First Floor


More experimental than most of his Detroit house counterparts, Theo Parrish’s debut album is one of a kind: it’s house but not as we know it, taking the genre to new, unfamiliar places via samples, drum machines and a highly idiosyncratic approach. With this album, Parrish solidified his use of rhythmic unreliability, using off-beat, leftfield and unconventional rhythmic patterns, to the extent where the opening track “First Floor Metaphor” somehow transforms from a 4/4 house beat to a 3/4 waltz rhythm and back again. The album constantly plays with the listener’s expectations, exploring new ways that house music can groove, replacing the standard thudding 4/4 kick-hat-clap drums with shifting cross-rhythms that slip in and out of sync and fragile, skeletal, angular beats. Bold, uncompromising, the kind of album that clears space for others to follow.

Harold Heath