360@1:29ON696 (feat Dumminie Deporres - full version)
Review: Sound Signature present two of the classier moments from Mr Parrish's Sketches album in their rightful form - either side of a nice loud twelve inch. Lead track "Feel Free To Be Who You Need To Be" is Theo's most eminently danceable excursion for quite some time; arising from a 23rd century Funkadelic intro into a subaqueous Detroit electro meets funk swing that builds expertly. It's weirdly reminiscent of a retooled version of "Booty (La La)" from Bugz In The Attic with the afro excesses twisted inside out to lean heavily on the robot vocoder flex. On the flip long time collaborator Dumminie Deporres features on the don't even bother pronouncing "360@1:29ON696" which stretches a twelve minute jazz techno odyssey elegantly across the vinyl - vintage stuff from the Sound Signature boss.
Review: Sound Signature end 2013 how they started it; with a fresh slab of Theo Parrish goodness! Whilst the Dance of the Medusa EP issued back in January was Theo in marauding beat down mode, it seems the respected Detroit based producer is in a much mellower mood here. For example, the title track on the Long Walk In Sun 12" is the sort of mid-tempo production that would feature in an early doors Floating Points set at Plastic People. Complementing this, "Strawberry Dragon" features a more prominent display of Parrish's widely regarded skills at chopping percussion, but it's the resplendent instrumentation that stands out.
Review: This second studio hook-up between Detroit veterans Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman first appeared way back in 2002, some three years after they made their collaborative debut on Sound Signature. Listening again all these years on, we can confirm that the three-tracker hasn't aged a bit. Check, for example, epic A-side "Evidence Of The 5th Green Foot", a near 12-minute, ultra-deep workout built around rich bass, lo-fi electric piano motifs and swinging, jazz-fired house beats. Elsewhere, "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.
Paul Randolph, Kathy Kosins & Theo Parrish - "Be Like Me" (SS translation) (9:41)
John Douglas, Amp Fiddler, Ideeyah & Theo Parrish - "Leave The Funk To Us" (full mix) (6:37)
Review: Theo Parrish's "Gentrified Love" series hits its fourth instalment with two stunning extensions/takes. First up is a powerful expansion of "Leave The Funk To Us". First spotted on the second edition of the series, it's now full length with the golden touch of Amp Fiddler. "Be Like Me", meanwhile, takes Paul Randolph & Kathy Kosins' Brownswood Bubbler to a whole new cosmos with lavish twists and cleverly subverted layers. Yet another precision trip from Parrish.
Review: Oh yes, we love it when Theo represses some of his most sought after tracks and this one is particularly well-timed. Leron Carson is still an unknown figure, a kid who used to make viciously raw and futuristic techno tracks in the late 1980's! "China Trax", alongside the rest of his tracks on a different Sound Signature double 12", is totally ahead of its time and if it was truly made in 1987 then it is nothing short of amazing. Of course, it's not just the year it was made in that's interesting but also the fact that it's music without an age, able to be appreciated by any generation of techno freaks. Theo's own "Insane Asylum" on the flipside is also pretty monumental; rigged beats, off-kilter grooves and that familiar spontaneity so heavily associated to the label. RECOMMENDED.
Review: In his usual no-nonsense fashion, Theo Parrish has not said much about the surprise release of Gentrified Love Part 2, despite it being his first fresh material since 2014. The EP features contributions from two of the Detroit's legends oldest friends: Rotating Assembly member Duminie DePorres, and original Slum Village member Waajeed. A-side "Warrior Code" is a quietly foreboding proposition, with spiraling electronics, jammed keys and cosmic chords riding a chunky, West London style broken beat groove. Flip for the altogether brighter and breezier "Leave The Funk To Us", a jaunty and jazz-wise 4/4 excursion blessed with some superb, Herbie Hancock style jazz-funk keys.
Review: Theo Parrish's Gentrified Love series seems to be a collaborative affair. Part two, available separately, contained hook-ups with fellow Detroiters Wajeed and Duminie Deporres. "Ghetto Proposal", which is available in Vocal and Instrumental versions, features sublime contributions from another Motor City legend, veteran modern soul man Amp Fiddler. It's something of a deliciously trippy affair, underpinned by a freaky, delay-heavy groove, fireside-warm Rhodes keys, meandering trumpet lines and - on the vocal version, at least, drowsy female vocals. Both artists jazz influence is clear, particularly in the crunchy percussion hits that begin to dominate as the track progresses. Interestingly, the instrumental moves a little further towards jazzy broken beat territory.
Zinja Hlungwani - "Ntombi Ya Mugaza" (Burnt Friedman remix)
Review: Honest Jon's continued endeavours to choose the interesting remix artists to tackle the high BPM joys of their Shangaan Electro compilation sees them turn to that venerable Detroit magician and erstwhile Wu Tang Clan member Theo Parrish. The Sound Signature boss comes through with a masterful thirteen minute plus rewiring of Mancingelani's "Vana Vasesi" which retains the thunderous tempo and brilliantly chaotic rhythms yet instils the track with a woozy, intoxicating swing via the twisting synth waves. Complementing this, iconic German producer Burnt Friedman turns in a remix of "Ntombi Ya Mugaza" by Zinja Hlungwani which is far less frenetic but no less enjoyable, flipping the track in a dub wise style with off kilter drum programming, spine tingling keys and staggered vocal affectations.