A cynic could argue that Mike Parker is a one-trick pony, and some of the US producer’s DJ sets have a tendency to sound like one extended droning techno groove. On the evidence of Pulse Trader however, it is clear that Parker is really a classicist with his own signature approach. The title track is based on one of his tunneling grooves but the rhythm is grittier, harsher but also more earthy and tangible, and the tonal bleeps and blips are heavier and more oppressive. It sounds like Parker is sound-tracking a darker side to his personality, but whatever the explanation, the result is one of his most captivating tracks.
“Moisture Treatment 3” sees him revert to 90s techno. This writer has always felt that Parker’s work was inspired in parts by Richie Hawtin’s FUSE project and “Treatment” could be the logical successor to “Substance Abuse”, as its strident bassline surfaces and dives in intensity, accompanying frequency-shifting patterns. By contrast, “Cio’s Underwater” provides a deeper, more introspective take on the Parker template, with glassy percussive licks riding understated low end pulses. In the same way that the title track and “Moisture Treatment 3” portrayed Parker’s in intense mode, “Forward – The 5am Mix” captures him at his most mellow, a soundtrack of bubbling, undulating tones that takes the edge off the preceding menace.
1. Pulse Trader
2. Moisture (Treatment 3)
1. Cio’s Underwater Track
2. Forward (The 5am mix)