DJ Rashad: “Last Winter”

A decade later, DJ Rashad’s Double Cup still sounds like it could have been beamed in from the future. Now reissued by Partisan Records for its 10th anniversary, the album is not only a snapshot of Chicago footwork at its peak, but the culmination of Rashad’s soulful, hyped-up approach to the genre, as suited for manic dance battles as mind-scrambling headphone sessions. Its thrilling spin on classic 808 rhythms and freewheeling approach to sampling testified to house music’s endless spirit of self-reinvention.

Keen listeners may already recognize the reissue’s bonus track “Last Winter,” a rarity originally hidden on out-of-print CD editions of Double Cup. Now, it’s being brought out into the sun. Revolving around a vulnerable, lonesome moment in Stevie Wonder’s “Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You),” the track is one of Rashad’s most pastoral and sublime. He drills directly into Wonder’s abandoned plea, laying down his dribbled beats with the same lilting build and lifting the track’s criss-crossing hi-hats higher and higher before gracefully coasting back down to Earth. The main synth sample, already a vivid wash of Rhodes, Moog bass, and TONTO wizardry, takes on an even more ghostly quality as Rashad fires off his own dramatic keyboard triplets. It’s everything delirious and inspired about Rashad wrapped up in one song, his skittering footsteps leaving scuff marks on dance music history.