RP Boo Fingers, Bank Pads and Shoe Prints Planet Mu
“House music is still here. I am what happened to house music,” once said Kavain Space, aka RP Boo. And for once, such impudence is well-founded.
RP Boo’s contribution to the manifestation of footwork music spans decades: all feet follow under RP Boo’s leadership. Obscured in the raided dust of Chicago’s basements, early tracks were cut solely for battles between dance crews. His directorship is unparalleled and, despite spawning an international identity only within the past five years, his footwork is critical. This, his second full length on Planet Mu, is validation of RP Boo the innovator, the architect – the confirmation that he really is what happened to house music.
An air of restraint has been applied since his Mu debut, Legacy. His entrance was brash, bullish and undisciplined; like the reaction of magnesium to water. This release, however, counteracts the autonomy with structured authority. As the closing line of B’Ware goes, “It’s time to move the juke out the way, ‘cus I am footwork,” a soothed vocal looping croons over stuttered clicks and clacks, equally as combative as it is disciplined.
Space’s ability to manipulate samples alongside abnormal time signatures is approached with a refined sense of humour and grace. The irreverent rave whistle pestering malicious snare cracks in I’m Laughing is comic yet maniacal. Opener, 1-2D-20’2 proudly catalogues dominant footwork crews before wheeling around prickly taunts. “Motherfuck your favourite DJ,” goes Finish Line D’jayz over and over with incalculable hostility. Beat Me chops up a slowed rendition of Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us, somehow making it undeniably thuggish.
This really is the defining footwork record from the scene’s equivalent to Juan Atkins. Forged from rare cuts collated before and after Legacy, there is something cumulative about Fingers, Bank Pads & Shoe Prints. And as the mourning of Rashad’s passing intensifies, it’s records such as this which capture the staying power of footwork. One of its prime movers may be lost but their desire to see you work the dancefloor into the ground lives on through RP Boo.