Andrea Parker
Friday, May 6
1001 SE Morrison

In 1999, the Nonesuch label selected a number of prominent electronica DJs and producers (Nobukazu Takemura, Coldcut, DJ Spooky, and so on) to conduct a big experiment, remixing 10 known and unknown pieces by the American composer Steve Reich. The result of the experiment, Reich Remixed, was this: seven of the remixes were utterly disappointing; two were almost acceptable, and only one was exceptional--Andrea Parker's "The Four Sections."

What distinguished Parker's remix from the rest was the amount of consideration that went into it; you could feel in the music's movement (its long intro, its driven electro beat, and solar system of sonic effects) the force of her thinking. "The Four Sections" sounded as if Parker had spent the winter of that year examining the source material and slowly reconstructing it.

Andrea Parker, who is based in London, came into recognition in the late '90s with an album, Kiss My Arp, and a compilation for the German label Studio !K7, DJ-Kicks: Andrea Parker. To fully understand her music, one must be familiar with the electro of the early '80s--Keymatic, Nucleus, Man Parrish, and, of course, Kraftwerk. Electro stands as the bridge between '70s disco and two forms of music that were established in the mid-'80s: techno (Model 500's "No UFOs") and hiphop (Run-D.M.C.'s "Sucker M.C.s"). In the '90s, several groups revitalized Detroit techno (Drexciya, Basic Channel, Claude Young); but only one woman, Parker, revitalized electro hiphop.

The music on Kiss My Arp and the EP Dark Ages (sadly, Parker is not prolific) is not about the future but about the way the past imagined the future we are in now.