Rick Wilhite Rick WilhiteAnalog Aquarium
The man has been in the house game for as long as we can remember and has been releasing records since 1996, which makes The Godson the undisputable status as a classic. Even so, in fifteen years, this “Analog Aquarium” is his first solo LP, after having been the man behind the curtain for the main spiritual jackmasters from the Seventh City: Moodymann, Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman (with whom he forms 3 Chairs), etc. Why? Easy: there are incredible talents who choose to be secondary actors in the big electronic music show. Some have better jobs to do and dedicate less time to DJing or spending hours in the studio, others don’t get the opportunity –but they take it well–, others just bide their time, waiting for their fruits to ripen and fall without urgency. Rick Wilhite has always been there, invisible, and the recent rebirth of soulful house has made him visible to a younger audience, curious and in need of new references beyond the artists they already know.
So, in parallel to the newly found prestige for Moodymann and Theo Parrish, The Godson has found his space to surface alongside them, as with Rick Wade in Chicago when the old underground house was explored again. The release of “Spectrum” (2009), a compilation of old 3 Chairs material, helped a lot when asking about “the other one”. And “the other one” turns out to be as classy, or more, as the dinosaurs of techno with erotic charge and devotion for the most torrid episode of funk and disco. This analogue aquarium is transparent in its intentions, blue in its melancholy and calm as the water in a pond: it’s so old school that it seems found on the bottom of the sea like a pirate treasure from the 17th century. There are no surprises –the album sounds classic, from the dreamy house of “Blame It On The Boogie” –with Billy Love sighing in the microphone, Theo Parrish and Osunlade at the controls and logical interpolations of the Jackson 5 original– to the underwater deep house of “Muzic Gonna Save The World Pt. 2”.
In between it’s all class: echoing instrumentals, Rhodes and fat beats ( “Dark Walking”), two incursions in tense minimal techno in the vein of Basic Channel ( “Cosmic Soup” and “Cosmic Jungle”, the latter with an Afro touch), house a la Lil’ Louis and the masters of yesteryear ( “Sunshine Pt. 2”, “Deep Horizons”, “City Bar Dancing Basement Mix”) and all-time disco music with the kind of basslines Daft Punk always sample ( “In The Rain”). It’s not all down to Wilhite –Moody and Marcellus spent a lot of time in the studio with him and they left their fingerprints all over the place–, but that’s what family is for, to help out, you wash my back, I’ll wash yours. “Analog Aquarium” isn’t original, we knew that from the start. But it has this halo of carnal and immortal house that only veterans with talent and faith in their style can summon.
Rick The Godson Wilhite - Cosmic Jungle