In his new album "Ku:Palm," Photek shows his versatility as an artist and proves that many different genres can exist in harmony on the same album. He starts off slowly with a couple experimental-electro songs ("signals," "pyramid") which are pleasant, but a little light for the average EDM follower.
But don't let that stop you from taking a closer look. "This Love," featuring Ray La Montagne, is a glorious combination of electro, chillstep and DnB. How does one combine these three completely different genres?
Only Photek knows. Ray La Montagne's smooth voice is breathtaking with the added echoes and various other effects, and contrasts beautifully with Photek's heavy bass and distorted synth. The song is magic: it combines ethereal, trance-like qualities with a heavy bass and an unexpectedly bangin' drop. After listening to "This Love," it's no surprise that Photek was nominated for a Grammy after working on the Tron soundtrack with EDM giant Daft Punk.
The other obvious favorite of the album is "Sleepwalking," which features another great vocalist by the name of Linche. Once again, Photek builds up for a heavy drop, this time using Linche's powerful voice as the buildup.
Linche, like La Montagne, adds an emotional depth to the song, and Photek uses a particularly passionate vocal loop to add to the heaviness of the drop. Other songs, such as "Aviator" and "One Of A Kind" are more relaxed but still feature great synth lines and catchy beats. The song "Mistral" shows that Photek has hopped on the Trap Train -- he uses some bass-heavy hip-hop beats, as well as the signature "clap" beat that's so well known in trap music.
Overall, the album is an impressive re-entrance onto the music scene for Photek. Pete Tong of BBC Radio 1 called him "one of the most groundbreaking producers that the UK has ever seen... In 20 years, he has released some of the most influential drum & bass records ever made."
His genre mixing and vocal sampling shows that he's still at the forefront of the EDM world, even if he's not a constant presence like R3HAB or Aoki. His remix of Lana Del Rey's "Ride" received widespread approval for his preservation of Lana's haunting vocals, while most DJs simply cut and pasted her voice into loops and drops. After listening to "Ku: Palm" for about an hour, there's only one thing I'm sure of: You don't want to miss out on this one..take a listen.
Here is "This Love":
Hear the Lana Del Rey Song here: