Friday, April 13, 2018

µ-Ziq - Challenge Me Foolish [Planet Mu 400 Promo]

What a jubilee release. Hitting the 400 releases mark we see the exceptional Planet Mu-imprint coming up with a special treat which is Mike Paradinas' - a.k.a. µ-Ziq - new album "Challenge Me Foolish", an assorted selection of 14 tracks taken from the artists archives. Crafted in the very late 90s, partly accompanied by Japanese vocalist Kazumi we see µ-Ziq open with the epic "Inclement" before exploring a unique amalgamation of jazzy, organic breakbeat structures and beautiful melodies in "Undone" and getting deep into floating Ambient Pop with the first vocal tune of this album which also happens to be the title track, a musical outing seemingly influenced by Paradinas' touring effort with the Icelandic queen of everything that is Björk around the time these tunes were originally produced. Getting into the "Bassbins" µ-Ziq dissects one of the most recognizable vocal samples in breakbeat related music as an intro just to cater a massive IDM-/ UK Hardcore-crossover for all highly advanced ravers out there, the "Robin Hood Gate" is defined by large classical string sections and an overall orchestral approach beyond epic whilst "Perhaps" weighs in more of a twisted Easy Listening-infused melancholia and "Durian" brings on another load of etheral Pop (Not Pop)-vibe for audiences in the know before a look at the "Ceiling" reveals a masterly crafted, anthemic fusion of IDM, Drill'n'Bass and Breakcore which should be on  heavy rotation on daytime radio for a reason. "Lexicon" provides more of a junglistic vibe, once again accompanied by playful synth arrangements, "Perfame" is on an orchestral, slightly (Neo)Classical tip whilst introducing some slightly asiatic vibes kind of before the "Playbox" redefines the term Dope Beatz for 2k18, two decades after its initial production. Stumbling across a "Sad Inlay" Kazumi on vocals delivers more tongue-in-cheek greatness atop an angelic, uplifting Drill'n'Bass foundation with a Pop-related twist, "Peek Freans" serves a sweet swing and loads of cute pianos whilst reflecting long gone echoes of BigBeat in a way whereas the concluding  "DoDaDu", the final collab with Kazumi, fuses multilayered vocal scats and deep electronic arrangements to form a tender goodbye to the listeners. IDM defined. At its best.  


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