From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Photek photo by Faria Raji.jpg
Background information
Birth name Rupert Parkes
Also known as Special Forces, Studio Pressure, The Sentinel, etc
Born (1972-05-13) May 13, 1972 (age 45)
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), known as Photek, is a Los Angeles–based British record producer, film & TV composer, and electronic music DJ.

Photek has contributed music to several film, TV and video game productions as far back as Blade in 1998. He also scored Fox Television's Gang Related (Imagine Entertainment) with director Allen Hughes.

He received three consecutive Grammy Award nominations in the category of Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for Daft Punk[1] "End of Line" from the Tron: Legacy movie soundtrack in 2012, Moby[2] "Lie Down In Darkness" in 2013 and Bob Marley "One Love/People Get Ready" in 2014.

Photek is currently the composer on the show How to Get Away with Murder (ABC).



Initially interested in hip hop, Parkes soon expanded his style with elements of Soul and Jazz. His first instrument was a tenor saxophone, but when a piano arrived in the family home his focus shifted to composition as opposed to performance. By 1992 he had switched from the saxophone to a sequencer. Within the next year he started to perform under the stage name Photek.

Early career 1993–1999[edit]

Parkes began his first forays into releasing music in 1993 under a plethora of different names. Some of the early releases include the jungle-styled tracks 'Jump' under the name Studio Pressure[3] on Certificate 18, 'Dolphin Tune' under the name Aquarius[4] on LTJ Bukem's Good Looking Records and 'Pulse Of Life' under the name The Sentinel[5] on Basement Records. The first release under the Photek production name came in 1994 with Touching Down...Planet Photek, released on his own Photek label. Photek's breakthrough release in 1995 was the Natural Born Killa drum'n'bass EP for Goldie's Metalheadz. In 1996, Photek contributed two tracks on the WipeOut XL soundtrack.

Photek's debut album was Modus Operandi in 1997, through Virgin Records.[6] In 1997, Virgin Records released one of Photek's most well-known tracks in 1997 with Ni Ten Ichi Ryu. A year after Ni Ten Ichi Ryu, Photek released his second album Form & Function.[7] The album comprised four tracks that had previously only been available on limited release vinyl in the early 1990s, plus six remixes and versions by Photek himself as well as other contemporaries Digital, Peshay & Decoder, Doc Scott, and J Majik.


In 2000, Photek released his Solaris album, turning his attention from Drum & Bass to Chicago House and Minimal Techno. On the single Mine to Give, he cooperated with Robert Owens to create a No. 1 Billboard single.[8]

'One Nation'[9] – the dubplate that had been available as a white label for over a decade, finally saw an official release on Form & Function Vol. 2. The newer productions on the album showed Photek using a broader sound palette, taking influence from his composition and soundtrack work by including orchestrated passages. There are even references to a more rock and industrial sound.

After a four-year hiatus from releasing music under the Photek moniker, Parkes produced a series of EPs in 2011. He was invited to contribute to BBC Radio 1's 'Essential Mix' series in October 2012. In the same year, Parkes released the album KU:PALM.

Grammy nominations[edit]

Photek's remix of Daft Punk's "End of Line" for the Disney movie Tron: Legacy earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Remix in 2012. He received Grammy nominations in the same category for the following 2 years, with remixes for Moby and Bob Marley.

Recent activities[edit]

Now based in Los Angeles, Photek scored the second season of ABC's How to Get Away with Murder in fall of 2015, and continued recording of the follow up to KU:PALM and various movie and computer game scoring projects.


Photek has remixed many artists in his career such as David Bowie, Björk and Goldie. Additional production work on the seminal Nine Inch Nails album With Teeth led to his remix of their track 'The Hand That Feeds' which got him KROQ daytime rotation.

Film and TV music composer[edit]

Film Music Composer to Dreamland and Invincible, Photek also scored the music for the films Blade, The Animatrix and Stealth.

Later scoring the music of FOX TV show, Gang Related which debuted in the May 2014 stars Ramon Rodriguez, Cliff Curtis, Terry O'Quinn, Emilio Rivera and RZA. Created by Chris Morgan (Fast Five, Wanted) the series follows an Elite Gang Task Force as they take on Los Angeles' most dangerous gangs. Photek scored all episodes of the show, as well as the Main & End Title Theme Song for FOXs Gang Related.[10] In 2014 he began composing for ABC's How to Get Away with Murder starring Viola Davis, created and executive-produced by Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Bill D'Elia.



  1. ^ "". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Gang Related Theme Song on YouTube". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 

External links[edit]