Interview: 5 minutes with U-Ziq

We chat to Planet Mu’s record label owner and producer Mike Paradinis about the diversity of artists on his roster, creating an authentic voice and creating original content.

Your record label Planet Mu plays host to a diverse range of artists that take your body and mind into astral activity, spirited fantasies, nostalgic ambience and twitching rhythms. Can you tell us about the process of pooling together such an eclectic mix of artists to represent.

Well it’s been a twenty plus year process. Each year we put out several records by new artists and it all accumulates into the roster we have today. As the years pass, my tastes develop and I’m always seeking new, relevant and exciting sounds.

You’ve been creating musical narratives for the better half of three decades. How has the journey progressed since your starting point.

I’ve just got older and have less time. The music industry has certainly changed a lot in that time, and so has the nature of my job as both a musician and label boss, for obvious reasons.

Your ’97 album ‘Lunatic Harness’ coined the subgenre drill ‘n’ bass, exacting a series of formulas for you and your community to better acquaint their music to their own definition instead of fitting into an existing one. With the expansion of soundmakers present online in this generation, do you have any suggestions for upcoming producers making unconventional genre types of sound on how to best group their offerings to get traction from audiences?

No, I don’t. In fact I think in a lot of cases it helps the creative process to think of a particular audience (It’s another form of limiting one’s palette), but only in terms of limiting one’s decisions or choices, not in terms of making something that you preconceive a particular audience will like, that wouldn’t sound genuine.

Creating an authentic voice in this industry is pivotal to the growth of one’s career. What boundaries did you make to ensure your material, outlook and integrity were never compromised in turning art into a business?

See above. Also it’s good to partition off the different parts of your brain for music and business, it can help not to get motives confused.

When you’re musing about with layers for new material, is there a formula that best works for you to create? What headspace do you need to be in to sit down and start experimenting?

I just need a bit of free time and quiet .

Heterotic is a collaboration between your partner Lara Rix-Martin and yourself. It comprises of a bubbly wistful dance landscape. Can you give us some insight into the chemistry you share.

We’re both very pragmatic atheists with an odd sense of humour.

You set the bar pretty high when it comes to productivity and originality. In between running a label and working on various projects, how do you find ways to switch off in order to bring new energy to your work?

I try and get as much sleep as I can. I recommend it!

You are part of a mega weight lineup playing at The Playground event at Electric Brixton in September. Who are you looking forward to hearing?

Ceephax is always a treat live with all his ancient acidic equipment. I’m looking forward to meeting Bryan from Black Asteroid as we’ve spoken online but never met, and also SHXCXCHCXSH whose first album I really enjoyed.

Explore the record label Planet Mu here

You can catch U-ziq’s set at The Playground event at The Steelyard on 30 September 2017. Get your tickets here.