It’s the last of the double-digits!

In Episode 99, I (David) bring in five different mixes which I thinks that DJs should listen to. These mixes have a lot to offer, especially to DJs, because of their mixing style and programming.

The first mix is Danny Howells’ Essential Mix from 2007. This mix covers a lot of ground, representing loads of different styles while somehow making it all work together. From start to finish, it’s loaded full of interesting dance music. After you’re done listening, you get the feeling that you’ve just listened to a “house mix”… yet, I would categorize few of the songs as simply “house”. The standout track, for me, is right at the beginning: “Shinkansen” by Tom Middleton (though, it’s pitched down in this example).

For the second mix, we explore Balance 005, mixed by James Holden. Back in 2003, this mix (especially disc one, which we will hear clips from) almost helped wrap up an era of beautiful and dark progressive house. There are a few “light and fluffy” moments, but overall, the mix has a somber tone. “You are Sleeping”, Luke Chable’s remix of the PQM track, is the highlight here: an entertaining (yet somewhat depressing) tale of a lonely man and a young woman in need of saving.

Then, I take you way back into my past, with a 140 – 145 BPM example of what got me into this whole dance music thing. This hour of ravey, trancey goodness is called “Essential Trance 4” by DJ Irish. It represents all the aggressive, synthy, melodic music that I was looking for as a teenager. It’s a vinyl mix (which can be detected by the scratches and pops), with excellent transitions and harmonic mixing. Buckle up, and be ready for some cheesy 90s goodness.

The fourth mix is entirely different than anything else in the list. “Nintendub“, by Squincy Jones, was a weirdly awesome mixture of dubstep, 90s hip-hop, and 8-bit Nintendo sounds. There are a few other nods to the 80s and 90s as well, such as music from The Lost Boys, and the Unsolved Mysteries theme (aka, the stuff of nightmares). Overall, this 2008 shows extreme creativity through its use of heavy beats, rap acapellas, video game music mashups, sound effects, and more.

Finally, I wrap up the show with one of the best recorded DJ mix albums of all time: Northern Exposure, by Sasha and John Digweed. If you listen to only one of these mixes in full, make sure this is the one. The whole thing is just chock full of beautiful music, ethereal soundscapes, and dance music that originates from a time before most people had heard of a “rave”. This 1996 mix album will be very revealing about where electronic DJs come from, as well as where it can go.

Cheers, take care, and we’ll see you next week with the recording of Episode 100 Live!