Review: Photek – KU:PALM

For those who don’t know, Photek is one of the pioneer of Bass music. He made his name back in the days with releases in drum & bass legendary label Metalheadz. After over 15 years of career, Photek has evolutionized his sound from the bass heavy tune of his Metalheadz day to his current sound today. One thing remains consistent though. He still creates that same moody atmosphere in his music.

KU:PALM is Photek’s first original material album in the past 12 years since his last critically acclaimed album ‘Solaris’. In ‘Solaris’ he started to dabble in music styles other than drum & bass and in KU:PALM, his shift is complete. There are still elements of drum & bass that is reminiscent of his trade mark sound in track such as ‘Shape Charge” where he uses an almost metallic percussive bass sound which is layered together with moody synths and occasional drum & bass style drum edits. This is definitely a trade mark sound similar to his classic tune such as ‘Ni Ten Ichi Ryi’. In ‘Munich’ he pays homage to the minimalist German techno sound yet, he never tried to carbon copy them. The atmosphere of this tune is definitely more fitting in a movie score as opposed to the dance floor.

In ‘Quevedo’ he slowed down the beat considerably. The beat is still in the 4/4 teritory but the bassline will make this tune fit into any chill step set. Once again it’s apparent that Photek loves to create moods and atmosphere in this tune. ‘Mistral’ is an acid laced beat that combines the classic Roland 303 and 808 snare, bringing that total old skool vibe in a very modern yet not trendy production. ‘Oshun’ is one of the more uptempo tune in this album. It never tried to fit into any specific genre and its definitely not a club banger.

Now we moved on to the more radio friendly tunes. ‘Sleep Walking’ featuring vocal from Linche is more radio friendly tune here (and that is by a stretch) by keeping the tune at the standard dubstep tempo and features excellent vocal without going into the brostep territory. The album is closed with an all out dubstep tune ‘This Love’ featuring Ray La Montagne. This track is This is probably the least interesting tune in the whole album but I do understand that it’s a neccesary to have this tune included.

Overall, PHOTEK’s KU:PALM is one of the best album he ever released. His impeccable music taste has enabled him to create a masterpiece. KU:PALM will go down in history as one of electronic music classic. It’s great to have him back in the game.

KU:PALM is out now and available at iTunes

Rating: 5/5

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