Chrissy Murderbot Introduces Juke
This features as part of our special Juke House Feature including 3 limited period digital samplers for £1 each; writing on the genre from Planet Mu’s Mike Paradinas and Ghettophiles’ Chrissy Murderbot; “Best of Juke” charts from some of Chicago’s leading DJs; and brand new digital catalogue previously unavailable digitally.
“Like virtually everything in dance music, the juke phenomenon starts with Chicago House, a sound that absolutely dominated urban Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s. As Detroit was borrowing from house to create techno (and London, Sheffield, and Brussels were borrowing from house and techno to make rave, bleep, new beat, et cetera), Chicago kept doing its own thing, producing an incredibly rich dance music culture that (for the most part) stayed under the radar of UK tastemakers.
Ghetto House (or Booty House) was a huge component of this: by the mid-90s, Chicago DJs like Deeon, Slugo, Milton, Paul Johnson, Jammin’ Gerald and DJ Funk were speeding tunes up, stripping them down, and building on Chicago’s already-long tradition of mindlessly filthy lyrics aimed at the dancefloor. As a new generation of Chicago producers came up in the late 1990s, the tracks got even faster (150-160bpm), the rhythms got more intricate (and tom-tom oriented), and more hip hop influence found its way in—this sped-up, modern Ghetto House variant is what we in Chicago call Juke.
Over the past decade Juke has developed two pretty distinct halves: the more straightforward four-on-the-floor party bangers by people like Gant-Man, Nephets, and Waxmaster; and the more rhythmically varied, sideways-sounding “footwork tracks” from DJs like Spinn, Rashad, and Nate. Though Chicago’s unique footwork dance styles have existed for as long as I remember, the last five years have seen a sort of feedback loop develop—the music gets faster and more off-kilter, which inspires the dancers to get more intricate and experimental, which encourages the producers to make the tracks weirder still.
This all brings us to about 2008—the first time I noticed juke making an impact in the UK. I was playing juke at a Ruffnek Diskotek night in Bristol, and Headhunter (who I’d always enjoyed but assumed to be one of those strict dubstep-only types) starts gushing about juke! Turns out he’d planned to play a bunch of footwork trax that night, and been working on this side project called Addison Groove. When I got back to the states he sent me “Footcrab” and I realized that this music might finally have a chance in Britain. Maybe it’s the chance overlap with dubstep’s semi-halftime rhythmic experimentation and massive bass weight; perhaps it’s related to the UK underground’s long-overdue rediscovery of house music (via UK Funky / Tropical / Karnival / whatever you want to call it). Whatever the reason, Chicago dance music finally seems to make sense in the British context in a way that it hasn’t since the 1980s. And now Planet Mu is stepping in, snatching up footwork producers like DJ Nate, DJ Roc, and DJ Rashad, much like they snapped up tracks from Pinch, Vex’d, and MRK1 as dubstep started to break five years ago. Add to that the support from London’s Night Slugs crew, Numbers in Glasgow, and a small-but-rapidly-expanding juke scene on the continent, and things are looking very promising for us Chicago kids….”
Editor’s Note: We changed the title of this post from “Chrissy Murderbot Introduces Juke House” to “Chrissy Murderbot Introduces Juke”…
We was unaware that “Juke House” means a brothel house in some parts of the world!
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 12th, 2010 at 10:57 and is filed under Interviews, Music News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.