µ-ziq XTEP

µ-ziq XTEP
7
This is first official release from British IDM pioneer µ-Ziq (aka Mike Paradinas) in close to six years. Having kept himself busy with various projects, including Heterotic (his synth-pop/dance hybrid with Lara Rix-Martin), and, of course, being the Planet Mu label boss. Planet Mu is releasing this five-track EP of non-album tracks in advance of the forthcoming Chewed Corners, which is scheduled for a summer release. "XT" starts off in classic µ-Ziq territory — cute melodies that could almost be the soundtrack to a children's TV show or the closing credits to a John Hughes film over familiar IDM tropes. "Ritm" is centred upon an unabashedly fun piano-rave riff that sounds like it might be an outtake from the Heterotic project. "Pulsar" screams early '80s synth explosion, with its sparse, chiming melodies, pulsating synth rhythms, dark pop and subtle use of vocoder. "Monj2" takes things up a notch with its footwork influence, while piano-based closer "New Bimple" is the only hint of melancholy or isolation on the whole EP. Just like we expect from µ-Ziq, XTEP is all over the map, but it's a solid EP that's surprisingly bright in tone. (Planet Mu)