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England's Photek, aka Rupert Parkes, was instrumental in the evolution of jungle into drum 'n' bass; his albums Modus Operandi and Form and Function are landmark works in the genre, sounding as driven -- and as strange -- today as when they were released in the late '90s. While sometimes tagged with the unfortunate term "intelligent" d 'n' b, Photek's real contribution was a new degree of rhythmic precision, with beats slicing like scissor-handed ninjas. His dry, blasted textures also helped give rise to the subgenre known as "tech-step." By '00s standards, Photek's beats might seem slow, and indeed, they eased off the frenetic pace of early ragga-jungle, highlighting the space around his distorted breaks and ethnic drums. (Dubstep traces its roots, in large part, straight back to Photek's clanging tympani and tabla.) By 2000, Photek largely left jungle behind with Solaris, a surprisingly adept foray into experimental breaks and Detroit-influenced deep house that featured Chicago legend Robert Owens on two tracks. Parkes went on to move to Los Angeles, where he composes music for film and television.
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