Heavee smiling in a camo jacket and sunglasses
Credit: Courtesy of Backspin Promotions

The producers who created footwork’s molten polyrhythms designed them to give dancers the flexibility to switch tactics in the middle of a battle. Yes, there are specific moves (Ghost! Erk n Jerk!), but the ever-changing percussion and bass patterns create a destabilized space where footworkers can “choose their own adventure,” as it were, by adapting those moves in their own ways. Chicago footwork producer Heavee has found a sweet spot by melding the jackhammering beats of footwork with serene synth sounds borrowed from contemporary video-game scores—another form of music that encourages people to play. His new Audio Assault (Hyperdub) favors the trancelike side of the video-game sound world, and he keeps a foot in those dreamlike environs even when his loops cycle so fast that they seem to jitter nervously. The spelunking synths of “Machines Can Talk” feel sleepy and nocturnal, but Heavee’s hiccuping footwork percussion speckles them with glimmers of light.

 Heavee’s Audio Assault drops 3/25 and is available through Bandcamp.