Release Date: May 9, 2011
Record label: Planet Mu
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
As a rabid enthusiast of Chicago juke -- an underground genre that lumps together Chicago house, bass music, and ghetto tech -- Chrissy Murderbot attempts to bring the craze out of the warehouses and into the public eye with his Planet Mu debut. On Women’s Studies, there are musical aspects of juke, but Murderbot’s frantic footwork beats have a poppy refinement. While his sugary take on the style is toned back for the masses (evident by PG-rated titles like “Bump Uglies” and “Heavy Butt”), the savant of urban and U.K.
Chrissy Murderbot is your friendly neighborhood Diplo: a pan-global dance synthesist who believes that backing an entire four-minute track with a looping police siren is a good idea. Unlike Diplo or even Girl Talk, though, Chrissy isn't interested in connecting his genre obsessions with modern North American hip-hop or R&B, meaning Women's Studies features no hint of pop crossover. It's the difference between believing something like dancehall deserves a wider audience and believing dancehall is just really fucking cool.
Jocularly calling your third Chicago bass album [b]‘Women’s Studies’[/b] and giving it track titles such as [b]‘Pelvic Floor’[/b] (in which a male MC encourages women to clench their buttocks), is a good way to disillusion 50 per cent of your audience, [a]Chrissy Murderbot[/a]. Did you forget that it wasn’t AD 100?Anyway, the beats here are as accessible as juke is ever going to be, with fresh, syncopated 808 kick drums played typically at the counterpoint to clean melodies and dancehall baselines. It’s all solid stuff, but if Murderbot wants to be an ambassador for the genre, then perhaps he should try tackling less divisive subjects, such as politics or war.
The Chicago DJ Chrissy Murderbot set up a blog in 2009 called My Year of Mixtapes in order to release one mixtape each week, covering as many forms of his beloved club music as possible; he has also been one of the main conduits through which his city's juke scene gained global attention. Little surprise, then, that his own music skilfully draws on everything from juke's stretched-out synths and samples and rapidfire, stuttering beats to early 90s rave pianos and a sequence of guest dancehall MCs. Offsetting the lingering taste of eclecticism is the way he puts these all to the service of an overall aesthetic: in dancefloor terms, Women's Studies is booty moment after booty moment, Murderbot playing its components off each other with a light, skilful hand reminiscent of Basement Jaxx.
A melodic take on Chicago juke from a producer schooled in jungle. Paul Clarke 2011 A mutation of ghetto house, juke is the soundtrack to footwork competitions in Chicago, where battling dancers perform frenetic displays that resemble – to the untrained eye – moonwalking over hot coals. But for anyone outside the Windy City, exploring the scene was liable to leave you feeling as clueless as if you’d just attempted a footwork dance yourself.