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  MysteryNYC's Garage

Photek - Solaris
Fair Lawn NJ 07410

Category:  Music : CDs
Belong to: MysteryNYC email: Sign In or Register to access email addresses
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8 - Excellent

All work and no play makes Photek (a.k.a. Rupert Parkes) an unhappy boy. On Solaris -- his surprising follow-up to 1998\'s Form & Function -- he trades in the clinical, paranoid, and perfectly assembled drum-and-bass he\'s best known for, and focuses instead on the fine art of taking it easy. Solaris is like no Photek album you\'ve ever heard before: It\'s an album that celebrates both dance and relaxation, touching on deep house, trip-hop, and ambient, with (gasp) only one drum-and-bass track (the typically spare \"Infinity\"). Sentimentality for his musical roots and the desire to create music with a warmer, more human feel drive Photek on these 11 disparate tracks, and the outcome is mixed. Stabs at dark and atmospheric techno such as \"Terminus,\" \"Junk,\" and \"Solaris\" retain the alienated Photek feel, and the quality is still there (although the title track drones on a bit too long, with little variation throughout). Even his nod to trip-hop ala Massive Attack or Lamb -- \"Lost Blue Heaven\" featuring vocalist Simone Simone -- is well executed, an eerie, dreamlike tune that achieves the softer feel he wants to achieve. But it becomes obvious that Photek is treading on unfamiliar ground when he makes his way into deep house -- \"Mine to Give\" and \"Can\'t Come Down,\" both with vocals by Robert Owens -- and more ambient, shapeless music, such as \"Halogen\" and \"Glamourama.\" The tracks aren\'t poorly constructed, but they lack the imagination and energy necessary to live up to Photek\'s usual work.

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