Thursday, 11 September 2014

Photek "Form & Function" (1998)

I found Photek through the song "Rings Around Saturn". It was the only song featured in a football managing game i used to play, it would spin endlessly as i enjoyed the fantasy of taking my team to the top and winning the league. Maybe through this i have attached some positive emotions to this song, but better yet i think its a masterclass track that never gets dull. Maybe over 10 years had gone by and i would still dream of this song, so one day i decided to dig around and find out who's song this was. With music so easily accessible via YouTube it didn't take me long to track down this album, which comprises of two sides, the first a remix of the second half which i have never particularly enjoyed and have always been a little baffled as to the reasoning behind this, the remixes in my opinion add next to nothing to the original tracks. The second half consisting of 6 unique ambient Drum N Bass tracks.

These songs all follow a similar principle, clean cut drum loops and abstract noises, together they create a chilled atmosphere and memorable hooks despite there being no melodic or vocal leads present. This is music striped down to effect. Tracks like "UFO" & "Rings Around Saturn" inject so much into this minimalist form, magic is born from the intricate workings of drum samples that have been broken down and reformed with exquisite detail and glittery rhythms that drill deep into the mind. The is so much soul and craft on display in Rings, with beautiful abstract sounds resonating in and out of focus, providing such a dreary, trancy ambiance that is heavily contrasted, yet complimented by a ever restless drum sequence. UFO offers up some sublime sub bass drops that guide the drums through some eerie and alien sounds. Theres also a fantastic sample of a person reporting they are seeing flashing lights in the sky that really sets the tone well for this track.

All in all there are some sublime tracks here, but a lack of consistency, with just 6 songs and 6 remixes this one really falls short for me on the album listening experience. Rings Around Saturn is a true masterpiece i will never grow old of but the rest of whats on offer just falls short for me.

Favorite Tracks: Knitevision, Rings Around Saturn, UFO
Rating: 5/10