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A Magazine for Sheffield

Chewed Corners

Planet Mu head honcho Mike Paradinas has spent the last 20 years performing and producing under his µ-Ziq pseudonym, and this new record see him sounding as original and unique as ever. His discography was begun with acid techno powerhouse Rephlex in 1993 with the beautiful and brooding surreality of Tango N’Vectif, which carefully balanced the prevailing acid sounds with an individual delicacy often lacking from his contemporaries’ music at the time. But it was his amicable split with Rephlex in 2003 that seemed to really let him fly, with Bilius Paths, his debut on his own label, displaying his multifaceted brilliance.

Chewed Corners sees him exploring his imagination again in a similar vein, with bizarre melodic arrangements and intricate rhythms offset by the distinctively analogue sound palette that draws all his releases together. Opener ‘Taikon’ is a case in point, its luscious and rich synths poised somewhere between relaxing ambience and impending doom, falling subtly in and out of tune before a wave of electronic choral lines sweep another gloss over the affair. There are similarities with Autechre’s Oversteps here and they continue throughout the record, but not in any negative sense; these are just artists of a similar era exploring how far their amassed production knowledge can take them.

This inevitably results in some variance between tracks, though a lot of this is going to be down to personal taste. Personally I think ‘Wipe’ feels a little directionless, especially when followed by as exquisite an arrangement as ‘Monyth’. ‘Houzz 10’ stands out as a slightly more dancefloor-friendly number which still exhibits definite µ-Ziq DNA, and while ‘Hug’ shows a lack of inventiveness as a soft number, this is more than compensated for by the gentle closing beauty ‘Weakling Paradinas’.

All top quality by the standards of 95% of people releasing electronic music. Dim the lights and have a good listen.