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[Premiere] Watch Drummer Deantoni Parks Tear Through a Man/Machine Drum Set

The prodigiously talented experimental drummer premieres "Bombay" ahead of the release of his ‘Technoself’ album.
November 4, 2015, 7:55pm
Screencap via

Great drummers are few and far between. Great experimental drummers who embrace the frantic beats of drum and bass and IDM music are an even rarer breed. Deantoni Parks, who has manned the kit for the likes of Flying Lotus, John Cale, Sade and The Mars Volta, is one of the latter.

Very often his drumming, like in the songs of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, sounds as if a robotic percussionist is on the verge of short-circuiting. But, listen and watch Parks, and it becomes apparent that he can do things that machines could never dream of—if, of course, they could dream. For his latest solo record, Technoself (out December 4 on Leaving Records), Parks strikes a mesmerizing balance between analog and digital percussion.

This is on full explosive display in the video for “Bombay,” directed by Miko Revereza, which premieres on The Creators Project today. The performance is excerpted from a live show at the Dublab 15 Year Anniversary Celebration at Bedrock LA, Echo Park, California on September 27, 2014, and was recorded and mixed by Benjamin Tierney. As the video shows, Parks performs a great deal of machine-like percussion with just his feet and left hand, using his right hand to trigger samples on a keyboard, the entire effort of which blurs the lines between man and machine.

Ironically, given his prodigious talent, Parks is in awe of a “spectacular array of rhythm machines” that allow musical feats impossible to play by hand and “constant access to perfect time”.

“[T]rue music can not exist without a soul,” Parks says. “Some extraordinary humans choose to augment their natural talents with technology, adopting its benefits to fuel their own singular vision.”

This is precisely what Parks does with the Technoself, which is more than just an album title. It is more accurately a concept, ethos and mindset. In Parks’ opinion, “the most important piece of technology turns out to be the human body.” As if this weren’t enough, each track on Technoself is performanced 100% live in the studio without overdubs or loops.

"The sound result of Technoself is a digestion of beloved sounds being refined, filtered, and re-arranged in the time period of the average thought,” says Parks, who describes the sound as "segmented, split-second curated soundscapes atop a highway of refined, war-drum rhythms."

Technoself is due out December 4, 2015 on Leaving Records, but you can visit Stones Throw to order the limited-edition tapeClick here to check out more of Deantoni Parks’ music.

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Tour dates:

Nov. 13 - Rough Trade NYC / Technoself opening act / Boots

Nov. 18 - Late Show Colbert  / Boots

Nov. 19 - LA Red Bull - 30 Days in LA @ The Echo / Boots

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