µ-ziq Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Certainly words Mike Paradinas has taken to heart since he first started making IDM under the handle of µ-Ziq, And for the most part, it’s worked out for him. In the ’90s, he was at the forefront of electronic innovation, alongside peers like Richard D. James and Tom Jenkinson, but somehow along the way he’s ebbed a little artistically, which likely has to do with running his label, Planet Mu. It’s a delight then to have Duntisbourne, his first album since 2003’s Bilious Paths, appear out of thin air. Paradinas still considers himself an innovator and he’s up to his old tricks again, rolling over 303s, pushing the off-key synths to the max and throwing an assortment of beats and squelches into his caustic brew. There’s still a balanced fusion of mad techno and quirky ambient emanating from the man, which is best felt in the side by side pairing of "Painshill Park” and the aptly titled "Acid Steak Night.” To be honest, there’s little here that feels like he’s progressing as an artist — this could have followed 1999’s stunning Royal Astronomy a year later and likely wouldn’t have sounded any different. And while there’s nothing quite as arresting as that album’s "The Fear,” if you’re jonesing for more µ-Ziq, you won’t go wrong with this strangely titled affair. It’s certainly more of what you want from Mike Paradinas. (Planet Mu)