Release Date: Apr 3, 2012
Record label: !K7
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Garage, Club/Dance, Dubstep
Rupert Parkes, a.k.a Photek, is one of the high priests of the jungle and drum & bass scenes, recognised principally for his work with Metalheadz and his own album Modus Operandi before he switched tracks to a more noticeably house and techno groove on 2000’s Solaris. Photek has been relatively quiet since then (on the recorded front at least) before this new album, number 36 in the ongoing Dj Kicks series, which follows the excellent Gold Panda release. Featuring four new Photek tracks, Dj Kicks is an engaging journey into the bass and dubstep landscape that has become more overground in the last few years.
Rupert Parkes took the "after-the-club soundtrack" route to making his DJ-Kicks mix. The veteran producer constructed this set for the ride home, or a small after-hours gathering, or a solitary listen through headphones. Known most for his cerebral and intricate drum'n'bass releases throughout the '90s, Parkes never went dormant but, in 2011, he issued five pieces of vinyl, including one on crucial dubstep hub Tectonic.
A man who once confessed to spending aeons replicating the sound of a ninja throwing star to form percussion, the intricate beat programming on the drum & bass records Rupert Parkes produced as Photek during the mid-'90s almost felt like OCD. His tracks for Metalheadz or 1997's Modus Operandi LP on Science often seemed equally impenetrable to outsiders. So far removed from the rest of drum & bass, they weren't so much singular as solipsistic.
Rupert Parkes, better known as former drum ‘n’ bass guru turned bass heavy maestro Photek, is the first in line to take on the ongoing DJ Kicks mix series in 2012. Whilst some will have come across him more recently as one of the contributors to the ‘Tron Legacy: Reconfigured’ album, this release sees him add four exclusive tracks of his own whilst mixing together a whole slew of other collaborator’s efforts into an entertaining if slightly forgettable collection. Credit to Parkes for his selections, on the whole the album works with more hits than misses, the strongest of which come from Photek himself.