Besides collaborating with the likes of Flying Lotus, John Cale, and the Mars Volta's Omar Rodríguez-López, Brooklyn-based drummer and musician Deantoni Parks is an incredibly prolific solo artist. Last year alone he released two records, WALLY and Deantoven, and under his We Are Dark Angels project with Nicci Kasper, scored Paul Schrader's Nic Cage-starring black comedy Dog Eat Dog.
Now he's gearing up to release a new five-track EP on Los Angeles experimental imprint TAR, ELEVENELEVEN, and today THUMP's got the exclusive first stream. Inspired by diverse acts including DJ Shadow, Hall & Oates, and Lee "Scratch" Perry, Parks explores a variety of textures from ominous and crunchy to light and glimmering, with his deft drum work serving as a subtle supplement to these sounds. It feels like an intimate glimpse into his creative space, where one can imagine he's tapping out beats during sleepless nights.
Stream ELEVENELEVEN below ahead of its July 7 release date, and read a short Q&A with the artist.
THUMP: Can you tell me a little bit about the inspiration for ELEVENELEVEN? What's the biggest difference between this EP and your previous work?
Deantoni Parks: My ELEVENELEVEN EP was inspired by artists like Hall & Oates, Prefuse 73, and Lee "Scratch" Perry. This EP pre-dates anything I've officially released. It serves as the foundation of building what I now call WE ARE DARK ANGELS and TECHNOSELF. This EP is about sharing rhythmic and harmonic thoughts within the form of an electronic artist entity.
What was it like working on the score for Dog Eat Dog? What's your best story about working with Paul Schrader?
I worked alongside my long-time collaborator, Nicci Kasper. Together we formed a film score writing team, We Are Dark Angels. We have people like David Holmes, Dina Juntila, and Carlos Ninos to thank for it, and of course, Paul Schrader himself. Paul just calmly said, "Don't take anything personal." And we were off. He would motivate Nicci and I by saying things like, "If you guys can't handle it, I'll have to call Philip Glass." That one really got us going.
You've worked with so many artists over the year, do you find it easy to juggle between solo and session work?
I love collaborating, but my solo work is effortless and more rewarding at the moment. I'm finding it more and more difficult to go in-between the two. Only because my universe is expanding rapidly and doesn't allow for static activity in the category of inspiration.
Why did you start Music Is A Sport, and what do you hope to accomplish with it? Why is music education more important than ever?
Music Is A Sport began when I noticed how important apparel and technology influence all sports. The non-profit's goal is to treat musicianship—from training and lessons, to performance and gear/attire—with the same advanced metrics and technology applied to sports. The underlying idea is that the world's best musicians train with the same intensity as athletes, so they should be given the same sponsorship opportunities. Music education is due for reform and I plan on being a part of it. The Music Is a Sport campaign will illuminate some of these new ideas by simply supplying the student with more information about themselves.