Photek’s KU: PALM Embraces Past, Present, Future

7 Dec

In his first full-length album of new material in a decade, KU: PALM, the electronica artist Photek delivers hints of the past, crafted in the present, with a look to the future.

KU: PALM by Photek

I recently had the opportunity to review KU: PALM and as electronica/dance goes, am pleasantly surprised. This isn’t a record that blew me away after first hearing it, but that’s because the depth is in the details, something that only comes with repeated listens — preferably at very loud volume.

I’ve long been a fan of Photek’s stuff. I got into Modus Operandi about the time I was discovering Massive Attack (Mezzanine is in my top 5 all-time favorite records) in the late ’90s. The textures and beats in tracks like “Axiom” and the forward-moving groove of “The Fifth Column” got me interested, and I’ve been into Photek ever since. Here in KU: PALM, I especially dig new elements like the Eastern-ish themes in “Pyramid.”

Whereas the following track, “Shape Charge” is exactly what I’m talking about when referencing the past and future. It holds up against anything from Modus Operandi, but the production is super-clean and razor sharp for 2012, even with a hint of dubstep wobble. But not too much.

The Phuture

That’s what I mean about an eye toward the future — there’s no telling where dubstep will fall in the electronica pantheon, but to have some of it worked in here for color is totally appropriate. That’s something I’d expect from an artist with a track record like Photek. Check it out yourself over at AllMusic or download a copy at the Photek site.

What do you think? Have you discovered any good records lately? Do you still listen to music you were getting into 15 years ago? Let us hear from you in the comments.
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5 Responses to “Photek’s KU: PALM Embraces Past, Present, Future”

  1. Photobooth Journal December 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Loved Pyramid on first listen. Not so keen on Shape Change but as you say its virtues may be more apparent on repeat hearing. Nice to hear something out of my normal range of selection.

    • rsmithing December 8, 2012 at 7:53 am #

      I know, right? Sometimes it’s the more challenging tracks that draw us in. I’m still absorbing this record after a solid week. A good sign.

  2. Photobooth Journal December 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Still listening to music from 5, 10, 15, 20 and more years ago. Sometimes whole albums, other times just one or two songs. Recently discovered Beth Ditto, Amy Winehouse and Jack White and have started listening to our youth radio station in Australia Triple J, after 3 or 4 years of no new music input. SO many great new songs. Need to check out your Photek man.

    • rsmithing December 8, 2012 at 7:50 am #

      Nice. It’s always rewarding to get into new artists. And by “new,” that absolutely includes “new to you.”

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