Published Apr 24, 2019Mike Paradinas's Planet Mu label has been championing the footwork genre for almost a decade, releasing LPs from the scene's unheralded star producers and compiling the most exciting tracks in the Bangs & Works series. The imprint's love affair with footwork can be traced back to one of the rowdier examples of the genre: Da Trak Genius, the debut album from DJ Nate.
Born Nathan Clark, the producer — who peppers his limb-dislocating beats with pitched-up samples of repetitive phrases — isn't the most storied of the footwork bunch, but he's uniquely talented in his own right. DJ Nate's tracks have a way of worming themselves out of the dance battle circle and deep into the listener's core memory.
After a nine-year hiatus, which included a middling hip-hop/R&B career as Baka Da Flexxbabii and a serious accident in which he was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down, Clark is back on Planet Mu with Take Off Mode. A collection of footwork tracks that DJ Nate has been producing alongside his more pop-oriented work, this LP is decidedly less rowdy and confrontational than Da Trak Genius. The songs feel almost languid in comparison, save for the odd banger such as "Talk 2 Me," "Get It Right Hoe" or "Get Back."
The influence of R&B is like a silky-smooth cloud over the proceedings, raining drops of liquid gold that permeate the music. Those looking for the energy of Da Trak Genius might be disappointed by the polish, but true footwork junkies will find shining moments worth drooling over. (Planet Mu)