µ-ziq Chewed Corners

µ-ziqChewed Corners
Planet Mu is one of the most forward-thinking record labels operating right now, championing burgeoning new sounds and scenes from across the globe. The man behind this powerhouse, Mike Paradinas (aka µ-ZIQ), is best known for his collaborations with Aphex Twin (as Mike & Rich) and for releasing music on some of the most prestigious electronic labels of the last two decades. With all this in mind, one would expect great things from Chewed Corners, an amalgamation of all those amazing disparate sounds he's been releasing over the years. However, this is in fact Chewed Corners' greatest fault, as well as its crowning achievement: it has no focus. There are, of course, flashes of greatness. Paradinas' stellar ear for melody lends itself wonderfully to the synthscapes of "Weakling Paradinas" or "Mountain Island Boner," and when the fusing works, it really works — the ambient juke of "Tickly Flanks" is sublime, as are the tripped-out house vibes of "Houzz 10." But with the palette as broad as it is, the sound often becomes bogged down under the weight of its inventiveness. You can't fault µ-ZIQ for branching out of the staid EDM clichés that oversaturate the electronic music landscape, but unfortunately, Chewing Corners is a little too disorganised. (Planet Mu)