Recorded in 1998 and becoming one of the most monumental and inspiring moments in deep house. It's often cited that only 30 people attended the Sex Pistols infamous Free Trade Hall gig but everyone who did started a band. Well, I reckon only 100 people bought “First Floor” first time round but everyone of them got an MPC and started making music! Incredibly, almost 20 years old it's still my favourite Theo Parrish record and was surely the catalyst to hoards of millennials digging deep into the crates of 2nd hand disco, soul and jazz records, turning their back on the beige and mass produced funky house that dominated the era. Part 2 includes the creeping, downbeat funk of "Electric Alleycat", one of the most synonymous sounds I associate with Theo (much the same way "I Can't Kick This Feeling" typifies the KDJ style). The James Brown sampling, leftfield anthem - "JB's Edit", sounding fresher than ever as we witness one of Theo's infamous DJ tools in all its unadulterated glory. The flanging squelch of "Dark Patterns" is up next, displaying Theo's early love of playful yet re-wired drum patterns, flipping much of what's expected of conventional dance music on its head. "Heal Yourself And Move" shows a producer totally confident in his approach as he deploys a nothing short of epic bleep-melody, completely unhurried as it builds in emotion and vigor, met with the spiritual vocal that slowly rises from the mix. Finally "Sky Walking" concludes with a basement house anthem, it's soft kicks and rounded bass sounds providing the inspiration for a thousand backrooms up and down the land; the soulful vox, clever Rhodes licks and jazz-inspired grooves pretty much epitomizing the sound of deep house for the next five years.
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Much needed repress of one of Theo's finest moments. A holy grail for me and my crew; part 2's got that killer JB DJ tool ("JB's Edit") and the creeping downbeat funk of "Electric Alleycat".