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Since Planet Mu’s landmark Bangs & Works footwork compilations brought Chicago house and juke into the global music consciousness, some of the best practitioners of the genre (and its titular dance) can be found thousands of miles away from the Windy City, in scenes such as Barcelona, Tokyo, or Belgrade. However, footwork’s undisputed leader, Jerilynn Patton (aka Jlin), lives just down the road in Gary, Indiana. Her latest, a B-side from her upcoming EP Dark Lotus, proves that since she broke through on Bangs & Works Vol. 2, she still reigns as the most creative and daring footwork producer in the world.
Jlin is able to combine two contradictory sensibilities: the footwork traditionalist and the experimentalist. In “Nyakinyua Rise,” she replaces the standard snap of the kick drum with the West African djembe, and chooses a selection of defiant and exuberant war chants for her vocal samples. The track maintains the hectic speed of footwork, but is more organic and, at times, even goofy. She utilizes little hand drums, and what sounds like a cowbell for accents. Listening to “Nyakinyua Rise” is like being struck by a powerful gust of wind, hit by a pure rush of kinetic energy—and amidst all that power, Jlin still brings forth the essential joy you can find by dancing to this music.Share