The music associated with Chicago's juke/footwork scene is fast, frenetic, complex, and often highly aggressive, as it is typically intended to soundtrack dance battles. The tracks produced by Jlin, a steel mill worker from nearby Gary, Indiana named Jerrilynn Patton, use footwork as a venue to express frustration, anger, and depression. The screams and horror movie samples ("You don't want to hurt anyone," "But I do, and I'm sorry") on tracks such as "Guantanamo" and "Abnormal Restriction" sound downright evil, and are a far cry from the more hedonistic, drug-glorifying tracks by artists such as DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn. While those artists' tracks are heavily populated with recognizable soul and hip-hop samples, Jlin builds her music from scratch, constructing all the percussion sounds and bass tones herself. Her production style is intense and gripping, but it never sounds cluttered, and it never breaks out into all-out chaos. Tense, thrilling, and a bit frightening, Dark Energy is simply one of the most compelling debut albums of 2015.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson