Photek


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Risc Vs. Reward , 7/10 (comp)
Modus Operandi, 6.5/10
Form And Function , 5/10
Solaris , 5/10
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Rupert Parkes lancio` il progetto Photek nel 1994, dopo una mediocre carriera di dj e alcuni singoli sotto diversi pseudonimi (Code of Practice, Aquarius, Studio Pressure, Truper, Sentinel). Con Photek si riprometteva di sperimentare sul genere drum'n'bass, in particolare facendo tesoro delle sue esperienze jazz. Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu e Fifth Column (Two Swords Technique, 1997) sono in realta` ispirati alle arti marziali giapponesi, e poco si prestano al ballo. U.F.O. (Metalheadz) e Into The 90s (Metalheadz) non dimostrano particolare buon gusto. A rendere celebre Photek e` il drum'n'bass altamento cinematico dell'EP The Hidden Camera (Virgin, 1996), e non tanto le mitragliate e i break convulsi di KJZ quanto la title-track infiorettata di effetti spettrali (rintocchi jazzati di pianoforte, languidi droni ambientali delle tastiere elettroniche). I due singoli storici sono stati raccolti su Risc Vs. Reward (Virgin, 1997). If English is your first language and you could translate this text, please contact me.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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Modus Operandi (Astralwerks, 1997) is a triumph of recording techniques. The all-instrumental tracks employ massive doses of sampling and electronics.
Photek's music has three elements to it. First comes the dance, which is never pure energy, and it is often drowned in metaphysical atmospheres. Hidden Camera builds a hypnotic texture of neurotic drum'n'bass drumming, jazzy bass lines and sparse piano notes, then lets cosmic drones and ambient strings sail on top of it. The most propulsive track, Trans 7, is inhabited by a multitude of subliminal electronic effects and is continuously changing below the tribal surface.
Second, the psychological aspect, part Alfred Hitchcock and part noir. Minotaur mixes disquieting tidbits of animal voices and metallic reverbs coming from the sewers. 124, possibly the standaout here, has anemic beats immersed in gothic humming of the bass and languid waves of synthesizers.
Finally, Photek loves to flirt with jazz and the avantgarde. The syncopated synthesizer theme of Aleph 1 is a bunch of androids dancing on a desert moon. Modus Operandi is carried by a latin-jazz piano theme over a backdrop of soul strings. KJZ is a cross between a free-jazz jam for bass and drums and a rock and roll drums solo.
The limit of Photek's rhythmic poems is that they often sound artificial and cold.

Alcuni singoli del 1994-96 (in particolare Seven Samurai, Rings Aroung Saturn, UFO, The Water Margin) e alcuni remix inediti vengono raccolti su Form And Function (Astralwerks, 1998), e dimostrano tutto sommato quanto la moda sia futile. I remix di questo album sono di una banalita` imbarazzante: chiunque dotato di macchine elettroniche e digitali di questo genere potrebbe comporre remix come questi (forse pochi comporrebbero remix cosi` poco originali). Mancano sia Book Of Changes sia First Sequence, che furono forse i migliori dei suoi primi singoli (e i suoi capolavori con The Hidden Camera e Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu).

Quando ha l'intuizione giusta, Photek e` uno degli intellettuali postmoderni della discoteca, ma forse nessuno prima di lui era mai riuscito a rendere cosi` noiosa la musica da ballo.

If English is your first language and you could translate the Italian text, please contact me.
If Photek's previous albums had promoted him from drum'n'bass dj to avantgarde jazz composer, Solaris (Source, 2000) is a tribute to the music he left behind. A techno album as he has never made before (Glamourama, it revitalizes the genre while remaining true to Photek's neurotic aesthetics. A few songs (Mine To Give, Can't Come Down) are truly songs (i.e., with a singer), a direct link to Chicago house. A little drum'n'bass (Terminus) and a little trip-hop (Lost Blue Heaven) prove his technical skills. It only lacks the bold vision of early Photek.

Form And Function Vol 2 (2007) is another collection of remixes and rarities.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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