• Kid Spatula - Full Sunken Breaks

    Reviewed by Skip Tracer (playlouder.com)

    Kid Spatula - Full Sunken Breaks

    It's a full 7 years since Mike Paradinas delivered his debut µ-Ziq album. Far from taking his lead from Leftfield, Stereo MCs or the Stone Roses, however, Paradinas has subsequently averaged 2 albums a year ever since. This, his second as Kid Spatula, represents album no. 13 and, as you would expect from any of his various aliases (Jake Slazenger, Gary Moscheles, Tuscan Raiders, Mike & Rich, Slag Boon Van Loon and, of course, µ-Ziq), it's an album saturated in splintered breaks, abrasive ambience and warped funk... and a ton of that old hardcore attitude. Legend has it that when Paradinas first created his distorted vision of idiot techno, he was only trying to make hardcore - he'd been to the raves, wired up a makeshift studio, and was intent on becoming Mr. Top-One-Nice-One-Hardcore-You-Know-The-Bloody-Score. One can only assume that someone slipped something strange into his circuitry because the avalanche of chaos that ensued stood so far apart from its surroundings that the words 'maverick' and 'loner' were bandied about like cocaine at an A&R meeting. Since then, Paradinas has remained on this idiosyncratic course, delivering music that could only have come from his head; brave, pioneering music that long since stopped being flavour of the month and has subsequently become a constant presence, an entity unto itself. If last year's µ-Ziq album 'Royal Astronomy' offered the pop side of the Paradinas mind, then 'Full Sunken Breaks' finds him once again immersed in those obsessions of old. On the one hand, we have his classic, ironic hardcore - harder than a month of Atari Teenage Riots and funkier than a weekend of porno flicks; and on the other, we have the sleazy listening '70s soundtrack slut, cheeky like a cache of Carry Ons, twisted like a snatch of Derek And Clives. Not that this is in any way a cheesy album. In each finely crafted, adrenalised idea-rush, he manages to make the most ridiculous sound, wayward idea and obtuse rhythm sound completely natural. On 'Hard Love' he practically dons the white gloves for the ravetastic samples; 'Dirtwah' melts glam rock and Middle Eastern samples over hi-speed breaks for a flash of '92 inspiration; while 'Beaver' emerges like a timid cuddly toy before revealing industrial-strength claws and a taste for blood. With a melodic yet twisted underbelly, Full Sunken Breaks always threatens to drag the beats screaming into easy listening, test-card territory. Take 'Dancing Demons', with its acid-soaked, '70s spy thriller soundtrack, or 'Another Fresh Style' and 'Nordy', with their psycho-nursery rhyme melodies. Then there's 'Snorkmaiden' (!), which presents playschool b-lines over Bluff Limbo ambience. Works of near genius, one and all. In today's cynical world it's the creative mavericks who continually lose out to the mainstream moguls - it's safer to roll your eyes and dismiss 'yet another Mike Paradinas album': in so doing, however, you're ignoring one of Britain's truest unique talents. He may not be a beardy nutter like his mate Aphex Twin but he's got more essential music to his name than Virgin Records in their entirety. All hail the Spatula boy.

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