Dec 31, 2021

Top ten best electronic music albums of 2021: µ-Ziq – Scurlage

Fat Roland's Best Electronic Music Albums of 2021 presents another brilliant album:

µ-Ziq – Scurlage (Analogical Force)

Things to do in Scurlage, which is a bit of countryside outside Swansea:

Go on a herbal walk which, according to a TripAdvisor reviewer, "is not easy with flip-flops".
Go to the Culver Hole cave which, according to a TripAdvisor reviewer, is "not too challenging with good footwear".
Explore the Gower Peninsular which, according to a TripAdvisor reviewer, requires decent boots so as to "avoids cuts and misadventure on the slippery rocks".

Things to do when listening to Scurlage, Mike Paradinas's first album of new works for donkey's years:

Gasp at the sinister atmosphere of the drum-rolling and ominous Blakers Loop.
Delight at the ping-pong percussion in the AFXian Preston Melodics.
Boogie on down to the insistent melody in the basement disco track Slade Treacher.
Mime playing a video game to the fun micro-techno of Oxwich & Penrice.
Get stupidly high to the credit-roll resolution of the sparking Blauwasser.
Lie gasping and spent as the murky Strawberry Aero closes out proceedings.

The front cover of Scurlage is an image of Welsh landmark Arthur’s Stone. The story goes that King Arthur removed a stone in his shoe. He chucked it towards Swansea, and by the time it had reached Swansea Bay, it was massive enough to be photographed for a µ-Ziq album cover.

I like to think of the idea of this album starting as a stone in Paradinas's mind. Given the extra time of lockdown, it grew into something substantial and, I'd argue, one of his best albums to date. In fact, I'd go as far to say if this was µ-Ziq's debut album, it would be up there with Selected Ambient Works. Every track is a banger wrapped in gauze and left to ride the thermals of the south Wales coastline.

The moral of the story is:

Always holiday in Wales because you might end up producing an album.
Be careful of where you throw stones because they can suddenly become massive.
Wear sensible shoes. Always wear sensible shows.

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