Your 25th birthday is a momentous occasion for a number of reasons.

For one, you’re a quarter of the way through life, if we’re going by a centenarian timeline. You’d also fall into the ‘Overs’ category if you were to audition for X Factor during its early years. And if you’re a record label, say, UK imprint Planet Mu, turning 25 signals a lengthy devotion to forward-thinking artists and music. It’s a celebratory milestone.

It’s hard to overstate the impact that Planet Mu‘s had on electronic music since its launch in 1995. The imprint began life as a Virgin Records sub-label and an outlet for founder Mike Paradinas’ work under his µ-Ziq alias. Three years later, in 1998, Mu took its first steps into independent territory in a move that’s quite clearly paid off, if its extensive back catalogue and cult status is anything to go by.

Over the years, Mu has stayed faithful to a risk-taking and originality-driven approach. It’s something the label shares with the talented cast of artists who’ve released on it. It’s championed groundbreaking acts and tracks from all corners of the electronic music spectrum, from DJ Rashad, RP Boo or Jana Rush to Venetian Snares, Jlin, Machinedrum, Ziúr, Rian Treanor, Heterotic (aka Paradinas and his wife, Lara Rix-Martin), Terror Danjah, Ikonika, Mr. Mitch and more. 

This is testament to Paradinas’ taste, in some regards, which clearly favours innovative material over any one genre. It’s a preference, or perhaps an attitude, that ensures that Mu remains a hub of styles and substance spanning IDM, footwork, dubstep, juke, grime and more. 

Mu is to release a new 15-track compilation on 4 December to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The compilation, titled PlanetMµ25, weaves a thread between label mainstays and regulars. Ahead of its release, we asked Paradinas to run us through 25 key releases from the Planet Mu shelves.

Syntax Tree


Jega was my first signing to Planet Mu back in 1996. I was trying to get it all together to release what became his Phlax and Card Hore EPs on Skam, but RTM distribution was bought by Vital and my label manager was let go. This was from Dylan’s second album Geometry in 2000. It was a distinct step up from the midi music of Spectrum and was his first record all created ‘in-the-box’.”


Capitol K

“Kristian gave me one of our first demos at a Planet Mu night in Brixton. We had a little bit of Radio 1 play with this single, I think it got to number 90 in the charts or something. It was a fantastic piece of ramshackle electronic indie pop and I still love it. XL Recordings did too and licensed the album off us and re-released it a year or two later.”

The Way Of The Homeboy (The Winter Of Discontent)

Hellfish and Producer

I had been DJing Hellfish & Producer’s tracks for a couple of years before I contacted them about doing a compilation of some of their 12”s. Their music was a 200 bpm evolution of the early nineties hardcore sound, but gone in a very different direction to the drum’n’bass of the time.”

Falling Angels Entering Pandemonium (Coil Remix)

Slag Boom Van Loon

Geoff and Sleazy had contacted me asking me to be on a compilation they were putting out (it never saw the light of day) so I asked if they were interested in doing a remix for this ongoing project (3 years in gestation). I was a big fan of Musick To Play In The Dark Vols 1 and 2 so was very pleased when they agreed [to] a swap of my track for this, instead of payment.”

Dance Like You’re Selling Nails

Venetian Snares

Not the first Venetian Snares album we released, but the first time he entered the wider consciousness, I think. It was this track that did it. Jo Apps on operatic vocals (she performed live with him at Bangface, I recall) and a melody from an old Morricone soundtrack.”

Acid 2000

Luke Vibert

“I was very happy that Luke agreed to let us release his first EP for Mu (96-99 EP) a couple of years earlier, but this second EP was always my favourite. Four really strong tracks including this one, which makes me quite emotional. Just the right level of cheesiness and not overboard on the vocal samples either.”

Bad No Bloodclart


“I called up Lewi (of Remarc and Lewi fame) from the phone number on a garage 12”. He got me in touch with Marc and we put out the two compilations including this 3LP of unreleased dubs which was a highlight for me. I was also honoured that he put a new Thunderclap on the 20th anniversary compilation five years ago.”

Anger Management

Mark One

“The first dubstep record we released was from Mark One, [who is] doing rather well as part of Solardo now. His roots here are rather darker and he also produced the early Virus Syndicate albums, too.”



With their industrial-tinged dubstep Jamie and Roly changed the game a bit. Appealing to Planet Mu’s core audience as well as a whole new one, Degenerate was a very successful album and, of course, both Roly Porter and Jamie (Kuedo) have gone on to be successful solo artists.”



This was actually sent to me by Jamie Vex’d. [He said] he had a friend in Bristol who’d started making some interesting stuff. I think this was one of Rob’s very first tunes, but it’s still one of his very best and a meditative classic.”

Human Meadow


Drew had been sending me demos for a while, maybe a couple of years, when this came along. It totally surprised me as did the album Love Is A Liability he created to support it. Very slinky mixture of garage beats, synths and vocal samples. Drew has gone from strength to strength and now has his very own label, Blueberry.”

K&G Beat

Floating Points

“One of Sam’s most beautiful early tracks, I found this on Myspace on his profile back in the day. I think he knew he was destined for big things.”


Terror Danjah

A re-release that was on the Gremlinz compilation we did. I’d been an avid buyer of After Shock 12”s he’d put out in the early 2000s and was very honoured that he worked with me on this.”



A great club track on the interface between jazz funk (of which I’m a big fan) and grime. Cameron has since gone on to do big things on Brownswood.”


Mrs Jynx

Hannah created two classic IDM albums which avoid all the usual stereotypes and concentrate on beautiful grooves and melodies, which is why they’re timeless.”



I was a big fan of Sara’s first EP on Hyperdub so was excited when she agreed to release this three-tracker on Mu. The lead track is one of my favourite things she’s ever done.”

Turn Back Time

DJ Nate

I’d been listening to Chicago footwork for at least 18 months by the time this came out. Footwork was a shock for me; what I needed after the soporific bpm’s of dubstep and its post-variants. DJ Nate’s variety was very reminiscent of UK hardcore so that’s why it was particularly appealing.”

Itz Not Rite

DJ Rashad

I used to listen to the YouTube video (incorrectly tagged as DJ Tre) of this track every day while I was compiling the Bangs and Works record. Eventually I managed to track everyone I wanted down (but not every track). Rashad turned out to be a genius, RIP.”


DJ Diamond

DJ Diamond is another footwork genius, taking the sound further out than before with this almost industrial (yet still funky) track.”

She Died There


Or the Sheep Tiger track, as we called it. Travis very cleverly mixed his take on juke and footwork with Burial-ish post-dubstep production, but instead of being a mess, it all held together in this classic album which still sounds good today.”

Speakers R-4

RP Boo

RP Boo is the nicest guy ever and he fucking rocks any party. What I love about his music is the slightly off rhythms and the way he uses the samples no-one else ever would. This track was strongly reminiscent of early Chicago house of which it is, of course, a descendent.”

The Night

Mr. Mitch

What did they call it, ‘weightless’? Whatever, this is a prime example of post-grime electronics with a simple beauty that expresses so much.”


John T. Gast

“I love John T. Gast’s world, and it is a world he’s made for himself and his fellow travellers like Tribe of Colin. This one is his dub take on industrial acid which slows everything down to a snail’s pace and is all the more powerful for it.”



Everyone knows Jlin now, she took footwork into uncharted areas so far with this so that it wasn’t footwork anymore, just its own thing. Full of power and emotion; a release.”

Amerikkka’s Bay (ft. Maia Sanaa)

Speaker Music

“I first met DeForrest in Cafe Oto a couple of years ago when he played with Kepla. We were discussing his first release for Mu of desire, longing but not much prepared me for this year’s Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry. It’s a record that aptly describes this dispiriting year and DeForrest’s cousin Maia’s performance is a powerful opening track.”

Planet Mu will release PlanetMµ25 tomorrow (4 December). Pre-order here.


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