“I hate when the last track of the night is some shit new edit of a disco track or a faceless techno banger that just came out last week…” Spencer Parker digs deep.
What’s the first record you ever bought?
I would dearly love to say it was an early electro track, a cooler than fuck piece of hip-hop straight out of the boogie down Bronx, or even a stone-cold disco classic from a respected label such as Prelude or the mighty Salsoul, but it wasn’t. It was the 7″ of ‘Ghostbusters’ by Ray Parker Jr, purchased from Woolworths in Croydon.
The first time you remember hearing electronic music?
I’m from a pretty big Irish family (my grandmother had around 12 children!) and I remember being at a family party and hearing The Human League and Yazoo and things like that, so I guess that was the first time I was ever exposed to anything electronic. It was also around this time I began to be obsessed with collecting and playing records.
Your favourite ever record?
It changes day to day but, if I’m in a house mood, then this one is right up there!
The guaranteed floor-filler?
I’m a huge Sylvester fan (and am currently reading a biography of him, which is amazing, obviously), and I’ve played this record everywhere from friends’ birthdays in dingy pub basements to Tel Aviv clubs. I even closed one of my sets in the main room of Berghain with it. A phenomenal feel good record with tons of energy and a positive message – this record is the absolute definition of the old adage: “If you don’t like disco, you don’t really ‘get’ house and techno…”
The guilty pleasure?
I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures, to be honest. If I love a record, then I love it, and that’s it. There’s no way I would feel guilty about it. That being said, last year I played the closing set on the outside stage at The Zoo Project in Ibiza and played this. I wanted to play something that harked back to the days when, over the summer, certain records would emerge as huge hits from the various holiday resorts around Europe – mainly in Spain and Italy. These records were usually trashy, camp dance tracks with mass appeal and, most importantly, they were hugely fun and unpretentious. If the last record of the night at one of the very few open-air parties left in Ibiza isn’t the perfect place for this record, then I don’t know where is…
The last track of the night?
This always varies for me. I play a lot of closing sets and think that the very last record of the night is hugely important to how people go home feeling. I always like to play something overwhelmingly positive or ‘up’ and ideally with a nice vocal message. I hate when the last track of the night is some shit new edit of a disco track or a faceless techno banger that just came out last week. So, I have a few records that I always think of, come the end of the night, but this is always one of my favourites to play. Pretty much every time I play it, I mix it into Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream…” speech.
The best chillout record?
Taken from a film that everyone seemed to loathe, but I actually loved – and, yes, I have also seen the original Spanish film that it’s a remake of! Made by the genius that is Nancy Wilson. “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around…”
The best record for a family party?
For my family, it’s always been this – but then, we are a funny bunch…
The soundtrack to a lazy Sunday afternoon?
First and foremost, I’m a huge fan of house, techno and disco, so I’m just as likely to be listening to dance music on a lazy Sunday, hence this choice. Simply one of my favourite records ever, and one that brings back so many happy memories of being on the dancefloor of Lazy Dog (the opening hours were around 2pm-11pm on a Sunday) in London’s Notting Hill – possibly the best club I’ve ever been to!
The record you’re proudest of?
Without a doubt, this one. I’m a huge fan of UR and wanted to make a record that had that same blending of house and techno but with a real emotive feel to it, incorporating strings and a piano. Whether I came anywhere remotely close is another thing entirely… But I really love this record and, being extremely self critical, that is something I VERY rarely say.