Andrea Parker Kicks Arp
Published Feb 01, 2000When christening her debut album Kiss My Arp, British producer, composer, musician, vocalist and DJ Andrea Parker thought that she'd have a spot of fun. "I use my Arps in every single track on the album, so I found it extremely funny," she laughs. "Some people thought that I was being a bit arrogant, others have asked 'Why have you spelled ass wrong?' It can be a great thing for journalists to ask a woman what an 'Arp' is, because then I can go on about analogue synths instead of what nail varnish I wear."
The much-discussed, long-delayed Mo'Wax full-length was well worth the wait. A creative, heavily textured, cascade of deep, original rhythm tracks, analogue keys, artfully sculpted strings and Parker's own voice (the album is being issued in both vocal and instrumental formats), Kiss My Arp is a stunning piece of work. Parker's passion for and understanding of electro, early techno, hip-hop and experimental electronic creations shines through - all with a fresh, new gleam.
"When I was young, I bought things like Ryuchi Sakamoto, Jean-Michel Jarre, Steve Reich and all that extremely weird music which I always liked because I could never work out how they fucking wrote it. That's what really inspires me, people who've done things first in life - whether the first man on the moon, to sequence strings, or like when hip-hop first came about, the first people to start putting two records together."
Parker holds a special place in her heart for producers who've created from the ground up. "People don't tend to spend a lot of time getting sounds together now because they're recycling a lot more. Technology has made people incredibly lazy," she asserts.
"It takes me a long time to make my sounds, but I really believe that that's what keyboards are made for; before even starting to write music ten years ago, I spent years experimenting. People were like 'Andrea, why haven't you finished a track in two years?' and I'd say 'Oh, well I've got this great sound, and I've just made one here, and I've worked out that if you do this and put it through this, then put newspaper in the bass bins, then it sounds like this.' Then I actually realised that it's a bit dangerous having so many mad synths and stuff. People would definitely understand my music a lot more if I was just sampling huge, great big breakbeats, but I really like a challenge. I'd write a track in ten minutes if I was doing it like Fatboy Slim."