Boomkat Product Review:
Chicago’s DJ Earl sets a new high water mark for footwork with Open Your Eyes - offering one of the scene’s highest profile releases, thanks to its three Oneohtrix Point Never collaborations, and a suitably solid follow-up to Teklife’s Afterlife set, which was dedicated to its founder and Earl’s departed mentor, DJ Rashad.
In the works for 2 years now, and featuring a tight circle of six collaborators over eight tracks, Open Your Eyes presents a clinically trimmed but still rudely effective take on footwork that doesn’t sacrifice any of its crucial qualities in its pursuit for the perfect beat (where others have tried to crossbreed it with failed, Frankenstein-like results).
We're particularly partial to those three with OPN, which are effectively the freshest form of electro-jazz-fusion in circulation right now; hitting highest new vibe levels with the vaporous riffs and hyper-weightless pressure of Smoking Reggie, and to more swaggering degrees with Ratchett, whilst Let’s Work goes hard, straight and wild with nexx level jazz-juke flexx.
The others are strong too; with spiralling highlights in Drumatic featuring MoonDoctor, and more psilocybic sensations explored on All INN featuring Suzi Analogue, or the dubbed-out rudeness of Fukk It Up, all of which help to frame this album as footwork’s weirdest, psyched-out yet hard-working album in 2016.