We decided to put a spotlight on our favorite artists from our home city of Los Angeles this Summer. Over the coming 10 weeks, we’ll feature a cross section of what the city has to offer. Far from a selection of the biggest touring entities, we hope to shine light on the individuals who brighten the airwaves and nights out on a regular basis.
The weekly club night is a near impossible undertaking in this day and age. Beyond the obvious time and energy depletion, maintaining fresh line ups week in and week out take real imagination. Los Angeles has been home to a number of successful weeklies, from long-running drum & bass haven Respect to the iconic and sadly recently terminated Mustache Mondays. For the past several years though, the finest weekly has been Juke Bounce Werk‘s Rocksteady night, taking place every Tuesday night, first at Little Tokyo’s Tokyo Beat and now at Chinatown’s Grand Star Jazz Club. DJ Noir, Jae Drago and Sonic D have built a temple for footwork and juke, built on the symbiotic relationship between dancer and DJ and featuring a remarkably broad selection of what the genre has to offer.
The gospel of Rocksteady is spreading and while most know that footwork and juke are native to Chicago, fewer know how well it has thrived in Los Angeles. Rocksteady has hosted a who’s who of legends and contemporary heroes (DJ Earl, DJ Spinn, Gant-Man, Jana Rush, JLin, RP Boo, Traxman), but doesn’t shy away from extending into other genres, bringing on a range of contemporary club music’s finest (Anna Morgan, Ase Manual, DJ J Heat, Massacooraman, RudeBoyz). Regulars will know that it’s the residents and artists from the Juke Bounce Werk universe (Kush Jones, Neuropunk, SWISHA and DJ Noir, Jae Drago and Sonic D themselves) that often shine the brightest at Rocksteady though and that fact carries over to the JBW as a label.
The JBW catalog exists as a testament to the breadth of footwork, featuring everything from overt jungle hybridizations to sub bass-heavy abstractions and everything in between. More traditional manifestations of the Chicago sound can be found throughout four years of releases as well, but it doesn’t feel out of place with the newer derivations. More than anything else though, the JBW catalog demands to be played out and when it is people notice. It’s no surprise that the whole operation grew out of a meeting at Respect because JBW is rooted in Los Angeles’ rave lineage and that understanding is part of what keeps people coming back week after week.
Few DJs represent that approach better than DJ Noir, matching a deep appreciation for jungle and drum and bass with a passion for footwork and juke. There’s no room for filler in DJ Noir’s tightly coiled mixes, which slickly join cerebral soul sampling material, battle tracks and hardcore continuum-inspired numbers into the same passages. You’ll be hard pressed to find a DJ who utilizes the cross fader to such devastating effect and that shows in her Astral Plane Mix which runs through 45 minutes of exclusively Juke Bounce Werk material with fiery energy. No track list at this point, but download available here and the essential Juke Bounce Werk catalog here.