Pirahnahead - "Child Of The Sun" (feat Craig Huckaby) - (7:48) 121 BPM
Squirrel (Poem Only) - (0:59) 151 BPM
Review: Theo Parrish and Pirahnahead on the same EP? You bet. Here, the two esteemed Detroit house veterans take it in turns to produce music for Rotating Assembly member and part time beat poet Craig Huckaby (yep, he's Mike's brother). Musically, it's as loose, organic and spiritual as you'd expect, with Huckaby providing spoken word passages that flit between thoughtful introspection and poetic nonsense (check bonus "The Squirrel" for proof). The Parrish produced "Black Music" - a Moodymann-ish fusion of lazy deep house, liquid bass and spiritiual jazz - is probably the pick, though the curiously live sounding "Child Of The Sun" (produced brilliantly by Pirahnahead) isn't far behind.
Treasure Beach (feat Wayne Francis) - (4:38) 117 BPM
Too Much Ginger (feat Miles Brett) - (3:13) 118 BPM
Sista's Love - (2:09) 105 BPM
Nyabinghi Warriors - (1:41) 133 BPM
Decide What You Choose (feat Nadine Charles) - (6:46) 124 BPM
Maroon Strategies - (5:56) 130 BPM
The Sorrell Sweet - (3:11) 116 BPM
A So We Gwarn - (0:58) 103 BPM
18.1096 N 77.2975 W - (5:25) 115 BPM
Shy Makku - (3:57) 114 BPM
The Rockers Rebel Step - (6:32) 118 BPM
It's All For Us (feat Ray Carless) - (4:48) 114 BPM
Don't Put Your Hat Where Your Hand Can't Reach (feat Wayne Francis) - (2:19) 127 BPM
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a collaborative debut album (on Sound Signature, no less) from London broken beat veterans Dego and Kaidi Tatham. As with their previous joint releases on 2000 Black, Rush Hour, Eglo and, of course, Sound Signature, it's the duo's love of rich, jazz-fuelled musicality, sun-kissed melodies and loose, languid rhythms that shines through. There are naturally nods towards disco, boogie, jazz-funk, Afrobeat, hip-hop and classic "bruk", with a stellar cast list of guest musicians and vocalists swinging by to lend a hand. If Herbie Hancock decamped to Ladbroke Grove and made an album with Bugz in the Attic, it would probably sound like this. In our book, that's a very good thing indeed.
Review: A six-tracker here from Jason Hogans, a Detroit veteran who first emerged on Carl Craig's Planet E label in the late 90s and whose output has spanned techno, hip-hop, D&B, broken beat, beatdown and more. Most of the cuts featured come from the more leftfield/experimental end of the broken beat spectrum - all shuffly, off-kilter riddims and wonky time signatures - while Hogans' techno roots are just a lil' bit more visible on 'For My Solids'. The standout for yours truly though is closer 'Kitchen Hype', which tones down the glitchery and as such could find its way into a wider range of downtempo sets.
Review: It's been four years since Chicago producer Andres "Specter" Ordonez pitched up on Theo Parrish's Sound Signature label with the smoky, bleep-laden killer "Pipe Bomb". Here, he returns to the Detroit veteran's imprint, bringing with him three more slabs of fuzzy analogue oddness. "The Gooch" is the real killer, a 10-minute freakout that sounds like a jazz band making murky techno with just analogue machinery to play with - all wonky electronics, subtle acid and loose but relentless cymbals. The bolder "Zodiak" impresses with its 303-driven aggression, while "Body Blow" sounds like Hieroglyphic Being jamming with Buddy Miles. On Mars. That's gotta be good, right?
Review: It's a well-known fact that Theo Parrish can do no wrong, production-wise at least. Predictably, his first EP of 2018 is something of a delight, with "Preacher's Coming" delivering a typically eccentric, jazzy and soul-fired trip into sparse, gospel-fired deep house territory. This being Theo, though, it's unlike any gospel house cut you'll have ever heard before, with various gospel samples (handclaps, piano stabs, short vocal snippets) riding a darting synth bassline and sparse-but-heavy beats. Arguably even better is "Gullah Guchee", a formidadly bass-heavy, intoxicating house interpretation of a Craig Huckaby-helmed crew spoken word number that also features a hand-clapped rhythm and African style chanting. Happily, Parrish has also included Huckaby's sublime original version, too.
Review: The outlandish and unpredictable "Any Other Styles" from Theo Parrish is finally granted a digital release! 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? If sonic boom techno ain't your thing, then the DJ tool "Beat This" might take your fancy, an endlessly restless shimmy through skeletal pitter patter beatdown, with the sort of dextrous drum arrangements that Parrish does so well.
Theo Parrish - "Instant Insanity" - (12:11) 132 BPM
Theo Parrish - "Timeislafinacharunninout" - (10:32) 113 BPM
Review: Unless you're one of those who spent copious amounts of cash on the CD version of this second Theo Parrish production compendium, the appearance of Sound Signature Sounds Vol 2 on digital download should be a cause for celebration. Parrish is, of course, one of house music's true originals, and the quality of material on this eccentric trawl through his early 2000s work never drops below outstanding. Highlights are plentiful, but standouts include an unofficial Recloose remix ("I Can Take It", a thrillingly sparse chunk of percussive dancefloor soul), the previously unreleased hip-hop/downtempo nugget "Didn't Pay Dues" and the ultra-deep Marvin Gaye rework "Instant Insanity".
Carpet People Don't Drink Steak Soda - (8:52) 111 BPM
Shadow Dancing - (9:38) 116 BPM
Review: When Musical Metaphors first dropped on wax way back in 1997 as the first official Sound Signature release, Theo Parrish was still a relative unknown. It was on this 12" - and the subsequent Moonlight Music & You EP - that the Detroit resident first set out his stall as a deep house producer with a unique voice (and a passion for stretching out grooves over ten sensual minutes). Looking back, it's classic Theo. The beatdown informed "Shadow Dancing" is ultra-deep, with fuzzy keys and whispered vocals riding a hynotic, locked-in groove. Parrish's famous jazz influences come to the fore on the looser - but no less hypnotic - "Carpet People Don't Drink Steak Soda", which gains much of its potency from a combination of shuffling deep jazz-house rhythms and toasty chords.
Review: Back from Fancy Footwork the almighty Theo Parrish is still blazing a trail into instrumental house and live jazz workouts or be they listening sessions. Flipped up alongside the recent What You Gonna Ask For EP, This Is For Your projects the beauty of live elements at play within house music. Whether they be machines or human beings, everything is alive in these two tracks; snappy snare shine through on the instrumental version alongside free keys that shimmy on top analogue kicks done in Detroit. Maurissa Rose gives voice to a fuller mix on the original for something warmer over a charming instrumental workout.
Review: In his usual matter-or-fact, hype-free way, Theo Parrish announced the release of Wuddaji, his first album for six years, barely two weeks before it hit stores. It's unusual to see such a significant release - Parrish is one of electronic music's true originals - teased in such a way, but then the Detroit legend has never played by music industry rules. The album itself is predictably inspired, with Parrish sashaying between jazzy, hip-hop-influenced beatdown (woozy opener 'Hambone Cappuccino'), wild bruk-up business ('Radar Detector', the free-jazz-funk of 'Wuddaji'), epic slabs of deep, soulful house ('This is For You'), sleazy late night beat science ('Angry Purple Birds', 'All Your Boys are Biters'), and impossible-to-describe voyages into 21st century electronic jazz spiritualism ('Knew Better Do Better').
Review: Theo Parrish continues to raid his vast back catalogue. This EP features sought-after cuts from two vinyl only EPs (released in 1997 and 2001 respectively) that have previously been unavailable digitally. Opener 'Smile' is arguably one of the Detroiter's most magnificent musical moments of all time: an epic slab of drowsy Motor City deep house built around idiosyncratic drum programming, ultra-deep chords, toasty bass and an effects-laden vocal snippet. 'Lost Keys' is a breezier and looser affair marked out by Latin style piano motifs, jazzy house beats and tactile bass, while 'Dreamer's Blues' is a languid, percussion-and-electric piano rich number that tends towards the hazy and jazzy. Finally, 'Lost Angel' is an ultra-deep affair whose spacey chords seem to stretch out to the farthest reaches of the galaxy.
Review: Sound Signature's latest release is an all-star crew affair, with an impressive cast list of vocalists, musicians and producers joining main man Theo Parrish in the studio to lat down the impeccable "What You Gonna Ask For". Parrish takes control on the first of two mixes. It's a jazzy affair where layered twinkling electric piano motifs, spacey chords, jazz-funk riffs and sumptuous deep house grooves combine on a fearlessly loose and organic dancefloor workout. Next up friend of the family and occasional Sound Signature artist Dego offers his interpretation, adding even more warmth and some tasty additional hand percussion parts whilst wisely utilizing most of the original version's intricate musical elements.
Review: Some 17 years after it first slipped out on wax, Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman's second "Essential Selections" EP is finally available to download. Naturally, it's not aged a bit, with all three tracks remaining wonderfully deep, groovy and intoxicating. The standout is undoubtedly "Evidence of the 5th Green Foot", a near 12-minute workout built around a seductively deep and hypnotic groove that comes laden with lo-fo electric piano motifs and jazzy deep house beats. The standard doesn't let up elsewhere on the EP, either. "Equality Of Patience" is a deliciously druggy and heavily percussive peak-time throb job, while "Questions Comments" is the kind of spaced-out, drum machine driven deep house box jam that both producers do so well.
Review: A trio of recent Theo Parrish productions get the remix treatment, though why these versions are any more or less "special" than others isn't made entirely clear! The laidback and heartfelt 'This Is For Your' (a Maurisse Rose collab first out as a single in 2019) will suit soulful floors, while 'Ain't No Need' by The Unit (something of a 'supergroup' consisting Parrish, Amp Fiddler and friends) leans more towards jazz and broken beat. The standout to these ears, though, is 'What You Wanna C', a deep, jazzy shuffle par excellence and one for the proverbial "heads" for sure!