DJ PayPal, DJ Taye, Composure, Johnathan Thomas | East Room | Dance | Chicago Reader

DJ PayPal, DJ Taye, Composure, Johnathan Thomas Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Fri., Jan. 29, 9 p.m. 2016

Though footwork collective Teklife will forever be associated with Chicago, it’s out-of-towner DJ PayPal who’s helped the group spread their fast-paced style and cement their international reputation. Raised in North Carolina and now residing in Berlin, the enigmatic producer has earned a reputation as a prankster. His antibrand sticks a thumb in the eye of consumerism—he’s released records called Buy Now and Sold Out, and he’s behind a label called Mall Music Inc.—and that outsider mentality has dovetailed with the post-vaporwave community of the Web concert series SPF420, which hosted him as part of an early TinyChat-based show in 2013. Similarly, he’s got a penchant for sampling from unorthodox source material—or what sounds like unorthodox source material, e.g., chintzy lounge music, Muzak, and anything that employs plastic 80s synthesizers. Oh, and he released an album of nothing but edits of Drake’s music. As silly as that all might sound, DJ PayPal never lets a joke interfere with the ascendant bliss of a great dance track, or get in the way of his dedication to footwork’s 160-beats-per-minute pulse. The momentary surprise at hearing sax samples strangled into knots or African rhythms chopped and spliced in a loop melts away under PayPal’s euphoric melee. The frosty expanse of “Say Goodbye,” from his 2015 mini-LP Sold Out (Brainfeeder), makes wherever you are seem as vast as the constellations.

Leor Galil

Price: $5, free with RSVP before 11 PM