Anthony Parasole My Block
A typical Anthony Parasole record has a casual relationship with euphoria. That’s not to say […]
A typical Anthony Parasole record has a casual relationship with euphoria. That’s not to say that they don’t carry a certain euphoric quality, but in the three years that Parasole has put out music, it’s become clear that it’s the rough, rambling terrain leading up to the moment of release—and not the moment itself—that gives his imposing house/techno hybrids their pulse. On My Block, Parasole’s debut EP for Ostgut Ton and his fourth solo release, the layers of his production creep onto each other with a genuine disregard for tension and release. As such, the terrain of My Block‘s three tracks is relatively flat, trading steep gradients for steady inclines and creating a ruthlessly hypnotic experience in the process.
Inspired by the success of Quickstrike 01, a single-sided edit of a percussive house record released last year on his own label, The Corner, Parasole nurtures a parallel set of ideas on My Block, of which the title track is one. Though its thin horn riff is at the center of things, it’s the surrounding elliptical drum frenzy that lends the track its formidable groove. “Typhoon” is another descendant of this tribal sound, but it’s a somewhat bolder expression of the cavernous, chest-rippling techno Parasole has always nodded towards in previous EPs. It pairs kicks designed to bludgeon flesh and fat with an assembly of shakers, bongos, and congas, on top of which is a melody that seems to perpetually cascade, twisting like a falling Tetris block as the track proceeds.
Between the intensity of “Typhoon” and the broken Mariachi march of “My Block” lies “Bizarre.” Like “Typhoon,” it’s a heads-down techno record cut for wide floors and tall ceilings, but it’s sculpted with a lighter touch. For once, it’s the synths that take the lead. Hovering just above a glassy, almost sickly hum is an ascending synth melody that spins and whirls on top of rumbling kick drums and shuttling snares that slip slightly in and out of time.
My Block is larger and more ferocious than anything the New Yorker has put out so far, but it’s an EP that goes big without glossing over the details. Its grey brutalist architectures contain small, fragile pieces—echoing computer voices, metallic clatter, and, of course, the percussion—as well as towering concrete slabs. Like his previous EPs, Parasole puts a premium on the building process and the application of pressure. The notion of climax is something of an abstraction on My Block, but the gratification is immediate all the same.