West-Side Chicago’s Cornelius Ferguson a.k.a. Traxman ranks among the likes of RP Boo, DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, and DJ PJ as one of the most influential figures in both the history and contemporary life of footwork. His groundbreaking output dates back to releases on Dance Mania records in the nineties, the glory days of ghetto house. He is a member of Rashad and Spinn’s teklife crew and a co-founder of Dance Mania's Geto DJz clique.
The playful innovation of Traxman’s creations is closely related to his extensive knowledge of Chicago’s soul, funk, house, hip hop and ghetto trax legacies, and his mixes are a testament to that. He was among those making mixtapes on the coloured cassettes that acted as prototypes for footwork's evolution. Renowned as a veteran crate digger and owner of one of Chicago’s most meticulously organized record collections, his own music lives from a virtuosic treatment of diverse, colourful samples ranging from acid house to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It synthesizes original creation and expert archiving, and as such is as much a long stride into the future as it is a tribute to the past; the “hyper-kinetic innovation of footwork’s stop-start, half-time to double-speed drum programming” is steeped in a Dilla-esque circus of influences.
After slews of mixes, singles, and EPs, the first two volumes of his lauded Da Mind of Traxman series for esteemed label Planet Mu were released in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Pitchfork called the former “arguably the first great solo footwork full-length.”