Sunday, March 18, 2012

Photek Get's His DJ Kicks

After kind of withdrawing from music around 2007, Photek kind of kept to himself and essentially disappeared off of our collective radar. His new album for K7 DJ Kicks marks a return for the masterful Drum and Bass/House artist and what a return it is. His DJ Kicks appearance is like nothing he's ever recorded. Rather, his turn behind the decks for the series is an atmospheric journey that goes through peaks and valleys and is apparently inspired by the mix tapes that LTJ Bukem issued twenty years ago.

Packed to the gills with essential and exclusive tracks this is a downtempo, chilled out vision of heaven that's stunning, awe inspiring and a joy to listen to many, many times. While Photek will always be known for his klangy obtuse drum and bass and his thumping massive house jams, his DJ Kicks album heads in the exact opposite direction. This record creates expansive worlds with a variety of sounds and a sense of harmony that his older material tended to lack. Photek is obviously older and wiser and you can hear that maturity coming through the sounds here. This is a record that's more about the journey than the destination and all the soundscapes that go by along the way. This is a ride that's filled with wide open vistas, sparse beats, and lush synths all coming together to create a massive record. While the material isn't necessarily his, it's all pieced together flawlessly and allows Photek to show off a bit; I love it.

Photek's DJ Kicks is a more than welcome jump back into the fray. After five years on hiatus, Photek has returned and done so in a big way. Irregardless of whether or not he makes another drum and bass track or another Robert Owens anthem he can always fall back to downtempo and abstract beats because through this record he's demonstrated he's clearly got a knack for the stuff. Windswept, exotic, and absolutely incredible Photek has clearly gotten his kicks off of this record and I think after one listen so will you.

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