Spencer Parker / A Gun For Hire
CD / Vinyl / Digital
Saved / Released September 2011
Full length production debutant Spencer Parker enters the arena boasting a bagful of tricks honed through releases on labels such as Crosstown Rebels, Buzzinfly, and Ovum, and a seeming desire to create that which almost always shouldn’t be attempted- eleven tracks of proper tech stylings. Far from a recipe for disaster though, the results of his no-doubt lengthy toil are remarkably good.
And not just in a really need to own it on vinyl way. There are few instances wherein you can say that an album made up of relatively monotonous, not too hard not too soft sounds designed to be heard by the socially lubricated hours after clocks strike midnight actually works in a home listening environment. But this certainly is one of them, and while it’s arguable that sitting down to relish in an hour or so of fresh, clean four fours requires a pre-disposition towards such beats anyway, even the most narrow minded, die hard house head would admit not all long players should be heard as such.
Which isn’t to say there’s any particular journey going on here. Arguably consistent threads, such as a focus on percussive detail, can be found, but ultimately it really just sounds like someone making a bunch of tracks they wanted to make, and as such we’ve been serviced what could well be a pretty comprehensive overview of a producer that appears to have a keen understanding of variants within a genre, why they work (and therefore presumably why they don’t).
That’s why Welcome To The 36 shuffles and steps along with all the understated bounce of Craig Richards’ Fabric 01, before the stripped back, early electro influenced Kleine Schwarze Katze takes control, but then the carnivalesque, or at least flute led outing, Oscar’s Here, sends us in another direction altogether. Then, further down the line, we’re given Harmonious Forms, an acidic affair that should be the last required reference point for anyone after proof that there are more than a few bases being touched here, despite the fact A Gun For Hire is first and foremost a genre album. That we’ve managed to recommend it without mentioning the tracking hook and looming bass that dominates potential track of the album 2E2L should also be noted.