The footwork and juke genres have seen a surge in popularity within the underground dance music community in recent years. Created to promote a growing movement of Chicago dance crews and battlers in the early 2000s, the sound has since gone global with the help of some of the U.K.’s electronic music mainstays. Following a string of successful EPs and singles released under Kode9’s London-based label Hyperdub, DJ Rashad has now produced footworks’s seminal LP in Double Cup.
The LP begins with a string of trap inspired tracks.“Feelin,” produced alongside fellow Teklife members Spinn and Taso, lends special care to reverberated vocal sampling and an unhurried chord progression. Its drums are less disparate than what we’ve come to expect from the genre, making this and other tracks more accessible to dance floors outside of Chicago’s juke scene. “Show U How” pairs jittery, syncopated hi-hats with a drum pattern that can carry a dance floor outside the scene.
The previously released track “I Don’t Give a Fuck” (one of two without a collaborator) suspends you in its whirl of a bass line and its spacious atmosphere. The straight forward construction of “Drank, Kush, Barz” will remind you how appealing bare-bones juke can be and is perhaps the most authentically footwork track on the album.
Trap isn’t the only genre to inspire Rashad on Double Cup. Acid-house sounds colour the bass lines on the album’s title track and the Addison Groove collaborations “Acid Bit” and “Leavin” take some of their stylistic cues from Chicago-born Deep House.
Footwork’s soul hasn’t been lost in Rashad’s return to convention, because convention is a relative term in this case. Rashad manages to retain its character while helping transform it.