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Lunatic Harness 25th Anniversary Box Set

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This album changed my life and I wouldn't have gotten into any of the music we talk about here if it weren't for lunatic harness.

That said, it doesn't look like there's any new material here.  I already have the original pressing on vinyl and I don't even own a record player anymore.  I guess it would be a good way to introduce people to the album, except that it's so expensive that only dedicated fans would want to buy it.  So I guess I don't get it. :cisfor:

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For anyone that has read my previous reviews on Mike Paradinas will know all too well that I reference Lunatic Harness as the greatest of their releases and perhaps my nostalgia kept me from exploring his works more in depth. Admittedly this is something I regret, just the past couple of years alone has seen a consistency in high-caliber releases not just self-released or on Planet Mu but including outings with Analogical Force, Furthur Electronix, and now defunct label Seagrave (check their catalog before it disappears!)—each possessing merit for diverse styles and productions that tingle; be it the melodic tapestry weaved within his often playful song writing or the intensive breaks that bombards the senses in saturated chaos—instinctively you know when you are listening to a Mike Paradinas track.

Whilst preparing the 25th Anniversary reissue, Paradinas has been releasing archival albums amongst creating newly inspired pieces that is reminiscent of their times around the seminal LP. On the run up to the festivities we have been treated to Goodbye and Magic Pony Ride—even a cheeky Bantha Trax Volume to boot; it is great to see that along with this boxset that Mike is celebrating in style and letting the good times roll.

So here we are, after a staggering 25 years, the much sought after record Lunatic Harness has been given what can least be described as a massive reissue with not just the original available on vinyl for the first time since its initial run, but coming alongside with the “My Little Beautiful,” and “Brace Yourself Jason,” EPs that each include bonus tracks such as demo versions and remixes previously unavailable. This extensive boxset correlates an entire era of Mike’s work as µ-Ziq into one banging edition!

At the forefront of electronic music for the best part of thirty years ::

Taking the opportunity on a day off in this blistering heat, I spent the hotter hours shaded listening through the entire release. With almost two and a half hours of music this really expresses how big an edition this is—ultimately a collectors double album that can be listened to separately, however together, is a true encapsulation of a producer who has reigned at the forefront of electronic music for the best part of thirty years. A loaded arsenal that could only be topped if Mike ever did a greatest hits: “NOW that’s what I call µ-Ziq” (…a British joke I am sure Paradinas likely shudders at).

A neat piece that comes with this edition is a collage of µ-Ziq reviews from the nineties. A mixture of opinions that make for good reading, as I am sure Mike chuckled looking back at some of the comments that described these original releases as, “Bedroom techno” or “As unforgettable as going thru ‘Nam.’ or a step wayward with ‘Brace yourself for utter crap.”!

I think it is fair to say most of us treasure Lunatic Harness as a fantastic album. It still stands strong today and the EPs are a nice inclusion. The bonus tracks really being for the diehards, but if you’re reading this, there is a strong chance you are! Having seen the reaction to last years Squarepusher Feed Me Weird Things anniversary reissue and the interaction it garnered from old fans showing new ears within younger generations, I imagine this will see similar opportunities and hopefully spark interest into audiences that may not be entirely familiar with the µ-Ziq catalog, but are more familiar with Planet Mu’s more recent roster perhaps. I managed to catch µ-Ziq’s Magic Pony Ride album release party in London last month and with other dates dotted around it, let’s hope this is a further interaction with the live scene too.

Whilst the boxset does carry a heavier price tag than your average release, for those that have waited all this time to be able to own the physical within this nicely packaged edition—it is worth every penny. Don’t worry though, the digital version can be picked up with all the bonus tracks for a fraction (few extra quid can actually get you the CD version!)—or stream directly on Bandcamp. Whichever way you see it, at least we can enjoy Lunatic Harness in a modern setting.

Big ups Mike, happy anniversary!

Igloo says things.

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I got my copy over the weekend. I've listened to Lunatic Harness all the way though, super stoked to have this on wax. I'm realizing now I dont think I've ever heard these includes EPs, which I'm going through now.  so that is an extra bonus. they did a nice job on this. the packaging is real nice, I like the box but its also good to have the original covers on the individual records.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've got all those and even a remaster wouldn't convince me. Remasters often are worse than the original. Eg, Feed Me Weird Things, not convinced at all. Many tracks almost/fully mono. 

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