When Deantoni Parks released his sublime one-man-band Technoself I’d had the lucky chance to see him (as part of a band) do what he does. He’s a wonderful drummer that has worked with a great range of artists – but as a solo act he is basically sat at the kit and simultaneously uses one hand to move between hi-hat, cymbals and snare while the other dances across bass-synths and various keyboards; including triggering live samples. All the while his bass-drum leg is at it like rats fucking.
The music he makes as a solo act is like if Mike Patton and the video artist Chris Cunningham were tasked with building a one-man-band in a studio laboratory overseen by Trent Reznor.
Parks could score horror films with his twitch-filled, glitch-inciting dark visions of robust one-man techno. Or maybe sci-fi?
His latest, SILVER CHORD, opens with part one and two of a composition called Tears in Rain which of course instantly brings to mind that line/that scene from Blade Runner – and yes, Vangelis’ score is a likely influence on his mind here (if not at other times too). As with some of the Blade Runner music – and motifs – a late-night jazziness is infected by a wash of synths. From there we are off…
There are short-sharp musical cues (HOLODISK REPAIR) as startling as anything Aphex Twin has put into the drill’n’bass space and bits of drum-fun (PXRE) that wouldn’t be out of place on a DJ Shadow or Dr Dre album. And good as all of this is, and it really is the most comforting and simultaneously un-easy musical feels for right now, it’s the longer pieces like NEURALNODE and SAFFRONSHINE that really thrill; here’s where Parks takes us into Boards of Canada shapes and spaces – that relentless bass drum punctuated by soft stabs at the keys, mercurial melodies circling.
I’ve long loved the musical worlds that Deantoni Parks builds and then seemingly obliterates. And SILVER CHORD is an addictive, startling, comforting, creepy, mesmerising listening experience.
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