Music Review: DJ Taye – Still Trippin’

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DJ Taye

Still Trippin’

[Hyperdub; 2018]

Rating: 3.5/5

Like an imagined conversation set before the waves, Still Trippin’ folds and unfolds. It is still unsettled, in me and out.

She asks if that’s how I feel, really, but it sounds like the loll of piano, a fission of hi-hat. Or: “You thought you was trippin?”

“I don’t know,” and I let the waves lap up around my ankles, depositing me farther and farther into the earth.

Retreat, work feet. Waves work because they have to. Under the wash of time, friction and gravity mesh with water and rock. One thing recedes and another is pushed to the shore; there can be no wave without the previous wave. Where it starts, where it ends. I don’t know.

Footwork works like waves. Bodies in motion tend to remain joyful in motion. Drum and bass funnel voice and feet through tunnels of time (this is where the sound is from, this is where the feet will be), and like at shorelines, new life breaks out in a new world. “It looks like a dance from another dimension.” (Afropop Worldwide)

In the wake of waves, changing is beautiful. Mutations abound. Still Trippin’ is the latest bloom in the footwork germination started in Chicago, a dimension ago. Taye, of Teklife via Hyperdub, wears his respects loud and proud: Still Trippin’ is the “anything to get more people footworking. Anything that keeps anybody footworking.” In the footworking, you could not know (how to foot those bills, fix those hearts, see that self) and still feel the presence of freedom. At the same time (always: “still trippin’” means not sittin’ means occupying multiple states of knowing), Still Trippin’ represents a deviation of forms. “I just want to push our music beyond what it is, to make it look different, and make people pay attention to it,” Taye said. One thing recedes and another is pushed to the shore.

There’s precedent for its celebrators pulling and pushing footwork’s boundaries into a future sound. If DJ Rashad scrambled the margins while jamming the frame farther open and Jlin morphed the language of a post-house physicality into a skeleton network of infinite interiors, Taye’s wave presents footwork as a site of free not-knowing. It is accessible and impossible. “Trippin” distills the spirit of the record, Taye’s pitch-slicked bars amid the chitter and drift of an arpeggio world. Lead single “Get it Jukin’” has hip-hop cadence and the messy warmth of Chuck Inglish toasting and boasting. And then the last seconds of the song see the samples sputter out and around into the unrelenting “Pop Drop.” “Do pop pop drop drop,” where it starts, where it ends.

Taye makes a distinction between tracks and songs. Still Trippin’ feels populated by both. If some of the entities here feel minor or slighter than others, that feel is addressed in the record’s mission: still trippin’. “Smokeout” is a world in itself, the feel of a thick haze’s particles in dialogue, but “Bonfire” is just the blaze. Both make me move, but the movements are different. Still Trippin’ mixes moments and movements in a sometimes frustrating and frequently exuberant break. Sega sinews line rubber bones. “Truu” goes hard at softness, like an imaginary conversation. Something’s happening in the background of that song, a floating fluting matrix that is unsettling and beautiful. “Need It” needles the centers of my ears and doesn’t let up, one voice, steady, “I need it, I want it, I got to, to lick it, to taste it, to touch it, to hold it, to give it, to take it, to swallow/ To make you hold me tight and on and on and on,” and another, wheeling, “Give it to me, giveittomegiveittome.” Which one are you? Which one am I?

And it ends (starts) with “I Don’t Know.” Synth lit, circle tones snap, and Fabi Reyna intones those title words a few sounds, not sounding despondent or doomed. Not knowing is a valid step forward for footwork. Not knowing the endpoint brings the trip such sweet presence. How could you know what’s out under water? How could you know all your steps will land so perfectly that the space of the sneaker will kiss the precise pavement? How will we know that it’s all all right?

Trust making, trust footwork. Trust the trip and Taye and Teklife and your body’s sweetest instincts and Rashad (keep the best peace, departed) and not knowing. Trust that the ground under your feet is the same ground under the waves and that all our feelings will crest and break toward something past knowing.

Watch DJ Taye’s new video for “Trippin”

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Directed by Andy J Scott This joint is super hot and the beat is just insane. Plus you gotta watch …

DJ Taye announces 2018 LP on Hyperdub, shares first single “Get it Jukin,” because we deserve it, that’s why

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I’m not a very superstitious person, but I do believe in karma, based on the principle that every time I lose a lighter I seem to serendipitously steal someone else’s soon after. Ergo: given the crumbling hellscape of a world that we endured for the duration of 2017, I desperately believe that this coming year will be equally abundant in blessings. This is (presumably) why Hyperdub has announced that their first release of 2018 will be Still Trippin, the debut LP of Teklife’s DJ Taye; because we fucking deserve it, goddammit.

Not that the world of footwork music has been in desperate need of more talent, since the underground genre pioneered by Teklife founders DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn has grown out of Chicago into a global footwork movement in less than decade. After the untimely passing of the legendary DJ Rashard in 2014, however, many wondered what would hold for the boundless potential left within the genre. But Taye says the tragedy inspired him “to continue evolving the music that I loved so much coming up in this world” and pushed him to “make something brand new.”

The results are out March 2 on double LP, CD, and digital. And although Still Trippin’ certainly features its share of “classic” talent from around the Midwest, like The Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish (on the project’s vivacious and electrically charged first single “Get it Jukin,” listenable down below), DJ PayPal, and DJ Manny of the Teklife crew; Taye is also notably expanding Teklife’s range and diversity (both musically and geographically) by featuring female talents such as Jersey’s club queen UNIIQU3, Canadian singer Odile Myrtil, and Fabi Reyna, bass player and editor of women’s guitar magazine She Shreds. “I took this as an opportunity to not have boundaries with footwork. Different approaches to our ‘underground’ sound to make it broader, Taye says. “It’s only underground until it crosses that threshold.”

Believe in karma or not, there’s something to be said for continuing to do good while wading through the shittiest of circumstances and finding the hope to advance your causes into the future. In fact, a good attitude can be even better than good karma. Try me, 2018.

Still Trippin’ tracklisting:

01. 2094
02. Trippin
03. Need It (Ft DJ Manny)
04. Smokeout (ft DJ Lucky)
05. Same Sound (Feat Odile Myrtil)
06. 9090
07. Another (Feat DJ Manny)
08. Bonfire (Feat DJ Paypal)
09. The Matrix (Feat DJ Manny)
10. Get It Jukin (Feat Chuck Inglish) 02:47
11. Pop Pop ( Feat DJ Paypal)
12. Gimme Some Mo (Feat Uniqu3)
13. Truu (Feat DJ Paypal)
14. Closer
15. I’m Trippin
16. I Don’t Know (feat Fabi Reyna)

DJ Manny assumes control of traffic signals, announces Greenlight LP on TEKLIFE

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The next time somebody boasts to you about their multitasking ability as they spill coffee all over the place trying to juggle cup, cell phone, and a blow-up doll of Jon Hamm; kindly point out the far-greater multitasking prowess of any number of footworkers — but especially DJ Manny, because he’s thoroughly established on the front of excelling at multiple…fronts simultaneously.

He’s reportedly “one of the best dancers on the scene.” And, to complement that distinction, he’s also shown a persistent inclination to get behind both the mic (as an MC) and the mixing board (the late DJ Rashad’s tutelage clearly compelled the Harvey, IL, native to “be his best self” when it comes aiding the recent cultural hallmark that originated in the vicinity). DJ Manny’s been affiliated with the influential TEKLIFE crew at least since I’ve been familiar with the outfit (say, since the 2012 release of TEKLIFE Vol. 1), and now, he and his many hands are at it again. Careful, Manny, some of us are ticklish!

His new LP, Greenlight, is due out October 6, serving as the fifth release for the recently greenlit TEKLIFE Records. Greenlight reportedly has a special quality, due to DJ Manny’s dancing chops (which helped with the production); and likewise, that’s him again delivering a memorable flow on at least one of the tracks. Fellow TEKLIFE-r and prior collaborator, DJ Taye, also assists on no less than half of the tracks, so if you appreciated their earlier shoutout to Zion, for instance, you might be overjoyed subsequent to listening to this release.

Here’s where you can pre-order. And “right down there” is where you can hear the track “Ghost Out.” But please: finish answering your emails and painting your fingernails first. Remember: unless you’re DJ Manny, ONE THING AT TIME.

Greenlight tracklisting:

01. Way You Move (feat. DJ Chap)
02. You Looking Good (feat. Sucia)
03. Like That
04. Zancrash (feat. DJ Taye)
05. Boop Me Down (feat. DJ Lucky)
06. Ghost Out
07. I’ll Hurt Ya Baby (feat. DJ Lucky and DJ Taye)
08. Life In This Bitch (feat. DJ Taye)
09. If U Want It (feat. DJ Taye)
10. Greenlight (Wanna Go) (feat. DJ Taye)

DJ Taye releasing Move Out this week on Hyperdub, premieres title track

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Everyone’s always asking why everyone around here at the TMT offices looks so good. Well… truth is, we’ve secretly been sweating off all of those delicious break-room donuts by dancing to Chicago-bred producer/DJ/TEKLIFE mainstay DJ Taye’s heady footwork since like 2011. But I have a feeling that our workout plan is about to go mainstream in, oh, about two days, because this Friday (November 25) is when Taye’s new EP Move Out gets unleashed via the illimitable cats at Hyperdub and, with its irresistible dancefloor theatrics, will forever change the way the world burns calories.

Before the main event goes down, though, you can warm up your hips, quads, and hamstrings now by checking out the EP’s synth-swathed and trance-inducing title track “Move Out,” which we have the pleasure of premiering down below. And when you’re toweling off afterward, instead of wasting cash on some purple coconut water bullshit, you can pre-order the whole EP now on 12-inch and digital directly from Taye’s Bandcamp. Total. Lifestyle. UPGRADE.

Here’s Taye on the title track:

“Move Out” was just me trying to make something different than what I’d been doing around the time of production. I had no idea that around a year later it would be the title track of my second record and that I’d actually be moving out of my old home of 15 years into a new place.

Move Out tracklist:

01. Burnin Ya Boa (feat. DJ Manny)
02. Go 2 Sleep (feat. DJ Earl)
03. I Need I Want (feat. DJ Manny)
04. Move Out