Photek - Closer, Avalanche, Aviator
Electro, Glitch These nine new songs gleaned from a single and two eps may or may not form the basis of Photek's new album but their range is spectacular. Sometimes it's straight up angular electronica and at other points you're compelled by stripped down funk coupled to beats beats and more beats. Photek are a legend in the drum 'n' bass community, even though he no longer really makes this style he was one of the pioneers of it and thus is forever associated with that scene. After 2000's 'Solaris', his audience changed radically and many original fans turned their back on him for so dramatically shaking up his sound. They won't be wooed back by what he's done this time, and to be quite honest, it's no great loss that they choose to stay away. Photek's works are snapshots of where he's at musically, he really has no set agenda or style, the ultimate chameleon, he moves through all manner of aural chemistry; it's taken me some time, a considerable amount, to adjust to what is gunning out of my speakers.

You can make out some skeletal forms of breakbeats but they have been reduced to only hints as most of the songs are driven more by atmosphere than rhythm. This is most definitely Photek at his most daring, it has the feel of a scientist hard at work making calculations, conducting experiments, trying out different methods of production and above all: scrapping it if it doesn't work. I have no doubt that the nine cuts on display via these releases were created and then repeatedly put through all manner of trials and tests. Moreover, I'm also sure that he's got many more waiting in the wings which may or may not see the light of day. After all, it has been eleven years since R. Parkes released a full length record and true to form there were no hints or inklings of what was to come from his mind during the wilderness years. A single here and there, a compendium entitled 'Form and Function Vol.2' to shut up the purists (who still managed to snivel and snipe about it not being like "the good old days") and then there's the label he runs which put out two of Teebee's finest 12"s yet.

Oh yeah, I should spend some time telling you how these latest creations sound, so here it is: slippery. Photek's sound now is delightfully elusive and the more you try to nail it down the further away from you it will... slip. Laborious descriptions no doubt will flow easily from others who'll lazily attribute the lowered tempo to be some kind of capitulation to dubstep but nothing could be more removed from the truth. Photek are unique as always but the choice which has been made is clear: innovation over stagnation. I might be able to recognize this as Photek if I didn't know but it would take me a while to be sure. I don't think you will hear a collection of songs more demanding this year, certainly not in the arena this gentleman operates in. To incorporate so many disparate elements into one's work is not a common trait and in these dreary days of homogenized electronica it's good to hear from him again, keeps one's feet on the ground. Good luck cherry picking out the cuts from these releases which will comprise your album, Rupert, I certainly could not manage such grandeur.
4
Brutal Resonance

Photek - Closer, Avalanche, Aviator

8.0
"Great"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2011 by Photek Productions
These nine new songs gleaned from a single and two eps may or may not form the basis of Photek's new album but their range is spectacular. Sometimes it's straight up angular electronica and at other points you're compelled by stripped down funk coupled to beats beats and more beats. Photek are a legend in the drum 'n' bass community, even though he no longer really makes this style he was one of the pioneers of it and thus is forever associated with that scene. After 2000's 'Solaris', his audience changed radically and many original fans turned their back on him for so dramatically shaking up his sound. They won't be wooed back by what he's done this time, and to be quite honest, it's no great loss that they choose to stay away. Photek's works are snapshots of where he's at musically, he really has no set agenda or style, the ultimate chameleon, he moves through all manner of aural chemistry; it's taken me some time, a considerable amount, to adjust to what is gunning out of my speakers.

You can make out some skeletal forms of breakbeats but they have been reduced to only hints as most of the songs are driven more by atmosphere than rhythm. This is most definitely Photek at his most daring, it has the feel of a scientist hard at work making calculations, conducting experiments, trying out different methods of production and above all: scrapping it if it doesn't work. I have no doubt that the nine cuts on display via these releases were created and then repeatedly put through all manner of trials and tests. Moreover, I'm also sure that he's got many more waiting in the wings which may or may not see the light of day. After all, it has been eleven years since R. Parkes released a full length record and true to form there were no hints or inklings of what was to come from his mind during the wilderness years. A single here and there, a compendium entitled 'Form and Function Vol.2' to shut up the purists (who still managed to snivel and snipe about it not being like "the good old days") and then there's the label he runs which put out two of Teebee's finest 12"s yet.

Oh yeah, I should spend some time telling you how these latest creations sound, so here it is: slippery. Photek's sound now is delightfully elusive and the more you try to nail it down the further away from you it will... slip. Laborious descriptions no doubt will flow easily from others who'll lazily attribute the lowered tempo to be some kind of capitulation to dubstep but nothing could be more removed from the truth. Photek are unique as always but the choice which has been made is clear: innovation over stagnation. I might be able to recognize this as Photek if I didn't know but it would take me a while to be sure. I don't think you will hear a collection of songs more demanding this year, certainly not in the arena this gentleman operates in. To incorporate so many disparate elements into one's work is not a common trait and in these dreary days of homogenized electronica it's good to hear from him again, keeps one's feet on the ground. Good luck cherry picking out the cuts from these releases which will comprise your album, Rupert, I certainly could not manage such grandeur.
Oct 20 2011

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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