- Teklife's DJ Tre isn't the most widely known member of the Chicago footwork community, though he has strong credentials—he's been making tracks since 1999 and was mentored by DJ Rashad and Spinn while they were coming up. His style is less flashy than his peers, focusing more on the pounding drums of old-school juke than synth arrangements or outré percussive patterns. His debut on Hyperdub, after appearing on the label's Next Life compilation, is a humble EP that lives up to the label's creative footwork explorations.
Built around a thin organ note and intermittent snares that keep things exciting, "A Hammond Jam" is almost too basic. But like the earliest footwork tunes, it's all about the sub-bass, jabbing low notes that say far more than a drum sound or melodic sample. "Get Dat Ass Up!" pulls a similar trick with a worn-out chord progression that looks back to classic Chicago house, while "Tha Rhodez Jam!" is another OG-style cutup, this time with a Rhodes keyboard that sounds like it's been taken over by a breakcore producer.
That's not to say that The Underdogg doesn't try anything new. There's also "It's House Hybrid," where the kick drum comes down in an unusual 4/4 pattern (at 160 BPM of course), making way for a blitz of breaks before swooping back in for a thumping finale. This simple adjustment to the formula makes it one of this year's more memorable footwork tracks.
A1 It's House Hybrid
A2 A Hammond Jam
B1 Get Dat Ass Up!
B2 Tha Rhodez Jam!