Review: Boo Williams – Moving Rivers

“There is no House Music revival! It never went away, did it?” When we interviewed Bob Bhamra alias West Norwood Cassette Library last November, he expressed this sentiment as a mantra against the notion that house is somehow back. Bhamra’s words ring true without question, but we’re certainly not the first ones to tell you that the dance community at large is channeling classic house sounds with unprecedented fervor. But despite the new crop of exciting young producers churning out timeless house sounds, we absolutely love to see the pioneers return from dormancy to show them how to do things with effortless true school swag. With the freshly pressed 12″ Moving Rivers on Rush Hour, legendary second-wave Chicago house producer Boo Williams is the latest veteran to return to the controls, after nearly three years without new material. And let us tell you, this release could not have come at a better time with a more primed audience. Over the past few years, Rush Hour, along with several other labels, has re-released several of Williams’ seminal offerings, appeasing vinyl junkies and house heads while luring the prolific figure out of the woodwork. On his new outing – featuring “Moving Rivers” b/w “Peaking Point” – the Chicago stalwart gracefully fuses body-snatching grooves with carefree, melodic atmospheres to give us a hearty taste of the sound that he has tweaked and tooled to perfection over his illustrious career.

Stream: Boo Williams – Moving Rivers (Rush Hour)

Clocking in at nearly seven minutes, “Moving Rivers” is actually the shorter of the two tracks on the 12″, which lets you know right off the bat that Williams has preserved his focus on building dynamic, moving compositions. This may not be the top Boo Williams track to pull out of your bag at peak time, but it has a definite way of sneaking up on you with its irresistable bass and shimmering synths that swirl around like wispy clouds in an otherwise blue sky. Williams takes full advantage of the track’s length to create a beautifully understated sense of motion, smoothly moving between different arrangements of rhythmic and melodic components. B-side “Peaking Point” is an itchier production with a slightly lopsided bounce coming from a playful, but deliberate, bass line. Cheesy synth pads and choir sounds reveal Williams’ goofball side and give the track remarkable (and notably uncheesy) buoyancy, helped in no small way by the major-key piano stabs. But lest you be misled, this one is squarely aimed at the serious dancers on the floor. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this release marks Williams’ return to production. But considering how huge it is that this even exists, we’ll take whatever we can get!

Stream: Boo Williams – Peaking Point (Rush Hour)

Boo Williams – Peaking Point (Rush Hour) is out now on vinyl and digital formats.

Sam Billetdeaux