Boomkat Product Review:
Outstanding work by deep house maverick Theo P, custom cut for Maurissa Rose, whose vocals oscillate smoke infused honey and Tiger balm soul in a style that’s served them beautifully well over the years
While both have been operating in the belly of Detroit house since the ‘90s, the duo only first started working together on Alton Miller’s ‘Bring Me Down’ 12” in 2017, sparking a creative relationship that has borne singular fruit ever since. ‘Free Myself’ follows their anthemic ‘This is For You’ (2019) and ‘It’s Out of Your Control’ (2022) with 10 new cuts exclusive to their debut album. It feels like Theo’s exemplary ‘Cornbread & Cowrie Shells for Bertha’ was an entrée for this heavily satisfying main course, with Maurissa acting as a muse that most beautifully brings their circles together. An instant classic in our books.
Believe us this one’s a lot. Between its purring, very KDJ-esque title tune and the 12 minutes of bluesy jazz-soul bliss in ‘Once I Been Gone’, Theo underlines Maurissa with bags of sick drums and overproof keyboard vibings, with his patented, skudgy bass at its most spongiform and edible. But it’s Maurissa's vocals that really steal the show, matching Theo’s locked-in looseness with a style of half sung glossolalia in proper jazz-soul style that simply melts the mind.
The rude hump and ragged Rhodes of ’The Truth’ is pure sex music, and the 9 minute ‘I’m Done’ turns us to mush with its bittersweet chord progression and Rose in full voice. Theo’s ricketiest drums and angular slants are in effect on ‘Spiral Staircase’ and its instrumental, and we could munch up that seasoned bass on ‘Purify Me’ all night. Jazz-dance clubs are served with the LP’s most up and bustling number ‘Everything You Want’ and the strutting ’Surround the World’, while ’Snakes’ takes it porchside with Theo’s twanging blues going hard on the downstroke. Untouchable.