NOTZING PRESENTS PRODUCER AND LABEL CO-OWNER OF KNOTZEPT
Mike Parker – The Devil’s Curators Vol. 3 [Spazio Disponibile, 2023-03-08]
The third chapter of “The Devil’s Curators” series is a showcase of Mike Parker’s classic sound taken to the most extreme minimalism, in a drier version than his more recent releases, reminiscent of his early launches. It exemplifies how “less is more” in every instant, both in terms of sound design and arrangement. Basic rhythms and raw percussive elements solely accompany drones perfectly defined: a synth sound that evolves on a small scale throughout the duration of the five tracks.
This is one of the characteristics of Mike Parker that has greatly influenced my understanding of techno: the kick, the hi-hat, the clap… They are secondary and have often led me to completely disregard any percussive elements and focus more on sound design, textures, psychoacoustics, modulations and drones. A basic 909 or 606 hi-hat really doesn’t contribute any artistic value to a track for me, and it’s not worth paying more attention to it than its functionality.
“AT Tracker” and “EM Pattern” are two examples of pure, functional techno that can be used as mixing tools in any session. Perfect for creating loops lasting several minutes as accompaniment, perfect for stretching time and melting space during marathon sets, for playing with equalization and mixing on three or more decks. They bring you back continuously to the same starting point, simple and effective.
“ZERO M3” offers basic and raw acid sounds at low BPMs, accompanied by Mike Parker’s characteristic spirals. It has served as a model for many producers we follow and admire, as a base to then evolve and find our own sound.
Parker’s vision of art and more specifically of minimalism.
“Trilling Sound” is a delight for those of us who enjoy dissecting waves and frequencies, and analysing how they have been modulated to achieve the final result. At least three voices intertwine to create a unique, modulated, organic, and synthetic material that strikes and reverberates when their tendrils converge in unison. I believe in this production method, where multiple sounds merge in layers to create a single organism that is difficult to dissect, which is perhaps another signature approach of Parker that has greatly influenced me in achieving my own sound.
Finally, the crown jewel for me is “Radar Signal.” It resembles the transmission of an over-the-horizon radar in high definition, a utilitarian radio broadcast from another planet, an experimental marvel, and, in my opinion, the most remarkable piece of this release. The track contains an immeasurable bassline, as well as sounds that are hard to locate in space, a continuous pulse and a heartbeat.
Mike Parker’s contribution to techno and experimental music deserves great admiration and respect. He has created a genre and has been imitated countless times. Due to the value of his ideas, those imitations have then evolved into other truly interesting sounds, so it could be said that Mike Parker’s art has been a raw material and a subject of study and analysis for many of us in our sonic exploration.
Therefore, thank you, Mike Parker, for your inspiring art. You will continue to set a standard. We owe you a lot.