By Devon Chodzin ’19
Fans of Footwork, get ready again, because on Saturday night, The Horn Gallery is featuring Jlin, a Gary, Indiana-based producer who sets herself apart from many other Footwork artists by using all original content (no sampling/plunderphonics). She is one of only a handful women Footwork artists to gain the notoriety she has and there is no doubt she deserves every ounce of attention she’s received.
Jlin busted onto the scene in 2011 when she first dropped the track “Erotic Heat” on one of Planet Mu’s 2011 compilations. Since then, she has dropped many records through Planet Mu and her SoundCloud. In March of last year, Jlin released Dark Energy, an 11-track collection of original Footwork tracks which greatly expand on the sound of her mentor and main Footwork developer RP Boo, and of the beloved late DJ Rashad. Dark Energy is eerie, perhaps due to some of the hallmarks of the genre–rapid tempos, complex rhythms, and other musical anomalies which make Footwork so aurally fascinating and technically difficult for the dancing from which it arose. That being said, Jlin actively sought to make the album a little dark and specifically wrote from places of discomfort.
In August, Jlin marked her DJ debut at MoMA and also produced music for several fashion shows from leading entities in the industry. In late November, she dropped a 4-track EP entitled Free Fall, whose tracks take the components of Dark Energy and magnify their intensity by just enough to stun listeners but keep them fully engaged, almost as if they’re being stunned into submission. Personally, I thought it was a trip and I couldn’t help but fall in love with each record.
People who have their eye on the Footwork scene absolutely must attend this show. Jlin has taken this already recently conceived genre to new heights and has taken the high road in order to do so. The heart of footwork in her records are more than audible–it’s also visible in the steps one takes while listening to Jlin. She takes the very best of what Footwork has and maximizes its potential. People who can get down to DJ PayPal or DJ Taye should have no problem taking on Jlin’s fantastic and sensible expansions on what it means to produce Footwork.
Doors open at The Horn Gallery at 9 p.m. with openers and showtime TBD