• µ-Ziq - Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique

    Reviewed by The Wire

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

    Mike Paradinas's latest release as Mu-Ziq was 2003's Bilious Paths, a coruscatingly inventive collection of music. That album not only confirmed that Paradinas was closely monitoring developments in two-step Garage and Grime; it also demonstrated that he was as capable as ever of bending new genres to his will. The thrilling hybrids that animated Bilious Paths influenced a new genration of producers, and helped to establish Planet Mu as a haven for dubstep auteurs like Distance, Mark One and Boxcutter. But it will come as no surprise to seasoned observers that, having recaptured the relevance and creativity of his mid-90s major label zenith, Paradinas has opted to turn his back on all that and do something completely different.
    By opening with the moody, syncopated crunch of "Prongh Seemness", Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique does briefly suggest a continuity with Bilious Paths - but it quickly becomes apparent that these tracks are really looking back much further in time. Paradinas casts shadows 15 years long - summoning the spirits of 1993's Tango N'Vectif and the Artificial Intelligence era, suffusing these modern compositions with the blissful, vintage melancholy of Ambient House. Tracks like "Eggshell" - all bittersweet arpeggios and woozy squiggles - and "Strawberry Fields Hotel", with smeary chords adorning a delicately ascending baseline, will bring tears to the eyes of serotonin casualties everywheere. "Acid Steak Night" is more propulsive, but it's writhing 303s are just as evocative. However, Paradinas is not dealing purely in nostalgia - there's a freshness and vigour on display throughout, typified by the breathtaking gales of white noise that blow through the closing "Drum Light". In fact despite the twin handicaps of a daft title and truly horrendous cover art, Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique might just prove to be one of the highlights of 2007.
    Chris Sharp

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