DJ Taye

Still Trippin'

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Teklife member DJ Taye's full-length debut for Hyperdub is one of the most ambitious albums to emerge from the footwork scene, aiming to reach beyond the genre's underground cult audience. There's a greater presence of original, non-sampled lyrics on this album than the usual footwork release, with songs like "Trippin'," "Smokeout," and "Gimme Some Mo" (with Jersey club queen UNIIQU3) containing hyperactive raps about drugs, alcohol, and getting your ass on the floor. These are by no means uncommon subjects for footwork, or hip-hop in general, but they're delivered with a high level of spirit and complexity, and combined with the head-spinning rhythms and vibrant synth sequences, new territory is definitely being explored here. A few other songs are a bit more atmospheric and romantic, such as the gorgeous "Same Sound" (with Odile Myrtil) and "I Don't Know," a reflective closing number featuring soft, starry guitars and drifting vocals by Fabi Reyna, editor of female-centric guitar magazine She Shreds. Songs such as the junglistic "Need It" and the passionate "Truu" feature impressively complex arrangements of twisted vocals and insistent basslines. Instrumental highlights include "Bonfire," a seamless blend of footwork and jazz fusion co-produced by DJ Paypal, and the DJ Manny-featuring "The Matrixx," an ultra-fun bleep-fest that sounds like a footwork battle between several characters from '80s arcade games. Still Trippin' builds on Taye's past triumphs, such as the remarkable 2015 EP Break It Down, and ends up a sprawling yet cohesive work that reaches toward mainstream accessibility without diluting or compromising the genre's essence. If you're new to footwork, this is just as valid a starting point as DJ Rashad's Double Cup.

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