Kid Spatula

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Meast Review

by John Bush

Two discs and 34 tracks of Mike Paradinas productions is a lot to churn through, especially for fans growing used to a much slower rate of release from the producer who made the game of follow-the-alias such fun during the '90s. Beginning with 2000's Full Sunken Breaks, Paradinas has slotted Kid Spatula for archival releases, and this collection is no different. On tap are tracks recorded between 1994 and 1998, a time when Paradinas was at his commercial and artistic peak. Despite an understandable lack of classic moments -- obviously, these only earned release after at least one initial rejection -- Meast includes a lot of beautiful music in the ยต-Ziq mold. As a whole, the album sounds most similar to 1995's In Pine Effect, a period when Paradinas tracks sounded as though Tomita had been hired by Nintendo circa 1985 to soundtrack their video games in a ring modulator. (The track "Upton" would be the perfect accompaniment for the High Scores screen of the original Mario Brothers game.) Despite having never delved into film or game composing, Paradinas' work is perfectly suited toward some higher purpose rather than merely listening -- his melodies are easily hummed but anonymous and detached, the perfect recipe for an added visual component. Stylistically and thematically, Meast is all over the map, as though Paradinas were merely the curator of a sound library that could be haphazardly searched by those needing a soundtrack. Also, it only cements the impression, desired or not, that Paradinas' productions belong to a moment in time and haven't survived the journey to the 21st century.

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