Some mixes are just mixes, but some change the agenda. Rupert Parkes, aka Photek, was determined that his DJ-Kicks set would be the latter. “I wanted to create one of those classic listening experiences,” he says. “With a mix like this, you can either bang it with the most current dancefloor tunes, or you can put a theme into it, or you can make it a journey. I was thinking about the classic LTJ Bukem mix tapes that I first came across in '92 and '93 and how epic they were. There was such a range of styles on there, they were so timeless and had real character. They had some personality. That's what I wanted to capture with my DJ-Kicks mix.”

He's certainly done just that. Starting with his own Azymuth, the 19 tracks range from the moody, downtempo throb of In 2 Minds by Kromestar to the broken, tribal beats of Boddika's remix of Photek's 101 to straight-up tech house such as Baby Ford's 1994 classic Dead Eye. The thread linking them together is a brooding atmosphere that recalls Parkes's classic drum'n'bass releases in the '90s (although there isn't a drum'n'bass track to be seen). Fountainhead, a collaboration between Photek and Kuru and exclusive to this DJ-Kicks mix, sums up the vibe perfectly with its swirling textures, echoing vocal cut-ups and stonking low-end. “It's music with some atmosphere,” explains Parkes. “It's introspective. I imagined that this would be the mixtape that you listen to later on - after the club. It's more intimate. I'm not trying to show what I would do in a club, it's something completely different.”

He's currently working on a new album. It's going to be a varied affair. “Lot's of differently styles and sounds,” he says. And he's starting monthly club night in his adopted home of Los Angeles. “I want it to have the feel of Metalheadz at the Blue Note in London in 1995. It's not just a tear out, it's a creative atmosphere. People can play what they really want to play.”

A bit like like his DJ-Kicks mix. Exactly how it should be, in other words.

CD & Digital Tracklist

  1. Photek - Azymuth
  2. Kromestar - In 2 Minds
  3. Hot Toddy feat. Ron Basejam - I Need Love (Morgan Geist's Love Dub)
  4. DJX - Modern Man
  5. DLG - Here Come The Dark Lights
  6. Dustmite & Kuru - Bare
  7. Photek & Pinch- M25FM
  8. Photek - No Agenda
  9. Baby Ford + EON - Dead Eye (Original Version)
  10. Marco Effe - Sexgas (Arnaud Le Texier Remix)
  11. DJG - Say Something
  12. Guy J & Miriam Vaga - No Under But You
  13. Daze Maxim - Tomorrow Universe
  14. Sepalcure - Taking You Back
  15. Photek - Levitation
  16. Photek & Kuru - Fountainhead (DJ-Kicks)
  17. Synkro - Look At Yourself
  18. Photek - 101 (Boddika Remix)
  19. Parxe & Grincheux - The Art of Nothing Pt. 1

2LP Tracklist

  A1. Photek & Kuru - Fountainhead (DJ-Kicks)
  A2. Photek - Levitation
  B1. Parxe & Grincheux - The Art of Nothing Pt. 1
  B2. DJG - Here Come The Dark Lights

  C1. Kromestar - In 2 Minds
  C2. Synkro - Look At Yourself
  D1. Guy J & Miriam Vaga - No Under But You
  D2. Marco Effe - Sexgas (Arnaud Le Texier Remix)

EP Tracklist

  1. Photek & Kuru - Fountainhead (DJ-Kicks)
  2. Photek - Azymuth
  3. Photek - No Agenda

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"No Agenda"

"I built the arpeggio for this years ago. It was actually cannibalized from an older track of mine - I wanted to shine a new light on it and give it plenty of space to breathe. Ironically, I ended up bury this track in the actual mix, but it's still there to be heard in full as a separate song from the album. I chose the title No Agenda because there's no purposeful arrangement to it. The music goes where I felt it should, without a clear function as a DJ tool or any typical form as a dance track."

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