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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1999
Band Electronic Drum & Bass

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"Spreading the love of dance with Juke Bounce Werk"

Grown from the roots of early house music—with influences found in ghetto/booty house—the Chicago-born genre known as juke has morphed into a global culture. The footwork scene has been an underground haven unspoiled by the hype of mainstream EDM, growing with a dedicated fan base of loyal and passionate footworkers, experimental beatsmiths, and dedicated DJs sampling their way into the future.

Acting as tastemakers as well as performers, Juke Bounce Werk (or JBW, for short) has fostered the rising awareness of the footwork movement in Los Angeles and abroad. The devoted group comprises DJs, producers and artists who use their passion for the groove to promote juke to the masses. Insomniac headed to JBW’s studio compound in sunny San Pedro, California, to learn more about the history and future of the 150–160-BPM genre during their weekly gathering and rwd.fm radio show. In true crew fashion, they preferred to have their answers credited to the group as opposed to any individual.
Grown from the roots of early house music—with influences found in ghetto/booty house—the Chicago-born genre known as juke has morphed into a global culture. The footwork scene has been an underground haven unspoiled by the hype of mainstream EDM, growing with a dedicated fan base of loyal and passionate footworkers, experimental beatsmiths, and dedicated DJs sampling their way into the future.

For those who don’t know, what is the difference between juke and footwork?
The term “juke” came from the dancing. It was like you juke a girl or you juke on a girl, and when the tempo sped up to the 150–160-BPM range, that’s when the term came around. They coined the genre name [with] the same name you’d call the dance moves. When juke started morphing into dance crews and choreography, jukers and footworkers started battling each other. The music started changing for those one-on-one battles. That’s when the term “footwork” came about, and they brought the term footwork to match with the music. But juke and footwork are together, from the same place—interchangeable and the same tempo.

Who are Juke Bounce Werk?
The foundation of the collective are the original members, including Sonic D (Darren Beckford), DJ Noir (Alexis Gutierrez) and J Drago (Joey Gutierrez). Neuropunk (Solomon Baldeo) was brought in pretty early on, as he was one of the first people to ever support the first parties. He had a great reputation for throwing really great events, like Blasted and L.A. Beatdown. Nanashi (Khalid Farquharson) and SubCode (Mike Jett) are also an integral part of our crew.

We were inspired by the music and decided to start playing it. Originally coming from a vinyl drum & bass background, when vinyl as a medium died out, we never bought a Serato box, and continued to collect music. When juke and footwork hit, we said, “We’re going to play this!” We started DJing again and put out mixes, supported DJs, and brought people together by sharing the tracks—our own and everyone else’s. Sonic D has come a long way through dubstep; he’s on that roots level with production. Neuropunk is just a bad-boy DJ and promotion machine. Nanashi is definitely a strong DJ as well, and he’s burned all of us at least once. He’s also an illustrator, designer, photographer, and organizes our radio shows. DJ Noir was originally doing the early documentation before Nanashi came along. Another important person to JBW is Regal D. He’s been by our side the whole time and is instrumental in documenting the very beginnings of everything we do, and still supports us to this day.

Is there a Juke Bounce Work imprint?
We release music under our platform, but we do not function as a traditional label. We think a label limits you to trying to push a specific style exclusively, and we are very much about working as a group to push the entire sound globally. People who are legitimately signed to other labels are free to release for us, because we don't have any vested interest in anything monetary. There’s no catalog 002; we just put out what we like on SoundCloud and Bandcamp to push artists you normally would not hear of.
Some would say sampling has become a lost art; do you think that’s a large appeal for juke?
With most of us coming from drum & bass, sampling was why we gravitated toward the music—because we could recognize so many things that would bring you back to the culture. The juke producers were getting ahold of samples that were prevalent in jungle, without having any idea or reference to jungle/drum & bass. Juke comes from house—the same influences the early jungle guys were making their records with. It’s like a parallel universe.

The dance “footwork” is also a huge part of the culture. When you see footwork performed, it changes everything. It made us understand the music on a level that we hadn’t understood up until that point. We connected with footwork dancers and realized that there are actually a few of them here in Los Angeles.

Tell us about your relationship with the legendary Teklife?
If it weren’t for Teklife, there would be no JBW. They were the first ones to reach out to us. Shout out to DJ Tre and DJ Earl. Tre reached out to us from Teklife, and from that moment things started to grow. We cannot say enough about DJ Rashad (RIP), who truly embraced us and made it a point to get with our little-bitty crew. He was doing huge things, but he was proud that we were supporting and pushing the sound and the culture here in L.A. Like Teklife, everything we do is for Rashad, still to this day. We miss him every day.

Make the jump to listen to JBW’s essential juke playlist…

DJ Rashad “Love U Found”
DJ Spinn “Man I Do It”
RP Boo “187 Homicide”
DJ Earl “Dragged” - Amanda Ross


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