Credit: Ryan Lowry


Its Chicago roots notwithstanding, footwork is a global phenomenon now, with vital communities popping up as far afield as Japan and Poland. So it was no leap at all for this adventurous, fast-paced dance music to reach Gary, Indiana, home to footwork producer Jlin, aka Jerilynn Patton. Her steel-mill job keeps her grounded in Gary, but the Chicago scene has gladly claimed her as its own: footwork progenitor RP Boo has gravitated toward her as a mentor, offering her words of encouragement and feedback, and she’s a member of Bosses of the Circle, a collective led by Low End producer DJ Roc. The lava-lamp flow of the shadowy tracks on Jlin’s 2015 debut, Dark Energy (Planet Mu), adds an exciting wrinkle to footwork’s aesthetic map. Gary and Chicago can feel worlds apart, but her enthralling music brings them a little closer together.