Tag Archives: Photek

Your Own Personal Grammys

Are your favorite performing artists underrepresented for their work? Does the mainstream “best of” not reflect your tastes? Then make your own awards. This is my blog, with my completely biased opinions – The Grammys, this is not. That said, the rsmithing.com music awards for the past year go to…

Best Video: MelodysheepHappy Little Clouds

I interview the mastermind behind Melodysheep, and all-round cool dude, John Boswell, here.

Best Concert: Beats Antique, Cat’s Cradle, May 4, 2012

I recount how I discovered Beats Antique here and document another of their gigs here.

Best New Artist: How To Destroy Angels

It’s atmospheric Nine Inch Nails with a female voice. Totally works.

Best Comeback: Quicksand

The band’s breakthrough album, Slip, is a certified classic.

Best Shoutout to Me: Garbage

One of my favorite bands featured my artwork in a promo video. Full story here.

Album of The Year: Deftones, Koi No Yokan

The Deftones‘ enduring talent surges ever forward.

Best Electronica: Photek, KU:PALM

Photek came back after many years with a sparse-yet-rich new record.

Best Topical Humor: CollegeHumor, Look at This Instagram

Thanks to Sarah Khanna, food blogger at butteredup.com, for turning me on to this. I think.
What do you think? What were your best musical moments of the past year? What other categories would you include? Let us hear from you in the comments.

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

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.