Weekend Rewind: Sasha, Pete Tong & Eats Everything at Essential Mix 20th Anniversary party

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Weekend Rewind:  Sasha, Pete Tong & Eats Everything at Essential Mix 20th Anniversary partyPete Tong Eats Everything Essential Mi Manc Photography

Essential Mix turned a quarter-century old this year, and per tradition, invited an array of top talent from newer and older generations to help with the festivities. The Black Madonna, Nicole Moudaber, Derrick Carter, and Skream were some notable names on the billing, lighting the iconic show’s decks up with house and techno. The show continues to chug along at a forward-thinking pace per usual, most recently hosting RÜFÜS DU SOL on November 30 for an emotive two hours.

It just so happens that five years ago on November 30, Pete Tong went b2b with Eats Everything as part of the series’ 20th birthday celebration — time certainly has a way of flying by. Sasha played before, filling the industrial Machester space with an hour of buzzy, melodic house gems that were some of his crate favorites at the time. Pete Tong and Eats Everything laid down heady grooves afterward, with cuts from Green Velvet, Martin Buttrich, Maceo Plex, and more. Both do well in bringing about good memories from that time in dance music.



Photo credit: Manc Photography

Weekend Rewind: Relive Hardwell’s peak during his 2012 BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix

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Weekend Rewind: Relive Hardwell’s peak during his 2012 BBC Radio 1 Essential MixHardwell Performing

Since it’s been a few months since Hardwell played his final live show following an official announcement that he’d retire from touring, now feels like the perfect time to revisit the hectic sets and infectious sounds that catapulted him into notoriety. His BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix from 2012 captures this iconic aesthetic perfectly, featuring “Apollo” and other original works that would later become the some of the heaviest weapons in his crate, plus other gems of the time like  Porter Robinson‘s “Language.”

The artist gives fans insight into how he got his start during the introduction per usual Essential Mix protocol, reflecting that his style is between progressive and electro house and noting that he signed to his first label at just 14 years old. Although he has recently stopped touring, Hardwell is still producing music — meaning the wild energy fans have grown to love will live on through his original releases.

Photo Credit: The Philippine Star

Weekend Rewind: Porter Robinson’s seminal ‘Worlds’ turns four years old

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Weekend Rewind: Porter Robinson’s seminal ‘Worlds’ turns four years oldHARD Porter Rukes

Everyone knows the feeling they get in the pit of their stomachs when a track like “One More Time,” “Wake Me Up,” “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff,” or “One” comes on. The outside world fades away and the music, the classic dance track and the feelings it invokes, are all that matters. There’s a beauty in some tracks’ ability to shed the outside world in a fleeting moment of sonic bliss — exactly the phenomenon that Porter Robinson achieves with “Divinity.” Few opening tracks in modern electronic dance music are as recognizable, and ultimately, few opened listeners up to an entirely unique world of an artist’s music like Worldsopener did.

Robinson’s Worlds is four years old on August 12 and although he’s moved on to newfound creative avenues, the energy and, well, otherworldliness of Worlds still plays as if the listener’s making a new discovery on each and every listen. Described by the journalist Larry Fitzmaurice at Pitchfork as “an antidote to the aggressive, toxically masculine culture that’s pervaded mainstream American dance culture” surrounding its release, Robinson’s retro and Japanese culture inspiration, the album’s now iconic, glitchy sound design, and its propulsive knack for turning mere objects into easily pinpointed sounds stretched the parameters of what mainstream electronic music could be in a way that hadn’t been challenged in a long time.

Worlds flouted the expectations of the American dance culture it existed in, even if it did rely heavily on the past and influence from artists like M83,  to challenge its present. The album defied the logistics of the DJ set and what the live dance music performance could mean, much like its predecessors did in seminal LP’s from the likes of Daft Punk, Justice, and others. Robinson bridged the gap between the indie-pop world and dance music, too. A modern opus, and certainly not the pinnacle of Porter Robinson’s career, the album is undeniably one of his brightest moments so far — one that illuminated the path for an entire wave of emotionally-charged, conceptual dance music to follow.

Featured image: Rukes

Weekend Rewind: relive Skrillex’s Tomorrowland 2012 main stage set

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Weekend Rewind: relive Skrillex’s Tomorrowland 2012 main stage setSkrille 4

With Tomorrowland 2018 well underway, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the weekend’s groundbreaking sets, inevitable unreleased track teases, and larger-than-life production value that the Belgian festival promises each year. However, those looking for a bit of Tomorrowland nostalgia might enjoy this quick trip down memory lane back to Skrillex‘s iconic main stage set from Tomorrowland 2012.

Ah 2012… the year fondly remembered as EDM’s dominating break into the mainstream.

At the time, Skrillex was indisputably the face of American dance music, and it truly shows in this set. Just months after the release of his Bangarang EP, the screamo-frontman-turned-superstar-DJ breaks out now-canonized gems including “Kyoto,” and “Devil’s Den,” and “Breakn’ a Sweat.” The Tomorrowland crowd was one of the first to hear songs like “Next Order,” from his Dog Blood project with Boys Noize, and “Welcome to Jamrock” live. Still rocking his once signature thick frames and half-shaved crop, Skrillex delivers an exceptionally eclectic outing at perhaps the height of his breakthrough moment. Wrapping up the set with the classic “Reptile’s Theme,” this half hour of Tomorrowland history showcases Skrillex well on his way to the top of the world of electronic music.

Weekend Rewind: Jackmaster drops off the original Mastermix from 2006

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Jackmaster‘s released his original Mastermix from 2006 to kick off the new year.

Since the debut landed over ten years ago, Jackmaster’s Mastermix series has become a highly regarded institution in the dance music realm, as it’s one of the most dynamic collections of tracks in the scene. While it was believed to have been lost, the original mix has been unearthed thanks to producer Jack Revill’s “genius wee brother,” and has now been uploaded onto SoundCloud for all to enjoy.

In just over one hour of music, Revill juxtaposes a rousing array of popular music from the era. He manages to splice together an invigorating culmination of pop and disco tracks, which offers a glimpse into Revill’s stylistic evolution over the years.

Revill dished on the mix on SoundCloud, saying:

“To say thanks for all your support last year I decided to upload the first ever Mastermix, recorded in 2006. It’s an all vinyl mix that I thought was lost forever and hasn’t been on the internet for some 10 or more years, but my genius wee brother somehow found it. It runs through everything from Ciara, Beyoncé, Janet and Missy to Mr Oizo, Drexciya and DJ Funk – original party material.”

He continued, “It’s a perfect example of how I was DJing when I was a wee guy and brings to mind vivid memories of the old Numbers nights we used to put on in the tiny wee basement of a gay bar where we threw the parties that gained us notoriety in Glasgow.”

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Watch the ABGT250 live stream from The Gorge Amphitheater

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As Ajuna family worldwide ascends onto the Gorge Amphitheater this weekend, Sept. 15-17, those not lucky enough to be inside Central Washington’s picturesque venue can now live vicariously through their computer screens. Above & Beyond has partnered with Live Nation to bring ABGT250 to a live stream on Twitter, featuring line-up support from YOTTO, Lutrell, Seven Lions, Oliver Smith, Moonboots and many more.

The global trance gathering features on-site camping and music from deep within the Ajunabeats and Ajunadeep vault. Saturday’s live stream featured an 8-hour radio broadcast with a tantalizing climactic Group Therapy set c/o Jono, Tony, and Paavo; while Sunday kicks off with a special Above & Beyond yoga set followed by an Ajunadeep stage takeover from 16 Bit Lolitas, Jody Wisternoff & James Grant, and Eli & Fur.

Check out the live stream schedule below and stream ABGT250 on Twitter now.

5:00-6:00: Above & Beyond (Deep Set)

6:00-7:00: Luttrell

7:00-8:00: YOTTO

8:00-9:00: Oliver Smith

9:00-10:00: Genix & Sunny Lax

10:00-12:00: Above & Beyond

12:00-1:00: Seven Lions & Jason Ross

11:00-12:00: Above & Beyond (Yoga Set)

12:00-1:30: Moon Boots

1:30-3:15: Eli & Fur

3:15-5:00: Jody Wisternoff & James Grant

5:00-6:45: 16 Bit Lolitas

6:45-8:00: YOTTO & Luttrell

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Weekend Rewind: Relive the birth of tropical house with Klingande’s Thomas Jack mixtape

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Believe it or not, there was a time when Tropical House was a difficult sound to track down.  Before its vibes invaded the bona fide mainstream, those keen on the sound were forced into the unenviable task of wading through the annuls of SoundCloud in search of stray house tracks with a bongo or acoustic guitar.

For those who arrived early on the hype, Thomas Jack‘s SoundCloud page was a beacon of light. Though the producer has since branched out into fresher territory, his mix tape series featured a range of eclectic “tropical” artists—then, still fleshing out a sound that would come to dominate commercial dance music for several years.

At the time, production duo Klingande (that moniker now belongs to producer Cédric Steinmyller’s solo creations) were just drumming up traction for their infectiously sunny originals and their efforts for the series created a mix that stood apart at the time for its totally coherent tropical vibes.

Every second of this hour long mix is drenched in the sunny instrumentation embodied by the genre’s best tracks.  More than a few lush selects crop up along the way. Kungs‘ “To Describe You,” Robin Schulz & Lilly Wood’s “Prayer In C,” and Mozambo’s utterly infectious edit of Disclosure‘s “Latch” all make noteworthy appearances alongside, of course, the producer’s own genre defining track “Jubel.”

Though Jack and company have since made household names of themselves with their once unique sounds, this mix brings back memories of the early days when Tropical House was an exciting new brand of music.



1. Filous – Summer (Cover)

2. Noah – It Breaks Your Heart (Marv Edit)

3. Kungs & Mozambo ft. Molly – To Describe You

4. Klingande – Jubel (Nora En Pure Remix)

5. Lilly Wood & the Prick & Robin Schulz – Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Remix)

6. Granville – Le Slow (Les Filles Et Les Garçons Remix)

7. Clean Bandit – Extra (KG Remix)

8. Disclosure – Latch (Mozambo Remix)

9. The Chancellors – Cut Soul (Kungs Remix)

10. Lexer – My Princess (Vocal Version feat Philippe Heithier)

11. La Roux – Bulletproof (GAMPER & DADONI Remix)

12. The Weeknd – Devil May Cry (Fabich & Ferdinand Weber Edit)


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Weekend Rewind: Relive Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones’ rowdy Boiler Room set

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It has been a busy year for Fractal Fantasy co-founders Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones. With Sinjin Hawke’s album, First Opus, being released in May and a steady stream of singles, remixes, and collaborations coming from both artists, it is easy for some great content to slip through the cracks. A few months ago, the Spanish duo put on an unmissable bass-driven Boiler Room set.

The event, recorded live in Bengaluru, India, is full of surprises that only these DJs could have in their arsenal. With most tracks by either one or both artists, Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones showed off the intense work that they put into their diverse live shows. Packed with unreleased bootlegs, edits, and more, the set spans many genres including footwork, jersey club, grime, trap, and hip hop. This eclectic mix of heavy beats and deep rhythms is a perfect example of what these two rising producers have to offer.


Zora Jones & Sinjin Hawke – Glass Chains
Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones – Source Of Conflict
Busy Signal – Brave & Bold (Sinjin Hawke Edit)
E40 – Choices (YUP) (Zora Jones Bootleg)
Sinjin Hawke – Nailgun
Famous Eno, Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones ft. Trigganom & Serocee – Gunshotta
1180 – Lick It
Brandy – Sittin Up In My Room (Xzavier Stone & Sinjin Hawke Bootleg)
Fox – Big Man Ting (prod. by Famous Eno)
Sinjin Hawke – Don’t Lose Yourself To This
Sinjin Hawke & Dj Sliink – Raw
Zora Jones – Too Many Tears VIP
MikeQ & Sinjin Hawke – Thunderscan
Bambounou – Any Other Service x Blaqstarr (FF Edit)
Sinjin Hawke – ???
Dj Jayhood – Lights Down Low (Zora Jones Remix)
Dj Na – MikeQ vs. Fingers Up (Boomclap Edit)
Jammer – Feedback (FF Edit)
Gangsta Boo & Sinjin Hawke – Yea Hoe (Vjuan Allure Remix)
DVA, Killa P, Sinjin Hawke – Worst [Vocal Dub]
Xzavier Stone – ???
Kid D – Set Fire
Scratcha DVA & Wiley – Apocalypto (FF Edit)
Low Deep – So Right Now
Soulja Boy – Pow (Boomclap Edit)
Zora Jones – First Light
Ceeda – Zoom (FF Edit)
Ciara – Go Girl (Zora Jones Edit) (Club Mix)
Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones – Lurk 101
Xzavier Stone – ???
Zora Jones – ???
Sinjin Hawke – Flood Gates VIP
Dj Roc – Uh Huh (Boomclap Edit)
v1984 & Zora Jones – The Zone
Dj 2Tall x Dj YB – Sex With Me (Boomclap Edit)
Assasin – Goodie Bye Bye (FF Edit)
Dj Roc – Vybrant Vibez
Sinjin Hawke – 321 [Vox Beatking]
Tiara Goonie – All Out Of Time (Zora Jones Edit)

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10 essential DnB classics to reinvigorate your weekend playlist

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10 essential Drum ‘n’ Bass classics

Drum ‘n’ Bass is one of the oldest sub-genres of modern dance music, having differentiated from rave/hardcore techno back in the early 1990s in England. Characterized by high-tempo beats and intricate bass lines, the genre rapidly gained traction in underground dance music venues all over the world, before finally emerging as a separate genre in the mid-90s.

Peering into the unique past of Drum ‘n’ Bass, we look at ten of most influential and radical songs that helped shape this niche genre.

Words by Kanvar KohliFeatured image via Philippe Wuyts Photography/Ultra 2016.


Origin Unknown – Valley of the Shadows

Andy C and Ant Miles created a true masterpiece back in 1992, right around the time Drum ‘n’ Bass was established as a separate genre. “Valley of the Shadows” can actually be regarded as one of the first ‘liquid’ DnB tracks, as it features soothing melodies and smooth beats. Interestingly, this track samples vocals from NASA’s Apollo 11 countdown and continues to be an instantly recognizable club classic, while setting the benchmark for DnB tracks nearly 25 years after its release.


Shimon and Andy C – Night Flight

The late 1990s and early 2000s are fondly remembered by many as the “Golden Era” of Drum ‘n’ Bass. A glittering example of the trippy tunes prevailing in the era is “Night Flight” by Shimon and Andy C. What instantly stands out about the track is its tasteful minimalism. Staying true to the genre, large portions of this track feature only energetic drums and a supremely groovy bass line, eliminating unwanted elements such as leads and synth melodies. The track has aged like a fine wine, and would fit in perfectly at a modern club setting.


Bad Company – The Nine

Another specimen from the genre’s “Golden Era,” Bad Company’s greatest ever hit is a fast paced, futuristic single way ahead of its time. “The Nine” features one of the hardest bass lines ever conceived by man. Despite its age, the crisp combination of hi hat samples and evil, growling bass line can be marveled at even to this day. The show-stopping track has been rated as the best Drum ‘n’ Bass track of all time by a variety of publications, cementing its place in bass music folklore.


Black Sun Empire – Arrakis

Fast forward to 2004 and Drum ‘n’ Bass had definitely evolved into a more intricate genre. Fresh sounds were layered into tracks, adding a new dimension to singles from this era. This concept is perfectly illustrated by Black Sun Empire’s ferocious single “Arrakis.” The Dutch trio is renowned for their harsh and uncompromising style while remaining true to the core of Drum ‘n’ Bass. “Arrakis” definitely has a lot more going on than its basic predecessors; a higher level of mixing which adds an unmistakable polish to the brilliant track.


Pendulum – Blood Sugar

Undoubtedly one of the greatest Drum ‘n’ Bass acts of all time, Pendulum changed the modern perception of the genre forever. Pioneering the use of synths in their singles, which have since become a staple in almost all songs, the band ushered in the second wave of Drum N Bass to the masses. “Blood Sugar,” taken from Hold Your Color in 2005, is one such track which uses the Pendulum sound to great effect; expertly blending synths with a high octane DnB core for intense head-banging action.


Noisia – Stigma

No Drum ‘n’ Bass list would be complete without Dutch bass masters Noisia. The legendary trio is revered by many a producer due to their glorious sound design and uncanny ability to alter the course of the entire genre with their genial music. “Stigma,” released in 2008 is one such single. The extremely energetic track kicks off with a suspenseful intro, aided ably by the warbling bass line and thick drums, which turn the track into a true bass monster; widely regarded as one of their best ever singles.


B-Complex – Beautiful Lies

Slovakian producer B-Complex is one of the contemporary greats of Drum ‘n’ Bass, cementing her place amongst the elite with her 2009 single “Beautiful Lies.” The soul of the track is permeated with a distinct Hip-Hop influence, clearly audible in the intro and break. The track features sublime production, as B-Complex expertly mixes in catchy vocal samples and piano chords into the bass drop -one of the contributing factors to the track’s status as a modern classic.


Netsky – Memory Lane

Netsky’s meteoric rise to stardom was a result of his ‘liquid’ style, which greatly widened Drum ‘n’ Bass’ fan base due to its easy listening appeal. One of his greatest hits came in 2010 with “Memory Lane.” Featuring a catchy hook and beautifully layered melodies, it serves as a benchmark for liquid DnB singles several years after its original release.


Sub Focus – Tidal Wave

Sub Focus is a true veteran of the genre, starting off in 2002 and still going strong in 2017. Having carved out a rock-solid reputation over the past decade, he first tasted commercial success in 2005 with “X-ray/Scarecrow.” One of his best ever works was the supremely serene “Tidal Wave.” The track gained significant popularity due to its ethereal vocals and it’s ridiculously catchy music, making it one of the standout Drum ‘n’ Bass hits of 2013.


Tristam and Bracken – Frame of Mind

Rounding off the list of classics is Tristam & Bracken’s legendary collaboration “Frame of Mind.” The duo had previously released some eye-catching music, but nothing of the magnitude of this particular single. The track became an instant hit after its initial 2013 release and continues to be a staple in most Drum ‘n’ Bass live sets and playlists. The reason for this unprecedented success is the ease with which the vocals melt into the sublime instrumentals, which strikes the perfect balance between low frequency drive and mid-range finesse. “Frame of Mind” is quite possibly the most popular DnB track of all time, ensuring its status as a classic.

Revisit Skream’s first Essential Mix on its 10th anniversary

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Few genres have had as dramatic an evolution over time as that of dubstep. The aggressive, often cacophonous LFO wails which have come to define dubstep’s public perception since 2010 are a far cry from the gritty, subdued beats and dub samples which characterized its early days.

There is no single person who better epitomizes dubstep’s nascent stage than Skream. Though Oliver Jones currently presides as one of the most compelling artists in the house and techno circuit, the taste-making chameleon is widely considered to be one of the genre’s primary progenitors.

In 2005, Jones released “Midnight Request Line,” a song regarded by many as the first dubstep track ever produced. Two years later, as dubstep became an indomitable force in the UK, Skream provided the first proper dubstep Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1.

Today, June 17, 2017, Skream’s debut Essential Mix turns 10 years old. At just 21 years old, Jones introduced the world to the most malleable genre of the era. Throughout the two-hour set, the British DJ offered a crash course in dubstep, rinsing tracks from some influential figures such as Coki, Rusko, and Benga in addition to a comprehensive selection from his own catalogue.

It’s easy to see why Pete Tong refers to Skream as “the sound of dubstep” during the broadcast: at times menacing and at times sedate, his 2007 Essential Mix dutifully encapsulates the essence of the genre in its purest form.

Tracklist (Via BBC):

Skream – ‘Hedd Banger’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Percression’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Shake It’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Hurt Them’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Movin Snarez’ (Disfigured Dubz)
Mark Ashken – ‘Size 3’ (Skream mix) (Leftroom)
Skream N Clue Kid – ‘SandSnake’ (Disfigured Dubz)
Skream – ‘Lemon’ (Dub)
Warrior Queen – ‘Take Time’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Chest Boxin’ (Tempa)
Skream – ‘Dubbers Anonnymous’ (Tempa)
Skream – ‘2D’ (Tempa)
Zinc featuring Slarta John – ‘Flim’ (Skream mix) (Dub)
Coki – Untitled (Big Apple Music)
Skream/Mala – ‘Anti-Tapped’ (Dub)
Unknown – ‘Alicia’ (white)
Skream – ‘Nemesis’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘The Line’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Tortured Soul’ (Tempa)
Benga – ‘Skunk Tip’ (Skream mix) (Tempa)
Skream – ‘Skwelcha’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘ Sine-Us’ (Dub)
Distance – ‘Nightvision’ (Skream mix) (Dub)
Black Ghost – ‘Find Some Way’ (Skream N Plastician Refix) (Southern Fried)
Rusko – ‘Jah Hova’ (Sub Soldiers)
Skream – ‘Losin Control’ (Tempa)
Magnetic Man – ‘What’s Happenin?’ (Dub)
Coki – ‘Blood Thirst’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Wobble That Gut’ (Dub)
Slazenger – ‘8ate Ball’ (white)
Skream ft Warrior Queen – ‘Check It’ (Tempa)
Coki – ‘Sponge Bob’ (Big Apple)
Skream – ‘Oskillata’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Murdera’ (Dub)
Neon Hitch – ‘Derek’ (BiPolarMen Refix) (The Beats)
Skream – ‘Make Me’ (Distance Remix) (Dub)
Seventeen Evergreen – ‘Ensoniq’ (BiPolarMen Refix) (Dub)
Skream – ‘Krash’ (Dub)
Skream – ‘Midnight Request Line’ (Tempa)
Skream – ‘C.R.O Dub’ (Dub)
Klaxons – ‘Not Over Yet’ (Skream mix) (EMI)
Benga – Untitled (white)

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