Theo Parrish has announced details of a new label, Wildheart Recordings, with the first release a collaboration between Parrish himself and drummer Tony Allen.
Has it really been seven years since the last 3 Chairs release? Bar the compilation Spectrum that landed in 2009, the intermittent supergroup of Detroit titans that is Kenny Dixon Jr., Marcellus Pittman, Rick Wilhite and Theo Parrish has been absent from the airwaves for some time. Considering there have been just four singles and one album from the collective since they first hooked up in 1997, it’s understandable if there’s something of a clamour around a new single from four producers who tend to create feverish responses individually, let alone as a combined unit.
Messrs Dixon Jr, Parrish, Wilhite and Pittman will return under the 3 Chairs banner with the first original material in some seven years.
Dalston based shopping boutique LN-CC will launch its own record label with a four part project featuring remixes of Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera from Theo Parrish, Daniele Baldelli, Cos/Mes and more.
New label news #762: Founding Slum Village member Waajeed has inaugurated the Dirt Tech Reck imprint, with the debut release from Electric Street Orchestra featuring a cast of Detroit royalty.
You can’t help but feel like Theo Parrish’s timing in releasing this debut single from Andrew Ashong was yet another canny move to wind up his faithful following with that mixture of pleasure and torment he balances so adeptly. As the Northern hemisphere gets engulfed in a swathe of low temperatures and cloudy skies, the effortlessly sun-kissed tones of “Flowers” sound like the smug grin of the man living a perpetual summer. The sweetener of the pill, or the extra twist of the knife depending on your demeanour, comes from the lyrical mantra Ashong croons about sunshine turning to rain. It’s both perfectly timed and maddeningly redolent of the summer just passed, not that such trite grumbles about the weather really matter when the music is as heart-warmingly good as this.
How do you attempt to remix a track that’s already been graced with an iconic revision from one of the best in the game? In the case of Upperground Orchestra, rip it up and start all over again.
Domino Recording Co. will collate a heady selection of the countless remixes for key label artists they have in their discography on a forthcoming compilation entitled Motion Sickness.
British imprint Third Ear has announced a four track EP of “re-imagined” classics from the label’s back catalogue, with Theo Parrish’s “Falling Up” set to receive a remix from Rabih Beaini’s Upperground Orchestra.
While hype acts come and go, it’s pleasing to be reminded sometimes that the real auteurs in electronic music manage to carry their clout with them wherever they head. As is par for the course with such characters and their creations, they never please everyone all of the time. Take an artist like Ricardo Villalobos, who can take his minimalisms and repetitions to maddening ends and yet still be lauded by many (albeit scorned by plenty others). Theo Parrish operates in a similar vein both in his productions and DJing, sometimes sounding awkward for awkwards’ sake, often deliberately obtuse and just occasionally delivering a sweet pill of direct satisfaction that keeps legions of listeners at his mercy. It’s not an easy trick to pull off, but Parrish has arguably nailed it more than any other of his Detroit/Chicago brethren.
Theo Parrish will follow that divisive Any Other Styles EP with a debut release on the Running Back imprint.
Unsound’s reputation for onpoint curation just got a whole stronger with an impressive third round of names added to the already bulging line-up.
If you’ve been following the production trajectory of Theo Parrish over the past six months then you’ll have become accustomed to expect some outlandish, unpredictable releases from the Sound Signature main man. Still though, few would have seen this coming. Central to the DNA of “Any Other Styles” is a cornucopia of FX dredged up from arcade beat-em up moves and crudely nudged to fit an abstractive, thick set beat pattern that bucks angrily with a frenetic nature that’s beyond unpredictable. It’s the strangest Theo record we’ve heard in some time, but when any number of people are treading shallow waters in the name of contemporary deep house, don’t we need some people to not even consider “the box” when it comes to approaching music?
News just in from Sound Signature HQ: Theo Parrish is preparing to release the quite aptly titled Any Other Styles EP.
Gene Hunt continues to tread the line between Chicago house and Detroit techno on “May The Funk Be With You”. The original cut is everything you’d expect from an artist as esteemed as Hunt, but Rush Hour have also incorporated another forefather of dance music, Theo Parrish, on the remix – a person whose lineage takes him from the jacking depths of the Windy City to the tough, industrial techno of Detroit.
Sometimes, an artist’s career can stall inexplicably. That certainly seems to have happened to producer Ewan Wilmott, who made his vinyl debut on Andy Blake’s sadly defunct Dissident imprint way back in 2008. The two tracks he released on the label, “Metallic Dawn” and “Long Lost”, hinted at great things. Variously touching on smacked-out deep house, vintage synth-core and hard electronic disco, they largely went ignored.
Theo Parrish’s Ugly Edits series has always divided opinion. Released on vinyl in stupidly limited quantities (with sky-high prices to match), the ongoing series has achieved cult status. That many of the releases have been bootlegged countless times tells its own story. Frequently, these bootlegs sell three or four times the number of copies as the original releases, despite sound quality that veers from poor to unlistenable. These are in-demand records – and Parrish knows it. Perhaps it’s because of this slavish devotion that the eccentric Detroit producer has finally bowed to pressure and put the best of his Ugly Edits on a two-disc compilation.
He clearly understands his worth, though, because this first Ugly Edits CD weighs in at a whopping £27.99. Ouch. Few producers could get away with charging such high prices, but such is the near religious fervour surrounding Parrish that it will almost certainly sell-out fast. The edits themselves – and there are 17 full-length reworks spread across the two discs here – have proved equally divisive over the years. Critics frequently state that they’re too long, locked and loopy; fans shrug this off with a simple “you don’t understand Theo”. There is an argument to suggest that the Ugly Edits invariably work best for Parrish because they fit his inimitable DJ style.
Yet a quick trawl through these two discs should win over the doubters. Put simply, there are some great re-edits here – and usually of the sort of dusty disco gems that you’re average crate-digger would love to get his or her hands on. The first disc begins at the very start of the series, with Parrish’s deep, loopy take on Jill Scott’s “Slowly Surely”, a kind of voodoo ritual stretched out over 12 hypnotic minutes. Then there’s that infamous, horn-toting re-boot of Made In America’s “Never Let You Go”, as perfect a dancefloor disco edit as you’re ever likely to find. The version of Harold Melvin’s “The Love I Lost”, which immediately follows, is similarly incendiary, working the groove hard for five minutes before exploding into life. Then there’s “Little Sunflower”, a gorgeously dubbed-out Freddie Hubbard rub that derives its beauty from the simple use of string and blissful electric piano keys.
Of course, it’s not all this good, but there’s little throwaway, cheap or unusable. Even the collection’s lesser moments – the needlessly long, string-drenched jazzer “Stay Together”, the seemingly endless looped Sylvester grooves of “Got A Match” and the equally epic “No Way Back” – have an authentic charm. In truth, the second disc – which mostly boasts tweaks of disco-funk, crackly soul and syrupy disco cuts – lacks some of the raw dancefloor power of the first CD, but it’s a relatively minor quibble. £27.99 is certainly a high price to pay, but original vinyl copies of the individual singles would set you back much, much more.