Alix Perez hit the Radio 1 decks last week with his debut Essential Mix, a careful alliance of tracks representing the core of his preferred sound. Perez is first and foremost a drum-and-bass producer, but in his 120 minutes with Radio 1, it’d be easy to not really know that. He’s experimental and “nu skool,” often associated with the more “liquid” side of drum and bass. With fewer samples and more layers, liquid is often defined as a calmer, more appropriate cousin to the breakneck 160-180 bpm pace of a traditional, rave-friendly drum-and-bass.
This past Friday, Maya Jane Coles returned to the Radio 1 decks for her second appearance on the legendary show. MJC is one of my very favorite producer/DJs, so I was thrilled to learn I’d be able to digest another mix of hers less than two years after her debut in July of 2011. Her production style has that certain je ne sais quoi – quirky instrumentation, major grooves, and an undeniable sex appeal. In live sets, her DJing has always struck this perfect balance of emotional and danceable, introducing me to new material while playing the deep stuff she knows her fans want to hear. On top of her jaw-dropping number of accomplishments at the tender age of 25, she also emanates this air of effortless cool, DJing her way around the world with her stylishly cropped coiffure and docile demeanor.
There is no doubt Will Saul knows good music. He’s a producer, DJ, label owner, A&R whiz, and has worked with a staggering number of impressive artists in his almost two decades in dance music. Will got his start as nothing more than a passionate record collector (like most of us), and in the years that followed grew from a job at Sony, to his own label Simple Records, and more recently Aus Music.
Ten years ago, Greg and Voitek of Catz ‘N Dogz began playing together in their Polish hometown. Fast forward to 2013, through club nights, residencies, and radio shows, and the pair have landed themselves their first Essential Mix on the Radio 1. Both in this mix and more generally, their musical taste is difficult to categorize -it’s house, disco, tech, tech house, and bass. Like many of the other Essential Mixes that Dancing Astronaut highlighted so far in 2013, Catz ‘N Dogz use their 120 minutes on air to share their favorites in dance music, whether or not it fits into any particular categorical field or subgenre.
If there is, however, a bit of a theme associated with each artist’s mix, Catz ‘N Dogz’s is that of a overview of their time DJing and producing together. They ripped 12 inches of yesteryear, edited down tracks, and collected exclusives from friends at their own Pets Recordings, dirtybird, and Get Physical. You could dismiss this mix as simple, but that’d be too easy. More careful consideration reveals a deep and rich understanding of the history of house music and a discerning eye towards the future.
Following up on his 2009 Essential Mix of the year, Sharam (of Deep Dish fame) decided to use his second outing on the famed Radio 1 show to give global audiences a two hour snippet of his powerful nine hour set from Brazil’s Warung Beach Club. Warung is widely considered one of the best clubs in the world and largely because of its desolate jungle location, clubbers tend to stay for hours past a normal club outing — making for truly special sets for DJs and fans alike. In the two hour journey, Sharam delivers hard-hitting techno, funky tech house, and tribal grooves perfect for a South American clubbing backdrop.Posted by
2013 has been off to an unbelievable start over at the Radio 1 studios, and this past week’s Essential Mix from Radio 1 regulars and Moda Black heads Jaymo & Andy George was just one more notch on the radio station’s decorated bed post. This taste-making duet met only in 2008, but since then have built a well-respected party brand, record label, recorded now three Essential Mixes (two live), served as early supporters for names like Hot Since 82 and Disclosure, and landed residencies in Ibiza and Fabric London. When they have a moment to breathe, they also do a solid job on their own in the studio and compile award-winning compilations (their first volume of Moda Black reached #1 on the iTunes Dance charts last year).
Having recently unveiled the blueprints for his French-themed label debut for Avicii’s Le7els imprint, Parisian big roomer Norman Doray returns to long serving cohorts Size Records to relish in the aftermath of their 10th anniversary celebrations with “Troublemaker.” Premiered by Steve Angello during last month’s Essential Mix, the follow-up to “Celsius” asserts the globetrotting producer’s unchallenged dominance over hard-hitting yet versatile house music. Balancing an eager canvas of heavyset synths and uplifting melodic digressions has never sounded more seamless, as once again the French producer runs circles around his European peers with a true big room bomb. In spite of his claim that 2013 would see him focus on vocal offerings, “Troublemaker” employs conservative sample work to assert that for all the waters tested, Doray remains an essential house cohort through-and-through.Posted by
Ex-Swedish House Mafia member? It’s going to take a while before that one starts rolling off the tongue. Rather call him Who’s Who, Mescal Kid, Size head-honcho, or better yet, Steve Angello. Coming off a Miami Music Week and the final Swedish House Mafia show, Angello is now free of the dot spots and arena tours, ready to show the world what he will offer as not only a born-again solo artist, but an entrepreneur in the electronic music scene. Equipped with groovy house favorites and nearly ten unreleased Size Records productions, Steve took to Pete Tong’s Essential Mix with a two-hour set that revealed individualism and vision for a new era. (more…)Posted by
Essential Mix Review: Dirty South welcomes world into the mind of Dragan at monumental point in career
While a huge faction of electronic music fans invaded Ultra Music Festival on its opening night, the rest of the world was treated to an Essential Mix from Dragan Roganovic. Coming off the release of his debut artist album, Speed of Life, and amidst a massive Miami Music Week, Dirty South finds himself at a monumental and an unprecedentedly unique point in his career. He’s captured a moment when the many facets of his musical mindset collide to reveal an even deeper artistry, and has packaged it in the form of an extra special Essential Mix for Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1.
Last weekend, the legendary Thom Yorke appeared on Pete Tong‘s Essential Mix alongside Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich delivering to listeners a unique Atoms For Peace set. The duo represented the five man supergroup with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Beck/ R.E.M drummer Joey Waronker, and Brazilian instrumentalist Mauro Refosco. Named after Eisenhower’s 1953 speech, the electronic rock band transforms Radiohead’s peaceful emotion into something dance music can digest. The band released their debut album Amok only weeks ago and now they are on album promotion tour after visiting Radio 1′s decks.