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µ-Ziq – 1977
80 lei
‘90s electronica pioneer Mike Paradinas makes a rare away-day from Planet Mu with the typically nostalgic allusions of this properly lovely side for Albert Salinas and Philip Sherburne’s Balmat label.

Arriving in the glistening wake of releases by Nueen, Hoavi, and Patricia Wolf on the label run by Pitchfork writer Sherburne, and his pal Albert Salinas, from their native Menorca and Catalonia, ’1977’ expresses µ-Ziq’s gauziest ambient feels and sidespins on dance music across a substantial haul of productions. It marks 30 years since his debut album ‘Tango N’ Vectif’ for peer and collaborator Aphex Twin’s Rephlex helped birth a whole new sub-genre of rave music, during which time he’s become one of its key protagonists with curation of the Planet Mu label - nowadays home to the cream of Chicago’s footwork scene, Rian Treanor, and a ceaseless stream of fluffy-minded IDM artists who carry the flame for ‘90s electronica’s urges toward rhythmic and harmonically innovative new electronic music. We can hear the original thrust of his music most beautifully distilled in ’1977’, whose title implies a sort of dewy-eyed reminiscence that oozes from its abundance of sweetly detuned synths and charming runs into deep house, jungle and downbeats. A sense of nostalgia has long been key to the charm of µ-Ziq’s style and never felt more apparent than on ’1977’. Notably shy of the “drill ’n bass” prang-outs of early works, but rich with the sort of pastoral tones that placed him among the scene’s most beloved artists, it could hardly be better timed for a changing of the seasons and the promise of sunny days ahead. Between the spongiform choral baubles and naif ‘70s kids TV soundtrack hauntology of ‘4am’ thru the BoC-like tingles of ‘Froglets’ it’s a real winner for anyone with a soft spot for this sort of lark, where we’re particularly smitten with the likes of his Enya-on-MDMA tones in ‘Éire’, and no doubt by the SAW 85-92 feels to ‘Lime Aero’. But anyone hankering for his beat craft will not be disappointed by the likes of ‘Houzz 13’, which subtly recalls Aleksi Perälä’s use of the colundi scale, or how ‘Mesolithic Jungle’ shears off on ‘90s drill ’n bass vectors. It all casts this particular set of ears back to late ‘90s school days getting a head-rush off Lambert & Butlers and spending classes with surreptitious headphones up our sleeve listening to Mike and his mates - a kind of priceless feeling, to be fair.
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BAR TON is a place where both musical afficionados and rookies are welcome.
Other people are also allowed in.