There is much to be said about Chicago footwork fanatic EQ Why. Recently releasing not one, not two or three, but four volumes of his laudable Whytoven Series. Deemed an integral part of the culture of footwork, he proves time and again, why his dedication and skill is deserving of the praise. D160’s footwork informant iamvictorious takes us through his account of discovering the sounds of EQ Why and what Whytoven Vol. 4 brings to the table for 2017.
After purchasing the single 808 Kickdrum from his Enter the Why EP, the sample of Sir Mix Alot’s smash rap classic My Posse got me hooked. From there I began digging a little deeper. It wasn't until I heard Hold on Tonight, featuring a Phil Collins sample from his famous song In the Air Tonight that I decided to add World Relief to my collection of EQ Why purchases. This one was different. It wasn't your typical footwork album but It did have a whole lot of everything, including some jungle and DnB styles in the mix.
Fast forward to 2016, I obtained a copy of Whythoven Vol 1, classified by EQ Why as footwork/jungle, this release lived up to the hype. Its energetic funky vibes were well received. Followed up with new styles and genres all blending into both Vol 2 and 3, Whythoven 4 sets itself apart from the others with a distinct set of sounds within each track.
Exhibiting his range and the future of his ever evolving sound, there is no lack of energy throughout the release. Project Breed starts it off with a turbulent bass line accompanied with erratic kicks, and claps. It resembles a 16-bit feel with effortless transitions, never losing its way with sonic textures that give the track purpose.
Adding some soul into the works, How Do You uses a Sade sample in the backdrop that makes the track an instant classic. Footwork dancers and DJs alike will have this on their playlist. Minimal change ups help the flow, laying a good foundation for the tracks to follow such as Busy With Your Girl. With a sample off the movie House Party, I had a little chuckle, but this track is no laughing matter, which means its time for business footworkers.
I7 Inside keeps Whythoven Vol 4 on the soul side. I call this vintage EQ Why. One of those songs that flow with grace but you can hear the intent through the kick drum patterns. Blow Baby (Get High Today) is a little more relaxed. Not quite basic on not overly complicated, an easy going feel with something to move you.
Hosting samples of Ofra Haza, Nu Nu 916 starts off with a light vocal caress, turning up the adrenaline with what I call the “EQ chase” which is insanely deep. This is what his version of footwork sounds like, beautifully saturated with both intricate patterns and simple yet unique combinations.
Whythoven Vol 4 should not disappoint. Although the jungle element was missing on this project, I assume EQ Why had to remind people of just who he was with this one. It’s pace and energy speak for itself. If you're a fan of his music, then make sure to add this one to your collection. He doesn’t seem to be slowing down, so whether or not we see a fifth volume, you won’t want to sleep on his next release.
Written by: IamVictorious/Edited by: JamFransisco