DJ Nate’s new LP Take Off Mode is a surprise for a couple of reasons. For one, the producer who helped to take footwork international back at the start of the 2010s has spent more time making hip-hop and r ‘n’ b tracks these past few years than he has turning out bangs and works. Furthermore, the one born Nathan Clark very nearly lost his ability to make music at all when a road accident left him paralysed from the neck down a couple of years ago (we are glad to hear that he has now recovered).
As well as offering up new material, Take Off Mode also collates the 160-bpm bangers that DJ Nate has occasionally thrown up online in the time since debut LP Da Trak Genious. While he may largely be working at slower speeds these days, this collection of tracks demonstrate that Nate can still turn out the most fire battle tunes when he fancies it. The classic southside footwork/juke sound is all present and correct here - drums whirl and clatter like they’re being punched in by an octopus, stabs of bass zip about at a hundred miles an hour and samples are blitzed at lightning speed. Nate has always favoured a more vocal-heavy style, and he throws down slogans with a winning confidence all over Take Off Mode.
DJ Nate’s latest record knows it’s good and intends to make that public knowledge. Take Off Mode is a serious flex from a footwork originator.