Not only a DJ but a rapidly maturing producer, Theo has just released one of his best records to date. Originally from Chicago, Theo brings a new flavor to Detroit house. His productions started with Kenny Dixon and some early releases on Dan Bell's Elevate, but it's with his own Sound Signatures series that he's making the strongest impact. Bridging the gap between the past and the future with intuition and a vision of soul never seen before, his sound often borders on dreams and the logic that comes with heightened states of inebriation. On his latest double pack The Theo Parrish Album (Sound Signatures 9), he blends perfectly the sound of his DJ sets and tells lush, wandering sonic stories. Also Sound Signatures, a collection CD from the series, is now available, unmixed. Be sure to keep an eye out for collaborations between Theo, Recloose, Scott Z and Tony Ollivierra.
Effexx is a new weekly party started up by the Odic Force crew on the outside deck at Second City every Sunday night. This party is very promising, with some of Detroit's best DJs spinning the deepest, funkiest sounds every week. The night is rounded out by live art and Jen Howe at the bar, with some special drinks just for this night named after people in the scene (like "Dean's Major Malfunction"). Look forward to a part of Traxx's birthday session there at the end of July (perhaps with Theo and Mike Clark) ... Effexx is at Second City, 2301 Woodward, next to the Fox Theatre. Call 313-341-6217 for more info.
The World Spins Round and Round
The world is well aware of the power of Detroit music, but it's getting increasingly harder to sell vinyl on a global scale. Still, with this much talent it's not surprising that Detroit has some very hot sellers right now. Making major impact is Carl Craig's Designer Music reinvigoration of Alexander Robotnik's "Problems D’amour," turning this classic into his own brand of techno-house peak time material while violating more copyright laws than the KLF. After a few years' absence, Plus 8 returns to what it started 10 years ago, quality floor-filling techno from Dutch pioneer Speedy J, a welcome surprise since Speedy J was lost in IDM-land for too long. But perhaps Detroit's strongest release in the underground this summer is from hip-hop's most exciting producer, Jay Dee and hip-hop's most elusive act, Slum Village. The group has finally released a commercially available album (after about 100 bootlegs of the last one), entitled Fantastic, Vol. 2. One listen and it'll make sense to you (if you ever doubted) why Slum Village (and hip hop for that matter) were included at the DEMF. This is some of the most cutting-edge music being made with samplers today raw perfection. If Jay Dee's unmatched production isn't enough, the record features guest spots from some of the people he's made hits for and some admirers, including Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, D'Angelo, Pete Rock and Jazzy Jeff. Finally, Detroit is a leader on the hip-hop map.
In Other News ...
Another new club opens, only this time it's got actual class: Temple, decorated in white and wood, featuring an amazing, state-of-the-art sound system designed by Burst's Mike Fotiatis. With Transmat already having thrown a one-off here, this could turn out to be a legendary space ... Claude Young makes his return to Detroit on Friday, July 21 at Motor (3515 Caniff, Hamtramck, 313-369-0080) with Magda warming up and Dave Angel in the lounge ...Pitch'd is MT's biweekly column devoted to Detroit's BPM musiculture. Send info, releases and news to Pitch'd, c/o Brendan M. Gillen, PO Box 8298, Ann Arbor, MI 48107, or via e-mail