• µ-Ziq - Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique

    Reviewed by barcodezine

    <b> µ-Ziq </b> - Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique

    I make this the 7th U-Ziq (Mike Paradinas) album since the project’s conception in 1993. Renowned U-Ziq albums include Tango N’Vectif (1993), Lunatic Harness (1997) and Royal Astronomy (1999), all of which illuminated the ambient/electro genre.

    With Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique, however, Paradinas stands nakedly transparent. Everything from the title to the artwork to the song titles to the music itself signals an artist struggling for ideas and seeking to follow rather than lead. Paradinas does not have the self-assurance of his oft lauded contemporaries and therefore cannot pull off the same confidence tricks. When Aphex, Boards, Squarepusher or Autechre are conceited and boring you raise an eyebrow but quickly forgive and forget, for Paradinas it’s not so easy.

    Duntisbourn is an album that panders to what an artist thinks people might want or expect in 2007, and therefore lacks a sense of career development. For the vast majority of the 17 short and swift tracks, Paradinas attempts to appear fashionable and relevant within ambient techno/IDM circles by pitch bending every sound until the deliberate mash of off-kilter rhythms are more curved, twisted and nauseous than every comparable artist out there, yet it seems complacent to believe that his audience is likely to be that easily pleased.

    Personally I prefer Paradinas other project, Kid Spatula, which is more lighthearted, less ostentatious and at least delivers some decent tunes. The often disinteresting Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique is almost certainly Paradinas’ weakest U-Ziq album to date. Whilst some of these tracks hit the mark for their discomforting sense of dread, one can't help feeling the album is squarley aimed towards lucrative Sky documentaries or incidental TV music. A poor showing really.

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