Release Date: Nov 22, 2011
Record label: Planet Mu
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
When was the last time you experienced Futureshock? I mean really experienced it — affectively, right down to your core. For my part, I got a small dose at the start of the year from James Blake’s self-titled debut. Sure, it had a history; Blake’s indebtedness to dubstep (even bordering on a kind of purism) has been well noted. But that doesn’t change the fact that his clever deployment of both bass and (particularly) space meant that pop sounded different now.
Excuse the pun, but something is afoot in Chicago. Something important. But first, a little history. It all began in the Eighties. While in other American cities hip hop took permanent residence, Chicago, forever a law onto itself, remained the city of house. Left to its own devices, out of the ….
When the first Bangs & Works compilation was released by Planet Mu last year, it emerged in a climate of controversy and accusations surrounding its authenticity and propriety, with some seeing it as a document of a Chicago scene as viewed by certain UK electronic tastemakers. This time, however, the circumstances feel simpler: Footwork influences and references are the norm for a whole international world of "bass music," and the questions of exploitation and gimmickry seem to have been put to rest, or at least pushed aside. Good timing, too-- the second Bangs & Works is a marked improvement over its predecessor; as if unconcerned with being comprehensively representative to outsiders, its curator, Mike Paradinas, can delve into the very depths of the sound's weirdness.
If footwork ever goes on to prove as influential as dubstep, the first Bangs & Works will be recognised as its Run The Road, its Dubstep Allstars – the definitive compilation that brought the genre out of its own hyper-localised scene and under the wider global radar. Mike Paradinas' original haul has made minor stars of hitherto unknown DJ/producers such as Roc, Spinn and Rashad, all of whom have released solo efforts on Paradinas' UK electronica label Planet-μ. Twelve months since its release, and we've already seen the likes of Africa Hitech, Machinedrum and Sully paying tribute to Bangs & Works' 160bpm sample-splitting madness, to great effect in most cases.