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Ron Sexsmith

Jlin's strange sounds beguile; Shelby Lynne produces fantastic country

Jlin's strange sounds beguile; Shelby Lynne produces fantastic country

Jlin, "Dark Energy" (Planet Mu). For reasons known only to Rahm Emmanuel, R. Kelly and Chance the Rapper, Chicago has generated some curiously weird sounds. One of the strangest and most beguiling is the electronic dance music sub-genre known as footwork. A strange offshoot of the city's rich house music history, footwork (and its sibling, juke music) thrives on jerky, synthetic rhythms, wind-sprint tempos and loopy samples. It's the sound of choice to accompany the South Chicago dance style of the same name. It's unlike any music you've ever heard.

"Dark Energy," the first album from the Gary, Ind., producer who makes tracks as Jlin, showcases...

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