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traxman-da mind of traxman 2lp (planet mu)

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traxman: da mind of traxman

Cornelius Ferguson a.k.a. Traxman from the west side of Chicago is one of the longest-serving producers working in footwork, with releases stretching back to the glory days of ghetto house on Dance Mania Records in the ’90s. He’s also one of the co-founders of Chicago’s two-decades-old Geto DJz clique, a member of DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn’s Ghettoteknitianz, and was one of the creators of the legendary mix-tapes on colored cassettes which were the prototype for footwork’s evolution. His unique brand of footwork is very strongly rooted in Chicago’s history of soul, funk, house and ghetto trax; he’s a veteran and renowned crate-digger who has provided sample sources for many of footwork’s classic tracks over the years. His deep knowledge of music (check the mixes he occasionally throws up on the net) makes him one of the city’s most versatile and skilled DJs and producers. Traxman’s own productions are an incredibly well-rounded suture between hip hop’s natural funk and resourceful sample flipping; the hyper-kinetic innovation of footwork’s stop-start, half-time to double-speed drum programming; and a deep respect and understanding of Chicago’s house music past that few producers can match. Da Mind of Traxman is a testament to this man’s skills. “Footworking on Air” opens the album in a relaxed and almost improvised mood with Kalimba melody, 303 acid line and martial drums, before “Itz Crack” puts strangely edited samples against echoey vocals and off-kilter kicks for an unusual slip-and-slide feeling. Later, “Let There Be Rockkkkk” takes an unusual sample source to build a totally raucous rock vibe, while “Rock You” simultaneously references house music’s roots and a beautiful soul sample. “1988” is a tough 303 acid track with footwork drum patterns; “Sound Filed” again tampers with house music’s early rhythm tracks, bringing them up to date and speed with footwork’s syncopations; “Work Me 2011” fuses the soulfulness of deep house with the breathtaking energy of ghetto house and rave. Traxman’s skills are unbeatable—one can tell from the minute the album starts that music is like breathing for him.

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