Compilation Review: µ-ZIQ / ‘Somerset Avenue Tracks 1992-1995’ (Planet Mu)



Found to be unsurprisingly upfront on new album Chewed Corners yet still with a degree of the unexpected, the multiples of veteran Mike Paradinas now throws open a previously vinyl-only anthology, criss-crossing 24 times over through unreleased electronic molecules for everyone to mobilize to. Standing to the left, the µ-ZIQ man’s furthermost forays do not occupy the headspace of a scientific mutineer, his sound found to be an open house. At times in fact it’s damned well straightforward, with ambient techno “Vinxel” and disarmingly unblemished keyboard solos “Air” and “Melodion” at the top of the uncomplicated contrasts in melody.

Various strange but beautiful textures (“Spooky Tooth,” “Pollux”) are moulded into shape with deftly mechanical fingers, issuing a come-and-get-me to whatever category is feeling plucky, operating a potter’s wheel spinning on a square-shaped disc, and simply clicking a switch (presumably given the timeline, triumphing with what technology was available) that clears the decks after there’s seemingly no room to budge.

If you want pistons overthrowing the factory floor and professorial madness, there’s ample confusion to get hit by. “Toy Gun #2” and ‘Boistron’ cater for all your dreams of deposed civilization, leading to aftermaths like the mourning drone “Str06,” bent counterattacks “Airto” and “Victor’s March”, and ‘Boilig’ piecing together haunted organs and test tubes. Given the epoch, none of it feels left behind, some going as far as nudging ahead of the game while standing head and shoulders above competition from the same era.

File under: Heterotic, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher