Mu-Ziq -  Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique
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Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique

Hey, wait a second. What year is this? Oh, it's 2007 you say? Even though I still don't have my flying car, I'll take your word for it.

The reason I ask is because listening to Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique, I somehow feel transported back to the early 90s. Sure, they weren't bad times really, as I was going to college and just getting my feet wet in this whole electronic music thing. U-Ziq (along with others like Aphex Twin, Black Dog, The Orb, and many others) was actually one of those artists that caught my attention. Tango N' Vectif and Bluff Limbo sound a bit dated today, but at the time both sounded completely fresh and new with their nod to almost industrial music with the crunchy rhythms and huge analogue melody pushes.

Sadly, this newest release from Mike Paradinas isn't nostalgic in a good way. Instead, it sounds as if he's nearly ran out of ideas, as track after track of queasy melodies and crunchy beats comes lumbering out of the speakers. Arriving almost five years after the hit-or-miss Billious Paths, it's even worse of a stumble, with uninspired melodies that sound almost flat-out lifted from his past releases and many, many retreads through sounds that he's already played out.

I'm possibly being unduly harsh, but it almost seems like the over-the-top, blood and brain-splattered cover art and unwieldy title are meant to serve as sort of a distraction from the music itself, which is actually on the more melancholy and introspective side of things. When it's not being completely obvious, there are actually some pretty darn good tracks on the release, too. "Strawberry Fields Hotel" is one of the more sparse tracks on the release, with multiple layers of analogue melodies wrapping across one another while a bass line walks up and down. "Rise Of The Salmon" is even more pretty, with high-end lo-fi analogue synth chords playing out over a huge washes of swirling synths and crashing cymbals that turn the track into one big crescendo that pays off nicely.

If you're a hardcore Mu-Ziq fan, you'll probably want to hear this one just for old times sake, but I can't imagine too many people feeling like they're hearing something new when this one is spinning. For me, the best work by Paradinas is still the excellent Lunatic Harness or the sadly-overlooked Mu-Ziq Vs The Auteurs, which is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to deconstructionist remix projects.

rating: 3.2510
Aaron Coleman 2007-09-13 20:42:36