When: Thu., Dec. 8, 9 p.m. 2016
Last month Columbia College’s Hokin Project Gallery opened its footwork art exhibit “In the Circle” with curatorial help from dance collective the Era, and one of the most engrossing pieces to have emerged is the large, multicolored map that connects the producers and dancers who’ve transformed a culture born in Chicago into a worldwide phenomenon. Said map shows a mess of players from across Europe, but a sizable portion of it is devoted to Japanese aficionados—chief among them (at least in my book) Foodman and DJ Fulltono, who both perform tonight. Known as the godfather of Japanese footwork, Fulltono (birth name Koichi Furutono) has helped document his country’s growing interest in native juke, footwork, and ghettotech since launching his Booty Tune imprint in 2008; his latest release, last year’s My Mind Beats, Vol. 2 EP, welds footwork’s blown-out hi-hats and palpitating pulses to subterranean melodies that sometimes squeal with acid-house synths. Fulltono is also behind the reissue of My Mind Beats, Vol. 1 for U.S. audiences through Orange Milk Records, an experimental label with a strong interest in footwork, and one that’s long been behind Japanese producer Takahide Higuchi, aka Foodman. Employing a practically Dadaist approach to footwork, Foodman wins over foreign fans by melding whizzing, toylike sounds with vaporwave-infected smooth jazz and a range of synthesized bleeps and bloops stripped from decades of video games, combining the noises into repeating collages that approach something resembling dance music. May’s Ez Minzoku (Orange Milk) shows well how Foodman can hook you in just before spiking the moment with an unexpected burst of arrhythmically layered percussion or an unsettling silence.