Boomkat Product Review:
Footwork forefather RP Boo proudly cements his reputation with ‘Established!,’ his most diverse definition of the Chicago styles he grew up with and pioneered over the past 30 years, influencing everyone from DJ Rashad to Sherelle and Rian Treanor
Spanning house tempo jack tracks to his signature 160bpm cyclones and battle track skirmishes, RP Boo’s 4th album crowns the king of footwork with 14 inimitable examples of the mutant ghetto house template he set alongside DJ Slugo and more for Dance Mania in 2000 and has progressed over successive LPs since 2013’s seminal ‘Legacy.’ Where those LP’s have variously spelled out his sound thru a combination of archival and up-to-the-second productions, ‘Established!’ yields a brace of brand new gear that keeps it balling fwd, but also reminisces on his roots, back when he was in the same circles as Paul Johnson and other legends of Windy City stature.
A pivotal figure at home in the Chi and abroad, RP Boo’s productions, like myriad other strains of regional US club music, have remained sorely unsung by a US dance music scene that perplexingly never realises the brilliance under its nose. In that sense his influence on footwork is akin to Juan Atkins’ on techno, whose foundational Detroit techno records found more favour in Europe than anywhere else in the US, and have come to seriously resonate just as much with the UK’s love of accelerated funk and innovative Black music. But where Juan’s records feel very much c.20th, RP Boo has blazed a path for the 21st century whose influence cannot be overestimated.
Kicking off and rounding off with the swaggering jack traks ‘All My Life’ and ‘Beauty Speak of Sounds,’ both harking back to his days dancing in the ‘90s Chi house scene, he works up a proper dervish from the G-funk sampling ‘How 2 Get It Done!’ thru a standout bullet ‘Finally Here’ featuring Afiya, making time for a spot of Phil Collins worship on ‘All Over,’ and tumpin’ it on a juke tip with ‘Be Of It!,’ while reserving his most lip-biting tekkers for the tight energy of ‘Ivory Surface,’ and the gleeful propulsion of ‘Another Night To Party.’