The Cosmic Forces of Mu
Record label: Planet Mu (UK)
Format: 2xCD
Release date: 15 October 2001

Seeing as how I am the Planet Mu spokesperson around here, it would be absurd of me to pass this up. An alternate title for this compilation could be "Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Planet Mu But Were Afraid to Ask." There's no better way to be initiated into the joys of Mike Paradinas's label than this (for those that don't already know, Paradinas is Mu-ZIQ as well as Jake Slazenger, Kid Spatula, and a bunch of other pseudonyms). Releasing odd and interesting sounds for the past three years, Planet Mu is the counterpart to the Rephlex label (co-founded by Aphex Twin), spreading the gospel of braindance beats for hardcore left-of-center rhythm addicts and the occasional curious passerby. This double disc set (for the price of one, no less) offers a well-rounded overview of what the Mu can do, and it's bound to surprise a lot of people. First off, it isn't simply about being weird, and I don't think it ever was. While the genre bending, hard-to-describe stuff is certainly represented, there are other cuts that sound surprisingly calm in comparison, like the Boards of Canada feel of o9's "No Delay For Days" or the melancholy alternative of Dykehouse's "Again, Again" (an abrupt change from his IDM-meets-Detroit techno style). All of these tracks are new to CD and even include a few from the severely limited seven-inch series, such as "Defluxion" by Venetian Snares and "Cyrenic" by Tim Tetlow. Best of all is the plunderphonic style remix of MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" and Bit_Meddler's "Shitmix2000," churning out mutant forms of Kris Kross and Janet Jackson. Also featured are tracks from Hrvatski, Hellfish, The DJ Producer, Luke Vibert, Nicole Elmer, Electric Company, and a bunch more. Should satisfy even the most demanding Planet Mu fan.

{steve crognale}

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