Teklife producer DJ Phil brings a nuanced touch to footwork | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Teklife producer DJ Phil brings a nuanced touch to footwork 

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click to enlarge DJ Phil

DJ Phil

Photo by Wills Glasspiegel

Footwork is often characterized by aggressive sounds and high speeds, but Chicago producer and Teklife member DJ Phil fills in the music’s framework with remarkable restraint. In the solo recordings he’s dropped on the Web over the past few years, he uses samples to set the mood, often providing them with so much breathing room that nothing else filters into the song for long stretches. From there he uses his nuanced touch to tweak the audio just enough to let listeners know that a familiar melody is about to be transformed. On “Close 2 You VIP,” his remix of Dreezy’s hit “Close to You,” Phil slowly builds multidirectional rhythms into the track’s foundation, allowing footwork’s muscular thump to engage with the sumptuousness of the source material. His latest single, “Drunk VIP,” is based on a complicated patchwork quilt of samples, but it’s so tranquil that even his minimal percussive attacks give it an electrifying boost.   v

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