Mike Paradinas isn’t quite a household name. But as far as his impact on the electronic music world goes he is the equal of almost any other DJ or producer you’d care to mention.
As a teenager in the early 90s, operating under the µ-Ziq alias, Paradinas joined the likes of Autechre and the Aphex Twin in pioneering the leftfield takes on techno, UK hardcore and jungle that would come to be called IDM. Across two LPs for the Rephlex label, Paradinas’ productions put a distinctive spin on the burgeoning form, their busy arrangements and bold, often warm melodics establishing a yin to the icy yang of Autechre’s Amber.
Later in the decade, after a brief dalliance with Virgin records (challenging electronic music was hot dollar back then), Paradinas launched his own imprint, Planet Mu. Initially serving as an outlet for the IDM scene and its offspring, the label has since undergone a series of radical overhauls, consistently wrong-footing its detractors and cementing its position at the forefront of all things electronic. In the mid-2000s the label served as an essential platform for dubstep’s launch into the mainstream; in recent years it has become renowned for championing Chicago footwork, helping to plant a previously obscure music firmly in the global musical consciousness.