Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1097

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Feature

Hollis Parker: From New York with love…

Hollis Parker interview @bluesandsoul.com
Hollis Parker interview @bluesandsoul.com Hollis Parker interview @bluesandsoul.com Hollis Parker interview @bluesandsoul.com Hollis Parker interview @bluesandsoul.com

Goodbyes with groove and bucket loads of emotion. That, in a nutshell, is the long-awaited second album from enigmatic DJ-producer Hollis Parker. “Newscapism” hugs closely to the personal journey of its author – real name Erik Machado – by sonically capturing his departure from New York in 2012 to live in London. Machado’s transatlantic switch, made in the interests of his career, has sparked a fertile few years in the studio leading to right now – the second instalment of an ambitious artistic trilogy.

Machado has deep experience of both the studio and DJ booth. He was seven when the broadcast of a Jazzy Jeff music video convinced him his future lay in music. As a teenager, his love of late 80s/early 90s hip-hop blossomed into regular DJ and MC assignments as well as pre-internet production on a basic set-up of beats-making black boxes. Whilst his love for hip-hop waned slightly around the turn of the century – “when it because overly ‘gangster’ and bland” – there was a growing appreciation for house and subsequent “full graduation” to studio work for projects on labels such as Shelter and Strictly Rhythm.

Machado’s output has accelerated since Pond-hopping. As engineer, programmer and/or writer he has supported major releases for Big Love and Glitterbox including, in the case of the latter, several singles by The Shapeshifters. More importantly, however, his own production alias, Hollis Parker, has been building some seriously impressive momentum. With a slew of deep and musical outings on slick London house imprint SoSure Music, Parker (or rather Machado) has been earning worthy comparisons to the early rumbles of David Morales and Dennis Ferrer. The plaudits are likely to intensify further when “Newscapism” drops next month. We pick up with the man himself to hear more about the project…

What’s your lockdown experience been like?

I’ve been trying to keep it positive. I can’t physically record shop which, as a digger, is frustrating. But the time at home has really allowed me to get into my own headspace. I’ve had extra time and space to develop my own musical ideas and blot out the wider noise…

What do you mean by that?

Y’know, all of this hype around what dance music is ‘hot or not’ at any given second. I don’t believe in any of that talk. The cornerstone of what I do as an artist is not to feel rushed, or to make music for the sake of doing so. I want people to feel the depth of the music I produce… the feelings and introspection. Yes, my records have a 4-4 house beat and I want people to dance but it’s not only about that. There is a more complete story to uncover.

So tell us about "Newscapism"…

It’s very personal and intense. It’s about me leaving New York to come to London…those 24 hours before splitting. But then the record can also be read as the relationship between two people breaking up. I fully intended that to be the case.

How long did it take to put together?

I was exhausted after releasing “Last Raw Era” [Hollis Parker’s first album] and didn’t touch the studio for a while. Eventually, I started revisiting sketches from that album, which is all about my time living in New York. I dropped the “Got A Way” EP immediately, but writing a new album was an uphill climb… the whole process took a couple of years.

The album “Newscapism” is out now through SoSure Music

You can read more from B&S' Ben Lovett's exclusive interview with hotly tipped enigmatic DJ-producer Hollis Parker, including more on new album “Newscapism”, why Parker left New York to ply his trade in London, his thoughts on the New York and current UK house scene, the method behind his music making skills, being compared to house greats such as Dennis Ferrer and David Morales and the background to his final album in the pre-planned trilogy. All in the latest issue of Blues & Soul magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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ESSENTIAL LINKS:

INSTAGRAM hollisparkermpc

FACEBOOK facebook/hollisparkermusic

FACEBOOK facebook/sosuremusic

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Words BEN LOVETT

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