Growing up in Chicago, later Detroit-based music producer, Theo Parrish is internationally well known for his own inimitable downtempo house music style. The approach Parrish took to compiling DJ-Kicks was very ambitious, inviting his Detroit peers to produce a collection of brand new material, and in turn creating the first ever all exclusive entry to the esteemed series. “Detroit creates. But rarely imitates. Why? We hear and see many from other places do that with what we originate. No need to follow. Get it straight. In the Great Lakes there are always more under the surface than those that appear to penetrate the top layer of attention and recognition. What about them that defy tradition? Those that side step the inaccurate definitions often given from outside positions? This is that evidence. Enjoy.”
Theo Parrish feat. Marcellus Pittman – Ooh Bass [SS088]
Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman’s collaborations run deep, from those seminal Essential Selections 12″s some 20 years ago through to the T.O.M Project with Omar S, the 3 Chairs super group and on and on. In the usual Sound Signature style, a new link-up between the two Detroit legends arrives with a minimum on fanfare, just a killer jam with all the grit and soul you’d hope for from this pair. The drum levels push and pull in the mix from red line pressure to back seat driving, while a mellow blur of soul sampling comes calling through the mist until the titular low end glues everything together. It’s understated and casual brilliance, everything a Sound Signature club drop should be.
Theo Parrish – It’s Out Of Your Control EP [SS087]
New Theo Parrish single appears on vinyl in the form of two mixes differing in vibe but consistent in quality and suitability for DJ use. The original rides along on a shuffling, almost Afrobeat version of house, with Maurissa Rose’s gorgeous vocal floating above the gloopy, hypnotic bassline which gets the full filter treatment. The instrumental dub places that b-line very much at the centre of the mix, starting from a single kickdrum before building up to a more techno-edged, vocal free climax. all throbbing bass, solid bears and minimal, glitchy keyboard interjections.
Theo Parrish – Wuddaji [SS079/80/81]
New Theo Parrish album on his own imprint Sound Signature.
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.
Theo Parrish – Gentrified Love Part 3 [SS066]
The third release in Theo’s Gentrified Love series on Sound Signature. Side A, ‘Trust’, features Amp Fiddler and Ideeyah. Flip the disc over for another excellent collaboration between Theo and Amp on ‘My Soul’!
Theo Parrish, Duminie Deporres & Waajeed – Gentrified Love Part 2 [SS064]
Theo Parrish has teamed up with Rotating Assembly member Duminie DePorres and Dirt Tech Reck head Waajeed. The EP, Gentrified Love Part 2, is the first new work Parrish has released since his 2014 album American Intelligence.
Theo Parrish / Mike Grant – Moods & Grooves Classics Vol.5 [MG050]
Rounding out this iteration of the Moods & Grooves classic series are two of its best selling releases from one of Detroit’s most prolific producer’s, Theo Parrish, and label head Mike Grant. The Mr. G remix of My Soul, My Spirit nets a pretty penny at the online marketplace so if the steep prices have deterred you, now is the time. Chunky was produced during the time Theo was a leader of Detroit’s raw & dirty house sound. In celebration of the Moods & Grooves’ 50th release it’s being offered on limited coloured vinyl.
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”.
Theo Parrish – Footwork [SS053]
Two tantric dancefloor jams marks the return of Theo Parrish to his spiritual home and life’s work Sound Signature. Building on the same rhythmical territory as the recent 12” for The Trilogy Tapes/Palace/SS.
Theo Parrish – 71st And Exchange Used To Be [SSTTTPLC001]
Theo Parrish presents a split release with Sound Signature and Palace Skateboards on the legendary TTT.
Theo Parrish – Black Jazz Signature [SDGBJ1303LP]
Arguably one of the world’s most important underground dance music producer/DJs lends his hands to selecting and mixing a set of jazz and funk records licensed from and originally released on the Black Jazz label 1971-1976. World renowned for his DJ sets, productions, and record label (Sound Signature), this Chicagoraised DJ is near impossible to pigeonhole. Revered by a wide spectrum of dedicated music fanatics, he is known for his edits of artists such as Minnie Ripperton, Roger Troutman, Nightlife Unlimited, as well as his otherworldly DJ sets, and his serious approach to DJ’ing as an art form. Theo gives special attention to fellow Chicago musicians The Awakening (3 consecutive tracks, 4 total on the mix), one of the best funk/fusion groups that the Black Jazz label released, and whose only output was on that label. The set itself is a masterful “2 turntables all vinyl” execution, a format that Theo is dedicated to – no mp3, no CDr, just the vinyl palette for the true aural experience. Sit back and be drawn into his world, hear things his way.
Theo Parrish – Long Walk In The Sun / Strawberry Dragon [SS050]
New 2 track EP from Theo Parrish on his own Sound Signature. Slow-burning funk and rapid Jazz-tinged numbers on this monumental two-tracker.
Theo Parrish & Tony Allen – Day Like This / Feel Loved [WHR001]
Wildheart Recordings is Theo Parrish’s new London-based label. “Sound Signature releases for the body, Wildheart is for everything else” is Theo’s pithy summary of his two labels’ aims and compatibility. Day Like This and Feel Loved are the first fruits of Parrish’s work with the legendary Lagosian, Tony Allen. Day Like This is masterful modern soul music. At the point where Parrish’s synth stabs into Tony’s groove beneath a swirl of falsetto vocals. Feel Loved goes deeper and for some will hit harder. An epic sweep of synth this time, around which Tony plays with growing freedom and excitement – showing again that he is the best drummer on the planet – before a majestic coda brings things to a close.
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.
Theo Parrish – Dance Of The Medusa [SS049]
Theo’s getting jazzier and more eccentric with age (if that’s possible). On this latest jaunt he seems to be re-tracing the steps of one his biggest influences, Sun Ra. “Dance Of The Medusa” is an experimental jazz number with the emphasis on experimental. Although somehow squeezing into a standard 4/4 time measure, the sounds and syncopation between the instruments is anything but normal, as Theo deploys piano attacks, torn strings and his usual MPC abuse to the track. “Bubbles” sees more experimentation, squelching artifacts ricocheting against detuned hats and hollow bass notes. The whole B side is given to “Ambalamps” which may well become an emotive, melancholic, future-ballad if we were to get invaded by aliens and be facing a huge world apocalypse. Reversed strings and minor key riffs and melodies are smudged and stirred into a dark, introspective blend which screams of desolation and hurt. Indeed a dark venture for our man Theo but then he always liked to keep us on our toes – and the track is, by no mistake, undeniably Theo.
Electric Street Orchestra – Scorpio [DTR01A]
While a series of projects are slated for release under the Dirt Tech Reck banner, the first is the Electric Street Orchestra. Its inspiration is from those who are called street people. Forgotten people from a forgotten city. It’s also steeped in the Detroit tradition of ignoring the notion of genre and taking a broad range of elements and inspiration to create something that is both new and familiar. Bringing together a constellation of Detroit’s sonic masters. DTR-01 takes UR’s Mad Mike and Agent Chaos, house music king Theo Parrish, hip hop/house percussionist Dez Andres, and rock/funk master guitarist Duminie Deporres, and joins them through the lens of Jeedo’s vision of the future.
Azymuth – Avenida Das Mangeuiras [JD024]
Two timeless classics by Brazilian jazz-funk pioneers Azymuth in fresh new interpretations.Theo’s SS Translation of ”avendias das mengeuiras” is an edit that keeps the groove flowing and thoroughly translates all the energy and impetus that made this track such a delight when it first saw release back in the day. LTJ Xperience (aka Luca Trevisi) re joins the FAR OUT ranks for a second outing after his stellar remix in the Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra series. This time LTJ’s slo-mo disco revision of “Partido Alto’ takes the B-side of this release into a grove laden funkathon of nigh on epic proportions. The slap bass line of the original sits deep in the back beat groove Trevisi crafted in this stomper of a remix and delivers a true homage to a band who knew how to get down with the best of them.
Andrew Ashong / Theo Parrish – Flowers EP [SS048]
New Sound Signature release by the very talented Andrew Ashong, an up and coming musician from the UK. Funky, soulful and romantic, with additional production from Theo Parrish.
Theo Parrish – Hand Made [RB036]
Theo Parrish’s second visit to Running Back is all new material – almost. Black Mist in its extended version is just that: an extended take of the already released version on the rare-as-hens’-teeth Sketches pack. Previously unreleased and no less persuasive are Pop Off and Wild Out. While the first one centers around an endless piano and sucks you into the magic of repetition, the second one sounds like a Theo Parrish demo for Dance Mania after he came back from listening to Lil Louis at the Bismark Pavilion.