• -

    Reviewed by TJ Norris (Igloomag.com)

     -

    Mike Paradinas comes out of hiding with a massive double disc of new material. OK, I am one of those people who didn't really get the whole µ-ziq phase - but I know I am in the vast minority. Though, as dopey as the new moniker sounds Kid Spatula has bright promise, and takes to task that whole 80s retro sound that has flip-flopped for all those eurotrash proto-Danceteria wannabe go-goa’holics. Only because "I've been there and have done that" can I make a valid sneer as the new guard who just recycle rather than build from the essence of foregone brilliance. Well, get your recipe books out, because this Spatula is whipping up a funny mock-up of all that and more.

    After digging into his discography a bit I noticed electro-impresario Paradinas has amassed over 17 recordings in just a bit over a decade, pretty impressive. These recordings were dedicated to DAT somewhere between ‘94 and ‘98 (noticing that he recorded under this moniker for 1995's Spatual Freak (Reflective). Though, this alter-persona includes bubbly, vivacious beats, toy synths, spoken samples, meandering spy-thriller themes, and catchy 80s riffs aplenty. Just take "Spacious Hallway" for instance - it sounds like he's crossed the accordion of an Italian street musician with the strings of the Brodsky Quartet, but managed to make the illogical references remain non-academic, and quite hilarious, without intentional puns. He still references the road-runner styling of flip jungle percussion ("Further 2") with its beyond beat box fat lips, but this is added for effect, and does not drive this vehicle - which is refreshing. "Tugboat" brings on da funk, and some eyebrow curling Jean-Michel Jarre meets John Foxx lapsing sequencers that are about to hurl.

    The Gameboy intro to "Carrier" leads you into the pop crackle of an Indian chanteuse rephrasing the same line over dancing jazz brass and mixed drum claps. "It starts with bongos" does --and adds what may be the outtakes tracks from "The Love Boat" theme. This one is g-ROOVY! Someone snap it up and mix it sidewards, please. These tracks are like little themes, all quite visual and ripe for video. While a majority of the material on Meast is heartily uptempo, the ambient, simple vibe on "Bobby" proves the man can chill - I would love to hear a full release of this type of material. It's intricate minor beats are all rubberized and edgeless, and the patterned rhythm just glides like melted butter on a raw skillet.

    Flipping to disc two the drum-centric percussion of "Sub & Solid" fuses into a caged clown pop-off beat that is hilarious repartee. The mood shifts and chills and cracks again to this cartoonish chicken speak. "Upton" starts of in shades of bluish gray and turns into a mock new age piece that is lighter fare recalling some of the now blush-worthy tones used by Flock of Seagulls and Kajagoogoo to name a few. Every jumbo-sized record has its share of filler and "Lesque" is one of those tracks which seems to be searching for a place while it rambles on but its got no funk, no beat, no thrill - trying to catch up in its final minute to no avail. The title track is a fun electro ride, playing on mid 80s guitar signature lines and the cheap thrills of drum pads. Though, this juicy lil'tidbit doesn't pull too far from the driveway, it is rendered with a fashionable sense of love incarnate. Yeah - I admit, Paradinas makes fun of what he is parodying though with a sense that he really appreciates his influences, even their misses. This is a hefty batch of 34 tracks that may keep you guessing what did I have for lunch yesterday - though this man lives to eat, not vice versa.

<< Back to reviews