No other group of footwork producers carries as much weight in the international electronic-music community as Chicago collective Teklife. Its members include the biggest names in the genre, among them the pioneering RP Boo and world-class evangelists DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad. Of course, not everyone in Teklife has enjoyed the acclaim that’s greeted its stars, most notably DJ Rashad—but to Rashad’s credit, he always seemed eager to share his fame with the rest of the footwork community. Rashad’s magnificent 2013 album, Double Cup, bridges the gap between footwork and outre pop, in part thanks to its heavy reliance on collaborations. All but two of its 14 tracks feature at least one other producer, and it’s difficult to tell where the guests’ contributions end and Rashad’s work begins. Much of footwork is about how people play off one another—witness the way DJs and dancers interact during battles—and Rashad was obviously making that point.
DJ Manny appears on Double Cup to help out with the whooshing “Leavin.” He tends to get less ink than his fellow Teklife producers, but Chicago footwork insiders knows he’s an unimpeachable talent. In a 2012 feature for Spin, DJ Dave Quam wrote, “Manny is not only footwork’s most exciting young producer, but one of the best dancers in Chicago of his generation.” Manny’s musical genius is all over 1960, a seven-inch single released in November by Barcelona label True Color. On the title track, Manny and Teklife producer Kiid loop the scrambled, chopped-up bits of a glistening horn sample, and the cut-off edges of the smooth tones evoke the rawness of old-school footwork even as the total pattern glides with graceful ease. Tonight Manny headlines the Hideout’s monthly experimental Resonance Series; the bill also features Moth Cock, Sold, and DJ Potions.