Deeon updates his "minimal ghetto beat tracks" for Teklife.
Ray Barney's Dance Mania made a science out of relentless, lascivious tracks and DJ Deeon is at the top of the heap, responsible some of the rawest, catchiest cuts of all time. In the decades since his mid '90s debut, Deeon has prolifically expounded upon his signature sound, releasing hundreds of self-described "minimal ghetto beat tracks."
Deeon's debut for Teklife, the four-track Destiny EP, is perhaps most interesting as a historic link between Dance Mania and Teklife. Deeon and the late Rashad knew each other from the '90s until the latter's tragic death. Rashad made his debut on Dance Mania with a "Child Abuse,"a rudimentary version of the footwork sound he'd later bring to the world.
Deeon has dedicated his Teklife debut to the late Rashad, donating all proceeds to the late legend's family. On cuts like "Tek 57" and the squelchy "Respect The Fact," Deeon doffs his cap to Rashad and the label more generally, integrating footwork's intricate percussive touches and even a 3/4 break on the latter, though it's a different vibe than the woozy, weightless feel unique to footwork.
On "Tek 57," Deeon demonstrates he's still one of the best house MCs in the game, shouting "Oh you turnt, huh?" and other phrases that should work crowds into a frenzy the way Deeon tracks have been doing for nearly three decades. The final track, meanwhile, sounds like a lost Chicago hard house banger that could easily slot into today's speedy techno sets. Overall, Destiny is a reminder that juke, hard house, ghetto house and footwork are all part of a Windy City continuum of masterful minimalism—sounds engineered to level the club.