Anonymously issued thirteen years ago, Tribute to Ken Collier made a couple fleeting returns to Terrence Parker's own Intanglible label, but this year it seems to have found a stable home with Glasgow's Seventh Sign. Good thing too, because it's the concise realization of the ideals of the "uplifting" house style Parker champions (more recently in inspirational/gospel contexts). Recorded while still reeling from the death of DJ legend Ken Collier, the tracks are rooted in the sort of Hi-NRG disco Collier loved, but also draw on R&B ballads of the '80s and '90s for unalloyed sentiment. Take the sublime opener, "Your Love." Repetitive and tracky, with tense strings, downward bass lines and nonstop hi-hats wound in tight curls, it could almost pass as a lean disco edit. Parker then borrows some coos from Chanté Moore's "Precious." His earnest sampling doesn't clip or muffle the saccharine sentiment of Moore's champagne ardor, and this renders his pristine, uptown grooves all the more silvery.
The "Tribute Mix" of "Love's Got Me High" is a slick rework of an earthier track Parker recorded under his Seven Grand Housing Authority moniker. It's funky, uptempo deep house threaded with samples from "Love Won't Let Me Wait," as performed by—ahem—Jamie Foxx. While the half-joking histrionics of Foxx's rendition turn achy-soulful in Parker's hands, the track's most memorable trick is the blinding glare given off by the pitched-up strings.
"Somethin' Here" and "Why After All This" (the latter a digital bonus on Seventh Sign's edition) share sample selections with a couple of big successes of roughly the same period—Ministers De La Funk's "Believe" and Junior Jack's "My Feeling," respectively. It's awfully hard, though, to imagine Parker's tracks bumping into their cousins under a strobe. Parker's sampling on this pair isn't about catchy hooks or stylish sheen, instead bringing a jerky, warped record effect to the elated disco palette. In the case of "Why," this creates an anxious uncertainty to the imploring but open-ended question of its title, clipped short over and over through the length of the track. But while a rawer, dizzying energy drives these two dusty disco house tracks in comparison to the A-side here, their sweaty spirals soar skyward with the same ease.
Buy Terrence Parker - Tribute to Ken Collier at
Tracklist: Terrence Parker - Tribute to Ken Collier A Your Love (Original Version)
B1 Love's Got Me High (Tribute Mix)
B2 Somethin' Here (Original Version)
Digital: Why After All This