This edition of DJ Kicks is a little special. Rather than select and programme a series of released tracks, Theo Parrish has enlisted a bunch of Detroit producers and artists to contribute unreleased music and aside from his beatless collab with Duminie DePorres “Real Deal,” this is all new material. My promo copy came with all the individual tunes and a full-length mixed version and it’s the mix that I’ve been listening to. It’s an hour-and-a-half ride of electronic soul, jazz, house, techno and a bunch of tracks that are made up of bits of those genres in various combinations.
It’s filled with surprising twists and tasty juxtapositions, starting out with some edgy soul and jazzy electronics with Parrish’s “Real Deal” acting as a sonic palette cleanser before heading into some sci-fi house via Specter, Deon Jamar and then into the lush jazz licks of Ian Fink’s “Moonlight.” And then, pretty much halfway through the mix where you’d perhaps expect him to settle into some house and then gradually move into techno, he pulls a particularly contrary DJ move, dropping the tempo to languid and switching the genre to hip hop via John C and Meftar before mixing into the soaring futurist-soul of first mBtheLight then De’Sean Jones. The second half then serves up maybe twenty minutes of spacey, angular house and a downtempo/dub interlude before heading into a highly percussive finale with some fire tracks from Jason Hogans, De’Sean Jones and H-Fusion bringing it home.
With this wealth of supa-fresh new material, the experimental spirit of many of the tracks, and Parrish’s bold programming decisions — at times he’s perfectly content to change mood and tempo pretty instantly — this DJ Kicks compilation is easily one of the strongest DJ mixes I’ve heard this year.
Various Artists/Theo Parrish: DJ Kicks – Detroit Forward (!K7 Records / Digital and Triple 12″ Vinyl / October 2022)
1. De’Sean Jones & Ideeyah – Pressure (02:49)
2. Donald Lee Roland II – Simba’s Theme (03:46)
3. Meftah – When the Sun Falls (07:16)
4. Theo Parrish & Duminie DePorres – Real Deal (05:19)
5. Specter – The Upper Room (10:19)
6. Deon Jamar – North End Funk (05:08)
7. Ian Fink – Moonlite (Duality/Detroit Version) (08:19)
8. John C & Meftah – Full (03:04)
9. mBtheLight – aGain (T’s Edit) (02:45)
10. De’Sean Jones – Psalm 23 (02:10)
11. Raybone Jones – Green Funk (06:08)
12. Jon Dixon – Wind Drifts (Instrumental)(07:40)
13. Whodat & Sophiyah.e – Don’t Know (05:22)
14. KESSWA – Chasing Delerium ft. Nova Zaii (03:31)
15. Raj Mahal – Hudson’s (02:00)
16. De’Sean Jones – Flash Spain (05:45)
17. Jason Hogans – Surrounded by Trees (03:07)
18. H-Fusion – Experiment 10 (04:30)
19. Sterling Toles – Janis (04:08)
20. DJ-Kicks: Theo Parrish (Continuous Mix) (01:30:58)
Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo.
Joyful noise from Theo Parrish & Maurissa Rose on “It’s Out Of Your Control” (2022)
This Is For You, from Maurissa Rose and Theo Parrish (2020)
Theo Parrish’s All-Stars Shine on “What You Gonna Ask For” (2019)
Gullah Culture Meets Modern House in Theo Parrish’s Preacher’s Comin (2018)
Theo Parrish: American Intelligence (2015)