To start, footwork is primarily a dance music style that pays homage to Chicago house and hip-hop—but manages to sound unlike either. Much like hip-hop, footwork isn’t just a style of music—it’s a culture that brings together music production, eye-popping dance moves, and a playfully confrontational battle vibe.

WHERE U FROM?

The term “footwork” is often (incorrectly) used interchangeably with “juke,” the style’s closely related cousin. Truth is, the two genres do have a lot in common: both are direct descendants of ghetto house (a rougher, tougher, faster strain of house Chicago that was popularized in the late ‘90s), both run somewhere in the 150-160-BPM range, and, confusingly, both have associated dance styles of the same name. Where footwork and juke music differ is that the former is a bit more frantically paced—slightly more aggressive, and utilizing an abstract, hip-hop-styled approach to production (ie. pitched-down vocals, more sample-focused)—whereas juke is essentially a grittier, dirtier, faster version of house, made more for grinding than gettin’ fancy on the dance floor.

WORK IT

Like pretty much every form of dance music, there is, at the very least, a template for plotting out a general beat for the style. Point Blank has developed a quick lesson on getting the basics down for a juke beat with 808 kicks, which will get enthusiastic Ableton producers on their way, and below Computer Music has assembled a similar tutorial. They’re not explicitly footwork tutorials—but that’s where you get to put your own spin on it.

Source: Djtechtools

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