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Not only are people partying to dance music in Buffalo, a couple of innovative folks are making it. Meet Mike Parker and Marcos Udagawa, two of the city's most cutting-edge club music talents.

Former art student Parker, 34, has been making techno records since 1994 as a way to popularize his interest in abstract avant-garde sounds. "Techno appealed to me because it incorporated all of the elements of noisy experimental music but it also had this rhythmic quality that appealed to a wider audience," Parker said.

In fact, Parker's music, which is available at his Web site,, has reached such a broad range of fans that he routinely gets e-mails from DJs who play his tunes in Germany, France, Holland, Sweden, Japan and Singapore. But, unfortunately, he feels that he doesn't get the same amount of support at home.

"In America, people seem to be addicted to music that has words in it," Parker said. "People seem to derive some sort of comfort from being able to sing along with a lyric. And since techno has virtually no lyrics, it's always had trouble being accepted here."

Udagawa, a 27-year-old up-and-comer also thinks club audiences are unwilling to groove to anything that's not lyrically based and mind-numbingly predictable. "People will dance to some of the stupidest (expletive)," Udagawa said. "They've just got to open their horizons up a little bit."

Still, Udagawa, who also works as a DJ at Iberia, 658 Lounge and Blu, is undeterred in making his music, which he describes as "pretty bizarre -- it's got an '80s new wave sound but harder." His latest work will soon be available on his Web site,

Parker also remains committed to his brand of dark and minimalist techno. In November, he plans to release his first full-length CD, "Dispatches," which compiles his previously released singles, as well as some new cuts.

"I think I'm going to keep doing it no matter what, because I like making records," said Parker. "And the music is never going to die."

-- Craig Seymour

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