Dj Rashad's crossover-ready "Double Cup" released this week on Hyperdub
DJ Rashad “Double Cup” 2013 | Hyperdub
It is quite rare these days to witness the discovery of geographically localized and coherent music subcultures. With widespread internet access there’s a constant deficit of time for anything to incubate before it starts to metastasize and mutate. The last time we have seen genuinely new music to appear from geo-defined zone it was UK’s grime and dubstep around 10 years ago. There have been few little oddities here and there, like the breakneck-tempo marimba sing-alongs of Shangaan Electro, but it’s more of an exception to the rule.
Therefore it was pretty surprising to follow the relatively recent discovery of juke and its dedicated dance style footwork. Both the products of Chicago’s newest iteration of underground subculture largely based on city’s rich electronic dance music heritage. Courtesy of “Bangs & Works” anthology released back in 2010 we have got a very thorough introduction to the biggest players on the scene and their respective production styles. After the initial shock of the new it became quite clear that for all its innovation juke is very much a legitimate successor to the Dance Mania’s rough’n’ready ghetto house of mid-90s lineage. Some of the producers currently producing juke started out by releasing their first efforts via the recently resurrected label.
As it happened before with earlier US-bred dance music styles, juke got its most fervent initial support in the UK and the majority of the scene’s recent records came out via Mike Paradinas’ veteran label Planet Mu. However, when it came to inevitable attempts at albums, those were records made by outsider producers that managed to capitalize on the genre’s speedy ascent to fame. The main examples being “Room(s)” by New York-based Machinedrum and UK’s Kuedo marrying juke’s tempo overdrive to Vangelis’ epic-scale new age on his futuristic debut “Severant”.
Subsequently Chicago’s producers woke up to the challenge and stroke back with astonishing anthology of RP Boo works and impressively idiosyncratic album by Traxman (both on Planet Mu). In 2013 another acclaimed British dance institution Hyperdub joined the bandwagon with Kode9 signing Rashad Harden. Arguably the most interesting of younger producers featured on “Bangs & Works”. Resulting two 12”s, “Rollin’” and “I Don’t Give A Fuck”, are one of this year’s most accomplished and popular dance records. These releases are also notable for closing the “loops of mutual admiration” by merging juke's framework with UK’s own invention, jungle, to a blinding effect. This week Hyperdub is going to release Rashad’s full-length “Double Cup”, which has all the crossover qualities to repeat the success “Room(s)” enjoyed two years ago, while simultaneously being more technically accomplished, angry, adventurous and, despite pop-appeal, considerably less velvety.
Given how underwhelming Machinedrum’s newest is it’s also the best revenge Chicago's school could have on the growing army of "influenced" trend-hoppers.
LIsten to the preview below or stream the whole album here.