The name Rupert Parkes, alias Photek, will forever be associated with the drum’n’bass scene. In spite of his later evolution towards house, Photek is synonymous with the “intelligent” evolution of the drum’n’bass arena. Works like “The Seven Samurai” (Photek Prod., 1995), “The Hidden Camera” (Science, 1996) and “Ni Ten Ichi Ryu” (Science, 1997) blew renewing winds into the genre via sophisticated timbres, minorisation of tempos –which isn’t the same as relaxation–, and the distillation of a new structural complexity that used silence and space like no-one had done before, while at the same time exploring the possibilities of the synergy of the jungle breakbeat with the dynamics of jazz noir and classic techno.
In these times of rising strength that experimental drum’n’bass supported by artists like dBridge, Instra:mental and ASC on labels such as Exit and Nonplus, the name Photek is often mentioned as the pioneer from the past. And we say past, because little was heard from him over the past five years, after he moved to Hollywood to start designing music for films. However, it seems that the virus of the new bass scene has infected Parkes once more, because in February he will be back with an 4 tracks EP on his own label. About fifteen days ago, Benji B premiered a triple set of dubplates by Photek in his BBC Radio 1 show which, as we now know, will be released on 28th February under the title “Avalanche”. While we wait for more details, we’ll leave you with the slow rhythms and heavy bass lines of “101”, one of the tracks on the EP.
Photek - 101 (clip from Benji B show, Radio 1)