Rupert Parkes and Rob Ellis are two decade-defining artists who need little introduction. As Photek and Pinch, the enormous impact both producers have had on their respective fields is immeasurable, and the overt sonic adventurism that has brought them together only consolidates their pervasive influence as leaders of tomorrow’s sound. After Photek’s ‘Closer’ marked Tectonic‘s 50th release, Parkes returns the favour by hosting their latest offering, which is undoubtedly their strongest collaboration yet.
Pinch‘s revision of ‘Acid Reign’ is a mighty behemoth. Opening with Ellis’ lucid, Moving Ninja-esque sound design, this riddim builds rapidly and bursts explosively into a dynamic onslaught of corrosive dubstep. Shifting through his trademark seismic plod, Pinch takes Photek’s bubbly acid bassline and erects an imposingly monumental urban structure as its futurist landscape. Extending the mid-range aesthetics of ‘The Boxer’ and ‘Swish’, Ellis reaches new levels of bassline destruction with this piercing, dense filtration of hardstep-inspired brockout; and his winding, warped contusions are truly first class. Pinch’s gangster conga workout only adds fuel to the fire, as Photek’s androgynous vocal snippets procure a human touch from what is arguably this year’s heaviest dancefloor burner.
The flipside, ‘M25FM’, is as authentic as the tape pack thumping en route to an open-air rave. Photek builds the rhythm and melody, whilst Pinch ensures the dub-techno atmospherics swell at quantum underwater depths. Ellis’ deft stabs bubble beneath the surface, as this driving warehouse rhythm pulses through a swift compaction of Photek’s European leads and Pinch’s sense of tropospheric ambiance. The filmic vibes of this deep, cruising roller build on both artists’ recent work at slower BPMs, and consolidate their vocational dedication to complex synthesis and the accessible potential of experimental dancefloor music.
This release is simply an excellent collaboration between two of the strongest inter-generational artists of our time. It is Photek’s best release since his re-emergence this decade, and another perfect example of how Pinch’s dubstep aesthetic has spread most positively into other realms of dance music. Huge twelve!