A country girl at heart, Parker moved to London in the early 90’s to focus on her music (mainly to be a session singer). Her first job was in the advertising and film industry, where she started to collect library music, followed by a quick stint at college learning cubase and sequencing. A vinyl junkie and record digger, she then found herself working at the legendary Fat Cat record store. The next thing she knew, she was djing. This was never planned.
The artist and producer:
An avid enthusiast of classic analogue synthesizers and drum machines, she decided to go into writing and production, starting off experimenting with sounds, sampling and manipulating them. Her production method is both unconventional and experimental; she has used the sound of her own sneezes, car tires running over cat’s eyes on the road and strapped a mic to the bottom of her car whilst going through a car wash to create bass tones.
In the early 90’s, she began her first venture as Inky Blacknuss, colaborating with Alex Knight from Fat Cat and Ian Tregoning from Yello for the Sabrettes label producing Blacknuss.
In 1993, Parker found herself in Belgium on the doorstep of David Morley, after Renaat Vandepapeliere ( founder R&S ) decided they should meet and try writing together. (This was because he heard her DJ at Lost whilst playing one of David’s records) The two went into David’s studio, a museum of analogue synthesizers and started recording. It was then that they formed Two Sandwiches Short Of A Lunchbox and recorded for Apollo (R&S) and together went on to produce the classic EP – angular art released on Infonet records.
After looking around at various labels, Andrea decided it was time to write an album as andrea parker and signed a deal with Mo Wax. Her first few singles hinted at all sorts of possibilities: Melodious Thunk – an electro workout that was popular with DJs all over the world – followed by the string drenched Rocking Chair – an emotional ballad featuring string arrangements by Wil Malone ( known for his work with artists such as Massive Attack, Depeche Mode and Black Sabbath) Then came ‘Ball Breaker’ – just to confuse people even more. ( the title says it all! ) Finally “Kiss my arp” was created, recorded in Bavaria with her long-term studio partner David Morley. This was released as both a vocal and instrumental album. This was an album of many emotions and sonic textures – a fact not lost on the film and advertising fraternity, who have used tracks from it extensively. Their uses and users have been diverse. The biggest one to date, was on blockbuster movie- Vanilla Sky – where Tom Cruise is dancing to “Too Good To Be Strange’. TV exploits have ranged from the renowned astronomer; Patrick Moore’s Sky At Night; a documentary on NASA; a mugging crime re inaction on Richard & Judy; a toilet paper advert in Taiwan; a porn film; The Finnish National Ballet and photographer Nick Knight have also used her tracks.
Following on from ‘Kiss my arp’ she went back to a Belgium label again Quatermass a subsidiary of Sub rosa, releasing a mini album called ‘The Dark Ages’ ( aptly named ) It was this EP that got her the Radiohead tour.
Parker has remixed many of the world’s electronic pioneers, her victims have included Steve Reich, Phillip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Daphne Oram, Depeche Mode, Patrick Pulsinger, The Orb, Lamb, Mira Calix, Junkster, Tipper, Nomadic, Miki Nakatini, The Secret Frequency Crew, and Grammy Award winners Kent… to name just a few!
This all started out as an experiment back in the day, using only sound effects records, on three turntables to make one track. This got her the job djing to script in a cinema, to an Arthur c Clarke film. After this she became resident at the legendary techno club Lost, and also at Megotripolis ; but it was the high sales of her mix for K7’s DJ Kicks series that Parkers reputation as a DJ was confirmed. The album showcases the depth of her musical taste fusing hip hop pioneers like Dr Octagon with cutting edge electronic artists Gescom. Other artists on the mix included Man Parrish, Afrika Bambaata and the Soul Sonic Force, Model 500, Drexciya, 69 and Dopplereffekt. Since then her eclectic sets have taken her djing all around the world, probably because she’s so versatile ; playing dark sets in dingy warehouses one minute, to more experimental sets on stage with an orchestra.
Some of her more infamous gigs have included: supporting Radiohead on their Kid A tour of the US. Experimenting live on stage with avant-garde supremos Bang on a Can. Playing live with Phillip Glass in New York and Steve Reich. Djing for the likes of Whitehouse and Faust. A tour across Germany, promoting a track she wrote for coca cola, with artists, Afrika Bambaata, Juan Atkins, DJ Premier and Rjd2. A tour in south America sponsored by the British Council. She has also played at a party for director, Roman Polanski; a party for fashion house Gucci, Christian Dior and Yoji Yamamoto; the launch of the Casio G-Shock watches; the preview of Yahoo Launch at top London restaurant Sketch; to an assembly of 2000 architects at a convention in Switzerland; a gig with Mira Calix for the architects association in London and a legendary Stockhausen gig where Parker and Mira Calix remixed his work live on stage. ( She even got fined by the Miami sound police on her first K7 tour of the US for noise pollution and at Autechre’s curated ATP, she fell down two flights of stairs, knocked herself unconscious and fractured her jaw but still managed to DJ with Mira Calix!!! ) More recently, she was the DJ for B Supreme, the B girl Breakin’ Battles at South Bank. She also just supported the BBC Radiophonic Workshop playing live at the Roundhouse. This was a honor, as they have played a big part in inspiring Parker to write music.
Label owner of Touchin’ Bass:
Launched in 2001. Andrea Parker – a long term lover of Hip- hop, electro and Miami Bass, decided it was time to set up her own label – Touchin’ Bass, which has become one of the UK’s most exciting, cutting edge imprints. The first release, was the floor filling ‘Freaky Bitches’ written as a tribute to the Miami bass scene featuring ghetto tech pioneers, DJ Godfather and DJ Assault, who she hooked up with while on tour in Detroit. Magic Mike also remixed one of her early tracks ‘in two minds’ another booty Bass legend from Miami. With up to nearly 40 releases under it’s belt, including artists: Bitstream, eggfooyoung, Phoenecia, Otto Von Schirach,The Secret Frequency Crew, alpha 606, Nomadic, Doctor Evil, Kero, weedjs, Chaotic state, Scarletron, ADJ to name but a few.
Label owner of aperture:
Launched in 2009. A new label from Andrea Parker which will be combining all things experimental. Breaking from convention. Based around concepts and soundscapes : The first release comes from artist Oberman Knocks : ‘13th Smallest’ a 10 track, out-there debut album. With sounds that bring back some of the dirt and darkness that has been swept away of late. Tracks to inhabit the dark corridors of the mind through to large expanses of concrete space waiting to be filled. Haunting sounds that rise and fall with seams of vulnerability. Heavy yet beautiful, underlined by deep rumblings. A timeless piece. Setting the scene for the next David Lynch film. Coming soon: think… BBC Radiophonic workshop ladies, B girls, melting snow, Skateboarding, rust and graffiti.
People who have inspired Andrea: Hans Richter, Delia Derbyshire, Jean Painleve, Mary Ellen, Hiroshi Sugimoto, John Cage, John Whitney, Daphne Oram, Walter Ruttman, Arthur Russtle, Gerhard Richter, Mode 2, Edmund Hillary, Frank Lloyd Wright, Nurse with Wound, Stanley Kubrick, Vaughn Bode, Coil, Bridget Riley, KRS one, David Attenborough, Sol Lewitt, Charles and Ray Eams, Martha Cooper, Hussein Chalayan, David Lynch, Eero Saarinen, The Ultra Magnetic mc’s, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Jay Adams, This Mortial Coil, Geraldo De Barros, Company Flow, Vasarley, Drexciya, Ernest Shackleton.
“Known as no1darker – Parker has always been uncompromising, passionate about the music and loaded with don’t–give-a-shit resolve. She has a love of art, arps, photography, architecture, graffiti, 808, concrete, glaciers, adidas, Bass, rust and all things white. She is incredibly hard to pigeon hole : one minute she will be in the studio making dark, menacing, haunting music- going from Booty shakin’ beats to string drenched ballads. The next she’ll be climbing mountains and reaching new summits; from Kilimanjaro in Africa to the avenue of the volcanoes in Ecuador. She has worked for many charity’s, including Crisis, the NSPCC, Get kids going and many more, she even dressed up as Pudsey Bear for Children in Need!! An old school analogue girl at heart, she still remains a die hard B Girl and is defiantly a freaky Bitch! One things for sure: She’d give the men in white coats a run for their money if they even dared think about taking her away…”
Time Out magazine
“Andrea parker …she may be a lady but she ain’t dainty – picking hard, solid bass-heavy beats to slam you with. She doesn’t traffic in the happy-as-a-robot variety of electro, some of her choices are darker than what most people have come to associate with electro, and sometimes it literally feels like she’s taking you for a ride down the street like a Mafioso, holding your head out of the side of a car just inches away from the pavement! She will certainly sort the men out from the boys.”
New York Metro
“Beats so phat, so dope and so dark, there ain’t a NYC MC alive (cept maybe Rakim) that could handle them”
New York Times