Watch the Strobe-Heavy Video for RP Boo's Footwork Anthem 'Speakers R-4 (Sounds)'

Chicago pioneer puts the tripping back in footwork on his Planet Mu debut

Philip Sherburne WRITTEN BY
Philip Sherburne

It's hard to shake the nagging suspicion that electronic dance music is getting awfully, worryingly polite — but don't blame RP Boo. The Chicago native's early releases revolutionized juke and laid the foundations for footwork, the most dizzyingly disruptive style in American dance music. A decade and a half later, he shows no signs of letting the genre he helped invent go gently into that club night. Case in point: "Speakers R-4 (Sounds)," a furiously syncopated cut from his forthcoming album, Legacy.

It takes its title from the spoken-word phrase, "Sounds — that's what the speakers are for." A simple enough proposition on paper, but mere transcription doesn't do justice to the wanton way Boo handles his samples, chopping and looping them over syn-toms that rattle like the wheels on a flipped car: "Ooooh, this track is clangin'!" "What they do, what they do, what they do!" "Bang! Bang! Bang!" His sense of rhythm is as elastic as Ricardo Villalobos', but the sound quality is pure digital DIY, swimming in cheap reverb and crusted over with even cheaper distortion. It's acrobatic and explosive all at once, like spinning plates at a trap shoot.

Watch the strobe-heavy video for "Speakers R-4" above, and listen to samples of Legacy on Planet Mu's website; the album comes out May 13.

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