μ-Ziq Challenge Me Foolish Planet Mu
This selection of unreleased music by Planet Mu founder and IDM pioneer Mike Paradinas – aka μ-Ziq – reveals just how influential he was and continues to be. Compiling material from the late 90s, these tracks were created around the same time Paradinas was making a name with his seminal Royal Astronomy album and support slots for Björk. Challenge Me Foolish retroactively produces a more complete picture of eerie nostalgia in experimental electronica; a sort of proto-hypnagogia that preceded projects by the likes of James Ferraro and Daniel Lopatin’s Oneohtrix Point Never.
The onomatopoeiac DoDaDu, a collaboration with Japanese vocalist Kazumi, features breathy vocals that are cut up and spread across a swell of soft basslines and glimmers of tender keyboard melodies, echoing James Ferraro’s frenetic corporate dreamscapes of the early 00s. The hiccoughing string simulations of Robin Hood Gate and staccato multi-tonal keys of Perfame, meanwhile, emerge later in the rolling tableaux’s of Lopatin’s R Plus Seven era.
The drill ’n’ bass aspects of Paradinas’ oeuvre – which aligned him with the defiantly un-danceable sounds of Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Squarepusher – emanate here in tracks like Bassbins and Lexicon but not without smoothing out its more anxious edges with ambient organs. The sense of fun and humour of the subgenre is more pronounced on Challenge Me Foolish than Royal Astronom, while maintaining a deep affection for its drum ’n’ bass, jungle, breakbeat and techno roots.