DJ Rashad, the footwork titan, passed away almost two years ago. And although footwork has never been more popular, even artists at the forefront (like Spinn and Paypal) deign to the greatness of this fallen Dilla-esque figure. Thus, on the new label TEKLIFE, named in his honor, it seems fitting to make the first release Afterlife, a posthumous compilation of unreleased tracks. The whole album is fantastic, you can tell the motivating power of the reverence they had for Rashad, as every track is taken to at least one extreme of the genre's potential.
Some tracks, like this penultimate one, are complete tour de forces of what I see as the real joy behind footwork. Let's break it down a bit... we get this super extended intro, with those sick synths that hit that sweet spot between abrasive and ignorable, occupying the very forefront of your mind, in that intoxicating rhythm that reminds you why dancing to footwork is so hard but makes you really really want to do it nonetheless. The groovy bassline and those heavy claps build everything up, until the isolated intro has feels like it persists subconsciously than in any actual auditory fashion.
But then oh man, right when it hits the peak, right when you don't think it can be made any more dense, any more complex, right around 1:40, that's when a whole new transcendent dimension of footwork comes into play... it sounds like the clouds are bursting right above you, bathing you in shimmering light, feeling not like a separation from that previous energy, or a nullification, but just a new setting for it... you hear this tiny loop of a real human conversation, and it's like the very essence of that moment, a little romantic, a little adventurous, has been extended to the entire sonic texture of the track. It's sorta like positive drone or something. I dunno. I dunno where I was going with this one. Everyone should check out this album, though.