Are you a fan of the art of sampling hip-hop producers employ, but can't rock with dance music because their sounds are too synthesized? You might want to get into the complex world of footwork, a spawn of the ghetto house and juke scenes from Chicago. One of the supreme architects of the scene, DJ Rashad, has been at it for a while, but over the last few years, a resurgence of juke love in Europe has seen his stock rise. It's gotten to the point where one of the most respected imprints in Europe, Hyperdub, took Rashad under their wing, releasing two EPs (Rollin and I Just Don't Give A Fuck) on their label in the lead-up to the October release of his latest album, Double Cup.
The beauty of Double Cup isn't that this is a huge pedestal for a footwork producer to work on. It's the fact that Rashad did what he wanted to do, let his sound evolve, yet still kept it aligned with the footwork many have grown to love. The hyperactive 160 beats-per-minute thump is characterized by complex rhythms, booming bass, and intricate sample chopping. Rashad has all of that at his disposal. Yet he decided to not only smooth things out on Double Cup, but made sure to employ some more acid techno, trap, and jungle sounds, giving the overall vibe of Double Cup a more grown, informed perspective.
This doesn't abandon footwork's traditions, but it definitely opens the playing field, bringing in new heads who might be into he sound, but need to be eased into the world. That may not have been his aim, but it's a result of his brilliance regardless. —khal