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Wild, Wacky Schtuff

Horse Opera
3 Cornered Room
(Planet Mu)

Planet Mu is none other than the label of one Mr. Mike Paradinas (aka Mu-Ziq). Not only has he released some of his own work under other pseudonyms, but he's also now gotten to the point where he is releasing the work of other artists (although not in a huge way, as I've read there are only 1000 or so copies of this disc floating around). At any rate, one would probably suspect music that's released on his label to be some sort of strange electronic foolery and in guessing that about Horse Opera, they would be correct.

In fact, the release actually reminds me a lot of another hard-to-find disc that I finally got my hands on recently by MDK (Open Transport). Although it gets its roots in the spastic drill and bass sounds so favored by older Squarepusher releases and recent work by Mu-Ziq, it also dabbles in hip-hop and basically any other goofiness that you can think of. At 8 tracks and only 30 minutes long, it's a short trip, but one that offers up some tongue-in-cheek fun. Not only that, but you don't have to worry at all about the tracks running on too long, which seems to be the downfall of some artists.

While the first track entitled "Schis-A-Ning" is kind of a cut-up mess of stutter-step beats and sonar blips, things take off with the squiggled-out electro-funk of "Rock Fakie." After the pitch-bent weirdness of "Griitch," the disc pops into what is definitely the most funny song on the album in "Sexy MF." The quirky (and it's definitely quirky) little drum and daze track is a hilarious spoof of the old Prince song "Gett Off," and while it doesn't feature any samples from the original, it does have goofy little sped-up vocal samples (ala Bogdan Raczynski) that will garner some chuckles.

After a more laid-back track in "Agility Dog" and the more claustrophobic album-title track, the album winds down with the almost haunting "Goit" before finishing with the excellent closer of "House Of The Jazz." With hip-hop vocal samples, a horn loop and a swaying beat that has almost a reggae-flavor to it, the release shows that it has just a final touch of swagger before winding in at half an hour long. If you're into the wacky drum and bass flavors of the above artists and relish a good hunt, you probably won't go wrong with this one.

Rating: 7