If you read these names, you’re either in it or not: OOO, Luke Vibert, Shitmat, Venetian Snares, Guilty Connector, Hrvatski, Leafcutter John, Urban Myth, Jega (with his first track in years), Patrick Wolf, Tatsuya Yoshida (disguised as Joseph Nothing) and many many more. Only one musician is missing, and that is Mike Paradinas aka µ-ziq himself, and that is an even better statement, since he is the label-owner as well. Spill the beans, are you with it or no?
Planet Mu is one of the few artist-owned labels that actually makes the stretch between the specialist interest of the owner and the try for musical diversity with success. Success in its own niche, that is. I can only think of one other artist / label that manages to work the way Mike Paradinas (aka µ-ziq) does with Planet Mu, and that is Kid 606’s Tigerbeat6-label (which I also encourage you to check out, if you haven’t done so already). The one most prominent danger in such enterprises is always that the artist / owner over-estimates the power or economic drive of his label and starts to spread releases and grow too fast and too wide too soon with the first wave of success. A number of labels have started that way and gone down again, e.g. Man’s Ruin years ago. With some ninety releases in six years or so under its wing, Planet Mu definitely is a fast mover (that’s about 15 releases a year or more than one each month) so the danger is eminent. And that would be a pity, because Mike Paradinas has also managed to keep the artistic side of his label alive and interesting, with a wide variety of vegetables, from fields that sound distanced and different at the same time as they sound connected and close together. Especially, when listened to in such a compact format as 26 tracks on double CD.
The parade of music and artists is wide and special indeed. There are sounds from all over the place, so much as to make the whole idea of labelisation and genrefication completely senseless, which it is. But on the other hand, if you played this record to someone who has no experience with “experimental in your face electronic music” – for want of a better classification, all the music might seem to him to come from one narrow space. Especially if this person only listens to radio or Top40-charts music, then all of these tracks, as diverse as they are, might seem the same amount of strange and weird to him or her. And what might this person call this music? I have no idea. From the chaotic take on classical choir music called “Imodium” by The Gasman, which aptly and properly marks the entrance to this compilation, via the electronics (OOO) and the noise (Guilty Connector) and the noise-electronic (Shitmat), crossing some dub (Chevron) and some weirdo-pop and other postmodern games and insider jokes but of course lots of harsh and distorted drum'n'bass-hardcore-techno (Datach'i, Jega and quite some others) , to whatever you might call or describe what Hrvatski, whose track is closing this compilation, is doing, I feel as lost and startled as our uninitiated listener from last sentence. But I like what I hear. Whatever style you think of - gabba, techno, ambient, drone, free form, shnukenduck – they are all here and taken from that special perspective that the differing laws of gravity and the strange atmosphere of Planet Mu enforce on everybody.
Actually, I have no need for the exclusive tracks by seven of the artists on this, because for one, I have stopped following complete works by any artist some long years ago (as Killdozer said: “record collectors are pretentious assholes” or was that “record collectors are the shoeshine boys of the capitalist society”, anyway, plus the whole thing has become quite futile as well) and there is too much music out there anyway, so the worth of an exclusive has really dropped in the last years.
So, the time was not only right for another compilation, but also for the start of an ideology? Mu elevation and Mu doctrine to help you become a child of Mu – enjoy the coµnion and the coµnication. I bet there is some µtuality in thought and maybe even an a-µr fou waiting for you at the end of the µ-stique tunnel. Or something like that.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay