µ-Ziq: XTEP 12″ (Planet Mu, 2013)

July 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

µ-Ziq: XTEP 12"

µ-Ziq: XTEP 12″

So Mike Paradinas is suddenly releasing a flurry of new and old material under the µ-Ziq name this year, including 2 CDs worth of unreleased early ’90s material, plus this promo-only mix that I haven’t heard. But there’s also the Chewed Corners album and this 12″ EP. I still haven’t bought Chewed Corners yet, but I heard a stream of it and it didn’t particularly strike me as sounding like µ-Ziq, so I need to spend some time with it when I get around to buying it and appreciate it on its own accord. This EP, however, definitely sounds like µ-Ziq, so I instantly embrace it, although I wasn’t super crazy about the sound clips I heard when they were initially posted to the Planet Mu site. But “XT” has a really happy piano melody, ’80s R&B guitar licks, light dance beats, and the kind of goofy childlike wondrous feel a lot of Paradinas’ work has. “Ritm” is piano-and-string-heavy house, and “Pulsar” is arpeggio-heavy Italo-disco. “Monj2” is where we get closer to the type of distortion sounds µ-Ziq was using on his earlier recordings, but with a clear juke/footwork influence, and gorgeous cascading synths. “New Bimple” is also uptempo, with knocking beats, dreamy pianos and understated arpeggiating synths. It’s pretty short and feels kind of sketch-like, but it’s fitting as a closing track on an EP. Even if XTEP isn’t a return to the drill-n-bass days, it’s still an enjoyable sampling of what µ-Ziq circa 2013 sounds like.

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