Chicago producer DJ Earl is part of the city’s Ghettoteknitianz crew, which is headed up by footwork messengers DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn. Earl got into footwork dancing at 14 and soon after started producing. Still only 20, his sound displays a sophistication beyond its years, exploring the slower, more soulful aspects of footwork as well as laser-sharp beats with an incredibly tactile understanding of rhythm. As well appearing on Planet Mu’s ‘Bangs & Works Vol. 2’, he has a Ghettoteknitianz release with crew mate Traxxman on the way, entitled ‘The Chi Project LP’, and a debut artist album dropping on 28th February. It’s called ‘New Era’ and will be the first release on Oslo’s Electropix label. To get an understanding of just how thrilling a release it’s set to be, check out this ultra-fresh mix from DJ Earl. Actually, it’s more of a mixtape than a mix, as every one of these tracks is an Earl original, with a couple of the tracks featuring Ghettoteknitianz members DJ Manny (who you might remember from this footwork film) and DJ Lucky. Download the mix on the right or stream it below on the Soundcloud, and check out an interview with Earl and artwork to ‘New Era’ below.
Hey DJ Earl, how are you doing? Good NYE?
I’m Good And I had A Excellent NYE.
I’m really feeling your mix. What was the idea behind it?
Thankz. The Idea Behind Was To Give Everyone A Taste Of The Type of Footwork Trackz I Make.
So your debut album ‘New Era’ drops in February. Could you tell me a bit about the making of it?
Yes ‘New Era’ Drops In Feb Can’t Really Get Into What’s On It Though Don’t Wanna Spoil The Surprise What I Can Say Is The Theme For The Album Is Futuristic.
What does ‘New Era’ represent for you?
It Pretty Much Representz Me Being Apart Of A New Era Of Deejays/Producers And Becoming Apart Of The Movement Here In Chicago with my team (Ghettoteknitianz).
How did you get into footwork?
Got Into Footwork in 2005. A close friend of mine footworked and I really liked the dance so I started dancing then transitioned to producing.
Dummy Mix 104 // DJ Earl by DummyMag
Who or what inspires you?
A lot of people and things inspire me. Seeing Spinn & Rashad’s career progress inspires me. All of these groups from Chicago travelling, winning and entering international competitions inspire me. It’s a pretty long list but pretty much everyone around me inspires me to do what I do.
What’s the sound of Chicago right now?
I cant really speak for the entire Chicago but in my community – in high schools, parties, battles, footwork dancers – people I know listen to the Music We Make. Of course other music too but we’re about this footwork juke sound where I’m from.
Will we be seeing you playing in Europe soon?
Hopefully yes I’m really excited to tour but I wont reveal any dates or details until things are completely confirmed.
And finally, goals for 2012?
My goal for 2012 is to help push this culture, get the world to see what we’re about, to see that we’re talented deejays, producers and dancers and hopefully have the entire world footworking.