Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review: Photek - Modus Operandi

More seminal '90s drum 'n bass, this time Photek and his highly regarded Modus Operandi from 1997, generally regarded as a classic of the genre. I have previous beef with Photek, after getting into a big debate about whether his 2000 effort Solaris is genius or crap. Solaris is one of the most divisive electronic albums of all time, splitting fans right down the middle, but the argument against it is usually how inferior it is to Photek's previous efforts. Trouble is, Modus Operandi is a '90s classic drum 'n bass album I don't happen to particularly like. It's not that I think it sounds dated or anything, I just don't get on board with the concept.

If this album came out now we'd probably label it drumfunk - a sub-genre categorised by paranoid, twitchy atmospherics and complex, intricately programmed breakbeat science. Also a sub genre I don't really like. I can recognise the attention to detail and the powerful artistic intent behind this album, I just don't really like the atmospherics. This is not a danceable record, and it's primarily about the creation and maintenence of a mood, and I personally don't get any kind of emotional response whatsoever from the mood created here. Most of the tracks sound so completely sparse and cold as to be flat, dead, fading into background pattering such is their lack of engagement to the senses.

Nothing much more to say here, such was its failure to interest me I didn't register any specifics to pick apart, and I have absolutely no desire to relisten to this album just for the sake of educating you damn fools. From now on, I'm ignoring every Photek-related recommendation. Me and him just don't get along, it seems.

Genre: Proto-drumfunk
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 5/10

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