Rick Wilhite’s minimal online presence belies over twenty years in the industry as a DJ, promoter and music historian. He owns and manages ‘Vibes New and Rare Music’, a ‘real record store’ that is one of the best known in his home city of Detroit.
Wilhite has adopted several pseudonyms in his career, including DOC, Tech-12, Working Mixx and The Godson, and is best known for his involvement with the 3 Chairs project, alongside fellow Detroit luminaries Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon Jr. and Marcellus Pittman.
His dark and grinding ‘Ruby Nights’ was the highlight of Third Ear’s Detroit Beatdown compilation, and the recently unearthed ‘Can You Feel Me?’ is the standout moment on Stilove4music’s sought-after ‘Lost Tracks From Detroit’. After a quiet 2010, ‘Analog Aquarium‘ is not only Wilhite’s first release of the year, it is also his first ever full length album: the double-vinyl package comes in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, with a CD version also included.
The opening Jackson 5-inspired track, ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ is the album’s finest moment, with deep muted kicks, warm jazz keys and a freestyle vocal from the inimitable Billy Love. It sounded incredible in the Beat Bar at the Southport Weekender and I’ve just noticed Benji B also dropped it on a recent show.
Wilhite’s low-key approach and limited output typifies the esoteric attraction of Detroit’s press-shunning, vinyl-loving underground. For those that know, this release is unmissable: a heavy collection of late night tracks and a scorching debut from the D.