- For someone who makes so much wordless music, Theo Parrish really has a way with words. Think of the subtle beauty of track titles like "Solitary Flight," "Soul Control" or (my favorite) "Serengeti Echoes." Sound Signature, understated as it is, also hits the nail on the head—it's hard to imagine a better name for such a thoroughly distinctive record label. Over the past 14 years, Sound Signature has pushed a style that's unmistakably Parrish, even when it isn't—guest appearances from other artists (Omar-S, Moodymann or most recently Jay Daniel) still have the earthy aesthetic that, combined with a willingness to color outside the lines, has long been the label's, well, signature.
As Sound Signature's 50th release, Long Walk In Your Sun is a milestone, if only a numerical one. At first you might get the feeling that not much has changed over the years: the title track is an extended cut of slo-mo house, with a lazy Rhodes and a stumbling kick drum, something Parrish has done countless times before. But suspend your expectations and you'll realize it's just a really lovely track, one whose overall feel is (unsurprisingly) perfectly captured in its title. And if you're looking for a curveball, "Strawberry Dragon" should do you just fine. Live drums beat out somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 BPM, eventually joined by rising and falling melodies on synth and grand piano. Like Parrish's best work, it completely defies categorization while sounding totally natural and unpretentious. SS050 may not loom large in Sound Signature's discography (it would be hard to at this point), but it does show one of house music's most adventurous labels still on top of its game.
A Long Walk In Your Sun
B Strawberry Dragon