Various Artists – 14 Tracks From Planet Mu
Reviewed by Juliun Source: (Little Detroit)
Wallet-friendly round-up from the institution that is Mike Paradinas’s Planet Mu label. Proceedings get underway in some style courtesy of Oriol and his densely-layered two-step/jazz fusion cut ‘Solar’. Dubious? Even a cursory listen should prove it’s not only an accurate description, but the track is gorgeous.
It’s hard to imagine there are many albums out there during the course of which the lambent, slow-paced melancholia of Solar Bears could be shown off to such great effect alongside a tear-out grime anthem in the form of Swindle’s no-holds-barred ‘Airmiles’ or Rossi B and Luca’s soca-tinged loveletter to Leyton, ‘E10 Riddim’.
Along the journey we’re treated to shimmering oddities in the form of Tropics and their deft edits (‘Give It Up’), the so-wrong-it’s-right ADHD “puzzle-pop” of Rudi Zygaldo and Ceephax Acid Crew eschewing the 303 altogether in favour of the deliciously-camp Italo posturing of ‘Topaz’.
White noise hats herald the majestic, arcane melodies of sometime Hyperdub artist Ikonika’s ‘Dckhdbtch’ and FaltyDL drops the tempo somewhat on his smouldering slowhouse burner ‘Endeavour’. Kuedo (aka Jamie from sadly defunct Vex’d) drops ‘Starfox’, a stark, futuristic collision of bit-reduced chiptune fragments, emotive chords and chest-rattling bassweight. All three of these tracks are among the compilation highlights.
Not all of it works all of the time, but then the Mu roster has always been such a staggering range of artists and styles, it would be a mean spirit indeed who would favour homogeneity over variety and experimentation. A compliation like this must have posed more than a few headaches in the inclusions and track order departments; how come it ends up sounding so cohesive is anyone’s guess.
If this album was a houseparty, it would be populated by such a disparate and seemingly antagonistic group of individuals you’d be forgiven for thinking an outbreak of violence to be almost inevitable. Waking up hungover in the morning but sporting a wide grin you would hazily recollect in fact it never came to that.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay