3 Chairs


Three Chairs was a Detroit house label launched in ‘97 by Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon Jr. and Rick Wilhite (joined by Marcellus Pittman in ’03) for their productions. The 12” releases were credited to individual members but this album from 2004 is credited just to ‘Three Chairs’ and it remains unclear how much of it may be collaborative. It’s something of a revered classic in the deep house world, a collection of deep, brooding, moody, introspective house tracks, created from re-worked dusty old soul, R’n’B, jazz and disco samples, and distinctly Detroit house drum machine beats. The city’s take on disco seems to either play down the exuberance and play up the melancholy, or to create a slight sense of unease by wandering into discordance and harmonic clashes, relishing glaring sample juxtapositions in the same way as vinyl crackle. This is the case here, the songs moving from gently, glowingly meditative to heads-down-lost-in-the-loop, the edges of the samples as fuzzy as the confused chronology created by working arcane disco samples into the futurist house grooves. Essential Detroit deep house.

Harold Heath