If you spend many nights at Beauty Bar in West Town or East Room in Logan Square, you’ve probably seen or heard about Chris Mojekwu, aka Mojek. The producer spins at the occasional late-night party, and there’s rarely a week when you won’t see his name on a flyer hanging somewhere. The variety of events at which he’s appeared speaks to the breadth of Chicago’s intermingling scenes—and of Mojek’s artistic palette. In July he played Save Money’s Pitchfork afterparty at Bottom Lounge, which included sets from local hip-hop acts Hurt Everybody, Leather Corduroys, and Brian Fresco plus a surprise appearance by Vic Mensa. Last February he helped Chicago promotion company and music blog 1833 celebrate its two-year anniversary at East Room with some chic musicians: experimental electronic-pop producer Different Sleep, outre R&B mastermind How to Dress Well, and Dilla-inspired wunderkind Thelonious Martin. A couple weeks later, Mojek returned to East Room to support Teklife producers DJ Phil and Heavee alongside idiosyncratic rapper-producer Morimoto.
Mojek and Morimoto belong to a national experimental collective called Whole Team, and Morimoto shows up on Mojek’s brand-new World of Mojek. The seven-song EP begins a new series of releases overseen by local multimedia and events outlet 119 Productions. Morimoto and Chicago MC Briggs Casso open World of Mojek with “U 2,” and their divergent styles—Morimoto drops brisk, pristine bars, while Casso stretches out and lets his husky voice color his lines—augment Mojek’s adventurous, stylistically slippery instrumentals.
Fortunately, Mojek can throw two distinct rappers on a track featuring flatulent synths, stuttering vocal samples, and snippets from an episode of Boy Meets World and make it work. Throughout the EP he uses his intuitive grasp of pop music to dole out downtempo melodies and 80s boogie percussion, and he adds a sensual R&B flair to “Dally’s Break” with a languid sax sample. The entire record is streaming below.