μ-Ziq: μ-Ziq vs. the Auteurs (AstralWerks/Caroline)

WITH ITS jungle rhythms and uncouth passion, rock’n’roll used to be the enemy of civilization and refinement. So I’m amused that it is rock fans who are now the reactionaries, erecting barricades to defend songcraft and poetic depth from techno’s barbaric assault.

I’d always figured Luke Haines, prissy wordsmith of the Auteurs, to be one of those fogies who recoil from rave music. This is the fellow, after all, who models himself on Ray Davies’ wryness and dryness. So I’m impressed that he’s submitted his songbook to the unforgiving maw of techno whiz kid Michael Paradinas, a.k.a. μ-Ziq.

Like his pal Richard James (whose Rephlex label releases μ-Ziq product in Britain), Paradinas’s idea of remixology is obliterative. So the pomo ramifications of this mini-LP are pretty piquant: rock’s notion of the singer-songwriter, the auteur, pulverized by the technology-driven pressures of the fin de siecle mediascape. ‘Lenny Valentino 3’, for instance, leaves only shards of Haines vocal to bob amidst the red-zone distorto-bass and sombre synth-refrains. ‘Nuff respect to Haines for taking the punishment, and to Paradinas for dealing it.

© Simon ReynoldsSpin, June 1995

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