Release Date: Apr 2, 2013
Record label: Planet Mu
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Occasionally recordings come along that challenge musical boundaries and demand attention, defying specific genre categorisation and sounding like little else in even the largest of music collections. Admittedly these moments are few and far between, with the market swamped with ‘normality’ as so many artists lean towards commercial success rather than experimentation and expression of their own inner selves. When something out of the ordinary does come along, intense listening is the only way to appreciate the new.
Remember Altar Eagle? The crunchy shoegaze duo who seemed out of place on Type Records with their fuzzy pop debut Mechanical Gardens. Formed by drone king Brad Rose (aka The North Sea) and his wife Eden Hemming, they wrote a completely disarming album, showing how an established artist can still surprise you just by collaborating with the person he shares his fridge with. Three years later and under eerily similar conditions comes a British counterpart: Heterotic, made from Planet Mu head honcho Mike Paradisnas and his wife Lara Rix-Martin.
This is the debut release from Heterotic, the husband and wife team of Mike Paradinas (aka IDM producer µ-Ziq and Planet Mu label boss) and Lara Rix-Martin. Four of the eight tracks on the album feature the lyrics and vocals of Nick Talbot (otherwise known as Gravenhurst). Blending contemporary production with '80s pop, and even some piano house on "Blue Lights," the album will hit those nostalgia buttons for listeners old enough to remember the late '80s and early '90s electronic dance scenes.
The wispy, slate gray sky-evoking atmospherics of Heterotic's debut album are an unlikely match for their co-creator, Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas. Although he claims that most of the music's defining influences-- the effervescent touches-- come from the duo's other half, his wife Lara Rix-Martin. That's the romantic pop of Fleetwood Mac and the mysticism of Kate Bush rather than the harsh IDM of Paradinas' defining work as µ-ziq.
In an age where retro is a dirty word and paint has barely had time to dry before it's old news, we need records like Love and Devotion. A gentle rebuke to our insatiable thirst for novelty, it proves beyond doubt that musical nods to the past need not be automatically synonymous with creative calcification. Instead, Heterotic draw on a rich musical heritage, exploring how the ghosts of the past affect the present.