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Baker's Dozen

Semi-Chaotic Elements: Ekoplekz' Favourite Albums
The Quietus , June 4th, 2015 11:11

With his third album on Planet Mu out, Nick Edwards gives us an in-depth trawl through his top 13 LPs, a Baker's Dozen that scans his formative 90s electronica influences and acts as a "reference point" to Reflekzionz


µ-Ziq - Tango N' Vectif
This album was so inspiring to me when it came out. I've always been attracted to 'outsiders' who don't follow the herd, and even though British electronica was already finding many interesting escape routes from the limited possibilities of the rave scene, Mike Paradinas' debut was a revelation. It sounded like techno made by someone who had never actually heard any techno and was just imagining what it might sound like, based on his own musical background and experiences. There's nothing on here you could pinpoint as having been influenced by Chicago, Detroit or even Sheffield. Yet somehow it seemed to fit comfortably into the musical landscape of that time, to the point where 'Phi*1700 (U/V)' ended up being licensed to that staunch bastion of all things Euro-techno, R&S Records, even though there was no 4/4 beat and the keyboards sounded like some cheesy old easy listening record.

There's an uninhibited, almost childlike glee about this album, the way the drums pound and rattle and the layers of melody soar joyously in a splurge of willfully individualistic expression. You could just tell Mike didn't give a shit about being perceived as cool, or having the right reference points; he just wanted to make honest-to-God beautiful music. And by and large he's kept doing so ever since, but this debut will always have a very special place in my heart.

Of course, since then Mike has become my boss at Planet Mu and we have regular extended chats on the phone. Usually we start talking about the latest developments with one of my records, but inevitably the conversation veers off in all sorts of directions and I enjoy gently probing him for recollections of the early days when this record was released. Even though I'm perceived as a 'new' artist by comparison, I actually feel (in my own highly egocentric way) like I'm part of that first wave of British maverick artists that include Mike, Aphex, Vibert, etc. I was making music along with them, and feeding off what they were doing, the difference being that I just could not get signed to a label to save my life. I was sending cassette demos to Warp, Rephlex, Rising High and anyone else I could think of, but I just couldn't break through. I guess I was destined to bring up the rear, but all the records on this list have impacted in some way on what would eventually become Ekoplekz.