Chicago producer DJ C brings life-giving daring to his hybridized dance music on Do Radly | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Chicago producer DJ C brings life-giving daring to his hybridized dance music on Do Radly

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As DJ C, Chicago producer Jake Trussell has developed a gift for extracting the DNA from an eclectic variety of pop subgenres, then scrambling their nucleotides and recombining them—and his manipulations not only illuminate the hard-to-see strands connecting parallel musical histories but also encourage anyone with at least two brain cells to dance. Throughout the new Do Radly (Mashit), Trussell experiments with artful, ambitious hybrids: on one track he might blend smoky blues guitar and sparse, electrifying hip-hop drums spiced with dub effects (“Super Flyover”), while on another he’ll combine pinprick garage synths, mellow upright bass, solemn contemporary-classical strings, and a loopy keyboard that sounds like futuristic reggae (“Wellsweep”). Trussell’s open-minded approach to dance music gives him a lot of room to mess around, and he’s clearly taken great care in shaping even the tiniest details—despite the huge diversity in sound here, the whole album hangs together as a cohesive whole. Trussell’s choices make every song on Do Radly pop, and their unpredictably makes his music surprising even on repeated listens. Because we’ve all spent more than 15 months sweating public-health regulations to keep one another safe, it’s liberating to hear someone break a bunch of rules—in this case, rules about musical genres—and end up with an album so joyful and life-giving.   v

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