Music has always been a social activity – the making, playing and enjoyment of music has primarily been a shared experience, our oldest form of communication. The fact that it is possible now to create, produce and distribute music all by yourself doesn’t mean you should create in a vacuum – and now more than ever it’s important for producers and artists to connect with culture and community.
At Liveschool we put a lot of focus on connecting our global community, for creative collaboration, for supporting one another and for sharing opportunities. Liveschool itself can trace its origins back to FBI Radio (community station started in mid-00’s Sydney) giving 50% playlisting to local acts which in turn generated gigs, labels, connections and opportunities.
And as our community has grown, many in our ranks have cultivated their own communities and scenes. The esteemed DJ, Mike Who is a local icon in Sydney and curates a globe-spanning community of friends who produce music that he now releases on his on imprint Planet Trip. We had a chat with Mike about the label, the people and how connection creates community and culture.

Planet Trip is truly a global stable of talent – you’re based in Sydney, where are the artists based?

Forthcoming cuts in the pipeline are by Eternal Love, soFa, Mogwaa, Good Block, Paula Tape, Mayurashka, Jex Opolis and more, who are variously based in Toronto, Tokyo, Miami and Barcelona, etc

You work at FBI, which is a station with a strong community ethos and the label seems to have a great community around it – how do you see the importance of community in music?
It’s super important, community is the foundation of music for scenes everywhere in the world. The releases have come largely from friends and good crew all around the world which happened pretty organically. Me being based in Sydney and putting on a few parties has fed into always trying to spotlight locals. I’ll always have a lot of love for talented Sydney friends and everyone outside of my immediate circle.
What can people do to build community and connections?
Be real while enjoying and supporting stuff that resonates with you, whether it be going to a night, buying a ticket to a show your friend or someone you don’t know is putting on, buying a release from a friend, supporting brick and mortar record stores, listening to and supporting independent or community radio stations etc. It’s such a simple thing that is often overlooked but supporting your mates is a real thing. Invest in their ideas or creations, don’t just expect it. I’d say building community is also helping provide others with a platform not just worrying about yourself or making a name, that shit is all irrelevant if you have nobody to hang or share with.

Could you give a brief overview of your journey through the music industry up to this point?

I have been involved in music some way or another for well over a decade across multiple scenes of music, from DJing for what feels like a lifetime, hosting radio shows on local, interstate and overseas radio platforms, put on a lot of parties, played at a lot of parties. I have also worked in venues, at record stores as well as routing and booking international and interstate tours for friends that I connected with musically. Now most of my spare time and energy goes towards operating an independent record label Planet Trip.


How have all these various parts interacted with each other to bring you to where you are today?

 It’s all crossed over in one way or another, most significantly learning from your mistakes, accumulated knowledge plus friendships and working relationships with people you respect and trust in music. That all plays a part in why I’m still doing things.

 What advice would you give to young people who might be contemplating a career in the music industry?
I’d say best advice is to do stuff you actually feel or believe in, that’s going to be different for everyone based on personal taste of course. But it’s worth understanding that there isn’t a whole lot of work in the music industry that is well paid or a specific career unless you wanna connect to a major label (not my thing).  I would say always have a side hustle or your own passion project that you have autonomy over. In short, just do stuff you love.

What inspired you to start Planet Trip?
It felt like a natural progression of sharing music on radio and as a DJ. I have been doing that for a long time so eventually, conversations happen with friends who share music with you who don’t have a home or an outlet to release it. I was keen to roll the dice and try set up something humble and it did its thing from there. I also felt a lot of the music I love and play didn’t have a label or crew connected to it, at least not geographically here in Sydney.

Despite the uncertainty of the last few years, the label has had a pretty good run with releases getting some good cut through. Other than releasing straight up fire all the time, what do you think forms the foundations for a successful label?
As above creating a platform for people with similar tastes or shared interests to get some shine is important, whether that be through radio sessions, mixes, parties or just helping open doors for other people is all a really important part of it.

I also think it’s important to consider a sort of sonic identity, I have been lucky to work with the same mastering engineer since the first release (shouts Arks), his ears and final touch with mastering pull together all records under an umbrella and warmness. Although the releases have all had a point of difference musically I feel like listeners get some sort of a sense or vibe on the sounds on Planet Trip, that might change over time who knows.

Whats next for you and the label?
Tests just approved for PT008 – Caravan’s 3rd record on the label, five end to end acidulated triiips dipping through middle eastern rhythms, synth squelch and subbass pressure; should melt a few minds.
After that, tests should land for the next Ordinary Dreams compilation, a 12 track 2 disc comp with cuts from good crew around the world like Symptoms of Love, Paula Tape, Jex Opolis, Ivy Barkakati and more…

Apart from that a few parties which i’ll sit on till announced, but one I can say is ready is the “Sound On Sound” concept with El Gran Mono & The Inner West Reggae Disco Machine is all set for Vivid 2022 and another killer party with Honey Point, more deets soon.


While you enjoy the DJ mix below, follow Planet Trip for the lowdown on all releases, mixes and upcoming events: