by Aaron Miles

µ-Ziq, H.I.M

Tues July 22


Many aural cravings can only be satisfied by live musicians working their magic, while others must be indulged by the fresh sonic results of a crafty technician rocking a microchip.

The pairing of British electronic producer µ-Ziq and Chicago based post-fusion ensemble H.I.M. brings two worlds together to satiate the progressive music lover's craving.

Headliner µ-Ziq (pronounced music) is the most recognized moniker of British electronic musician Mike Paradinas. The prolific producer is touring in support of his new album Bilious Paths, which arrives after a four-year hiatus and marks a return to a grittier underground dance music sound. He says the album is "the antithesis" to his successful Astralwerks release Royal Astronomy. The sounds on Paths have apparently been run through every digital wringer imaginable, with a result that sounds like robots busting twisted ninja dance shenanigans. Vocals and strings get the old chop and tweak, and the occasionally surfacing melodies are welcomed treats. Paradinas will present the package via his laptop--an increasingly common scenario in live electronic music, and one that's frustrating to many fans because of the lack of visual stimulation.

Yet in this case, observation isn't the point. "My goal is to make people dance," says Paradinas, "there are always people who stare at me, which is fine, but it does make me uncomfortable. Sure, dancing girls would be cool, but I can't afford them."

Enter His Imperial Majesty (H.I.M.), a quintet who also lacks dancing girls, but provides eye candy through boundless talent and onstage chemistry. Fronted by drummer and multi-instrumentalist Doug Scharin (formerly of June of 44 and Rex), the instrument-swapping ensemble fuses rock, post-punk, jazz, Afro-beat, dub, and roots reggae influences, improvising and pushing rhythmic and sonic boundaries.

After witnessing H.I.M work it, you'll be ready to fall into µ-Ziq's digitized surreality, if you have any energy left.