Rupert Parkes (aka Photek) has been on the music scene for quite awhile, despite not having a household name (but then again, who does in electronic music?). He started work with the hugely popular drum and bass collective known as the Metalheadz about 4 years ago and has since released several EP's and a full-length album domestically. Right now, though, he's probably still most well known for his "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu" song that was featured on the recent AMP compilation, as well as for the black-and-white samurai video created for the song that cracked MTV rotation for awhile.
As a drum and bass artist, Photek is probably one of the most technically flawless programmers around. His beats are hard and crisp and his songs seem almost mathmatical in construction. Even at this, though, the tracks he creates don't feel predictable, and almost all of them ooze a dark aura. While this isn't a full-fledged new album (most of the tracks have been released or are new remixes), it still provides a great overview of his skills, as well as a huge chunk of music (the disc clocks in at almost 80 minutes). As always, he has used mysterious samples (including UFO references, dripping water, and Samurai (again)) to fuel the dark tracks instead of cheesy vocals that seem to be favored by many contemporaries. If you're into drum and bass, it's a must-have for this year.