Reviewed by Ralph Cowling (absorb.org)
mike paradinas, thoroughly respected in the world of electronica and with good reason. having founded a decent, progressive and independent label - planet mu, of course. however, now coming to his 18th long player, he's produced a record so cluttered with such a stabbing urge to prove how complex and intelligent it is, that it deeply and horrifically obfuscates any real chance of dancing to it. in other words, mike paradinas is too damn tek for his own good.
there are some absolutely explosive tracks on here though. 'grape nut beats (part 1)' is so far off the scale it's difficult to relate where it left my head after listening. with super deep gabber, drill and bass, naughty little pieces of speed-synth and enough atmosphere to provide a small moon with life, it's certainly the high-point of the album.
there are some other beautifully crafted tracks on the album (there's no lack of skill in terms of technical ability throughout) and some do, fortunately, transcend the 'just right for me in the studio, too good for you in your room/club' vibe. for example 'aec merlin' flows along nicely, with dissonant back-tones and granular loops on top of a really strong beat. however, creating a few tracks stable enough to warrant attention and only one real piece of mega-beast-stunnerment does not an awesome ensemble make.
the whole thing could have been elegantly saved if there was an attitude set in which paradinas was willing to move-away from over-complexities and compromise some crazy over-acid production for a bit of a, well, any groove really. this stated, i'm really happy that he hasn't, as it means that there's no compromise to the integrity of this music, nor to the powerfully progressive focus of the record, because when it actually works, it's really worth all the effort on both listener and creator's parts.
- Shitmat - Shopliftin' Gabba
- Jansky Noise & Speedranch - Mi^grate
- µ-Ziq - Bilious Paths
- Lexaunculpt - The Blurring Of Trees
- Ambulance - The Curse Of Vale Do Lobo
- Venetian Snares - Winter In The Belly Of A Snake
- Electronic Music Composer - Suggested Surgery
- Local - They Are Local
- Leafcutter John - The Housebound Spirit
- Various - Children Of Mu
- Venetian Snares - Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006
- Joseph Nothing - Dreamland Idle Orchestra
- Nautilis - Are You An Axolotl
- DJ Hekla - Eruption 1970
- Nautilis - Sketches Vol.1
- Decal - 404 Not Found
- Luke Vibert - Homewerk
- Kettel - Tadley Management E.P.
- Hellfish - Meat Machine Broadcast System
- Dykehouse - Dynamic Obsolescence
- Tim Tetlow - Cyrenic
- Electric Company - Slow Food
- Venetian Snares - Songs About My Cats
- o9 - No Delay For Days