Album Reviews

Album Review: Photek – Aviator (Photek Productions)

By | Published on Tuesday 14 June 2011


Photek, aka Rupert Parkes, is best known for his slightly maverick take on drum n bass in the early 90s, when he released classics like the astounding ‘Rings Around Saturn’ and ‘Seventh Samurai’. He later moved into producing house and came out with the excellent ‘Solaris’ LP which featured the legendary Robert Owens.

Now based in LA, he’s switching styles again for his latest album, venturing into dubstep. An excellent producer Photek may be, but can he deliver the goods in a new genre after all these years? The answer, happily, is yes.

The title track is the highlight of ‘Aviator’, featuring minimal beats, it’s slow and brooding. It will be interesting to see which dancefloors this works on, as its tempo definitely gives it crossover appeal for various different clubs. ‘Sleepwalking’, too, has the potential to hit a more mainstream audience, thanks to its vocal and stadium sound, but even here Parkes maintains an edge with grimey beats.

There’s also a FaltyDL remix of ‘Sleepwalking’, which comes up trumps. This New York-based remixer first caught my eye with a remix of Maddslinky, and here again he shows why he’s a rising star, stripping it down, tweaking the vocal well, and then lancing in some heavy heavy beats. A truly quality production.

But Photek is still the main man here, and with ‘Aviator’ he proves he is still a top rate producer, and has a Midas touch about him. Definitely worth exploring. PV

Physical release: 13 Jun