Bilious Paths - (2003)
The first µ-Ziq release on Mike Paradinas' own Planet µ label since he debuted it with a 1997 double EP, Bilious Paths returns him full circle to the master-craftsman mayhem of that year's Lunatic Harness. And since it's also his first full-length not on a major-distributed label since 1995, Paradinas allowed himself a refreshing degree of latitude when it came to genre workouts (hardcore techno, junglistic dread madness, chilled experimental techno). Still, there isn't a track here that's not clearly, recognizably, obviously a µ-Ziq production, from the tympani-led symphonic majesty of "Octelcogopod" to the breezily shape-shifting melodies and pummeling beats of "Meinheld," with plenty of space for the lab-coat drill'n'bass he preferred during the late '90s. As usual, Paradinas is also slightly too humorous for his own good, both with his titles (the two-part "Grape Nut Beats") and with his productions ("On/Off," which repeats a naughty vocal sample far more than it deserves). Highlights abound, but this is definitely one for those used to the blend of heavy innovation and occasional inanity to be found on nearly every µ-Ziq record.