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Background information
Birth name Rupert Parkes
Also known as Special Forces, Studio Pressure, The Sentinel
Born 1972 (age 42–43)
Origin St Albans, England, United Kingdom
Genres Drum and bass, downtempo, deep house
Occupation(s) Record producer, DJ, Film score composer
Years active 1992–present
Labels Virgin, Photek, Sanctuary, !K7 Records, Metalheadz, Tectonic
Associated acts Goldie, Daft Punk, Moby, Lana Del Rey, Nine Inch Nails, Ray La Montagne, Linche, Robert Owens, Roni Size

Rupert Parkes (born 1972, St Albans, England), known as Photek, is a British record producer, DJ and double Grammy Award nominee.[1][not in citation given][dubious ] He joined the drum and bass scene relatively early (his first release was in 1992) and is still one of its most respected players. Throughout his career he has been an active remixer, with official credits including Daft Punk, Nine Inch Nails, Moby, Lana Del Rey, David Bowie, Bob Marley and Bjork.[citation needed][dubious ] He has multiple credits in major feature films & television shows, including main composer credit.[citation needed] He is based in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife Stephanie Chao-Parkes.


His first releases (1992-1994) were 'hardcore' proto-jungle releases on labels like Basement, Certificate 18 and 3rd Eye under pseudonyms like Sentinel, Synthetics, Studio Pressure, System X and the Truper. Later tracks were somewhat ambient, but already featured the rhythm pattern of his seminal 1997 work Modus Operandi, which embodies most of his mid-nineties style: atmospheric, but at the same time very cold and precise, consisting mostly of jazz-influenced, highly complex drum patterns and sequenced double bass lines, sometimes with minimalistic synth melodies on top. Photek is also influenced by traditional Japanese music and culture, with song titles as "Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu (2 Swords Technique)" (named after the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu technique) and "The Seven Samurai" (named after the movie of the same name).

His 1998 follow up to Modus Operandi was the Form & Function compilation album, featuring older tracks, in both original and remixed form. His album Solaris (released in 2000) saw Photek taking his music in a new direction, with moody house tracks alongside free-form ambient noise and the usual snare drum attacks. It included the house single "Mine to Give" (featuring Robert Owens), which reached the top spot of Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play in 2001.

After Solaris, he paid his way out of his contract with Virgin Records sublabel Science, and continued to release 12-inch singles on his own Photek Productions label. These tracks are more club-oriented and reminiscent of the recent work of Roni Size. Parkes also worked with Nine Inch Nails on the album With Teeth by providing additional programming on "All The Love In The World" and remixing the single "The Hand That Feeds." He's rumored to also have been working with Pharrell.

His compilation album Form & Function Vol. 2 was released on 24 September 2007. He was composer to the movie Dreamland. He continues to be based in L.A. working on new, as yet unreleased music - he tweeted in 2009 that he was making dubstep [1]. In November 2010, Radio 1 DJ Benji B played a brand new track by Photek titled '101',[2] sparking rumours of new Photek music to be released in early 2011.[3] In January 2011 it was announced via Photek's official website that he would be releasing a new EP, Avalanche, in February and that one of its tracks "Slowburn" is available for free download from the site.[2]


On 28 February 2011, Photek released the Avalanche EP through his own label, Photek Productions, featuring four original tracks plus a remix by Boddika. In an interview with online music blog 'Fact Magazine' in March 2011, Photek disclosed his plans to release a new "...series of EPs where the best content can be cherry-picked for an album at the end of that series." Plus, "I’ve got a release coming out on Pinch's label, Tectonic called 'Closer'".[4]

Photek released his second EP of 2011 in May, titled the Aviator EP on his own label. He then released the aforementioned single "Closer" on Tectonic, which featured a remix by label boss Pinch. Photek has done a number of remixes himself in 2011, for the likes of Moby, Distance, Karin Park and Jess Mills. In December 2011 he was nominated for the 54th Grammy Awards in the 'Best Remix' category for his rework of Daft Punk's 'End Of Line' for the Tron Legacy soundtrack.[citation needed]

On 30 July 2012 Altered Natives released a remix of Photek track "Levitation" on !k7 Records.[5]

Photek's own album, KU:PALM was released on 23 October 2012 on his own label, Photek Productions. Parkes said "It might well be my favorite album to date. To me it feels like a blend between Modus Operandi and Solaris, forged in a 2012 furnace." [6]

Other monikers[edit]

  • Studio Pressure
  • Code of Practice
  • Special Forces
  • Phaze 1
  • The Sentinel
  • Origination (With Lexis)
  • Aquarius
  • Synthetics
  • System X
  • The Truper



As Photek[edit]



  1. ^ IMO Records "Photek Biography", IMO Records, London, 18 October 2011. Retrieved on 23 November 2011.
  2. ^ "101 - (clip from Benji B's Radio 1 show 25.11.2010) by Photek on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free". Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Radio 1 Programmes - Benji B, 25/11/2010". BBC. 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  4. ^ "Photek: the last samurai – FACT magazine: music and art". 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  5. ^ "Levitation". Levitation. Retrieved July 2012. 
  6. ^ "KU:PALM". KU:PALM. Retrieved August 2012. 
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 425/426. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]