Talking Footwork & Juke and New Music with Splash DR

Everyone has an idea of the music culture of their favorite genres and the artists that make them up. Talking to the artists that make it up highlights more of the details of the foundation of the culture! Having a few moments with Splash DR for an interview, Ever Evolved gets a little first hand perspective of an artist within hip hop, footwork and production. Having experienced a bit of a couple different cultures himself, Splash DR is a multi talented artist, hip hop writer, emcee, DJ and producer, with a bit of ambition, adventure and a whole lot of music. With his most recent debut LP THE KID LABOR, and his experiences with footwork and juke music in Chicago, LA and other places, he broadened our perspective on the genre itself.

Started out producing in the first hand, Splash DR grew up around musically inclined parents who toted all sorts of genres; jazz, rock, hip hop. At school he would be influenced by house and hip hop, as well as his brother, who was was an emcee in a hip hop group as well. A perfect recipe to inspire his own group he called Big Splashes, where he would rap over his own production. As well as his current name, all is a reference to, and a brand spinoff of, Sharkula and one of his songs lyrics. Splash DR then notes to us that is was also one of his brothers songs that got him hooked on footwork and juke music, eventually transitioning into production exclusively once more.

Video Credit to M1N6U5

While all this is happening the junior Splash DR would be witness to the culture, making his way to specific events around the states. If you thought footwork was exclusive to Chicago, you would be pleased to know it has made its way to Americas coasts, and even abroad over seas. During his stays in LA, Splash DR would frequent Cafe Mustache for juke & footwork events, as well as events like Rock Steady and Low End Theory; New York will be hosting events for juke & footwork as well. Fast forward to today, and Splash DR can find fans of his music, footwork and juke in Oakland and even as far as Paraguay, England and Poland.

When it comes to his music, it clearly has some pull. Splash DR was recently signed to label Icy Palms, where he released his first full length LP THE KID LABOR. Splash Dr noted to us some of his influences which include TEKLIFE, GhettoHouse Bangaz, Beatdown House Productions, Juke Bounce Werk, Traxman and Polish Juke. You can have an idea from the list of what Splash DR would produce, however upon pressing play you get a whole different world for footwork and juke. It has a diverse array of melodies and beats where he blends jazz, R&B, hip hop breaks, and hype footwork beats and rhythms. It gives almost a lounge or future classic vibe to juke music but maintaining the energy for a dance floor or party.

Starting with EDGE OUT, we are introduced to THE KID LABOR with some violin thats operatic and vocal loops, right before it dives into beat work. BUSY sounds more contemporary and energetic, with a higher tempo, emphasizing the mellow synth work that follows the beat patterns, similar to Soulection style. YOU CONTROL dives into future classic style under its beat work and BRO BRO brings you into classic deep R&B energy balanced nicely with some bass. Then you get the jazz infused footwork with SNOW WAVE and CHILL YO, a couple of personal favorites, the rest of THE KID LABOR followers this sort of playthrough.

It is interesting to hear where footwork has traveled, talking with Splash DR. From where its influences land, to his own spin on it with his enigmatic style, bouncing between jazz and hip hop and contemporary bass styles. Following on his bandcamp you can see his transformation through music from a hip hop emcee, with WEAPONS, MEDICINES & TEXTILES to his first footwork and juke produtions, like his self titled ep, and TIME REALEASE VOL 1. He noted to Ever Evolved his intent with his music is inspire and challenge the listeners while creating a good atmosphere, and pushing what he thinks is an interesting sound to the fore front of Chicago’s music scene; he does just that with this new record.

Now Splash DR deals with the new adventure of being signed with ICY PALMS, where you can hear THE KID LABOR LP on bandcamp, or you can also get it on cassette! He has already a compilation collaboration scheduled in Paraguay as his sales hit with IP Recores and another project in the works. Already looking to make connections in Englad, Poland and getting back into LA, NY and Oakland, it should be interesting keeping up with this Splash DR! Click THE KID LABOR LP Cover photo below to listen on bandcamp!

Splash DR | Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Umbertron remixes Kurama

Umbertron from Chicago coming back heavy with a remix this time around. This follows a music video for UME, a very smooth juke track he released during a visit in Tokyo, Japan. This new remix is a turn around from that vibe. Unleashing BoyzzDontCry onto the world, a wild hardstyle beat originally created by Kurama to be released on Nest HQ. You can grab it for free as well as gift from the artist. Stay up to date with Umbertrons happenins on his soundcloud linked below.

Umbertron | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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RIP DJ Rashad – Cause of Death Confirmed

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DJ Rashad passes away Saturday, April 26 at the at of 34.

DJ Rashad was found unresponsive on the West Side of Chicago at 1:30 pm. The cause of death was a blood clot in his leg. Rashads cousin made his label Hyperdub aware of the cause after reports from blogs and other media outlets prematurely concluded that his cause of death was due to an overdose. News of his death began circulating through social media websites as friends and artists began posting their condolences after DJ Godfather, who was scheduled to play alongside DJ Spinn & Rashad that evening, revealed the news via Twitter.

Born Rashad Harden, the local Chicago DJ is well known for his influences and contributions to the rise of the juke and footwork scene in the city. Getting involved with ghetto house in his early years he started out dancing and taking part in battles before moving on to DJing and his own music productions alongside lifelong friend and collaborator DJ Spinn. Rashad and the Teklife crew gained a reputable following after Rashad signed with British Dance Label Hyperdub and releasing a beautiful dance album “Double Cup” in 2013. DJ Rashad also released a new ep “We On 1” on the 22nd of April, the first release on Southern Belle Recordings.

Check out DJ Rashad perform at last years Pitchfork Music Festival.

Hyperdub and Rashad’s representatives have released a statement on his death. Read it in full below:

DJ Rashad aka Rashad Hanif Harden, 34-years-old (born October 9th 1979) the Calumet City, IL-based DJ and producer, passed away around Saturday, April 26, 2014 on Chicago’s Lower West Side. He leaves behind a nine-year-old son, Chad and his parents, mother Gloria Harden, and father, Anthony Harden. The cause of his death has not yet been determined. 

Rashad’s father told the Chicago Sun Times on Saturday: “Since he was a kid, he’s been doing this. He knew what he wanted to do, and a lot of us don’t get a chance to make our dream come true.”

His manager, Wes Harden: “Rashad was a kind soul that left an indelible mark on the music world as the torchbearer of Footwork and Juke.  Rest assured that all of those close to him will make sure that the legacy lives on for a great man whose life has been cut far too short.”

Kode9 from Hyperdub: “I was honored to release music from Rashad on Hyperdub. I’ve only known him for around 3 years, but he had become a good friend and one of my biggest musical influences. He was one of the funniest, most positive people I’ve ever met and a true innovator. Everyone at the label is devastated by his passing and wish to send our sincere condolences to all his friends and family in Chicago, the Teklife crew and anyone anywhere who was graced by his presence and uplifted by his music. I’ll never forget singing duet with him in a karaoke bar in Tokyo” 

DJ Rashad was a quintessential figurehead in the evolution from Ghetto House to Chicago Juke to Footwork and one of the artists to have to consistently pushed the evolution of the Footwork genre forward. He was born in Chicago and moved to the deep south suburb of Calumet City, IL soon after. Rashad started out as a dancer (around the time he was in seventh grade) cutting his teeth with some of the most respected dance groups including House­O­Matics, The Phyrm, and Wolf Pac. He quickly thereafter took up DJing with some of his first public gigs around 1992 at spots like his sixth grade high school club Jubilation. He met his longtime ally, DJ Spinn, during homeroom class at Thornwood High School in 1996.  They quickly began producing tracks at each others’ houses.  During this era, they DJ’d parties with the likes of RP Boo, DJ Clent, Gant-­Man and others.. His first release to make it to vinyl was the track Child Abuse on Dance Mania (mislabeled as DJ Thadz) in 1998. Following the release of his single Itz Not Rite (Planet Mu) and his inclusion on the Bangs and Works album (Planet Mu) circa late 2010 he was constantly in demand around the world and spent the majority of his time on the road touring the world as a DJ, more often than not in tandem in with his closest, lifelong friend, DJ Spinn.

He was involved in many Footwork cliques – including Beatdown House (founded by DJ Clent), the Ghettoteknitianz (with DJ Spinn) and Teklife. As a producer his crowning achievement was the October 2013 release of his album Double Cup on Hyperdub Records featuring collaborations with DJ Spinn, Taso, DJ Phil, Manny, Earl and Addison Groove. His last performance as a DJ was at Vinyl Club in Denver, CO on April 24, 2014. A new EP We On 1 is slated for release today Monday April 28th via a new Houston-based label called Southern Belle. His collaborations Acid Life with Gant-Man and Bombaklot with DJ Earl and DJ Taye are featured on the forthcoming Hyperdub 10th anniversary celebration album Hyperdub 10.1 which will be released May 20th. His music will live on eternally.