Magic Pony Ride

Magic Pony Ride

It feels right that Magic Pony Ride came out in 2022. For one, it’s the 25th anniversary of Lunatic Harness, an album whose sweet-and-sour mix of breakbeats and nursery-ready melodies helped define late-’90s electronic music. But it’s also Mike Paradinas’ first μ-Ziq album in nine years, a period during which he turned his attention to his label, Planet Mu, and put out some of the more pertinent, conversation-shifting stuff in 2010s dance: the Chicago footwork compilation Bangs & Works, DJ Rashad, Jlin, RP Boo. So, consider Magic Pony Ride a homecoming. The music has its wild moments (“Turquoise Hyperfizz”), but it’s generally a mellow, domesticated affair, the sound of IDM and drill ’n’ bass seen through the rose-colored glasses of middle age (“Picksing,” “Elka’s Song”). The lunatic has settled, and the harness hangs in the closet like a set of old spurs—but the spark remains (“Brown Chaos”).

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