NB: Here at the Pen we like to deliver opinion from a slightly different perspective. To add our comment on the current emergence of Chicago’s Juke sound, we asked the respected House/Techno DJ Nick Craddock to review Planet Mu's latest offering from Footwork lynchpin, DJ Diamond.
Originally from the North of England, Nick began DJing in the late 90s taking his initial inspiration from the uncompromisingly rigid DJs of the era. With over a decade of service on London’s house and techno club circuit, he’s largely pursued a purist’s path, deliberately side stepping the relentless slew of new sub-genres. Therefore, we thought what better person to ask to guest review one of the highest profile releases to date from electronic music’s latest movement/fixation. His thoughts are as follows:
I confess to having been a bit sceptical about Footwork – largely due to the way that it has been portrayed as something very unique, when it’s really the latest in a long lineage of music which has included, variously: Electro Bass, Ghetto Tech, Ghetto House, Booty Bass and more. Footwork, like each previous sub-style, has some stylistic distinctions, but it’s ultimately a very narrow form. This brings problems – such restriction breeds stagnation and can result in a short shelf-life. This perhaps explains the enthusiasm with which DJ Diamond is being hailed – Diamond (Karlas Griffin) is the 24 year old head of Chicago’s Flight Muzik collective of producers, and he’s being lauded as a bit of a standout amongst his field – notable for his distinctive, musical approach. To some extent, I’m inclined to go along with this. On ‘Flight Muzik’, there’s an evident standard of production which elevates these tracks above being just functional floor tools, and a relatively wide variance of ideas on display. High tempo 808 pulses and flams are the defining characteristic of the style, and Diamond’s drum programming is adept, but it’s the vivid colour which he paints over this which could be considered most novel.
Label: Planet Mu
Release Date: 8th August
Download: ’Speakerz ‘n’ Tonguez’, ‘Pop The Trunk’, ‘Digimon’