Available on: Sound Signature 12″

When FACT interviewed Omar-S back earlier this year, he spoke of a “hit record” he was working on with Theo Parrish called ‘Space Station’. At the time, I didn’t really know exactly what he meant by “hit record” – did he mean that it was going to be an actual hit? Knock Black Eyed Peas off the no.1 spot?

Well, listening to ‘Space Station’ now [check a clip here], I can say with some confidence that a serious assault on the charts is unlikely. But if “hit record” simply means “great record”, then Omar’s frank prophesying stands up.

If you’ve been following Parrish’s recent work – particularly last year’s intimidating but hugely rewarding Sound Sculptures 2xCD and more recently the ‘Chemistry’ 12″, you’ll know that he’s been on a concerted mission to hone his own exquisitely stoned, rough-around-the-edges vision of Detroit soul, paying less and less mind to linear techno convention and drawing more than ever on jazz, funk and fusion influences, with a lot of live keys, drums, guitars, percussion in the mix. It’s something of a surprise, then, to hear how stripped-back and electronic ‘Space Station’ is – the influence of Omar-S, who helped edit and record the track, is evident in the clipped hi-hats and general rawness of the thing. With its burbling, acid-derived synth arpeggios and no-nonsense 4/4 pulse, this is the closest Theo’s come to an out-and-out dancefloor track in a very long time.

‘Going Through Changes’ [listen to clip here] is more in keeping with recent Sound Signature fare, a percussive love-jam featuring the unreconstructed soul-boy vocals of Danny Banks. It should all be a bit too saccharine to bear, but the heavy bass drops and funked-out, lopsided drums provide enough salt for the palate not to be offended. Fucking hell Theo Parrish, can you please stop being so good?

Piccadilly Jim



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