The art of mixing house and techno into a unique and interesting mix is something the European leading DJ Spencer Parker masters exceptionally well. He plays regularly at Berghain and Panorama Bar, as well as other big international club such as Womb (Tokyo), Concrete (Paris), Dude Club (Milan) and Dance Tunnel (London). Just like many other big leading DJs and producers, mr Spencer also runs his own label ‘Work Them Records‘ as well as being a big part of Radio Slave’s imprint ‘Rekids’. On Saturday July 18th Stable Music will bring him to Melbourne to play at Railway Hotel Brunswick, and he will also make a stop in Perth and Sydney. Sundelin from Whono’s Music had the honour of interviewing Spencer prior to his Australian tour.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
The first music I really got into was hip-hop; I was listening to the Westwood rap show late at night on Capital FM and buying albums and going to concerts. Then I started going to clubs, and the rest is history…
How did your music career start as a DJ and producer?
I never really thought about being a DJ, I would just collect records. If I went out to a club and there was one record I really, really loved, I wanted to have it so I could listen to it whenever I wanted and it would serve as a kind of souvenir of a great night out. I was going out a lot, hearing a lot of great music and amassed a pretty cool collection of 12”s. One of my friends was having an 18th birthday party and I offered to DJ despite the fact I had NEVER played out, didn’t own any decks and didn’t even know how to mix… God favours the brave, I guess!
For production I got together with a friend of mine and he showed me the ropes of Ableton and Logic. I could barely even open Logic, let alone work it. But Ableton made sense to my DJ mind so I started doing little edits and eventually progressed into remixes and original productions. I don’t really consider myself a producer to be honest; I enjoy it, and I enjoy the process of making tracks and learning as I progress, but I am definitely a DJ first and foremost.
If you weren’t working with music, what would you do instead?
I absolutely shudder to think!
You play regularly in both Berghain and Panorama Bar and have played at many other clubs around the globe. What is your favourite nightclub in the world to play at?
I’m extremely lucky to play at both Berghain (as BROTHERHOOD) and Panorama Bar and I would have to say that these two rooms are, of course, amongst the best in the world for me and I really look forward to playing there. It’s just around the corner from my house and I’m just a huge fan of the place more than anything else. Doing the ‘Work Them Records Presents…’ night there in January was just a dream come true.
I would also have to give very big mentions to Concrete in Paris, where I have been playing almost since they started I think and Dance Tunnel in London. Two places that just can’t be beat in their respective cities.
Being born in London but now based in Berlin – two of the biggest cities in the world of underground music – what can you say when comparing the electronic music scene between the two countries?
Well, I’ve been in Berlin for 6 years now so it’s kind of hard to compare to London, as I’m rarely there. I’m normally only in London a day or two, when I go back to play (or see my mum!). One big difference between London and Berlin is that Berlin has the venues and licensing laws that enable fun, around the clock clubbing; something that London can’t really compete with. Another is that its’s a relatively cheap city to live in and is infinitely easier and cheaper to get around than London. Obviously London has a lot of plus points too, but I think the current laws in London are really making it harder and harder to find a good party. It’s a real shame, and that’s why the people who continue to open venues and promote parties deserve all the more respect and support.
What is the best thing about running your own record label?
Working with talented people, discovering and supporting new artists and having a record bag full of great records that no one has (yet)!
When you’re not on tour, how does a normal week look like for you?
Everyday I do 2 things I really don’t enjoy, but think I really should do: visit my local gym (which is actually called McFit!!!), and do my daily German lesson. After that the week is normally pretty much the same: shopping for records, listening to records or demos I’ve been sent, trying to make records, recording records, organising my own records, editing records… a lot of stuff based around records, basically.
I’m very excited to see you play in Melbourne on July 18th at Railway Hotel Brunswick. How have you prepared for your Australian tour?
Hair did, nails did, full body wax. Oh, and I bought a couple of new records yesterday too!
Check out Spencer Parker’s mix for Resident Advisor below:
Don’t miss out on the Spencer Parker show on July 18th – get more information about the event on the Facebook page.