Photek

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Time and space are basically concepts to explain the course of events; what unites them is rhythm. So it is not fat-fetched to say Rupert Parkes (Photek) bridges both time and space on his full-length debut. He crafts drum & bass patterns of different tonal qualities and layers them with breaks of such rhythmic complexity that it subtly entrances the listener. Realizing that music's backbone is the beat, Parkes works everything off it, varying the tones of his percussion and using sampled sounds to create rhythm, all of it accented with ambient washes or spacey synth fills. But never do things stray far from the pulsing beat, and his methods enthrall. "124" sets a moody atmosphere over an understated techno beat whose impact is tempered by Parkes percussive use of handclaps, drum, and cymbals. Sometimes the vibe is jazzy, whether in the soft, rainy-night piano of the title track, or the snappy, exquisitely sampled jazz drumming on "KJZ" and "The Hidden Camera." His choice of sounds is always unusual and often effective: the muted, underwater steel-drum sound at the base of "Minotaur"; "Trans 7" with its sounds of rushing vehicles; the spacey digitized underpinning of "Aleph 1." Many of these tracks were previously released as 7", but taken as a whole, this album acquits itself as the work of one of electronic music's visionaries.

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