Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival x DJ-Kicks This Weekend!

As we continue to celebrate 27 years of !K7 Records, we've partnered with the good folks at Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival to help curate an line-up featuring some of our favorite musicians. The festival takes place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (N. 6th St. to be precise) Friday and Saturday November 9th & 10th. Our stage will be on Friday the 9th at Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 North 6th St.) and will feature the amazing talents of Photek and Gold Panda, both of whom have released incredible DJ-Kicks mixes themselves, as well as a DJ set from The Rapture, Baltimore's master DJ / Producer Karizma, San Francisco's Grenier (who has several tracks on Photek's DJ-Kicks as DJG) and Brooklyn's own DJ Still Life. Things are kicking off at 9:00 and going way late, so come through and party with us! Single day and double day tickets are still available, and give you access to all participating Festival venues for the day of your ticket. The full festival line-up is available at, and set times for the DJ-Kicks stage are below. 9pm-10pm – Grenier 10pm-11pm – Karizma 12am-1am – Vito & Druzzi (The Rapture) 1am-2am- Photek 2am-3am – Gold Panda 3am-4am – DJ Still Life

Photek Interview With Dubspot

Dubspot is a digital production school in New York and LA specializing in arming the next generation of producers with the tools they'll need to create incredible music. They caught up with Photek in SXSW this year to speak about his first music-making set-up, his advice to up-and-coming producers, and his DJ-Kicks mix.

Photek US Tour Dates

Photek's masterful DJ-Kicks mix is out this week in North America, and is currently charting on the iTunes Electronic chart. He'll be hitting the road for a string of dates in the US to celebrate the release, including major electronic music festivals Together Boston, Symbiosis Fest, and the mighty DEMF. Having caught a taste in Austin, we're sure you won't want to miss the chance to see this man take to the decks!

4/5/12 – Washington, DC: U Street Music Hall (w/ Dieselboy) 4/6/12 – New York, NY: Cameo Gallery 4/7/12 – Boston, MA: Together Festival 4/20/12 – Charlotte, NC: The Fillmore 4/27/12 – Denver, CO: Beta 5/4/12 – Burnaby, BC: Venue TBA 5/18/12 – Pyramid Lake, NV: Symbiosis Fest 5/26/12 – Detroit, MI: DEMF 6/8/12 – San Francisco, CA: 1015

Photek Video Interview

Watching Photek in his studio is a bit like watching a master chef in the kitchen. We were lucky enough to drop in to his Los Angeles home base to chat about his massive DJ-Kicks mix, his first live show DJing with Peshay, and the inspiration behind the titles for some of the exclusive Photek tracks that appear on the mix. DJ-Kicks is out now everyone but the US, where it comes out on April 3rd.

DJ-Kicks Comes To SXSW w/ Photek & Apparat

For serious music fans, SXSW in Austin is close to heaven on earth. Non-stop music of all sorts, plenty of beer & BBQ, and for those of us in colder climates, a chance to enjoy some mild weather before Spring is fully underway. This year, as a part of our celebration of 27 years of !K7 we'll be kicking the festivities off with DJ sets from two of the recent stars of DJ-Kicks, Photek & Apparat. The party will be free and won't require a badge, so come one come all. In addition to the headliners, we also have a several special guests lined up, including artists who appear on Photek's mix. We're looking forward to starting the week of music off on the right foot with all our friends, and hope to see you there!
Wednesday March 14th @ Kingdom (103 E. St. Suite B, Austin)
DJ-Kicks SXSW w/ Photek, Apparat & more
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM • 21+ • FREE
Apparat's DJ-Kicks is available now, and Photek's mix will be released April 3rd, followed by a mix from Maya Jane Coles on April 17th.


Photek 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.”

“In 2 Minds by Kromestar is a key track,” he continues. “I stumbled across it on Beatport. It reminds me of Art Of Noise, that weird early electro music. I mean it is very weird. Then there’s one of my all time favourite tracks, Dead Eye by Baby Ford. That song is always in my mind. It’s moody as fuck. It came out in ’94, but it sounds like it was made this year. I listened to it everyday for a year, then I listened to it on a new pair of headphones and started hearing new things in it. It’s magical when that happens with a track you think you know so well. I hope people will listen to this mix with that kind of repetition because there are some quite detailed moments.”

Such as the way he mixes in No Agenda, another of four Photek exclusives, including the aforementioned Azymuth and Foutainhead, plus Levitation. But, in fact, he doesn’t ever quite mix it in. You never get to hear the full track, just snippets dusted around. Indeed, it would be easy to miss it entirely. “I don’t like to make things too obvious,” says Parkes. “There are clean powerful moments and murky moments that you have to hear a few times to know what’s going on. The way I mix in No Agenda is very deliberate. You look at the track listing and there’s a track called No Agenda, but it’s hard to work out what it is, unless you go to the individual tracks and then work out which bits have been used in the mix. You don’t get to hear the song in its entirety. It’s little bits sprinkled here and there, as though I start to mix it in then change my mind.”

The DJ-Kicks mix marks a new era for Parkes, who seemed to withdraw from the music scene in 2007. He had long been disillusioned with the constraints of the drum’n’bass scene he helped pioneer. “When I played in clubs, there was never any music I liked either side of my set. I wondered why I was part of this niche when it seemed I was a square peg in a round hole.” When he started releasing music again last year with the Avalanche EP it had more in common with post dubstep than anything else — bass heavy music that’s hard to categorise — but really it wasn’t like anything else at all. “If dubstep has taught us one thing it’s to let it all go,” says Parkes. “Just let stuff happen and sort it out later.”
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 his DJ-Kicks mix. Exactly how it should be, in other words.

02. KROMESTAR – IN …