- Footwork, house and other hybrid club music from San Pedro, Los Angeles.
- "You can't take a sound and exclude the people who created it and say, this is our sound," DJ Noir said in our 2020 feature about Juke Bounce Werk, the label she-cofounded. "No, it's either Chicago footwork or it's other."
Back then, the Los Angeles-based imprint and crew was still primarily focused around footwork, but Noir and co—including artists like Kush Jones, DJ SWISHA, Surly and Sonic D—have branched out into all sorts of uptempo sounds, touching on house, UK garage, jungle and funk, but always with the fleet-footed approach that makes JBW what it is. "We used to sit down and say, we have to make 160, or we have to keep it footwork and juke," Jones said in that same feature, "but we are also like, if you are strong and developed in another sound, then you should also be free."
Sitting atop this empire of boundary-breaking, innovative dance music is DJ Noir, who is one of LA's best uptempo DJs, or honestly, of any genre. Her sets can be speedy and intense, sure, but it's the way she lets off steam at just the right moments, or gracefully dips into halftime, maybe even a spot of dubstep, that really sets her apart. The LA scene is spoiled to be able to see her DJ quite frequently, but along with the artists she tirelessly promotes and develops with JBW, she deserves a wider, more global spotlight. We hope her RA Podcast might convince you of that, too, an hour of remarkable DJing and skillful blending that connects continents and scenes, from Alix Perez to INVT to Nikki Nair and Bastiengoat. Buckle up!
What are you grateful for these days?
In light of everything that has gone on in the last few years, I am grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones. I realized that you don't have much without your health first. It's really important that your physical and mental health be in the best possible alignment to tackle the challenges of each day without absolutely losing it, so I am very grateful for it each day.
How and where was the mix recorded, and can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
This mix was recorded in our home DJ studio here in San Pedro, CA. The mix represents the sounds that I'm currently running at the moment. The music I enjoy playing is always evolving and I never get bored of discovering new sounds to add to my repertoire. I like mixing new music with classics, tracks with dynamic layers as well as stuff that's just pure dance floor energy. I'm always setting out to tell cinematic stories with the mixes and I think this is a pretty twisted one with some glimmers of hope sprinkled in there.
How do you feel about the state of the pandemic-era footwork scene?
We were pretty excited and ambitious in throwing one of the biggest footwork music events in early September of 2021. We worked with The Music Center in Los Angeles which was an outstanding achievement for footwork showcases in that type of cultural art space. We joined forces with Dublab (the radio station we hold a residency with) along with DJ Clent and DJ Corey from Beatdown House (Chicago), Creation Footwork Crew and Jlin.
It was an incredible turnout even with the masking and social distancing being a requirement at that time. Since then, we have seen online so much unity and consistent footwork events popping off in Chicago. The CAGE run by DJ Acey/Proph3cy Nation and TerraSquad Footwork events, the various crew reunions that take place each summer in Chicago never really stopped. It is very exciting to see it still being held down where it was birthed in Chicago. We as a collective have widened our scope quite a bit over the years of which footwork is still very much a part.
You've been running Juke Bounce Werk for nearly a decade. What would you have liked to know about running a label when you started out?
I think that we have navigated the waters pretty well considering all of the moving parts involved with not only the music side, but events and being a part of a collective of very strong individuals and personalities. I think the things that we would have liked to know, we actually could never know without taking huge risks on people. I suppose we would not have done so with some had we known what we know now, but that is just basically life stuff that you apply and adapt to your business dealings. We are always learning new ways of doing things and try to keep ourselves open to new sounds and ideas.
What's one social or political issue you want the world to pay more attention to?
Choosing one is difficult because there is so much that needs attention and changing. As of late, the attack on reproductive rights is some of the most frightening political actions that I have seen in my lifetime. Roe being overturned this year is set to have an avalanche of repercussions likely to affect everyone's rights and this is something I think about and have incredible anxiety over.
What are you looking forward to in the near future?
I'm looking forward to the next chapter in the new year for the JBW label and crew. Everyone is working so hard and finally making the moves they want to make. We have lots of the things in the works, but in the immediate future we have the last installment of the JBDUBZ compilation series. Worldwide submissions open for that on August 31!
Phyllis Jaxson - Tapetum Lucidum (intro)
Congi x Joe Armon-Jones - Somnium
Tomo Kami - Amapicante
Sister Zo - Jump In (Freak Shift)
Fracture x ONHELL - Vandals
General Courts - Pay Me More
Alix Perez - Metric
INVT - Alimento
Avi Loud - Restless
bastiengoat - Work That
Nikki Nair - Pop Music
Morelia - ONT
Underground Resistance - The Final Frontier (Nomadico Remix)
Jurango - Flourine Mink
Young Muscle - Uber to Hackney
Manga Saint Hilare - Tump Inna Jawside
SertOne - Sao Baile
Lewcid - Eschaton
Cloud Lord - Lie Bury Teacher
Sonido Berzerk - Downgarden
Fourtwenty Sound - Siquisique
J Majik - Hold You (Lemon D Remix)
Flytronix - Fly Step