Pure club tunes, live and direct from Brooklyn.
As recently as a couple of years ago, the non-New Yorkers among us could be forgiven for not knowing Anthony Parasole. These days, if you follow techno, you'd be remiss not to. Born, raised and residing in Brooklyn, Parasole came of age during the city's techno heyday, and his work as a DJ and underground party impresario in the '00s helped guide the scene through its rough patch. (See Real Scenes: New York, which features Parasole, for the full story.) With Levon Vincent, he put out a string of now-classic EPs through their Deconstruct label. But it's The Corner, April's label of the month and number eight overall in our label poll, that's put Parasole on the map internationally as a first-class selector and producer of tough techno.
If you've slept on Parasole until now, then consider RA.395 a cold glass of water to the face. It's characteristically fierce, with a New York-centric twist or two.
What have you been up to recently?
Many things, actually. I've been busy prepping and trying to get out the next three Corner releases, which had a couple of production issues. Tom Dicicco's No Sympathy was released last week worldwide. It's a great record to close out 2013 to. I have also been on the road touring a bit, which has been nice—so many great shows I have had an opportunity to play. Recently I just moved in Brooklyn and finished building my studio and have been pretty busy writing new music for 2014. I have more solo projects coming as well as a couple of projects with Phil Moffa.
How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded at Output during off hours one late Monday night in October, to my Sony CD-R recorder. (I prefer recording mixes in one take to hard disk; this way there is no retreat, no surrender, haha.) I used a Xone:92, two Pioneer CDJs and two Technic 1200s with a grip of records and a couple of CDs. The intro was recorded using my iPhone at the 14 Street F train station. I recorded this street musician for about 25 minutes on the sneak. The way he played guitar just blew my mind, and I wanted to capture the moment. Then I completed the mix at Butcha Sound through the power of Pro Tools and Phil Moffa.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I had many different ideas, but I scratched all of them because I didn't want to outsmart myself. I also have a few mixes online, some with ambient or different variations, so I decided to approach this mix like a pure DJ set in a club. I wanted that club feel and wanted to capture those moments that occur purely deep in the mix when it's not thought out methodically like a typical mix, and this is why I recorded it at Output. I wanted to play on a soundsytem full throttle to capture the thump, so I just hit record and played till the 80 minutes ran out.
You've been a fixture in New York's house and techno scene for ages, but you've started making inroads abroad over the last few years. Where are your favorite places to play?
One of my favorite gigs of the year was actually at home, when Danny Tenaglia asked me to play with him at Output. There really was a crazy buzz, and the room was packed by 11:30 PM, which in Brooklyn is really early. The crowd was super receptive to how and what I played, and I'm very grateful for that gig and to Danny for inviting me. Then abroad there is this great connection between Paris and NYC, and I've had so many great gigs in France, like recently at Concrete. It is just a magical venue and party put together by people who really care about the culture and music.
I played a couple of smaller parties that blew me away. One was this little party in Tel Aviv called Resek, which had this crazy vibe in this little dark room. Another was this event called TRAXX UP! in Switzerland. The room just blew up and was electric. And of course Berlin treats me great. I am blessed to play Berghain as often as I do, and always to such a welcoming crowd!
Your label's aesthetic identifies strongly with your hometown. Do you think The Corner could exist outside of New York?
After I started Deconstruct with Levon Vincent, the aesthetic was so minimal, and so I really wanted to capture the complete opposite of Deconstruct with The Corner. That's why I went with full-on art and full color labels. I came up through the streets and relate to it, so I wanted that feel and smell through the art. Maybe if I lived somewhere else—let's say Miami—it probably wouldn't be the same. The art would be bunch of hot, tanned Cuban girls in string bikinis and sunsets and the label would probably be named Ocean Drive, haha! I kid, but yeah, the point is I don't think the label's aesthetic would exist if I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, New York.
What are you up to next?
I'm preparing for New Year's Eve at fabric and then New Year's Day at Melkweg in Amsterdam. For The Corner, in January we kick the year off with Pressure by Phil Moffa and myself. It will hit the shops as soon as the holidays are over, followed by Where Were You In '92 by X-Crashed (AKA Adam X), which are all produced now. I'm also sorting out the releases and schedule for 2014. So much great music to release, I really can't wait!