DJ Nate Take Off Mode Planet Mu
It’s been almost a decade since DJ Nate’s first album for Planet Mu, Da Trak Genious, kicked off the UK label’s affiliation with footwork. In that time the once hyperlocal soundtrack to Chicago’s frenetic dance battles has expanded the world over, its scope and creative potential pushed to new extremes and its stars made famous in club circles across the globe. But despite his influence, DJ Nate’s path since has been different, largely forgoing footwork in favour of hip-hop and R&B, making a second album for Mike Paradinas’ label seeming unlikely.
Made up of recordings spanning eight years, 160BPM fans will be delighted at this return. Take Off Mode demonstrates the same mastery of texture and mood as Da Trak Genious, albeit in a more concise, digestible package. Highlights come when DJ Nate mines a particularly haunting vein of melody (Go Krazy) or squeezes the bittersweet romance from his samples (Talk 2 Me), underpinning these qualities with a hard-bumping, raw approach to percussion. A welcome return from a legend of the scene.