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µ-ZIQ

µ-Ziq

Hello

    Planet Mu owner Mike Paradinas (a.k.a. µ-Ziq) wraps up 2022 with his 3rd release of new material this year. ‘Hello’ is the mirror image of the ‘Goodbye EP’. The intensity is heightened, the breaks more manic and melodies inhabit every corner. The material is the final chapter of the ‘Magic Pony Ride’ material and even includes another version of that track. 'Iggy’s Song’ has a slowed down sample of Mike’s son screaming, ‘Ávila’ is an ode to his father’s hometown in Spain and ‘Green Chaos’ even includes a nod to RP Boo. On Side B things get more interesting. ‘Pyramidal Mind Dispersion’ slows things down while amping up the tension, Modulating Angel is at drum & bass tempo but with a choir of angels from hell in the background, while the final two tracks recall the experimentation and melodies of Lunatic Harness.

    TRACK LISTING

    LP:
    A:
    1. Hello
    2. Iggy's Song
    3. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.3)
    4. Green Chaos
    5. Ávila
    B:
    1. Pyramidal Mind Dispersion
    2. Modulating Angel
    3. Pentagonal Antiprism
    4. Metabidiminished Icosahedron

    CD:
    01. Hello
    02. Iggy's Song
    03. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.3)
    04. Green Chaos
    05. Ávila
    06. Pyramidal Mind Dispersion
    07. Modulating Angel 08 Pentagonal Antiprism
    09. Metabidiminished Icosahedron
    10. Goodbye VIP
    11. Giddy All Over
    12. Moise
    13. Rave Whistle
    14. Rave Whistle (Darkside Mix)
    15. Rave Whistle (Jungle Tekno Mix)

    µ-Ziq

    Lunatic Harness - 25th Anniversary Edition

      Lunatic Harness, µ-Ziq's rare and sought-after fourth album, was originally released in July 1997 on Virgin's Hut Recordings label. It is generally considered to be Mike Paradinas's best work of the nineties. An Apple Music review describes Lunatic Harness as "the prettiest album to come out of the mid-'90s "drill'n'bass movement", noting that Paradinas eschewed the abrasiveness of similar works by Squarepusher and Aphex Twin in favour of "atmospheres of ethereal color and shimmering melody", bringing the album "closer to pop music than anything Paradinas had previously attempted". Planet Mu has compiled a special 256th anniversary edition 4xLP boxset bringing together the My Little Beautiful EP, the Lunatic Harness album and May 1998's Brace Yourself EP (released by USA's Astralwerks label) with the addition of four rare tracks. Discs one and two of the vinyl are the original Lunatic Harness album, disc three compiles the My Little Beautiful b-sides with three unreleased cuts from the period and a remix of Mr.Angry from 1997's Mealtime compilation, while disc four is the 8-track Brace Yourself EP which hasn't been re-issued since 1998. This all comes in individual printed sleeves housed in a rigid box with an insert collage of some of the press Mike received at the time. There is also a 2xCD edition with the same tracklisting.

      TRACK LISTING

      A:
      1/Brace Yourself Jason
      2/Hasty Boom Alert
      3/Mushroom Compost
      B:
      1/Blainville
      2/Lunatic Harness
      3/Approaching Menace
      C:
      1/ My Little Beautiful
      2/ Secret Stair Pt.1
      3/ Secret Stair Pt.2
      4/ Wannabe
      D:
      1/ Catkin And Teasel
      2/ London
      3/ Midwinter Log
      E:
      1/ Hanky Pokery
      2/ Jiggery Panky
      3/ Worcester
      4/ The Cut Of My Jib
      F:
      1/ Lunatic Harness (Original Demo)
      2/ Lunatic Harness (Remix)
      3/ Mr. Angry (Remix)
      G:
      1/ Brace Yourself (Remix)
      2/ Kubba
      3/ Vaken Bolt
      4/ Losers' March
      H:
      1/ Summer Living 2
      2/ Intellitag
      3/ Abmoit
      4/ Brace Yourself (Reprise)

      µ-Ziq

      Magic Pony Ride

        Planet Mu welcomes back owner Mike Paradinas (a.k.a. µ-Ziq) for ‘Magic Pony Ride’, an album of joyful, melodic, jungle-inspired music, and his first LP of new material on the label since 2013. The title reflects the childlike wonder of the album, happy melodies are foregrounded, wordless vocals bounce and echo while sounds bubble and sparkle. Paradinas had been releasing archival albums but got a taste for making new music after a trip to Wales (inspiring ‘Scurlage’, his 2021 album on Analogical Force). This influence of using trips away as a muse is carried on in ’Magic Pony Ride’ after a weekend getaway to found Paradinas riding Icelandic horses across a snowy landscape at dawn. You can almost feel the relaxed wide open spaces in the lush synth chords of the title track and ‘Uncle Daddy’.

        The album also reflects on family with features from his daughter Elka on ‘Picksing’ and ‘Elka’s Song’ and ‘Galope’ in memory of his father who passed away a few years ago. The theme of family is also found in the meditative ‘Shulem’s Theme’, a title inspired by the Netflix series Shtisel. These reflective themes tie in with this year’s 25th anniversary reissue of µ-Ziq’s 1997 breakthrough album ‘Lunatic Harness’. In Mike’s own words “Magic Pony Ride was written as a kind of follow up to ‘Lunatic Harness’, at least in terms of genre and style. After mastering Lunatic for its reissue I went back to using breaks again on some newer tracks and this is the result!”

        TRACK LISTING

        2LP
        A:
        1. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.1)
        2. Goodbye
        3. Picksing
        B:
        1. Unless
        2. Turquoise Hyperfizz
        3. Galope
        C:
        1. Uncle Daddy
        2. Brown Chaos
        3. Shulem's Theme
        D:
        1. Elka's Song
        2. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.2)
        3. Don't Tell Me (It's Ending)

        CD
        1. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.1)
        2. Goodbye
        3. Picksing
        4. Unless
        5. Turquoise Hyperfizz
        6. Galope
        7. Uncle Daddy
        8. Brown Chaos
        9. Shulem's Theme
        10. Elka's Song
        11. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.2)
        12. Don't Tell Me (It's Ending)

        µ-Ziq & Mrs Jynx

        Secret Garden

          In Spring 2021, Mike Paradinas (µ-Ziq and the owner of Planet Mu) spoke to long time friend and past label signing Hannah Davidson (Mrs Jynx) about the therapeutic power of writing music when times are tough. Both had recently been dealing with the loss of a parent due to cancer, and fresh from writing Scurlage, Paradinas suggested a collaboration. “I’ve always thought Hannah’s melodic sensibilities chime well with my own," says Paradinas, "and I've wanted to collaborate with her for a long time, since [her 2010 album] 'Shark Carousel' in fact, because she'd written some melodies that I wish I had.” In a matter of weeks the two collaborated online, sending stems back and forth, each encouraging the other and fitting perfectly together. “After about ten days we had ten tracks we were happy with." adds Davidson, "It was exciting to hear what Mike would do with the stems I sent, and equally exciting to see what he thought of my additions to his stems.”

          Overall the result is an opus of deeply personal moments of grief, depicted in a feeling of serene, misty tranquility that makes it easy to get lost in. Davidson and Paradinas settled on the title 'Secret Garden' due to the melodic vista which unexpectedly opened up before them on the final track. The album truly is a melodic exploration that is so often missed in this genre. There are twists and turns in mood, from the pastoral loveliness of 'Jynxiq' and 'Unheard Melodies' which fall away to the dubby beats of 'Hi Jynx'; the sadness of 'Loss' leading into the beatless forlorn 'The Ballad of Darth Vader. The album ups the pace with the muffled kicks and warm atmosphere of 'Afternoon Sunshine', which sets the tone for the happier mood of the second half. This all leads up to the album's denoeument in final track 'Secret Garden' whose naïve meandering synth melodies, orchestral accompaniment and glockenspiel end the album in happy resolution.

          TRACK LISTING

          Side A:
          1. Jynxiq
          2. Unheard Melodies
          3. Hi Jynx
          4. Loss
          Side B:
          1. The Ballad Of Darth Vader
          2. Afternoon Sunshine
          3. Cocker Boo
          4. Philip Steak
          5. Hulo
          6. The Secret Garden

          U-Ziq

          Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique

            "Duntisbourne Abbots..." is U-Ziq's first new album for four years and first new material released since 2005. It's a more reflective body of work compared to the whirlwind of chaos that was "Bilious Paths"; introspective and rather melancholic, U-Ziq revisits his roots in the early 90s ambient techno scene pioneered by, among others, The Black Dog, Aphex Twin and himself. Amongst these 17 tracks of off-key melodies, nauseous harmonies and woozy beats can be found gems such as the beautiful "Strawberry Fields Hotel" in which a lone bassline strikes out a refrain of unexpected simplicity while bees swarm overhead around a fig tree. And "Drum Light" where a five-part melody gives way to a startling noise assault. "Acid Steak Night", a collaboration with label-mate The Doubtful Guest, is a more straightforward techno number with 303 basslines warring it out with spooky melodic synth lines. A melodic tour de force.


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            Tom Verlaine 1949 - 2023. Thank you for the music. https://t.co/uQb3iWX5C4
            Sat 28th - 10:48
            After doing a shop window take over back in Nov with empty sleeves. The vinyl is finally here 🙌 Léna C - Promenade… https://t.co/nVagAWC9we
            Fri 27th - 4:24
            Free promotional candles on the counter for the new album from Samia @samiatheband ‘Honey’ out today via… https://t.co/aNm00g6tCX
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