Photek is Rupert Parkes (born 1972, St Albans, England), a Los Angeles-based British record producer and DJ. He joined the drum and bass scene relatively early (his first release was in 1992, a collaboration with Rob Solomon a.k.a. Lexis), and is still one of its most respected players. In the mid-to-late Nineties he was a very active remixer, and he has also done some soundtrack work, most notably for The Animatrix.
His early tracks are somewhat ambient, but already feature the rhythm pattern of his seminal 1997 work Modus Operandi, which embodies most of his mid-nineties style: atmospheric, but at the same time very cold and paranoid, consisting mostly of jazz-influenced, highly complex drum patterns and sequenced double bass lines, sometimes with minimalistic synth melodies on top. Photek is also influenced by traditional Japanese music and culture, with song titles as "Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu (2 Swords Technique)" (named after the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu technique) and "The Seven Samurai" (named after the movie of the same name).
His 1998 follow up to Modus Operandi was the Form & Function compilation album, featuring older tracks, in both original and remixed form. His album Solaris (released in 2000) saw Parkes taking his music in a new direction, with gloomy house tracks alongside free-form ambient noise and the usual snare drum attacks. It included the house single "Mine to Give" (featuring Robert Owens), which reached the top spot of Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play in 2001.
After Solaris, he paid his way out of his contract with Virgin Records sublabel Science, and continues to release 12-inch singles on his own Photek Productions label. These tracks are more club-oriented and reminiscent of the recent work of Roni Size. Parkes also worked with Nine Inch Nails on the album With Teeth by providing additional programming on "All The Love In The World" and remixing the single "The Hand That Feeds." He's rumored to also have been working with Pharrell.
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