What is now a globe-spanning phenomenon, whose influence can be heard across genres and charts, began with little fanfare or documentation outside of a specific Chicago milieu in the late 90s: footwork music. A local specialty at the time, footwork was pioneered by a one Kavain Space aka RP Boo. Combining the style and bravado of hip-hop with the stripped aesthetics of minimal house (all propelled at a dizzying 160bpm or higher) footwork music is infectious, relentless and, in the hands of this legendary pioneer, eerily sinister.
In 2010, electronic tastemaker label Planet Mu released Bangs & Works, the first widely available retrospective of footwork music. What followed was a virus-like spreading of the tones and techniques of many of Chicago’s finest. Through releases on the venerable Chicago-based label Teklife (whose catalogue includes RP and other OG producers including DJ Spinn the late DJ Rashad) and nearly-obligatory appearances at major festivals around the world, footwork has become one of the most exciting sounds at the edges of the global consciousness; though no figure seems to evoke as much awe and bewilderment as RP Boo. Decidedly uncompromising and, at times, brazenly abstract, RP’s pummelling jams hit pleasure centres the human race is just now developing.
“If RP Boo, Traxman, and DJ Rashad constitute the John Coltrane (father), Pharoah Sanders (son), and Albert Ayler (holy ghost) of Chicago footwork, then Boo, aka Kavain Space, probably gets to be Trane. Others might have traveled further, but he was, arguably, the first. The son of a former Prince bassist, Space’s work has a deferential sense of groove…” – Pitchfork Media
w/ Thrillah + EDDY/BUDI + DJ Goldilocks @ Menz Bar (2182 Gottingen St.) Friday, March 3rd, 10pm $20 | 19+