Houston ex-pat M. Parks has been making the rounds of area DJ nights as one of the only proper techno DJ's on the Dallas scene. Techno is often thrown around as a catch word to describe all dance music when it is actually a very specific genre. If you ever wondered what is the difference between tech house and actual techno look no further. Although Parks is a fan of a wide variety of genres hips DJ sets are pure unapologetic techno at it's best.
This Friday, August 15 he is playing the backyard stage for the Marcus Intalex show at Green Elephant. As usual he is the lone techno DJ on a bill filled with drum and bass and house DJs. He was gracious enough to give us a solid mix for our series and answer a few questions about how he got to Dallas and his deep love of techno.
DC9 at Night: How did you get started DJing?
M.Parks: Well the first time I heard electronic music, I was listening to KTRU Rice Radio in Houston and I heard jungle for the first time and I was blown away. I had never heard sounds like that before. There used to be a weekly Friday night show called MK Ultra where I was able to hear people playing jungle, house and techno. I started buying records in '97 or '98 and was buying mostly house at the time. Eventually I found techno and never looked back. Back then in Houston, you had guys like Chris Anderson, Andrei Morant and Tim Xavier in your town so you can't help but fall in love with techno.
Did you play music before you started DJing?
DJing for me has solely been an electronic music thing, but music has always been a passion of mine. I played in a band called the Sideshow Tramps (the Medicine Show) in Houston but I am no real musician; I played a washtub bass. We played stuff from punk covers, classic tent revival gospel hymns, bluegrass and depending on the night and what musicians might sit in it could range from some gypsy style music to Hank Williams Sr. Anything went with those guys.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
I really wanted to try and provide somewhat of a picture of techno now, with a couple of ambient type tracks to start it off and get into some dub techno and build from there. It's a very diverse genre that doesn't get a lot of air time here in Dallas. Recently we have had guys like Mike Parker come through and we have Kevin Saunderson coming up at It'll Do, but on the whole it's a completely untapped sound here locally. We do have guys like James Kelley here pushing the sound and that dude is playing all over the U.S. and has a nice discography already behind him.
Who are some of your favorite DJs or producers?
Currently, I have been digging Rodhad, Rebekah, Xhei, Lucy, Andrei Morant and Developer. It's a little challenging here in Dallas because one doesn't get to see any of these artists come through town, so my exposure to them has been limited to listening to their sets online. Some of my all-time favorite DJs are DJ Rush, Robert Hood, Surgeon, Speedy J, Space DJZ, Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills and many others who could increase the list.
Do you still buy vinyl? If so, do you have a favorite record store?
Of course. Vinyl is my preferred format, but unfortunately there is a lot of good music that doesn't get released on vinyl so I try to manage both worlds. I still have yet to play on CDJs and for some reason I have really been wanting to give it a try. So when I want to play digital it has been using Control Vinyl with Traktor.
Most of the new records I have been buying have come from Juno. I have bought a few releases directly from certain labels like Stroboscopic Artifacts, and if I am looking for some older stuff I utilize Discogs.
What other genres or artists do you like to spin or listen to outside of Techno or Dance music?
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That would be a very long list, but to give a small sample: thrash metal, punk, death metal, garage rock, folk/blues, old country. I listen to artists like Roky Erickson, the Cramps, Chrome, Butthole Surfers, Jay Reatard, the Men, Joy Division, Hank Williams Sr., Bill Monroe, Lightnin' Hopkins, Blind Willie McTell, Miles Davis, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Sepultura, Slayer, Merle Haggard, Merle Travis, Cryptic Slaughter, Rudimentary Peni, King Tubby, Eek-a-Mouse and Ween.
What other gigs do you have in the near future?
I'll be playing Just Pho You Mondays with Andrew Gleboff on August 18, Tech'd Out Tuesdays with thePM on September 2 and Bat Country!, a Fear & Loathing-themed event, on September 13.
Tracklist: 1. Efdemin - Drop Frame Original Mix (4:59) 2. Architectural - Witches dance Original Mix (7:06) 3. Phase - Perplexed Rodhads Extended Mix (10:15) 4.Jack Dover - Cult of the Cat - Master (7:41) 5. Losing Control Remastered Original Mix (6:53) 6.Jack Dover - Maelstrom - Master (7:19) 7. Nina Kraviz - Luke Hess - Remember Epic Moment Mix (8:45) 8. Mekas - Hamgurgo 9. Pfirter+ The Fall of the Empire is Imminent Developer Remix (5:55) 10. Woo York - Acid Rain Original Mix (6:01) 11. Ilario Alicante - Wax Weapon Original Mix (6:32) 12. Will Kinsella - People From Detroit (Original Mix) (7:46) 13. Uun - Cold Rising (Original Mix) (7:03) 14. Owen Sands - Purple Noise (Original Mix) (6:14) 15. Andrei Morant - Millennium Original Mix (7:37) 16. Jonas Kopp - Insomniac Original Mix (5:23) 17. Ronan Teague - Sphere Original Mix (6:29) 18. Lewis Fautzi - Range Original Mix (4:58) 19. Phase - Burden Of Proof Original Mix (7:56) 20. Xhei - Depth Original Mix (6:50) 21. Planetary Assault Systems Future Modular Original Mix (6:20) 22. Oscar Mulero - Cave Tommy Four Seven Remix (5:12)