gullbuy music review

Theo Parrish


First Floor


PeaceFrog Records


Theo Parrish CD coverTheo Parrish's First Floor compiles together a couple of EP's released in 1998 as part of Theo's Sound Signature series. Peacefrog reissued the disc in 2002.

Theo Parrish is one of Detroit's renowned Dj artists from the past few years. Theo's background with "sound sculpture" (a form of orchestration using live instruments, looped recordings, the human voice, and numerous other sound generating devices) shows through on this incredible document of his work.

Theo's work isn't about the fast fix, his work takes time to develop, often repeating a rhythm box, bassline or sample over and over until it becomes ingrained in your brain as it builds. The tracks are often 9 or 10 minutes long, building up as they go, mesmerizing structures which confound those who want to hear something certain.

First Floor Metaphor is sure to weed out any weaklings who try too fast to get into his music, I'm sure they will turn away. Too bad because they will miss the incredible beauty that is Sweet Sticky, which somehow combines a house music rhythm splash with acoustic guitar strums, all with a bed of funk.

Jb's Edit uses what I guess is a James Brown shout in a cut-up of extraordinary depth. It sounds like Theo himself is hitting the bassdrum and snare on Dark Patterns, which moves along equal parts funk and trance.

Sky Walking is another favorite of mine, as it uses a sample of someone saying "Walking....through the sky" and a minimal funk keyboard jam perfectly as the rhythm comes and goes at will.

I'm definitely curious to hear much more from Theo Parrish's Sound Signature series.

---Patrick, June 15, 2004