Various Artists
Detroit Beatdown Volume 1

By Miles Hawthorn

All I need to really do here is to mention some of the names that grace this triple vinyl/double CD pack and I guess that many of you won’t even need to finish this review. Theo Parrish, Eddie Fowlkes, Rick Wilhite, Alton Miller and Norm Talley all contribute to this sublime album which reads like a rollcall of modern Detroit maestros. To put a loose terminology to it, this is essentially ‘house’ music, although the variety and scope of sounds here really aren't done justice by a single word. From Malik Alston’s opener with its deft beats over which a graceful piano tricks and weaves, via the thirteen minutes of Theo Parrish’s resonant electric opus and Rick Wilhite’s clapping punctuated organ and guitar workout, to the swaggering gospel inspired club workout from Norm Talley there really is not a single duff track on here. This is purely master craftsmen territory; artists merely flexing their musical muscles. An absolutely essential body of work for anyone even remotely interested in music.
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