Footwork music’s whimsical, tempestuous take on house wouldn’t exist without Chicago producer Kavain Space, better known as RP Boo. In the mid-90s, he drew from his experience DJing for House-O-Matics dancers to devise skittish, hyperactive tracks that proved too puzzling for Dance Mania, a staple label of the scene that provided a home for the raunchy ghetto-house sound; instead Space and a coterie of wildly inventive local producers wound up self-releasing their tracks on colored cassettes. Because Space helped create the blueprint for footwork’s evolving underground dance community, when British labels helped the music cross over with international audiences about a decade ago, the rising tide lifted Space’s boat too—the new Established! is his fourth album for crucial UK dance label Planet Mu. Space’s love for footwork’s culture and form spills out of these tracks, which convey his reverence for the sound’s history while remaining pliable to his most experimental whims. On the sweltering “How 2 Get It Done!” Space splays out every element like an engineer’s exploded view of an engine, and in clarifying the smallest details he also magnifies his soulful impulses. Established! is the third tantalizingly progressive footwork album to come out of Chicago this summer, after DJ Manny’s Signals in My Head in July and Jana Rush’s Painful Enlightenment last month; both those producers will be on hand as RP Boo headlines Smart Bar, with the great DJ Taye in tow.
RP Boo, DJ Taye, Jana Rush, DJ Manny, Fri 9/10, 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, $15, 21+