Learning Curve

Predictable is not a word in Andrea Parker's vocabulary....

PREDICTABLE IS NOT A WORD IN ANDREA Parker’s vocabulary. In her early career, she was the ambient DJ most likely to give the chill-out room a collective coronary by casually dropping the sound of buildings collapsing or people screaming into the mix.

Even now, as a member of Mo’Wax’s extended family, she veers from tastefully orchestrated balladeering to genital-crushing techno at a moment’s notice. But at what stage does applaudable eclecticism become incomprehensible chaos?

Well, somewhere around track nine in the case of this 20-track mix CD. By this stage we’ve already had a bit of Prodigy collaborator Dr Octagon doing his alien invasion bit, a couple of jaw-dropping affairs from Detroit techno bod Carl Craig, a Depeche Mode remix (!) and some samba. And, quite frankly, our ears are thoroughly confused.

Later on, Ms Parker will get stuck into a healthy diet of vintage electro from Afrika Bambaataa, Juan Atkins’ Model 500 and the lesser-known but equally superlative Drexciya. But it’s too late to save the day, because our sonic taste buds have been ravaged to the point of exhaustion by the earlier, seemingly random selection.

It’s a commonly held assertion that all a DJ needs is a box full of cracking records to succeed. Andrea Parker proves here that how you play is just as important as what you play. Hardly deserving of a kicking, but no great triumph either.