- Pick out any track from Rupert Parkes' 1994-1997 run and you will likely have a classic on your hands. But there are classics, and then there's T'Raenon. The 1996 12-inch is an outlier in more ways than one. It wasn't released on a drum & bass label, but through Kirk Degiorgio's Op-ART, just before Parkes signed with Virgin's Science sub-label. It also features his first work with house and techno, introducing the crossover recipe that would bring him near-mainstream fame a few years later.
Parkes has more to thank Degiorgio for than releasing the record. The EP was made during a period in which Parkes showed Degiorgio how to make complex drum breaks, and Degiorgio gave Parkes rare records to sample from.The glow of Degiorgio's music informs "T'Raenon," which stuns with cascading Detroit techno melodies. The drums flit like hummingbirds, finding the balance between lightness and power that made Photek's best material so intoxicating. The downtempo "Kanei" is even more elegant, showing the jazzier side of Parkes' artful slicing and dicing.
But this 12-inch is really about "T'Raenon (Version)." Extending it to nine minutes, Parkes replaces breaks with a techno kick drum and celestial snares that could have been lifted from Warp's early catalogue. Even without his signature breaks, it carries the majesty of his best work, which persists in the gorgeous sound design and drum patterns. A British dance music masterpiece that sounds no less majestic than it did more than 20 years ago, "T'Raenon (Version)" is proof that Photek's genius transcends genre.
B1 T'Raenon (Version)