The Fredscape Collective: Photek

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Introduction

Photek

We from the Fredscape Collective like his music so much that we decided to build a page about this person.
Let`s first start off with some of the stuff we know about him: Photek`s real name is Rupert Parks and first started off making music on Paul Arnold's well respected Certificate 18 label. The success of these records combined with constant support from both LTJ Bukem and Fabio - Parkes financed his own label in 1993. From the outset, the label was groundbreaking - providing an outlet for a new wave of drum & bass. Photek's essence is in his attention to percussive programming. Offset loops constantly compete within multiple levels of breaks which, in turn, weave in and out of complex patterns - musical content, though never ignored, forever kept distant from the rhythmics.Photek, also known as The Sentinel, Aquarius, Studio Pressure and Special Forces is very populair with his style of music just like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin .


Parks about his own music:
"I like to dissect rhythms. Anyone who can't hear emotion in a drum beat suffers from a lack of understanding of what's going on in dance music and they need to hear more. I think that everything that I do draws influence from everything and sometimes it's more obvious than at others. Usually, it's quite a balance of everything I've been into, which ranges from hip-hop to techno. Some of the most important techno from early Transmat is still great, but what I do tends to be non-specific. I went for a period when I didn't listen to hip-hop at all back when I was into the rave and warehouse scene, but I listen to it a lot now.
It's weird because I see myself coming completely from the drum-n-bass scene, but at the same time what I do can still fit in with other things that are different - and it's slotted in by people who know where I've come from. I thought that was stupid, but as time went on I realized that individual character comes through in my music. Since Hidden Camera, for my own personal interest, I try to make tracks that aren't obvious. So anything that sounds too catchy gets weeded out. I minimize it and make my tracks not as instantly appealing. That's something that I was particularly conscious of on my albums.

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 Greetings on behalf of the Fredscape Collective from ROOD


Here are some reviews from Photek records.
I hope to have them all reviewed in a short while.

Photek Albums

"The Hidden Camera"
A whole diffrent kind of style we are used to from our good friend Photek. A bit dark and strange are the right terms for it I think. Combining dark and somewhat heavy beats with his usual sound effects he creates something which is heavy and relaxed at the same time. The songs have a rather slow rhytm (and no, I`m not playing it at the wrong speed cause I `ve got it on cd!:) but dark and somewhat heavy beats. A very nice combination I think. Although strange at first , I`ve come to like it as a album with it`s own special style (one of the many Parks has) that I keep on playing just to find out what it is about. ......I still do not know and maybe I`m not supposed to find out for a long time.


"Modus Operandi"
His latest piece of work is this 4 LP album which contains an already released song;"The Hidden Camera". Unfortunately he didn`t change the somewhat monotone beats at all and just lets them run which is too bad.
However, "Aleph 1" is much better. Along with the requisite tricky beats, some acidic bleeps and a lovely minor key refrain this is a great track. The refrain segues into and reappears in the next track "124." Here, however, it's backed by some cool electro-style drum patterns which make for a nice break from the constant drum and bass attack. The title track is a surprise. With it's slow acoustic bass line and sneaky jazz feel, it's kinda Pink Pantherish! It has that same surveillance film feel that runs through much of Photek's work, but it here comes across as being tongue in cheek.
These departures mark the most interesting parts of the album.
Unfortunately, other more minimal tracks like "Minotaur" and "The Fifth Column" start to drift together if you`re not paying very close attention. Overall, the Photek sound is still alive. He created a precise, not on the line but well balanced album like we`re used to but unfortunately doesn`t contain all his skills. Despite that, the album is great and worth buying.


"Modus Operandi"
"Trans 7"

Photek EP's

"Form and Function vol1"
The first of two. I had heard that this one was almost as good as Form and Function vol2 and it's true.On side A we have a hard and fast song full with Jungle tunes and great beats. Side B is a bit slower an softer but it is real cool. This 12" has a golden front with the Photek sign. Form and function has a blue front, The Physical a green front and the Watermargin has a front with a red colour all with the sign of Photek.

"Form and Function vol2"
Photek has a very strange but very cool style. When you listen to this 12" it's just like hearing two types of music. Play this 12" at 45 or 33 rpm and you will hear that both speeds sound very good!

"The Physical"
This is a new Photek i bought. And again it's a good one it a bit normal if you compare it with Form and Function. This record was releast in 1994. This isn't the best 12" from Photek but i like it anyway.

"The Water Margin"
Wow, this is a very cool record it's even better then Form and Function. It has a lot of cool turnovers and strange sounds. It has two very different numbers on it. Do you like a bit of strange Jungle? Then listen to Photek.


"Doc Scott`s Watermargin Remix"

"Razors Edge"
This is a remix 12" by Photek the original is from Goldie. This is again a realy cool 12" it's a bit fast and he is using some normal samples. With some cool basslines and strings this 12" is one you must have...

"The 7th Samurai"
If you know how to read Japanese you will know how the tracks are called, cause everything is in Japanese.The tracks on this 12" are well balanced, starting easy, then followed by great breakbeats wich take it a bit easier so they can explode in unbelievable beats and SFX, all combined with some Japanese kind of sounds, clicks and plings it just all fits together.

Like a Samurai slicing you up into little pieces so you can enjoy the music ten times better. Also on this record Photek knows just when to stop his beats and let te SFX take place and slowly let the beat kick in again and finish. I just keep wondering how he gets it done, but I hope he keeps doing it


"The 7th Samurai"

The Sentinel "Heavy Vibes"
On this 12" there are 2 songs:"Heavy Vibes" and "Pulse of Life". Two completely different numbers but each with it`s own superb qualities that take you away on a journey. "Pulse of Life" sounds like the other work I heard on Basement Records; easy and relaxed. If you would listen to "Heavy Vibes" you can`t recognize the style. It is very like older work from Photek, Like The Sentinel turns into Photek for just a few moments...to let you hear and not forget who is actually behind the music.Being a real Photek fan I really like the work he is releasing on Basement Rec. The work from the Sentinel is just a freaky as the work from Photek.

The Sentinel feat: CoCo "Dig Deeper"
This 12" contains 2 tracks worth listening to if you want to relax a bit. Here we don't hear some the loud beats but some easier ones. On Dig Deeper The Sentinel gives us very realexed beats, a piano and ofcourse a woman making very relaxed noises (she doesn't sing anything but aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh, oooooooooohhhhhhhh and Yheeeeeeaaaaaa!!!!!!, but the way she sings it!!!!)

"Toulepleu" (french), whatever that may mean, is made in a similair way "Dig Deeper" is. Here instead of a piano a sax comes in and makes some really good tunes. Overall, this record is just one big relaxed piece of music. I wonder if The Sentinel was having one of his days, cause this is such a good record to chill out to. I was glad my turntable has a repeat-mode so I could listen to these tracks over and over again until I fell asleep ......., dreaming about that woman singing, ........ OOOOOOOHHHHHH, AAAAAAAAHHHHH and especially YYYYHHHHEEEEAAAAA!!!!!.

"Ni Ten Ich Riu"
Ni Ten Ichi Ryu is the name of a technique of using two swords (longsword and shortsword) simultaneously. It was invented by Japan's most famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi. His inspiration for Ni Ten Ichi Ryu came from watching a drummer at a festival, using two drum sticks. In a similar way, the inspiration for the track title and theme came from the idea of two drum breaks representing the movement and interaction between swordsmen and their swords.....Need I say more?? just listen...

"Ni Ten Ich Riu"
"Watch the video from "Ni Ten Ich Riu"

The Fredscape Collective thank everyone who worked on this page..

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(c) The Fredscape Collective 1997