“I didn’t have access to a bass player when I started, or a keyboard player, a live drummer and so on and so forth. But I did have a record and an SP-1200. It was very, very simple: the idea of catching something that would be good to expand on and roll with it.” An indispensable artifact from a time before Theo Parrish’s self-imposed sampling embargo, First Floor is entirely made up of the stretched & crushed SP-12 fodder that carried into 2000’s Parallel Dimensions (a sound which Kyle Hall later channeled on his own stripped-down sociopathic debut LP The Boat Party). Perhaps still Theo’s best album to date, First Floor set the bar for all house full-lengths that came after. This record touches on everything we love Theo for: moody late night zones, scorched-out tunnel-vision edits, minimalism, maximalism, all done to perfection. Presented here in it’s original form: divided into two double-12” sets, with the minimal design of the original sleeves faithfully reproduced and extensive liner notes from Theo printed right on the back. Part 1 is all killer no filler, opening with “First Floor Metaphor,” a side-long piece of minimal sweetness with dubbed-out vocal snippets gently trickling through a stream of supple strings and gentle piano licks. “Sweet Sticky” and “Love Is War For Miles” are sinister and off-kilter yet soulful in a way that only Theo can deliver. The highlight of the set, for me, is “Paradise Architects;” 6 sublime minutes of pure late nite downbeat vibes, with rhodes and percussion loops draped in layers of airy, dissonant pads that conjure an urban skyline floating past your car window. If you needed any further proof that Theo is unmatched at what he does, this is it; and don’t miss Part 2. Highly recommended.
- double vinyl pressing
- music label: Peacefrog 1998 / 2017
reviewed by Letters To Theo 06/2017
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