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Herb Sundays 45: Parris [HS season 4 premiere]
The London-based producer/DJ takes us on a journey through aughts and tens Indie. Art by Cina.
Herb Sundays 45: Parris
“Very UK, very indie, very me. Feels like it represents a specific time and I love those tracks because they take me back to those times.”
Dwayne Parris is a producer, DJ, and label owner whose creative evolution reflects a decade inside the rarified world of UK club music. With an experimental ear honed at crucial parties (he would go to FWD>> alone early on, just to listen), labels (an A&R role at Tempa), and record shops (a stint at Black Market), the Hackney-born artist has cultivated a genre-fluid style that “plugs sound system pressure into misty dubscapes, pulsating house and fragments of pop glitz.”
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As a DJ, he’s played globally at places like Fabric, Glastonbury Festival, Contact (Tokyo), and the Laurel Halo-curated Mode festival. Having recorded beguiling EPs for labels like The Trilogy Tapes, Idle Hands, Wisdom Teeth, Peach Discs, and Hemlock, Parris launched Can You Feel The Sun in 2019, an outlet for his productions, alongside Berlin-based counterpart AKA British DJ/producer Call Super.
Last year he shared his debut full-length Soaked In Indigo Moonlight, a stunning collection of technicolor dance abstractions featuring guests like Carmen Villain and James K that cannot be easily defined in a sonic box. Shawn Reynaldo (of the great First Floor substack) beautifully reviewed the album for Pitchfork:
“The work of artists like Vince Staples, Lil Peep, and Denzel Curry (who were also namechecked in the LP announcement) helped inspire Soaked in Indigo Moonlight, but the album itself—whose title is a reference to the old adage that “only moonlight shows your true reflection”—can only be understood as a window into Parris’ own head (and heart). If taking cues from pop simply means setting pretension aside and doing what you love, perhaps more of Parris’ peers would be wise to follow suit.”
This romantic sense for music that Parris wields is what makes his career fun to watch as he becomes more confident with each new move. “When you first start learning how to make music you spend a lot of time trying to replicate other people,” he has noted, “but eventually you stumble upon your own sound.”
Parris’ Herb Sundays takes this love of pop and indie even further. Instead of a club survey, we get a view of the artist at home, from the adventure-pop of Bat For Lashes, to the low-key charge of The xx, and onto the magisterial Mystery Jets. It's summer fun and yet another unexpected twist from Parris.