Release Date: Apr 2, 2012
Record label: 50 Weapons
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Addison Groove's "Footcrab" was a flashpoint for footwork and juke music in 2010, providing UK audiences an anthem to rally around. The track was a special kind of stoopid, a pure pastiche whose innovation-- slowing footwork's daft repetitions to UK bass speeds-- was inevitable and whose only sliver of wit came via its childlike abstraction of Chicago's crude mantras. It was so blindingly obvious and addictive that there frankly wasn't much to be said about it (see number five).
“FOOTCRAB FOOTCRAB FOOTCRAB F-F-F-FFOOTCRAB FOOTCRAB FOOTCRAB FOOTCRAB F-F-FF” as we’re careful not to choke on our tongue. There’s a whole demographic of kids eager to geek out on a barely-tilted snare sound, just imagine the pandemonium when Addison Groove (Antony Williams) threw his gauntlet. “Footcrab” was the quintessential juke anthem, the sort of all-hands-on-deck bedlam that bypasses the brain and directly exploits the body; it was the premiere “OH SHIT” moment of 2010, peerless in its proud obviousness.
"Bass music" arguably wouldn't be what it is right now without Addison Groove. Though not the sole driving factor, it's difficult to imagine the kind of blanketing influence footwork has had over producers from both sides of the Atlantic without his legendary "Footcrab." Early Addison Groove mixes seamlessly combined juke, footwork and ghetto house for what were then mostly uninitiated dubstep audiences. But just as that new generation of producers has internalized juke and footwork into hybrid forms, so Tony Williams' project has incorporated styles including old school electro ("Work It") and weird suite-like composites ("This Is It").
Had the Ramones made dance music, they would surely have made something like ‘footwork’, the frantic Chicago micro-genre that is all about bounce, bass, brevity and very bad language. London scene disciple Antony Williams takes this brooding, jittery raw material and gives it a relatively slick bass gloss as Addison Groove: polishing the production, stretching tracks beyond three minutes and reinterpreting ‘juke’ in the dark sonic dialect of UK hardcore (Williams also makes dubstep as Headhunter). The result is delirious party music, which, although at times deliciously dumb, is never – as cerebral Addison Groove fan Aphex Twin would attest – stupid.[i]Tony Naylor [/i] .
It’s now two years since DJ Nate signed to Planet Mu and thrust footwork music from Chicago to the global dancefloor, and a whole year, even, since DJ Earl remixed the All Things Considered theme. Several months ago, DJ Diamond and DJ Rashad placed high on TMT’s 2011 year-end list, but footwork music remains resolutely difficult, its fierce resistance to depth and, at times, groove still incredibly challenging to the ears. In an effort to interpret this perplexing sound, almost every critic writing on the subject of footwork music has situated it within a dance culture native to Chicago.
Review Summary: As an album born from the view seen atop the shoulders of giants, Transistor Rhythm unsurprisingly fails to cover any new groundAfter four years spent bleeding London grey, it took an interest and subsequent reappraisal of classic Chicago juke and ‘80s electro before Antony Williams finally began to receive the attention he had long been due. As Tempa mainstay Headhunter, Williams crafted his dubstep in much the same fashion as we’ve come to expect from artists operating under that most respectable of banners: thick, dense and brooding halfstep, grotesque mutations of the kind of inverted techno made popular by the bipolar futurism of Basic Channel and bought back to life by Modern Love and their diverse progeny of Andy Stott, Claro Intelecto and the like. He crafted his deadpan garage against the populist strain of the movement, eschewing frenzy for patient reward.
Arriving at a convoluted time of cross-pollination, hybridisation and mutation, as the post-dubstep gold rush cranked into gear Addison Groove's footwork-splicing 'Footcrab' remained an easy beast to pick out in a crowd. Notable examples aside, when it first emerged in late 2009 the club-hit was determinately, unabashedly danceable next to the calcifying trudge of many of the producer's contemporaries, while also sounding starkly boxfresh in contrast to the rave-nostalgic trappings of some of the 'purple' dubstep set. Mostly, however, its uniqueness within the UK can largely be credited to its tapping into Chicago footwork.
Bristol's Antony Williams kicked off his career in the trendy dubstep vein, producing his debut album in 2008 for Tempa under the name Headhunter. Keeping with the times, Addison Groove represents his transition into the more footwork-based bass music currently sweeping the UK, first with a handful of well-received singles and now Transistor Rhythm, on Modeselektor's 50 Weapons. Unfortunately, Spank Rock make two predictable and disappointing appearances that derail the album, saying "pussy" and "fuck that" a million times in "Bad Things," and then proceeding to spew "fuck" and "fuck you, bitch" ad nauseam in "Beeps." After that, it's hard to give Williams the benefit of the doubt when it comes to taste level.