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BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix doesn’t mint any duds. Pete Tong’s weekly broadcast has established its iconic status over the past two decades by consistently selecting the world’s best DJs to proffer their best possible mixes, so the quality of product can be assumed.
However, there are Essential Mixes and there are Essential Mixes. On May 19, Stephen and David Dewaele put forth the latter.
The Dewaele brothers are among the rare breed of artists who are legends twice over – both as Soulwax and 2ManyDJs. For their first Essential Mix since lending to the program as Soulwax in 2005, the fraternal duo put forth an unprecedented effort in their inimitable two-part mix.
Late in March, Soulwax released their latest album, From Dewee, but for this weekend’s broadcast they didn’t rely on the LP’s releases whatsoever. Instead, the prodigious outfit put forth an entire hour of entirely new Soulwax music, produced specifically for the Essential Mix – an endeavor which Tong giddily notes is a first for the program from a group of their stature. The brand new songs – titled “Essential 1 – Essential 12” – are bizarre, experimental techno and electro. Indeed these offerings are straightforward, high caliber Soulwax classics.
For the second half of the set, the brothers don their other act’s hats, launching into a masterfully diverse 2ManyDJs set. Over the next hour, the brothers explore an eclectic range of dance music, exploring a tasteful array of jazz and reggae-inspired electronica, and generally unclassifiable – but high quality – selections.
Though the following statement is a bold assertion, it is nonetheless true: the Dewaele brothers just put forth the front runner for 2017’s Essential Mix of the Year.
Soulwax – Essential Intro
Soulwax – Essential 1-12
Asa Moto – Systema Naturae
Astarius – Ancient Times 1
Sammy Burdson – Disco Cola
Daevid Allen & New York Gong – Jungle Windo(w)
Kayanza – Salutation Akazéhé
Sheila E. – Koo Koo
Ghassan Rhabani – 2nd Reggae
Poligam – A-Dur-Funk
Klaus Weiss – Running
Roland Vincent & Jean-Pierre Lang – Le Trou Noir
Funky 4 + 1 – Rappin And Rocking The House
Crazy Bank – Up Down Push (Soulwax Edit)
Nina Scott – Drap De La Contrebasse
Klanken – Vier
Hossam Ramzy – Eshta
Lazlo – Hazard
Bobby Heath, Eric Peters & Robert Hunter – Power Grid
Voice of Authority – Stopping & Starting (Soulwax Edit)
Doxa Sinistra – Modern Age (Soulwax Edit)
DJ – Over Dose (Fear II)
Timmy Thomas – Funky Me
Kamikaze – Tokyo Rose
Osamu Mundi- Sexafari
Zohra – Badala Zamana (Soulwax Edit)
Jean Philippe – Midi
Waffles – Poland
Yannick Chevalier – Rhythm Tom Drums 2
Peder Mannerfelt – Request Line (Soulwax Edit)
Tristesse Contemporaine – Get What You Want
Whyte Horses – Feels Like Something Changing
Love Collection starring Jean Sharon – Papa Bully (Soulwax Edit)
Waffles – Croatia
Cornelius – Clap & Whistle & Walking
Klanken – Vijf
John Cravache – Paris Roswell
DJ Bert & Eagle – I Am Your Master
Ben Pearce makes a deep, well-rounded Essential Mix debut
Camo & Krooked feature over 100 tracks in their Essential Mix debut
Don Diablo shares the history of his career for his BBC Essential Mix debut