Published Nov 07, 2014Footwork would not be what it is today if it weren't for the late DJ Rashad's contributions to the genre, and so it's only fitting that the crew he co-founded and the label to which he's most closely related would band together to release a compilation album filled with new material from their combined rosters to celebrate his life and career. The fact that Hyperdub and Teklife are also donating the profits to Rashad's son just goes to show the tight bonds that were formed through similar-minded artists.
Featuring 20 new tracks from other influential footwork artists such as DJ Spinn and RP Boo, as well as Rashad collaborators like Boylan, DJ Earl and DJ Manny, the compilation serves as a great exploration of the genre, and a testament to its broad array of influences. While the transitions between tracks can be jarring at times — DJ Tre's "Dnb Spaceout" should probably not have followed DJ Phil's "God's House" — most of the material on display is of superior calibre. DJ Manny's "Harvey Ratchet" is the aural equivalent of the feeling you get when you write the same word over and over again until it becomes almost unrecognizable, shifting gears so many times throughout that it leaves you in awe of Manny's skill. Heavee's "8 Bit Shit" wears its name well, and although it may not fit within the rest of the compilation as smoothly as most of the other material on offer, it also displays the versatility of footwork as a genre.
For fans of Rashad's work or anything ever released on Hyperdub and Teklife, this will be a great addition, and for those who've only ever heard of the genre and Rashad and never delved into the music, Next Life is a perfect way to immerse yourself into their singular world. (Hyperdub/Teklife)