- Lustrations comes 12 years after Mike Parker's first and only other album, Dispatches. Predating the rise in international stature he's enjoyed over the past half-decade or so, that LP proved Parker could build something larger and more absorbing than his usual EPs. Lustrations, though, will likely be remembered less as an album experience and more as an uncompromising collection of tracks meant mainly for DJ use.
Both full-lengths, spaced so far apart, are major checkpoints in the hardware-loving techno artist's style. Productions from that earlier era were boldly rhythmic, full of stomping and gyrating patterns that frequently defied common rhythm patterns, but that upfront approach has been appearing less and less in recent efforts, and it is absent across much of Lustrations.
Instead, the emphasis now is on Parker's other sonic trademarks—the buzzing vortexes, extraterrestrial howls and subtle psychedelic curlicues—which in Lustrations are modulated with ultra-high precision. For me, the LP is at its best when such stuff is put atop hard-edged, syncopated percussion, as in "Lustration 4 (DaiKaiju)" and "Lustration 7 (Forms)," or pinned to the slow, six-beat spirals of "Lustration 3 (Atlantic)" and "Lustration 6 (Megalith)."
At more than 70 minutes in length, though, the whole thing is tough to take in one sitting. Many listeners will yearn for more dynamics and diversity. For example, "Lustration 9 (Drums)," with its furious percussion and killer bassline, should be particularly appealing to DJs, but it'll start to sound flat if left by itself for too long. And I'd wager that tuned-in fans would gladly trade a couple of these tracks for an ambient piece or two, as Parker's sorcery is especially thrilling when it's unrestricted by rhythm.
So all signs point to the floor, or as Prologue has put it, the "techno temples." There, deep in the mix, is where these tracks will be most potent. But by the end of Lustrations, I found myself wanting a little more—and hoping it's not another 12 years before Parker puts out another full-length.
01. Lustration One (Khonsu)
02. Lustration Two (Nor'easter)
03. Lustration Tree (Atlantic)
04. Lustration Four (DaiKaiju)
05. Lustration Five (?)
06. Lustration Six (Megalith)
07. Lustration Seven (Forms)
08. Lustration Eight (Contours)
09. Lustration Nine (Drums)
10. Lustration Ten (Pressure Zone)
11. Lustration Eleven (Sarychev)
12. Lustration Twelve (Dericho)