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Mike Paradinas aka µ-Ziq’s Planet µ was and still is one of the few truly major labels to emerge from the 90s post-rave electronica scene, along with Warp and Rephlex. While the Aphex Twin affiliated Rephlex slips in and out of obscurity and Warp make some ‘interesting’ choices (although I admit, lately their trend awareness and quality control have synced a little better), Planet µ has become the most reliable and prolific of the three. If there’s any criticism then maybe the retro acid of Syntheme and the considered IDM (sorry) of Boxcutter suggest a little too much reverence to established and respected sounds, but on the whole Paradinas’ label is a well valuable and much loved outlet of quality electronics.

I say all this now as there is a clutch of excellent new releases forthcoming, one of which I feel deserves specific reference:

US ‘street bass’ (read: synth-heavy American grime) producer Starkey‘s debut LP Ephemeral Exhibits dropped at the end of last year but for me he’s really nailed it with his recent single on Keysound and this, coming in June. Jamie Vex’d takes the flashing, neon crunk of ‘Miracles’ into more spacey territory with the sliced diva vocal worming its way between cracking drum machines and blooming chords. Jamie’s carving a warmer, more melodic sound since going solo (heard also on this months In System Travel EP but done better here for my money). Retaining the cavernous expanse of dubstep but happily leaving behind some of the cold, empty sonics.

‘Creature’ on the flip is a crazy beast. Barely under control it rides a shuddering, buzzing groove like a barrel of drunken snakes, sometimes I wonder if it works but for the other 90% of the time it sounds like the best thing he’s done. A fucked jam, wonky as hell and as invigorating as a double-shot espresso.

Check samples of the tracks –



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