Traxman's latest LP nods to Chicago's dance music heritage while maintaining footwork's frenzied pace.
Traxman is a bonafide legend of the scene. A prolific producer by anyone's standards, he's been a vital presence in Chicago since the days of Dance Mania. On Traxman's latest record, Tekvision Volume 2, the ghetto house sound of Chicago isn't just present in its heritage—it's evident in the tracklist. The most eye-catching example is Traxman's "Footwork Remixx" of Steve Poindexter's anthemic "Work Dat Mutha Fucka," which accelerates the already busy hi-hats of the original into a hyperactive barrage. Another Dance Mania legend, DJ Deeon, makes an appearance on "To Da Hozzzz (Remixx)." It feels like it could be a vintage track from the label, and when the ridiculously fun bass drops in at around two minutes, it's the kind of record you can see destroying just about any dance floor.
Elsewhere, Traxman flirts with footwork's heady experimentation, albeit always with one eye on the club. A great example of this is the album opener, "It's Lasting Bass," which pairs a complex and skippy rhythm with overwhelming sub bass. "4 Da Lyfe" has a similarly intoxicating effect, an uneasy swell and a menacing synth that come together and break apart throughout the track. "Wildcard" walks a similar line. It's a collaboration with Jana Rush, another experienced producer who's embraced footwork's experimental potential. Then there are the ravey acid synths on "Let Me See You Naked" and the outrageously funky strings on "Osaka," which show Traxman's range. By bringing together so many parts of what makes footwork and its roots so compelling, Tekvision Volume 2 is an essential release from one of the scene's vital artists.