u-Ziq : Fear, The

[B]'The Fear'[/B] is a bucolic idyll, floating gently in the shade of sun-dappled gardens like a drowsy wasp.

With the possible exception of Iggy Pop, it comes to us all

- the desire to kick back, take things a little easy, maybe check out the new Charlie Dimmock-inspired water features section down at the local garden centre. He might still be a little young to think about retiring to the golf course, but Mike Paradinas has - at least temporarily - laid down the tools of his


trade in exchange for a next-door-neighbour-friendly strimmer'n'secateurs direction.

For despite the 'walls are breathing' title, 'The Fear' is a bucolic idyll, floating gently in the shade of sun-dappled gardens like a drowsy wasp. Starting with the kind of pretty woodwind fluttering usually found soundtracking serials about little old ladies solving village crimes, it soon moves into the synthesised beauty Paradinas has made his own. It's an uncanny construct - violins and flutes whirring over a mechanical burr, rabbit automata and clockwork birds skipping past Blue Velvet-style - yet there's nothing artificial about this intelligence.

Vocalist Kazumi, who might, if you squint, be Bjsouml;rk after successful 'irritating winsomeness' gene therapy, sings: "The fear is nothing to fear". For days when you feel you are being goaded with a cosmic bodkin, it's a divine tonic. For days when the sun is shining, literally and metaphorically, it's perfect mood music. There may be new noise frontiers out there for Paradinas, but for now, this is an agreeable peace.


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