Mike Parker ‘s techno classic ‘Dispatches’ on Field Records

Twenty-three years on from its original release, the debut album by American artist Mike Parker stands proud as a blueprint for deep, hypnotic techno in the new millennium. Originally published as a CD-only edition on Parker’s own Geophone label, Field Records are now giving ‘Dispatches’ the first vinyl release it so richly deserves – spread across six sides and reproducing Parker’s distinctive artwork at scale. A stealthy classic spoken about in hushed tones by techno connoisseurs – this new edition should gain the wider recognition it rightly deserves.

Charting the course of Parker’s career reads like the evolution of deep techno itself –

moving from early collaborations with Donato Dozzy to appearances on seminal labels such as Prologue, Semantica and Spazio Disponibile. The essence of his approach was forged early on, honing techno’s propulsion into a raw essence without losing any of the weight. It’s an exercise in minimalism, but the sound is still monolithic and engulfing, crystal clear in its intention and devoted to the power of subtle pressure. When the decay on a reverb opens up a fraction, Parker’s music leaves enough space for you to notice. Incremental shifts become monumental in his hands and his commitment to subliminal layering reveals hidden depths the further you submit to his hypnotic sound.

This definitive edition of ‘Dispatches’ looks at the vinyl singles which accompanied the album’s original release and creates a more complete picture of the area that Parker was exploring at the time. It’s the first time that the alternate take of icy depth charge ‘Copper Variations: CV1’ appears on wax, as goes for the pneumatic tension of ‘Reduction’ and evocative miniature sound sculpture ‘Blue Equals Black’. Expanding the album beyond its original CD form, epic rarity ‘Dissolution 99’ presides over the final side, while the standout ‘Voiceprint’ release is now represented in full with the inclusion of heavyweight stepped techno workout ‘Voiceprint: Voice Two’.

Able to sustain his own creative vision without cowing to the trends or expectations of any scene or clique, Parker’s music has progressed on its own terms. What this reissue demonstrates is how fully formed his vision was – even at a relatively early stage. In an era where the deep techno scene is thriving, Dispatches feels all the more relevant, undiluted by time and still unmatched in its immersive perfection.

Mike Parker ‘Dispatches’
Download / stream / 3×12’’ vinyl (black + limited smokey edition)
12th April

A1. Triceratops
A2. Amalgamated (Synchronous Mix)
B1. Copper Variations: CV1 (Alternate Take)
B2. Reduction
C1. Copper Variations: CV3
C2. Drain Hum (Original Mix)
D1. Amalgamated (Extension Mix)
D2. Blue Equals Black
E1. Voiceprint: Voice One
E2: Voiceprint: Voice Two
F1. Voiceprint: Voice Three
F2. Dissolution 99 (Original Length)