zoom zoom, then bang, hit with some galactic shit. Then hit again. Then what? A storm. A hand on a knob causing a storm. People taking up positions nearby, in full view, underneath lights. Red, yellow, blue. Juke trax. Dancers enter. Hi-hats. 808 bass, fuzzed up. Come into this room with me. Work your feet until they ain’t feet no more, baby. Come on and get it. That bass. Get that bass. Move it, move it, move it. Work, work. Into this, now. Underneath these red, yellow, and blue lights. All over, not you, suddenly, underneath, not you. Rotate. Turn. Work. Under, go under. Reptile mode, baby. No Instagram, just buildings and the smell of Jamaican patties, nowhere near the sea. Dream some shit and dance that shit. Look at the stars we’re making. Look at the shapes we make with our arms and legs. Look at this fucked up country, and look where we are. We ain’t nowhere, but we’re everywhere. They even got kids in Europe on this shit.

Now we somewhere. We’re the DJ. We’ve got the turntables. This is Chi-town. Nowhere near the sea, in the middle of the continent, everywhere. Cold day, jacket zipped. Another cold day, another neighborhood. The Next Life. Think about the Next Life. Tracks, amplified. New set, new project. Disco every Saturday at the Rink, learning to footwork, with Rashad on the mix. Do this everyday. Dance, make a project. Get your name up in the dance crew, and look at all that ass. Layin’ da smackdown. Get those snares up. Get that compression in there. Younger guys showing new moves; the music needs to make new moves too. Something about that damn new music. Right, left, right, right, right, left, right, left. Battle formations. Kick, kick, cross. King of the circle. My work is up. Respect in the streets. Those sound waves hit the body like shitttttttt. Futuristic, futuristic, fuckin’ futuristic. In a dingy basement, surrounded by 10 dudes looking at my screen; I’m making trax. Turnt up, I’m turnt up. Break your back off that busted open loose shit. Over there, getting it.

This. Put your index there. On that pad. Finger right there and tap that shit. Tap a beat, tape a mix. Mix that. Over there. On that machine. Inside, next to the fake plant. That bookshelf ain’t got no books, just wires and other goo. Next to that. Yep. Now back to this blunt here. But keep tappin’. I’m about to speed this up. I’m goin’ to 140. That ain’t nothin’. Yep, you gettin’ it. Now look at this kid doin’ a dance cuz he’s high as hell. We’ll be jammin’ to this. Yep. Gimme some fingers. Make a sub. Get those snares out. Put on a clap. Reverb, reverb. Onto it, onto the next one.

Rashad is here. Rashad is with me. Sleet in the morning, then snow at night. Chips, blunt, paper cup full of water. Seriousness, pureness, and in the morning the bluish aftereffect of another snowstorm. The Bulls lost. Again, again. In the basement, next to a space heater, looking at the computer screen, halfway into a doughnut. Let’s get it. Out here, nowhere near the sea. A seagull above, overhead, its whiteness and speechlessness an impenetrable ambiguity. Get that. Grip that. Hit the god up. Jacket zipped, into the car. Over to the skating rink, or the church hall turned into a footwork battlefield. This is how it is. A Chi-town drone over the buildings, sphinx-like, consummate and unanswerable. Pads, lit up. Out here. A cable to a cable and then a button pressed equals a sound: a culture twinkling and squirming with symbols.

This music, just four songs, feels like something that grew out of decades of accumulated muscle memory. The footworkers come out of their buildings and arrange themselves on old linoleum, the kind in zombie video games. Off that loud. Off that real loud. I don’ know bout where you from but this is how my hood work. Come here, the future is now.

Links: DJ Spinn - Hyperdub

Most Read