Put simply. Unequivocally. Without shadow of doubt. Spencer Parker delivers the kind of explosive music with Babeh babeh babeh babeh that makes you want to find yourself on a 1990’s dancefloor, although let’s hope that can be replicated safely and soon. The drums are unmistakably robust, dirty in grainy ways that define the beauty of analogue as organ stabs alongside the flush of human voice adds a tender, soulful quality to the otherwise brutal nature of it all. I’m in this (until I die) then delivers a jazzier, more playful flavour as meandering basslines and scat-like vocals twist and turn to complete more celebratory excellence.
Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, P.Leone. Your new release for Rekids Special Projects: Chances We Take EP features four very hot tracks. Could you talk us through how you produced Rose Petal Breaks and where the idea for the title came from?
The idea for Rose Petal Breaks came to life by wanting to combine some home made breaks I finished which I didn’t have a means of using. The title was really just a play on words – seemingly light but not at all really.
How did you team up with the label? And what does having your music released on a vinyl-only series mean to you?
I met Matt Edwards through Spencer Parker…Spen suggested I send over some files to Matt and the rest is history. It’s my first time being a part of a vinyl only series and I think it’s something that is absolutely timeless. I’m extremely thankful for that.
How and where did you learn to produce music?
Loads and loads of trial and error in software and hardware, not to mention absolutely harassing my close friends who had been producing for a bit longer than I have 🙂
How have you found the experience of setting up your own label E-MISSIONS, along with Caizzo? And can you share with us any future plans for developing it?
It’s always hard learning all the inner workings of something, particularly because it was so new to myself and Caiazzo. I’d say after 002 it just became a sort of formula which I think is usually the case with new labels – finding that formula that works and just repeating that over and over again. In terms of future plans… hmmmmm got some humans – specifically two of ‘em! A duo from DC making some of the best techno I’ve heard in years and I can’t wait to put out their record…
The artwork for the label looks really impressive. Who designs it? And can you tell us about the concept behind it?
Huge shout out to one of our close friends who has been with us since day one and has absolutely turned any idea me and Caiazzo had into a reality – Alex Seamens AKA Cranks. In terms of the concept it’s just whatever we can think of within the moment. Sometimes it’s relevant to the actual project and sometimes its not. What Alex is able to do is really incredible and it just gets better when he goes off and gets really creative because he understands the labels aesthetic – we really got lucky with having him on board <3
How would you compare the experience of New York with living in Berlin?
Well they’re two very different cities. Berlin clubs thrive later than most clubs around the world. For someone like myself, who is born and raised in New York, I can’t truly compare the cities. However, even though Berlin is so important for my career and I’m truly falling in love with it, no matter what New York will always be my first love
You are due to play back in New York at Le Bain on February 23 to celebrate the EP’s release? How did the event get organised and how did it feel to play at the night?
Playing at Le Bain for the ‘Chances We Take’ release party was really special and I had some butterflies …nobody wants to blow it at their own release party so I’m happy it went really well!
And finally. What are your thoughts on Techno in general? Do you feel that it is in a healthy, moving-forward position and what is exciting you about 2018?
I think it’s forever growing! And it’s beautiful to see more and more artists be welcomed by it or drawn towards it. I don’t think there’s a dance floor in the world that doesn’t need more dancers 😉 In 2018 I think it’s gonna be a year where I do my best to show some experimentation not too too far from my original projects but I guess to stretch my legs out a bit!
The energy levels remain heightened as this latest release from Spencer Parker sees last year’s robust productions get remixed for 2018. Shape Fascination, is recrafted care of DJ Deep who places the emphasis on grittier drums plus the eventual glow of contrasting electric keys lending its texture a refreshed angle. An excellent Dub of the same follows taking it deeper accentuating echoes and adding more playful instrumentation. The Setaoc Mass Remix then proceeds to hit hard and heavy employing the title Techno in bold stark letters. Which almost surprisingly has Akirahawks rework Riff Shapes in Hi-Energy fashion with hip-shaking syncopated bass and electro Toms punctuating the arrangement, along-side a sometimes awkward fusion of sparkling eighties styled piano.
Igniting Spencer Parker’s series of electronically fused sequences is not surprisingly Part One. Consisting of two tracks with the opening: A Strong Shape firing off shuffling shakes in your direction with dark, fizzy notes accompanying the suitably brutal beats and chiming percussive sounds that rapidly engage your attention span. Next, The Perfect Size teases you with melodic synth lines shimmering over stripped down drums, sounding almost Acid/ New Beat via Detroit in its process. And very excellent for it too.
The Moment Not The Memory EP
Work Them Records
Time for Spencer Parker’s contribution to the label with two new tracks each provoking different sides of House/ Techno. For me, and for those who love beautiful chord progressions, Faster Forward is just perfect. Keeping you guessing from the outset as pulsating beats pitch themselves in a tough manner things soon proceed to get emotional as the tactile piano notes and warm pads simply ooze atmosphere over a total of almost nine minutes. The flip-side, Spacial is altogether more about Detroit and I guess ticks all those boxes just right too.
A standout production which may not be to everybody’s taste but certainly should be. Teaming up once again with vocalist Gretz who adds a haunting, spiritual dimension to the opening Blood Burgundy while also being a captivating piece of music in its own right. Floating seamlessly across your stereo and emitting enticing frequencies that feel deep though full of energy this sounds in a class all of its own making. Followed by the electronic eighties inspired Concrete Jungle and then complimented by the left field ambience of Against the Rain it’s all first rate. This only leaves a Reprise of the title track to tease you still further…
Great release from Mobilee sister label Leena and yet another excellent set of productions from Ross Evans. Kicking things off is Caliente which is deceptively Disco but positively twisted into almost something else via a harsh set of beats and treatments of the sample and voices. Part Of The Dream is up next providing a totally different aspect with rich, ambient tones and crisp drums combining tastefully. “Asylum”, isn’t as devilish as the name suggests but a techy form of release that never loses breath, leaving Walk Of Shame to strike a familiar chord after every late night return by way of funkier synths and intense bass.
Big Break Records/ Sony Music
Always good to add a touch of class to the proceedings and Patti LaBelle is certainly that, and more. Her fourth album saw the angelic vocalist team up once again with Allen Toussaint and this album positively shines all the more for it. Of course he also produced Lady Marmalade with Patti as Labelle in 1974. But fast forward to 1980 and the more contemporary sound of Disco with the opening Give It Up (The Dawning Of Rejection) and the full version of the uplifting Release (The Tension), plus Get Ready (Looking For Love) – they do like brackets! All great stuff and with Christian John Wikane’s detailed sleeve notes you can never go wrong. Listen for yourself below…