I write this post from the comforts of my bedroom, sipping on a chilled glass of white wine, the room lit with soft red hues cast by my bedside lamp, serene wafts of smoke billow as the jasmine-scented-incense gently burn, lastly the POUNDING BASS emanating from my studio monitors muffle my young brother’s demands to turn down the volume. Sorry bro, when I’m feeling, I’m feeling it.
3 Chairs is a Detroit collective comprised of Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon Jr. (Moodyman), Rick Wilhite, and Marcellus Pitmann. Big big names in the Detrioit Scene, all purveyors of deep house music.
Below are some selected jams from their Spectrum CD compilation, tracks that are sure to provide a good serving of bass on your face.
Whenever I find myself out of a Theo Parrish binge, I seem to quickly and deeply find my way back in. Why? because the man operates like heavy machinery: without relent, without remorse, but full of purpose.
Emotive though as it maybe, his songs and selections hold so much narrative and power that it’s impossible for me to not loose my mind while listening. Theo is the embodiment of Detroit’s attitude, the Chocolate City’s mentality of put up or shut up, he plays whatever he wants yet still wears his musical convictions on his sleeve. It’s utterly inspiring and ultimately what I aspire to be as a music lover, and quite possibly as a selector. I cherish with great pride when I was properly introduced to his musical dominance in London’s Plastic People, back in the beginning 2010, where he seemed to be at home churning massive tracks one after the other. It might have been the copious amounts of MDMA consumed and one-too-many whiskey tonics, resulting in a brief exchange of hip gyrations with his wife (true story!) but boy oh boy, I was lost deep in musical bliss. To quote Theo himself, that night changed my DNA.
Below are some carefully selected Theo tracks, though listen sparingly or otherwise you’ll find yourself in a deep chasm of monumental musical bliss. (Expect more posts of this vein)
Track 13a – baby makin’- hip gyratin’- after hours tuneage, so sexy.
There a few songs in my library that elicit a deep emotive response, this is one of them. Afefe Iku takes this kraut masterpiece and transforms into a dancefloor monstrosity. With a percussion reminiscent of afro-tribal drumming so visceral that when the horn section kicks in, you can’t help but be moved. Combine that with Thom Yorke’s already haunting vocals and you get one word: IMMENSE.
Kuniyuki Takahashi hails from Sapporo, Japan and heads his own record label, Bacteria Sound Commune.
I don’t know enough about Kuni to eloquently comment, but what I can say is that he makes beautiful music. ‘Beautiful’ maybe an operative word that I use one-to-many, but there’s no getting around it. He produces some magnificent contemporary electronic jazz that resonates somewhere between deep house and techno; soft, melodic, entrancing, and spiritual.
I have this faint memory of hearing this song at Plastic People during a Theo Parrish residency and absolutely losing it… Faint or feint, Glenn Crocker aka Glenn Underground is a purveyor of deep house groves. With obvious nods towards tribal rhythmic music, the addition of a jazzy key progression, a particular sound (a certain tweak ) I can’t describe, and the kraut breakdown, Afro Gente results as avehement instrumentation of deep house. By no means is this track gentle, it’s a definite giant!
My man Theo, luminary producer/selector/all-around-badass, takes a bold bite on the case of the current music industry.
There is no shortage of incendiary claims here, but whether or not you share his fervor, it’s a definite must read from this contemporary music messiah.
“All music is “black” music, all of it – anything you have ever heard – has African roots.”
*I’ll be the first to admit that I champion all things Detroit, so I will often post about Detroit contemporaries. Fair warning. Get over it.