Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp


Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp
Label - Mo' Wax
Released - 1999
Style - Electro, IDM, Abstract, Downtempo

Another old CD of mine that was misplaced years ago and recently re-emerged. Andrea Parker has been one of my favorite (and most underrated) DJs ever since I caught the few electro sets she dropped on the now defunct Groovetech Radio. I received a promo copy of this when I worked at the radio station, and I remember loving it to death.

Upon sober listening, I must inform you to SKIP tracks 1 and 3 ('The Unknown' and 'Breaking The Code') if, like me, you prefer things Instrumental. The rest of the tunes are just great. My personal top picks from this album are tracks 4, 5, 6, & 7. Amazing stuff!

Perhaps I should post those Andrea Parker sets? If anyone cares, leave a comment and I'll post those. They are rare and I haven't seen them anywhere - not to mention they are extraordinary. Like a cross between classic Electro, Miami Bass and IDM. Her mixing is killer.

Review from The History of Rock & Roll:
Andrea Parker is a classically trained cellist, a disc jockey and, last but not least, an electronic composer with a penchant for analog synthesizers who collaborated with Philip Glass and Steve Reich. She started recording under monikers such as Two Sandwiches Short Of A Lunchbox, and mentored by producer David Morley. After recording Melodious Thunk (Mo Wax, 1995) in an ambient drum'n'bass vein, the following single The Rocking Chair (Mo Wax, 1996) was more like a concert for 40-piece orchestra (reminiscent of Albinoni's adagio) and creative samples than a hip-hop track. The brutal techno of Ballbreaker (1997) established her credentials for punchy dance-music and completed the formative period.

The twelve tracks of Kiss My Arp (Mo Wax, 1999) better highlight her passion for David Sylvian's decadent/exotic elegance and Dead Can Dance's eerie/gothic atmospheres. Parker mixes string orchestrations, hip-hop percussion and heavy bass to create music that is highly seductive. The minimalistic Elements of Style (a Steve Reich-ian concerto of virulent jazzy drums, Caribbean percussions, standup bass), the suspenseful voodoobilly of Going Nowhere (ghostly noises, wild dissonances, tribal drumming) and the ritual music of Clutching At Straws (mournful cello, delicate harp, martial drums and tambourines, eerie electronic noises, metronomic percussions, and a dejected litany), three elaborate compositions that bridge several different genres, coexist with the instrumental Kraftwerk-ian ballets of In Two Minds and Some Other Level, with the pounding syncopated dance music of Breaking The Code, and with the ethereal cantillation, the futuristic polyrhythms and the baroque orchestration of The Unknown (Enya + Bjork + Richard Strauss). The orchestra has rarely been used in such an effective way by a popular singer. Rather than merely enhancing the melody, it provides an ominous emotional counterweight to Parker's delicate vocals. The other significant component, the rhythm, is channeled through terrible schizoid spasms.


Tracklisting:
1 The Unknown
2 Clutching At Straws
3 Breaking The Code
4 In Two Minds
5 Melodious Thunk
6 Some Other Level
7 Elements Of Style
8 Going Nowhere
9 Sneeze
10 Return Of The Rocking Chair
11 Exclamation Mark!

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11 comments:

baroquedub said...

Yes indeed - Andrea Parker rocks! Hopefully this'll get her a bit more exposure. 'Here's One I Made Earlier' which came out last year was a great return to form after taking a few years out.
Would love to hear some of those DJ mixes you mention. [and thanks for all the other many great posts. Been a fan for a while now. much respect]

XMP said...

Oh that's excellent. I really want to share those mixes with ppl who appreciate it. I have loads of old GT Radio sets - will post the list later today.

Chok-sun DiXeauss said...

that's one hairy squibnocket!

Michael said...

Good stuff - I have the instrumental version of this album. Much better!

Anyone interested?

XMP said...

YES!!!! Please I would have posted that if I had it! please please

Michael said...

No problem. Let me sort out a decent rip of it and I'll report back here in a day or so.

Bob Davis said...

Instrumental version AND mixes please!! Thanks, this is a great blog!

XMP said...

I should have internet at my new house this weekend so I'll get the mixes up before monday. Keep an eye out!

And michael, if you can hook me up with the instrumentals - just link me @ steve_pmx@yahoo.com. Thanks! I'll give you all the credit :)

Roger Camden said...

Oh man.
I haven't heard this since it came out. A buddy of mine bought it at the same time as a Fatboy Slim album and wasn't impressed by the direct comparison he'd forced upon himself. I think that cd got resold to a used cd place soon after the first and only listening.
I thought it was great, but didn't make any effort to save the disc.
The cut-up cough is brilliant.

Michael said...

You got mail :-)

Anonymous said...

Man, I'm still hypnotized by this. It's freakin genious! Perfectly timed, perfectly mixed and perfectly jazzy. Thanks from Brazil!