Marcellus Pittman / Theo Parrish – Essential Selections Vol. 2 [SSES2]

Sound Signature presents the return of the Essential Selections series. 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.

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Marcellus Pittman / Theo Parrish – Essential Selections Vol. 2 [SSES2]

Marcellus Pittman – Something Like (A Dream) [UNI1006]

Motor City veteran Marcellus Pittman has been in fine form since returning from a four-year hiatus in early 2018. This EP – his third of the year – is, of course, really rather good. Opener “Something Like (A Dream)” is particularly good, offering a perfect balance between the rolling, head-nodding, pitched-down lusciousness of Beatdown and the spacey, delay-laden warmth of more peak-time focused Detroit deep house. If you’re looking for something a little less smooth, check the low-slung, off-kilter, cyber-acid rawness of “Jamie 326 Tsot”. While rather good, it feels a little out of place next to the fluttering, stripped-back deep house tunefulness of “Breath Beat”, whose echoing chords are especially alluring.

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Marcellus Pittman – Something Like (A Dream) [UNI1006]

Funkadelic – Reworked By Detroiters [SEW3158]

Funkadelic have created an enduring legacy, and the power of their impact is visceral in Detroit. Their records not only played with genre, but possessed a diabolical sense of humour that led to music domination by the late 70s with Parliament, Funkadelic, Parlet, Bootsy’s Rubber Band and the Brides Of Funkenstein all releasing albums the same year for two years in a row. The music itself is beyond stereotype, but equally huge is that they were a black band not allowing themselves to be limited by anyone else’s notions of who they could be, having a massive impact on the next generation of Detroit music, Detroit Techno. But more than just Techno, it is a freedom of thinking that extends beyond boxes, so we included all sorts of today’s generation of Detroit musicians and producers to show the wide range of music that was Funkadelic and how these ideas are still contemporary, they endure and inspire.

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Funkadelic – Reworked By Detroiters [SEW3158]

Marcellus Pittman – Sneak Attack / Random Acts of Insanity [UNI1003]

Amid whispers of a new album from Unirhythm boss and Three Chairs stalwart Marcellus Pittman, two tracks from his excellent debut LP Pieces finally get committed to wax. It’s a shame Pieces never got a vinyl release, but the chance to grip “Sneak Attack” and “Random Acts Of Insanity” on 12″ should not be passed up. This 12″ was actually released in ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ white label format in 2014, but finally gets a proper issue! For those that don’t have the LP, “Sneak Attack” is a curious concoction, with Syclops style electronics occasionally flowering over deep, dusty, intricately programmed rhythms. “Random Acts Of Insanity” feels a little bolder in approach, though its’ rich chords and odd, off-kilter rhythm track are contrasted with some notably bonkers electronic touches.

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Marcellus Pittman – Sneak Attack / Random Acts of Insanity [UNI1003]

Cosmjn – Drops [FRAGIL014]

Fragil Musique’s 14th release comes from Cosmjn, young and rising Romanian producer delivering a perfect and subtly crafted dancefloor outline. To elevate the gem even more, none other than Marcellus Pittman on the B side. Here, it’s all a matter of generous and appealing curves, for a deep and soft-spoken re arrangement that keeps true to the original.

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Cosmjn – Drops [FRAGIL014]

Achterbahn D’ Amour – Odd Movements The Remixes [ASD024]

Achterbahn D’Amour’s machinefunk opus, “Odd Movements.” gets reworked with 4 sonically diverse remixes. Detroit don Marcellus Pittman kicks things off with a massive, unsettling flip of “Holy Roman Empire.” The Italian producer Chevel is up next with a virtuosic take on the LP’s title track. His cubist, artfully restrained version ends with over a minute of icy techno snap. Convextion, as well, chooses to hold back for maximum impact, infusing the moody “Passagen” with subdued electro bounce. Finally, SW. imbuesthe duo’s “Konigstr” with dubbed-out breakbeat pressure, occasionally allowing the original acid line to seep through a skittering rave rhythm.

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Achterbahn D’ Amour – Odd Movements The Remixes [ASD024]

Theo Parrish – American Intelligence [SSCD007]

Given that this is the first album from the great Theo Parrish since 2007, it’s unsurprising interest in American Intelligence has rocketed over the course of the year as Sound Signature left a trail of hints. American Intelligence is a fine album; deep and woozy in parts, undeniably soulful, shot through with jazz influences and full to bursting with killer cuts. By now, everyone should know the brilliant “Footwork” single; soon, clubs will swing to the off-kilter dancefloor jazz of “Make No War”, the 21st century broken house of the epic “Fallen Funk” and the decidedly odd – but brilliant – “Helmut Lampshade”.

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Theo Parrish – American Intelligence [SSCD007]

Marcellus Pittman / John Cannon – 1044 Coplin (Give You Whatcha Lookin 4) / J.C.s Groove

A modern boogie 7” on Unirhythm!? Yep, you heard right! Marcellus Pittman graces the A-Side of the disc on ‘1044 Coplin’ – a nice slice of mid west funk sure to appeal to all the boogie heads worldwide. On the flip we have the Unirhythm debut from Detroit’s own John Cannon. John C is a veteran producer and MC, most recently featured on the J DIlla album ‘Rebirth Of Detroit.’ No suprise there – we definitely hear some Dilla on ‘J.C.’s Groove.’

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Marcellus Pittman / John Cannon – 1044 Coplin (Give You Whatcha Lookin 4) / J.C.s Groove

Motor City Drum Ensemble – Raw Cuts (Remixes) [MCDE1211]

Given the “contemporary classic” status of Danilo Plessow’s Raw Cuts series – arguably a string of 12″ singles that helped redefine deep house for a new generation – the announcement of a surprise remix 12″ is enough to make even the most level-headed DJs go weak at the knees. Pleasingly, said remixers more than live up to the hype. Marcellus Pittman’s version – smooth and deep, but with enough raw disco cut-ups and wonky Detroit swing to impress those who like it raw – is particularly good, though Mike Huckaby’s locked-in deep house groover is not far behind. There’s also a superb version from Recloose, whose crackly, shuffling beats, sweeping pads and soulful vocal samples recall his earliest productions for Planet E.

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Motor City Drum Ensemble – Raw Cuts (Remixes) [MCDE1211]

Marcellus Pittman – Do You Like Music EP [DWNBT008]

‘Our time is now’ and ‘Extra credit’, are two detroit-flavoured house tracks with sequences coming from Mars and melancholic keys with the unmistakable Marcellus Pittman mood. The release is closed by ‘Happy to be here’, a gloomy downbeat-Hip hop track made with MPC.

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Marcellus Pittman – Do You Like Music EP [DWNBT008]

VA – In The Dark: Detroit Is Back [STILLM3LP011]

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The ever-loving team at Still Music present yet another unmissable selection of East side beats, this time shifting focus from Chicago to Detroit to shine the light on some of the less celebrated talents operating in the city. There is boundless quality at every turn here, from the jazzed out tones of Craig Huckaby to the raw chemistry of Marcellus Pittman. Terrence Dixon does an excellent demonstration of wormhole techno with “The Fall Guy (Part 1)”, and DJ 3000 brings a demonic brand of slow-chugging house to the table. Alex Israel also reminds everyone that he truly is one of the most slept-on gems the Motor City has to offer, so get busy and connect with this utterly essential selection.

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VA – In The Dark: Detroit Is Back [STILLM3LP011]

Erika – Hexagon Cloud Remixed [IT031]

Hexagon Cloud RMXD celebrates the diverse influences of Erika’s solo release Hexagon Cloud on Interdimensional Transmissions Marcellus Pittman remixed the hypnotic Tow Ride from Erika’s debut Solo album with a stated goal of making it darker and ”more evil”. Canadian electronic music duo Orphx, remixed Hexagon Cloud, resulting in an immense, impeccable production. BMG, Erika’s mate in Ectomorph, also shares his vision of her track, A Cellular Meltdown.

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Erika – Hexagon Cloud Remixed [IT031]

The 3 Chairs – Demigods [3CH004]

Three chairs with a new releases… 4 hot tracks of which the opener Demigods (a1) is a sick acid injected Detroit house cut in a style fusion of Marcellus Pittmann and Theo Parris. 6 mile is another stunner on this Ep wih a nice rolling beat and an upbeat feel.

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The 3 Chairs – Demigods [3CH004]

Nina Kraviz – Marcellus Pittman and Urban Tribe Remixes [RKDSXFIT313]

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Rekids have teamed up with Detroit’s Fit Distribution and enlisted the services of motor city locals Marcellus Pittman and Urban Tribe to put the 313 sound on ‘Working’ and ‘Taxi Talk’. On the former, Marcellus Pittman lays down his trademark blend of mechanical yet jerky old-skool drum machine rhythms and disorientingly dissonant, tripped-out synth chords – creating a somewhat eerie atmosphere that evokes images of Detroit’s manufacturing plants of yesteryear. On the flipside, Urban Tribe transform ‘Taxi Talk’ into a big room monster, using rumbling synth bass, electronic bleeps and laser gun snares to transport us back in time to a dark and hazy 90s warehouse rave.

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Nina Kraviz – Marcellus Pittman and Urban Tribe Remixes [RKDSXFIT313]