My Little Beautiful

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Riding the wave of success that followed his brilliant full-length Astralwerks LP Lunatic Harness from 1997, Mike Paradinas cranked out two follow-up singles from the album: "Brace Yourself" (officially licensed by Astralwerks) and the more independently released "My Little Beautiful," which seems like the weaker of the two. This quartet of tracks starts with the album version of the cut -- a jazzy, dreamy, hyperactive drill'n'bass production with melody lines that seem composed by the Milton Bradley game Simon. Next comes "Hanky Pokery," featuring an edgy buzzing funk bassline that carries listeners along through a heavily garnished rhythm track that never sits still for very long (much like Paradinas himself). Even more sputtering follows with "Jiggery Panky," a busy but slightly generic overkill that does break into a calmer theme near the end. The final track, "Worcester," is an out of tune and sloppy groove that sounds simply like Paradinas had too much vodka. Indeed, it makes the listener wary and drunk after only a few minutes. Frequently, µ-Ziq gets compared to (or accused of imitating) Richard James (aka Aphex Twin), and this EP neither achieves James' status nor represents what Mike Paradinas can do on his good days. The only red rose on My Little Beautiful is the title cut; the rest are thorns.

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