A Berlin staple struts his stuff.
By any measure, Spencer Parker has had a busy couple of years. The Berlin-based Brit released his debut album in 2011, founded his own label, Work Them Records, in 2012, and meanwhile kept up his usual clip of EPs for labels like Rekids and Ovum Recordings, among others. And that's just what he was admitting to—turns out he's also been slyly producing and releasing a whole other set of records under a pseudonym, It's Not Over. Now that he's ready to out himself, he stands on the brink of a new phase in his career, with It's Not Over parties planned at select spots across Europe this fall. RA.382 shows the rich palette that informs these projects. It's rugged, colorful, and as impressively dynamic as the man himself.
What have you been up to recently?
The same as always, really: playing records, listening to records, buying records, searching for records, dancing to records—and trying to make some records too!
How and where was the mix recorded?
It was made and recorded at my home, in Berlin, using a turntable, a CDJ, a mixer, another turntable, another CDJ, a SoundBITE Pro loop machine, a computer, one pair of headphones, two of my hands and both of my ears.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The idea behind it, really, was simply to show exactly what I play in a club. I'm a big fan of house, disco, techno and I like to incorporate all of them when I'm invited to play somewhere. Obviously, this depends on the club, time of the night, situation, etc., so some nights I may end up playing nearly all techno and on others I may lean more towards house, but, ideally, I love to expose them all. It was kinda tricky to do it in such a short space of time (my last set in Berlin was nine hours long, for example!) but thats all part of the challenge I think—to present different styles but in a way that they all sound connected. I really enjoy the idea of playing a Gino Soccio track, a record on Modularz, a DJ Skull release and a 12-inch on YelloOrange, all within a 90-minute set, and making them sound like they fit together naturally. Whether I achieved that or not is up to the listeners I guess.
What's the overall mission with Work Them Records?
Just to simply release good house/techno records. It really is as simple as that. I very much want the label to be an inclusive one, as opposed to an exclusive one. There's no "crew" mentality, I'm not only releasing records by people I know or anything like that (we accept demos via our website) and I'm not especially trying to build a "brand" around a few chosen individuals. I just wanted to create a label that puts out some cool, interesting records, by people I respect.
We understand you've been working under an alias for a while now?
Yeah, for the last 18 months or so I've been releasing 12-inches under the name It's Not Over. It's been a fun project and the whole process of playing with the name and imagery behind the releases has been really interesting for me, and, hopefully, for the people that have bought and played the records.
Although I've been DJing a long time, with production, I still very much consider myself a beginner in the grand scheme of things. In the past, as part of my natural learning curve, I've produced tracks of varying styles, some slightly deeper or some that are a lot tougher or, even remixing full songs like Mood II Swing's "Closer." All of the records I made I enjoyed making, but stylistically they covered a wide range. So with the It's Not Over project, I wanted to almost start again, using the little bit of experience that I now have, and produce exclusively the music that I play out.
What are you up to next?
Well, the It's Not Over project is now finished—there's one more 12-inch coming in a few weeks called South Jefferson, and then the final release will be a double-CD album with the lead tracks from the 12-inches, unreleased versions and three brand new tracks.
I will also be doing a small album release tour. I wanted to keep it very simple and remain within the ideals behind the project, so rather than do a big 20-date tour, I decided to simply do four dates at four of the best clubs in Europe—clubs that have a definitive vision, a high quality control on exactly who they choose to book and clubs where the Its Not Over tracks have been played a lot, by their resident DJs and the guests each club invites. Three of them I am fortunate to guest at on a regular basis and one will be my debut. So i'm happy to say that, in October and November, these party's will be taking place in London (Dance Tunnel), Stockholm (Berns), Berlin (Panorama Bar) and Paris (Concrete).
Other than that, I will be preparing the upcoming release schedule for Work Them Records. Due this year we have another EP by the excellent Pittsburgh Track Authority guys, to which I also contributed a SPN--->EDT, an EO by the uber-talented Young Male from New York City and a remix 12" of the recent Radio Slave single, the remixes being provided by Rodhad and Bearweasel.