• Kid Spatula - Meast

    Kid Spatula - Meast

    In just over ten years, Mike Paradinas has established himself as one of the pioneering artists of the electronic scene, with a variety of projects ranging from µ-ziq to the mambo-infused Gary Moscheles. The first occurrence of the Kid Spatula alias goes back to 1995, one of the most prolific moments of Paradinas’s career. Following his Makesaracket album as Jake Slazenger, released on the now defunct Clear Records, the Kid’s first album, Spatula Freak, was released on Kim Cascone’s San Francisco-based Reflective. On this album, Paradinas was providing his audience with yet another angle on electronica. Taking some of the vibes of his In Pine Effect µ-ziq album of the same year, he presented with this record more sober and sparse soundscapes, yet retaining the essence of his earlier work. Five years later, he released Full Sunken Breaks, published on his own Planet Mu label, a collection of tracks sounding something between his later µ-ziq releases and the work of his long-term friend Richard D. James. Returning with the third Kid Spatula album barely a year after the daring Bilious Path, Mike Paradinas presents a selection of unreleased material scanning his work between 1994 and 1998.
    Clocking at thirty four tracks spread well over two hours, Meast is somewhat more disparate than what Paradinas had got his public used to, lacking some of the focus of records such as Tango N’ Vectif, In Pine Effect of Full Sunken Breaks. Yet, the quality of most of the tracks included remains high. Ranging from bopping moments (the tongue-in-cheek opener Housewife) to classic electronic compositions (Shistner’s Bassflex, Local Jogger, Jackal, Sad & Solid) and beautiful ambient constructions (Member, My Piano & Me, Pound &), this album offers an interesting view of the man’s work during the second half of the nineties, gives some interesting perspective on his later work. Blending stark electronic soundscapes, hip-hop or jazzy influences and stunning melodies, Paradinas has carved a special place for himself, and this album comprehensively highlights his interesting take on the genre. Nothing here is as complex or hard hitting as last year’s Bilious Path. The disarmingly simple melodies of tracks such as Shistner’s Bassflex, Trike, Orange Crumble, Measty or Broccoli contrast with the more intricate Weiro, Further 2 or Harpsichord, and the variety of sonic landscapes represented could disconcert new comers but is likely to get the old school electronica fans reminiscing.
    Alongside Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert and, later on Squarepusher, Mike Paradinas has proved one of the most consistent and prolific musicians of his generation. Yet, his style has always been utterly unique. More melodic and accessible than most, his music has evolved in a variety of direction but never lost its soul, and Meast, if not perhaps the Kid Spatula record that fans wanted to hear, is at least a testament of that.

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