DJ Earl

A mainstay of Chicago's juke/footwork scene, DJ Earl is a member of the Teklife collective along with genre pioneers DJ Spinn, DJ Gant-Man, and the late DJ Rashad. Like those artists, his tracks combine jittery uptempo rhythms and heavy bass with manipulated soul, jazz, and hip-hop samples. He has numerous hard-edged tracks which celebrate drugs and sex, but he also has more reflective, ambient moments. He began participating in dance battles in 2005, and started making music in 2008 after meeting Rashad and Spinn. He joined their Ghettoteknitianz collective, appearing on their eponymous 12" EP and Bangs & Works, Vol. 2, both released by Planet Mu in 2011. He released numerous digital albums and EPs, including collaborations with Heavee and DJ Manny. Ghettoteknitianz morphed into Teklife, and Earl appeared on Rashad's acclaimed 2013 album Double Cup (Hyperdub), in addition to releasing his debut 12" EP Blue Summer (on Lil Pitch) that year. Following Rashad's untimely death in 2014, Earl appeared on Teklife's Next Life tribute compilation, as well as two of Hyperdub's tenth anniversary compilations. He also collaborated with Lee Bannon and fellow Teklifers DJ Paypal and DJ Taye. In 2016, Teklife released Rashad's Afterlife (which Earl contributed to), as well as Earl's Open Your Eyes LP, which included collaborations with Oneohtrix Point Never, Moondoctor, and Suzi Analogue. Earl also released a cassette EP on Analogue's Never Normal Records, and the two collaborated under the name WORKFLOWW.