The latest member of the techno label community isn’t coming out of Detroit… or Cologne… or Stockholm… or London. Tucked deep inside Madison, Wisconsin, the Parotic Music label has been gaining critical acclaim and widespread speaker shaking for it’s unique brand of sometimes funky yet always interesting tech jams since it’s debut in January, 1997. With global talent dropping these cuts, and more global talent joining them on Parotic’s roster, we rate this label as one to watch for 1998 and beyond. Brad Massive spoke with label proprietor and stone cold hustla Sean Krainik aka Ezra.
Why did you decide to start Parotic?
I was sick of not finding enough good experimental techno. I figured that instead of bitching, I’d start my own label so I had the right to bitch. The first two releases were done by DJ Slip. Troy (DJ Slip) has helped me a great deal by providing strong tracks and good advice. Par-3 was a tweeky stomper by Chancellor from Kalamazoo. For Par-4, I called up Johannes Heil (Germany) and asked for a couple tracks. He obliged with the strongest release to date. I’ve also licensed three different tracks to mix compilations… the best of which was the John Acquaviva ‘Florida 135’ mix. Par-5 is a compilation featuring tracks from Johannes Heil, DJ Slip, and local artist Stewart Walker- that’s due out in the next few months. Par-6 will be Stewart Walker. For Par-7 I’ve been talking to Alexi Delano, but we’ll see what happens. Par-8 will be DJ Slip (some weird shit I might add!).
What’s your opinion on the current state of techno music?
I believe that techno is going underground and mounting an inevitable breakout. I say this because techno is third in line as far as popularity (record buyers & party goers) behind house and jungle… though techno is still huge in Germany, Sweden, and Japan. Producers like DJ Slip, Cari Lekebusch, Alexi Delano, Johannes Heil, Joel Mull, and Richie Hawtin are pushing the envelope and trying new things which is what techno is all about. The labels like Downwards, Planet Rhythm, & Drumcode annoy me because they’ve been putting out the same style of music for years- not changing at all. To me, it seems like they could take some risks and try some new things; especially with the audience they have. Who knows? Maybe they’ll start putting out warped experimental, but I seriously doubt it.
What spirits imbibe ye?
My drink of choice is Jamison’s whisky on the rocks! My beer is Newcastle.
You’ve done some party promoting as well- is this something you intend to keep doing?
I first threw a party as Flipside back in late 1994. It was called Deep Freeze and we had John Acquaviva and Reese play. Richie showed up as well. That was the most successful party we threw in the year and a half we were around. Deep Freeze was a hard one to top. I’ve also helped out Drop Bass and Mushgroove with the last two New Year’s parties as well as a small part in this year’s Furthur festival. To be quite honest, I don’t believe I’ll do any more parties. I spend too much time on school, work, and the label, so there’s no way in hell I can fit in planning a party. I’ll just focus my time on the label.