Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Footwurk: The Legacy | Film

Akeem Pennicooke tells a story of gang culture and dance culture on Footwurk: The Legacy.

Footwork is a style of music and dance that originated in Chicago in the 1990s. For the decade that followed, it was rarely talked about outside of its hometown, bar the odd forum thread where keen fans tracked uploads on peer-to-peer service Imeem, but the late 2000s saw it gain traction outside of Chicago. Planet Mu released a series of records by DJ Nate, DJ Roc and Ghettoteknitianz – the crew that would later become Teklife – as well as the Bangs and Works series, which documented various footwork artists. Soon, the likes of DJ Rashad and Spinn had played European tours, and artists like Machinedrum and Addison Groove had adopted footwork as key inspirations for their music, helping these artists’s profiles spread further.

Director Akeem Pennicooke’s films focus on telling “the unique stories of people whose voices are not heard”, where he usually uses untrained non-actors, as they “project genuine emotion”. He immersed himself in footwork to properly understand the community, and made the tracks for the film himself (under his musical alias, Londy), which fall into the long-standing footwork tradition of using half-time soul and Motown samples with triplet drums – himself. Despite dealing with freezing temperatures (it’s Chicago in winter) and police harassment while filming, the film is heart-breaking and inspiring at the same time. Watch it above, and read our Q&A with him here: http://www.factmag.com/2015/06/02/foo...

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