Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Been Tryin' Hard Not To Get Into Trouble

Listening to 4 Hero's remix of Nuyorican Soul sidestepped me into Photek's remix of 4 Hero and so to today's selection. Rupert Parkes began releasing music under numerous aliases in the early 1990s, Photek emerging in 1994 and being the most enduring of these, still in use today. Part of the hideously named genre, intelligent drum and bass, like his contemporaries Roni Size, LTJ Bukem and Goldie, what really appealed to me was the complex rhythms and jazz inflections. As a nod to the latter, a track on Photek's debut album, KJZ, was an acronym for Kirk's Jazz. By the start of the 21st Century, Photek's sound had taken a turn into house and techno, though as this selection highlights, there is an identity and character linking all of Photek's music. I've lost track in the last few years, and I have read that Parkes has subsequently produced music for films, TV and games, his last album release being the soundtrack to EA Games' Need For Speed in 2016.
For this selection, I've focused solely on Photek's remixes for other artists. It's great to listen to these in one go, personal favourites being Loose by Therapy?, Destiny by Zero 7, I Miss You by Björk and the one that started this all, Star Chasers by 4 Hero. The remix of Paul Simon was a welcome return in 2018 and one of the few redeeming tracks on the otherwise questionable Graceland: The Remixes album. I hadn't heard Photek's remix of The Faint in 5 years and it struck how well it would sit in a mixtape next to songs from John Grant's latest album, Boy From Michigan, particularly The Rusty Bull or Your Portfolio. And how else to end but with Single by Everything But The Girl? The original version is sublime; Photek's remix provides a similar shiver down the spine. Twenty five years old and still sounding like it could be out right now.

1) The Lonely Night (Photek Remix): Moby ft. Mark Lanegan & Mindy Jones (2013)
2) Destiny (Photek Remix): Zero 7 ft. Sia & Sophie Barker (2001)
3) Alien (Photek Remix): Lamb (1999)
4) Total Job (Remixed By Photek): The Faint (2003)
5) Loose (Photek Remix): Therapy? (1995)
6) Ride (Photek B21 Edit): Lana Del Rey (2012)
7) Lie Down In Darkness (Photek Remix): Moby (2011)
8) All Around The World Or The Myth Of Fingerprints (Photek Remix): Paul Simon (2018)
9) I Miss You (Photek Mix): Björk (1996)
10) Star Chasers (Photek Remix): 4 Hero (1998)
11) Single (Photek Remix): Everything But The Girl (1996)

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