µ-ziq Bilious Paths

"I always called it techno, from the beginning," says Brit beat-manipulator Mike Paradinas, better known as µ-Ziq. "Now that seems to describe the Jeff Mills-type stuff specifically. I guess you'd have to describe it as IDM in America or Canada. But nobody uses that term over here." Of course they don't, because "intelligent dance music" is a silly name for a genre so sonically whacked. But it'll do in a pinch to describe the oft-maniacal music that Paradinas has been putting out over the past decade. Since being dropped from Astralwerks during Virgin's big bloodletting, Paradinas retreated back to his own label Planet Mu to plan his next project. Thankfully, Bilious Paths, his first full-length since ’99, lives up to his pioneering back-catalogue. "I was still on major when I was writing it. When I was dropped, then I could put together the record I wanted really. But that's an afterthought; it doesn't affect the writing process. As an artist, you don't write for Planet Mu or Astralwerks — you write for yourself." This time, Paradinas was looking to explore further afield, delving into UK garage ("the grimy sound"), ragga, gabba and, on the standout jungle-infused "Johnny Maastricht,” he brings his unique metallic touch to the latest London craze "sub-low," which is essentially electro-garage. Mixing metallic scrapes, phone samples, frantic breaks and assorted experimental textures and sinewy synth lines, Bilious revels in its dense, contradictory elements — though Paradinas might not agree. "I think the pretty melodies are quite abrasive and the abrasive drums are quite pretty. So I don't think it's a contradiction. It's just I like funky drums." (Planet Mu)