Spencer Parker interview: United Rhythms
Author: Stuart Evans
Tuesday, 6 December 2005
Being described as one of dance music's hidden talents should arouse curiosity in even the most ardent of house lovers. It's a line which is often thrown around like a Frisbee, but in Spencer Parker's case it holds substance. Any DJ that has guest spots at such prestigious UK clubs as Ministry of Sound and The Cross shouldn't really be that hidden, but Spencer continues to keep a low profile.
Few realise that Parker has been around for eight years and has played numerous warm up sets for some of the biggest house movers and makers in the world (including the legendary Carl Cox). Moreover, he's worked for highly regarded record companies such as Uptown Records and AM:PM, as well as having worn the hat of A&R manager at both 3-5-2 Recordings and London based soulful house label, Defected Records. Quite how Spencer remains hidden is something of a mystery, but he now divides his time between his freelance A&R role and playing at numerous venues around the world (he was in Melbourne a few months ago).
Production may be a novelty for him, but he's showing little sign of nerves in the high pressure environment. In fact, his first track, Open Your Eyes, was supported by many respected DJs (including Radio 1 spinner Pete Tong).
Along with his production partner in crime, Radio Slave, they've been creating quite a name together for themselves. More recently, his latest project has been to team up with MYNC to record the 'United Nations of House' compilation. The CD is the work of former Credence A&R man Mark Brown. As the album features relatively new productions, it seemed fitting that one of the most in-demand DJs be asked to mix one of the discs.
You've been described as one of dance music's hidden talents. What talents are you hiding-
'Too many to mention! I've never been someone to shout about myself, but I think in the last few months people have started to take notice. And I have to confess, the recognition is nice.'
You were in Australia not so long ago, what do you enjoy about playing to Australian crowds-
'Australian crowds are open-minded. The majority are up for hearing exciting new music. To play a room the size of Kink at the Arthouse to such a musically knowledgeable, but hot looking, crowd is just a dream.'
Your style has been described by others as 'unique', but how would you describe your style-
'It's fundamentally electronic house music or hot new music with energy. I strive to have the latest tracks and spend a lot of my time speaking to friends who produce all over the world. I do a lot of record shopping but I also listen to what I receive to make sure that I have all the weapons I need to destroy every room I play. I play labels and producers that I have been supporting in '05. These include Kitsune, Buick Project, Dirty South, Tiefschwarz, Boys Noize, Get Physical, Digitalism, Kompakt and Tomas Andersson.'
What's your favourite track of '05-
'It would be Digitalism's Zdarlight (Moonlight Mix and Original Mix). These guys are the next Daft Punk… so remember where you heard it first!'
Tell us a bit about 'United Nations Of House'. How did you come to be involved in the mix-
'The concept is to showcase house music globally, using not only the big names but also the new up and coming producers. Mark Brown (who runs Cr2 Records) came up with the concept. I was asked to mix one CD, with MYNC Project mixing the other. Mark knows that I know a lot of the new guys coming up through the ranks, as well as the established guys, so I started compiling my CDs and got some pretty cool people on the compilation.'
If you could pick one record that devastates the dancefloor, what would it be-
'It would have to be Donna Summer's I Feel Love (Danny Howells Re-edit). I never get tired of hearing that bass li Tags