Flashback to 2013, the year that Hot Since 82 would make his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix debut. Pete Tong would go on to share the house music tastemaker’s two-hour effort over the BBC Radio 1 airwaves, to highlight Hot Since 82 as a standout electronic act. A benchmark in the budding career of any aspiring artist, a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix conveys a clear message: The producer who lands one has what it takes to continue to rise in the intensely competitive modern music market.
That was then for Hot Since 82, who now returns to BBC Radio 1 to curate another Essential Mix for the reputed radio station. Hot Since 82’s 2019 Essential Mix expounds upon the producer’s refined underground sound, to package productions hailing from respected labels like Cocoon Records, Defected Records, and Proton into an undulating two-hours of easy-flowing house music.
I know many years ago when I was in high school, Deadmau5’s first essential mix helped open my eyes to the brilliant world of dance music that existed just outside my knowledge. I still get goosebumps to this day, when I think of the closing line of the opening monologue – THE MAU5 SOUNDS LIKE
It seems deadmau5 is perennially hard at work. From consistently live streaming his creation process for fans and overhauling his Cube rig for the third time, to scoring films and pulling double duty at Ultra this year, performing under both his deadmau5 and Testpilot monikers, it seems Joel Zimmerman rarely takes a moment to smell the roses, if ever. Luckily for fans, the Mau5trap head honcho keeps the pedal to the floor, and his latest offering comes by way of a rare Testpilot outing, on perhaps the most renown mix show in electronic music. That’s right—we’re getting a Testpilot Essential Mix.
The BBC Radio 1 mix, debuting on March 23, is actually billed as deadmau5/Testpilot, suggesting that Joel will be flipping between aliases, and a trove of new material is likely underway. The Essential Mix comes hot off the heels of the recent release of Testpilot’s full Electric Forest performance from 2018. Revisit the Electric Forest set below in preparation for one of the most anticipated Essential Mixes of the year.
The first dates of All Day I Dream‘s world tour have been unveiled, kicking off yet another expansive year for the brand. Twenty-two dates have been announced across six countries so far, with more to be announced in the coming months. Lee Burridge‘s iconic day-into-night parties have become a global staple by now, enamoring international dance fans with dreamy house sounds and crafty décor. LA, London, Moscow, and San Francisco have been announced, in addition to the brand’s return to its residencies in Mykonos and Ibiza.
Just prior to the announcement, Burridge offered a preview of what to expect musically via a brand new Essential Mix; his first since 2016. Introspective, yet whimsical, the two-hour endeavor explores a myriad of new and unreleased records from in and out of the All Day I Dream catalog—including a new work from Lee himself. It epitomizes the sound he’s made into his own over the years.
Swedish powerhouse producer Eric Prydz has been in the game for years, but his never-ending oasis of talent just keeps on giving. In late 2018, he played a slew of shows under his techno alias Cirez D alongside Adam Beyer and kicked off 2019 with select Pryda shows. Later this year, he’ll be bringing his insane hologram setup to Creamfields for a visually stunning HOLO live performance. While Prydz’s dedication to innovating for the most advanced technology stands on a calibre of its own amongst the industry, Dancing Astronaut would like to recognize where his visionary projects stemmed from and look back on his greatest strength: mixing. Twelve years ago this month, Prydz took to the Radio 1 decks for his Essential Mix 2007, still one of his greatest mixes to date.
Prydz weaves progressive, electro, and techno into his Essential Mix, taking listeners on a two-hour journey. Featuring tracks from both his Pryda and covert Tonja Holma alias, his eclectic selection also incorporates several of his own edits on tracks from artists Arno Cost, Brett Johnson and D’Malicious. Dance-worthy, energy-ridden and, of course, mixed to perfection, this Essential Mix will forever go down in the books as testimony to Eric Prydz as one of this generation’s most timeless DJs.
Swedish House Mafia continue to make their return to the electronic sector one painstaking step at a time, the most recent of which directed the three-part supergroup to Columbia Recordsto pen a record deal with the label. Dancing Astronaut invites Swedish House Mafia fans to momentarily avert their eyes from the horizon where new SHM music has long loomed, to instead glance nine years backwards and relive the trio’s 2010 Creamfields Essential Mix as the ink of the Columbia agreement dries.
The Essential Mix takes streamers back to Aug. 29, 2010, a time in which Axwell, Ingrosso, and Angello were jointly pioneering their iconicity as Swedish House Mafia. The 2010 set, live from Daresbury, England pairs a number of classic Swedish House Mafia productions that have now ascended to catalog-staple status with remixes and edits of offerings from other electronic entities like Bingo Players, Calvin Harris, and Pendulum. Highlights include an instrumental rendition of “Miami 2 Ibiza,” and Axwell’s bootleg of “Tell Me Why vs. Bittersweet Symphony.”
Swedish House Mafia currently shoulder headlining duties for Creamfields’ 2019 edition, slated for Aug. 22-25.
ANNA has hit a huge milestone in her career. This week, the Brazilian-born, Barcelona-based techno artist has taken the reigns for the first time on BBC Radio 1 for an inaugural Essential Mix. She has put her unique knowledge of the global techno arena on display, incorporating the sounds of São Paolo, Berlin, and South Africa as well as her own music across the two-hour long mix. This accomplishment serves as another reminder that with ANNA on the decks, something new and transcendent is bound to be discovered. Of course, this includes her own remix of Jon Hopkins’ “Singularity,” but it only begins there. Other blistering records spun on the show include her atmospheric single “Hidden Beauties,” “Artha,” and her edit to Fairmont’s “Gazebo.”
Pete Tong has been an outspoken fan of Australian trio RÜFÜS DU SOL since their break half a decade ago. He’s rinsed their music heavily across his platforms, doing his part to seal in their now-global domination in the live electronica sphere. Having just released their critically-acclaimed and deeply personal third LP, Solace, the timing synced perfectly for RÜFÜS to make their debut on the hallowed Essential Mix series. They made their debut during the wee hours of December 1.
The boys treat listeners to two hours of sounds that that inspire them, and to some extent, their latest album. It opens with TYB’s choice edit of Simian Mobile Disco’s “Mumurations,” before diving deeper into funk-based grooves of Weval and beyond. The mix is ethereal, yet eclectic, with multiple stylings of electronic music coming together with a common tie of sentimental melodies and floating sound design. Ultimately, RÜFÜS DU SOL’s Essential Mix debut is a class showcasing of where they’re at musically, and quite an intimate one at that.
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.
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.