Form & Function

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The Photek Records label, home to six singles between 1995 and 1996, included several of the most stunning drum'n'bass productions ever heard; "Rings Around Saturn," "UFO," "The Seven Samurai," and "The Physical" each take their place as the tracks that made a name for Rupert Parkes in the jungle community. One year after the release of his debut LP, Science/Astralwerks used the collection Form & Function to compile those singles for all the fans who'd missed out on all that vinyl-only material. The problem is, Form & Function includes only four originals from Rupert Parkes' pre-LP 12" output (two are unlisted), substituting instead remixes of several tracks plus two new productions. Sympathetic producers Digital, Peshay, Doc Scott and J Majik take the scissors to Photek classics "The Lightening," "Rings Around Saturn," "The Water Margin" and "UFO," while Photek remixes his own "The Seven Samurai" and "Resolution." Though there are several excellent productions here, it's all a bit troubling since jungle producers rarely look back to rewrite history. The new tracks, "Knitevision" and "Santiago," almost rescue the proceedings with excellent turns; the former works wonders around an understated bassline and martial-arts programming while the latter features off-kilter snares and offsetting synth. Still, what could have been an essential look at what is arguably the best back catalog in drum'n'bass is transformed into a disappointing remix collection. It's especially a shame, considering the first six singles (A-sides and B-sides) would have fit perfectly onto a 75-minute disc.

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