DJ Nate

  • DJ Nate - Da Trak Genious

    Reviewed by JON CARAMANICA Source: (New York Times)

    <b> DJ Nate </b> - Da Trak Genious

    The dance maneuvers pulled off by participants in Chicago’s footwork battles can be jaw dropping: perhaps 75 percent of the movement is happening below the waist, and 75 percent of that below the knee. Plenty of competitions are archived on YouTube, and they’re as noteworthy for their soundtracks as the visuals. Footwork music is an offshoot of juke, a herky-jerky stripe of Chicago house music, and the roots of footwork and juke can be traced to the city’s ghetto-house scene. These new songs keep that subgenre’s complexity but replace its sexual exuberance with paranoia and a menacing bravado. DJ Nate has been one of footwork’s prime innovators, making flamboyantly dark, spastic records as bizarre as the dance steps they inspire. He’s mostly moved on from the genre, which is why the anthology “Da Trak Genious” (Planet Mu) is so crucial; few of these songs had official releases beyond YouTube and the late, lamented imeem.com. Altogether this is invigorating and irregular music. The dyspeptic “Hatas Our Motivation” is a recent classic of the genre, and the drums on “U Ain’t Workin Wit Nuthin” appear to be moving backward and forward all at once. DJ Nate’s footwork also graciously embraces pop, à la Baltimore club music. “Call Me When You’re Sober” speeds up Evanescence, and “3 Peat” is a breakneck reworking of the Lil Wayne track of the same name. But DJ Nate is best at his least accessible. “Footwurk Homicide,” with its fusillade of taunts, is more violent than any dance could be, and “Fade da Black Trak” sounds virtually undanceable, which is exactly the point.

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