Photek ‎– U.F.O. / Rings Around Saturn

Photek ‎– PTK06
Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM


A U.F.O. 6:14
AA Rings Around Saturn 7:28

Companies, etc.



A: 164 BPM
AA: 166 BPM

"Rings Around Saturn" appears on the LTJ Bukem compilation "Logical Progression" under the title "Pharoah", presumably a reference to the Pharoah Sanders track "Astral Travelling" that it samples.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A Runout): PT 6 A-01-01-
  • Matrix / Runout (Side AA Runout): THE FINAL CUT FOR 'STU' AT MASTERPIECE RIP. PT 6 AA-01-01-


Reviews Show All 13 Reviews

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July 8, 2016

Double A Side but two very contrasting tracks. Essential purchase!


February 9, 2014

Another two Speed classics from back in the day... Both of which just blew us away, though it was particularly 'Rings Of Saturn' that hooked us into it. I remember thinking to myself while a group of us were down at SPEED listening to this track for the first time, "How the hell does one dance to this stuff... ?" We just couldn't help but say to each other "Totally Sci-Fi, man... Totally Sci-Fi." nodding our heads away in rhythmic acknowledgement about how good this was. This was another one of those classic tracks that totally managed to break Drum & Bass out of the confined amen break mould that many artists had consigned themselves to repeat ad-infinitum.

The B side, called 'Rings Of Saturn', was the first of these two that we heard being played out. If I remember rightly, it got a double rewind that evening at SPEED under Bukem's hand. I still recall just how enamoured I was with that sound. I had to push my way through the crowd over to the decks to ask some tall chap standing there, behind Bukem while he was spinning, what this was called. He looked over at the acetate revolving around and just shrugged back at me. In many ways it didn't matter what it was called... That sound of the rain falling down, pitter-patter, with wind chimes gentle knocking together as though a light breeze had blown through them, sent shivers up my spine... One just didn't have tunes like this anywhere else... Then those congos that echoed out a sort of sparse rhythmic pattern, left you guessing where it could go next. A bar or so latter, it was all accompanied by a lush, tremolo'ed metallic Rhodes sound (which is the sample taken from Pharoah Sander's track called "Astral Travelling"), who's two notes seemed to be tangled with bird-song. Then came in that punchy double bass, layered for effect with some subtle guitar licks to give a totally funked "way-out there" feeling... Eventually some electronic strings layer over the top of the mix for a minute or two, letting the listener soak up this astral vibe, until some extra punchy hits dart out of the mix, driving it way, way off the usual Drum & Bass mode. As it progressed, this concoction of melody and abstract rhythm marched my imagination away, off into the outer reaches of space. Subtle changes let it develop gradually, eventually leading the whole track into just a drum and bass work out... A work out that was so far-out, you'd never heard anything anywhere like it before.

Later that evening, while up at the bar buying a couple bottles of water, I noticed the guy who I had spoken to behind the decks earlier. He nodded to me and said that the sample was off a Pharoah Sanders track and that the tune itself was called 'Saturn' by 'Codes of Practice' (one of Photek's aliases). We know that's not the case now, but that was the vagueness with which a lot of these acetates came around with. Most hadn't even got names when they were handed over on DAT to the DJs to cut up at Music House and then play out the very next weekend. Still, being a boy who had grown up with images of Saturn on my bedroom walls, most which had been gathered from the Voyager 1 mission, I totally got the feeling as to why it was named so.

The Pharoah Sander's track, which 'Rings Of Saturn' samples, is called 'Astral Travelling' and can be heard here:

Certainly the A side was played out a fair bit too... Though it was darker and more minimal than a lot of the other tunes being played down at SPEED at the time. Saying that, some of the guys I went down there with were huge X-Files fans, which I remember everyone was into at the time on TV, so it kind of suited the era. Still, it was the minimal beat work that got me grooving to this... As when it was played on the dance floor, it just opened it up to a shuffle step, rude-bwoy style. Listening to it at the time before knoew what it was (and thinking of 'Swing Time' and 'The Wedge' on Metalheadz), I originally thought that it was probably a Hidden Agenda number... However, after recognizing a brief out lay of hashed up 'Natural Born Killa EP' style break-editing layered in between some them beats, it dawned on me that it was probably a Rupert Parks special.

For most people, I think it was (and still is) 'Rings Of Saturn' that takes the trophy... One can still play it out today, whether in ambient sets, Drum & Bass sets, etc... Thus it's timeless... Not to mention that its versatility was a direct result of one of Drum & Basses geniuses that dared to see how far the sound could be pushed beyond the rest. Easily 5/5!


September 1, 2013

U.F.O is one of my fav Photek tracks, really is a pleasure to listen too. 95 was such a classy sound.


July 17, 2013
Rings Around Saturn is my favorite DNB track ever, actually flat out one of my favorite tracks of any genre. The sound doesn't sound aged at all - really is there any other electronic track from ~1995 that stands the test of time this well? Not even Basic Channel or Robert Hood IMO.

The drums are so damn crisp and absolute perfection on top of the ambient washes. The funky samples are like magic.


May 22, 2013

The attention to detail on the production of UFO is a lesson in creativity. Your left thing how does he get his snare to flutter and roll like that. When it comes to sound design Photek is in a different league to a lot of producers.


October 17, 2012
For me, Rings Around Saturn at 33/3rd rpm is on of my all time favourite chillout tracks, I am actually not so keen at 45 - it seems to loose some of the soul that just oozes out at 33. Others may disagree, but thats how I like it.


August 11, 2012
From where I'm standing, "Rings around Saturn" just might be his best work. A moment of sheer genius. A sublime out-of-body experience journey with drums that perfectly showcase why I fell in love with jungle / drum and bass in the first place.


August 19, 2006
edited over 10 years ago

UFO came out at a perfect time when ufo’s and paranormal activity were everywhere in the media. The sample used here is an actual recording made by US military personnel while stationed at a base in the UK. It’s reported to be a genuine recording. Photek uses the sample brilliantly. Whenever I think of Photek, I think of this tune. Darkness envelopes this track, the bass, the snares, the cuts.. Deadly. Photek produced a killer here.


August 14, 2004
edited over 12 years ago

"Rings Around Saturn" - what a sublime tune from beginning to end. Sliding out of an ambient beginning into a complex jazz-tinged groove, Photek delivers some of his finest, most intricate work here. A stupendous tune; indeed I've only ever heard it played as a set-closer, because how can you follow up something this great? Also appeared in an earlier form on the "Logical Progression" compilation under the name "Pharaoh", thanks to a sample from "Astral Traveling" by Pharaoh Sanders.


March 30, 2003
UFO starts off with some atmospheric soundtrack-esque accompaniment to dialogue from some amateur film footage of a UFO sighting. the subject matter and the paranoid otherworldy atmospherics go very well together and make up the basis for another intense piece of drum n bass.

Rings Around Saturn starts off with what appears to sound like rainfall. what follows is a very techy and fast paced intelligent groove. an excellent tune. essential listening.