Electronic music's greatest Rupert is back! After a four year absence, Photek returns to a current climate of musical inspiration and endeavour perhaps similar in spirit to the days of jungle in which he made his name with such breathtakingly unique productions as "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu". In the period since then, Parkes has struggled adapt his own musical ideas to fit the contemporary template, with some more memorable than others (compare his Robert Owens collab "Mine To Give" with the hip hop styles of "We Got Heat"). "Avalanche" sees Photek embracing UK bass with resolutely impressive results, applying his own sonic identity to a rhythmic mid range thrust. Complementing this is the rumbling subterranean flex of "101" filled with dramatic excursions into cinematic synth outbursts, which gets given an excellent "Drum Machine" refix from Mr Bleeky himself, Boddika. "This City" veers into vocal breaks territory (eek!) whilst "Slowburn" returns to the shuddering dubstep template of the title track.
Marking the much anticipated 50th release on Pinch's ever-impressive Tectonic imprint, it's over to the legendary Photek, recently reincarnated from his jungle / D&B roots into the contemporary house-meets-dubstep zeitgeist for this landmark release. "Closer" is a bonafide bass music bonanza, with echoes of his D&B past neatly sewn in, though it is firmly steeped in dubstep present, with crisp drums, sweeping atmospherics and a mournful, wailing vocal setting the tone. Pinch's re-lick is a deep, dubby garage influenced piece, with rolling subs and compelling rhythms. Deeply enticing and a must buy for all ardent bass heads.
One of drum & bass's most influential artists, Photek's very much trod his own path musically and never been afraid to venture into new sonic territories. The last few years have seen a significant shift in his style and a defiant drop of tempo. Ku Palm is the fruit of his explorations as we writhe and wriggle through naked, stripped back rhythms that nod dutifully at trance, electro, dubstep and techno. There's still the sparse, fearless edge he's always been known for, it's just presented at the polar opposite of his scale. A deep, engrossing listen. Facepalm if you don't check out Ku Palm.
Last year's album Ku:Palm just keeps on giving. Rich production with more depth than a fracking factory, every listen provides a new narrative. Here Photek's picked one of the biggest highlights; "Pyramids" rolls with captivating live jazz drums that sparkle and splash on every delicate brush. Laced with far away twangs, big dub bass and cosmic undertones, it lends itself well to both home ears and heartfelt floors. For the remix, Beneath steps up with an intriguing rub of "Oshun". Loaded with tripped out reverse textures and well tempered, spacious drum work, this guarantees seriously bent minds whenever you drop it. We're all searching for that all important 'one', seems like it was Photek all along.
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