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MK Tackles the Essential Mix for the First Time Since the 90s; Oliver Heldens Releases the Heldeep Mixtape 2

DJ mixes are a dime a dozen these days. You could probably shuffle through your SoundCloud feed and find more mixes than you know what to do with – certainly more than enough music to fill your waking hours with. It’s this reason that I try to be selective when it comes to posting mixes on this blog – they really have to be noteworthy; either something truly unique, or absolute perfection the whole way through. This past weekend brought us two of these mixes: veteran Marc Kinchen (better known as MK) got behind the BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix decks for the first time since 1995 and newcomer Oliver Heldens unleashed his Heldeep Mixtape 2.

If you’ve never heard of Marc Kinchen, who typically goes by his DJ name of MK, I’m here to enlighten you. If you know about MK, then I’m here to make sure his Essential Mix doesn’t pass you by unnoticed. MK has been involved in the House music game since the 90s – he’s the very definition of a veteran artist. MK’s first Essential Mix was in 1995 and though he took some time away from dance music to become Will Smith’s in-house producer, he’s very much back at the top of the game. 2013 was a big year for MK as he topped charts with his updated remix of Storm Queen’s “Look Right Through” (number one in the UK) as well as a series of remix duties for big name artists like Lana Del Rey and Sub Focus. Not to mention a personal favorite remix of Jamie Antonelli’s “Divine”. MK’s Essential Mix, to me, was flawless the whole way through. He chose tracks with infectious grooves and plenty of melodies, including 10 exclusives and tons of MK homemade remixes. Though a veteran in the game, MK is really emerging from the pack as a force in groovy, soulful House Music.

*Tracklist after the jump*

I think it’s fitting to couple a mix from a veteran in the game with a mix by one of dance music’s fastest-rising stars: Oliver Heldens. I’ve posted about Heldens quite a bit in recent weeks. His latest original production, “Gecko”, is a fantastic track that saw massive amounts of plays thanks to a premier by tastemaker Pete Tong. Shortly after that, Heldens premiered his Heldeep Mixtape series that combined Big Room bangers with deeper and funkier underground sounds. We also were treated to a preview of his “Animals” remix, which I later posted because it was too damn good to ignore (and frankly it sounded nothing like the over-played original by Martin Garrix). Over the weekend I was elated to see Oliver Heldens released Heldeep Mixtape 2. It’s just as good, if not better, than Mixtape 1. Heldens wouldn’t release the track list until it reached 20,000 plays, and just two days later it’s already way past that point. If you want some fantastic tunes that stray far away from your Beatport Top 100, this is the place to get it. We go Deep, we go Funky, we go Techy, and there are absolutely no complaints from me. Turn it up!

*Track list after jump*

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Pryda Releases Lycka and F.A.T.

It’s always a big day when Eric Prydz releases new music. Yesterday Prydz dropped his two-song Lycka EP under his moniker Pryda and released on Pryda Recordings. As with most Pryda songs these days there was a lot of pre-release buzz surrounding “Lycka” and the b-side track “F.A.T.” Of course, most Prydz fans realize we’ve been hearing both tracks in his live sets and mixes far before yesterday’s on-sale date. According to 1001tracklists.com, “F.A.T.” has been seeing far more play in DJ sets, dating back to March 16th when Dirty South unleashed it as part of his Essential Mix. I think, however, “Lycka” might be the more popular fan favorite, as it’s already been identified as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World and one of Above & Beyond’s most-requested tracks as exemplified by Group Therapy 056 push the button. 

Both tracks show off Prydz’s continued perfection and originality in the studio. Signature snares and Pryda synths flow through both tracks and each production spans above the six-minute mark allowing for a true Progressive House sound to shine through. “Lycka” and “F.A.T.” have different feels to their overall construction – “Lycka” is more of an uplifting selection while “F.A.T.” is a bit darker but at the same time is more of a dance floor destroyer. If you ask me, I’m more partial to “F.A.T.” but I really can’t complain about either track.

Eric Prydz continues to be one of my favorite artists in all of dance music and Lycka proves why he remains at the top of the list. I’m not quite sure when my next opportunity to see him live will be but I damn well hope it’s soon.

**Purchase on Beatport now!**

 

Pryda – Lycka (Original Mix)
Pryda – F.A.T. (Original Mix)

Claude Vonstoke Returns to the Essential Mix

I was elated to see one of my favorite producer/DJs was being featured on BBC Radio 1′s Essential Mix this weekend. The master of booty bass brought his eclectic mix of House music to the airwaves  this past Friday, six years after his debut with Essential Mix in 2007. Barclay Crenshaw, better known as Claude Vonstroke, has had a busy year culminating with the release of his third studio album Urban Animal and a 25-city North American tour in support of the release. Even more so, his label Dirtybird is absolutely flourishing thanks to unique and funky sounds by the likes of Eats Everything, Justin Martin, Kill Frenzy, Hannah Wants, Catz ‘n Dogz, and plenty more.

This incredible two-hour mix sees Claude Vonstroke coming off his tour and coming in hot with recent and forth-coming releases on Dirtybird. The first half of the mix is straight four-on-the-floor booty bangers while the second half opens it up a bit with some non-Dirtybird artists, some Trap and Breaks sounds, and a well-rounded dose of dance music therapy. A couple standout tracks for me include the opening Jimmy Edgar remix of “Whip” as well as Doorly’s remix of Claude Vonstroke’s own “The Clapping Track”. Claude even admits the mix took a few takes to perfect and that it isn’t completely absent of “human error”. I trust only the finest-tuned ears will be able to pick up on those errors anyways…

Show Claude and the Dirtybird team some love if you like what you hear! I’ll be looking forward to catching the guys on Holy Ship in six weeks! *Track lists After Jump!*

And for nostalgic reasons…

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Nervo BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix

Aussie girl duo, Nervo, debuted a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and posted it today via their Soundcloud to share with the world. From the massive success the sisters have had thus far with their DJing careers, it’s surprising these two worldly recognized twins hadn’t already made an essential mix, but we can be rest assured – they did so (finally) with flying colors. The mix is filled with house tunes that conduce a perfect party music playlist. The girls – having just returned from attending/DJing the 2013 MTV VMA‘s – are set to be touring around Europe, but are making some stops to the states including playing at Tomorrowworld. Stream the mix below and keep reading for a tracklist.

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In Case You Missed It: Matthias Meyer – Infinity

There I was, listening to the fantastic Essential Mix by Hot Since ’82, and a familiar sample came across the mix. Sure enough it was a sample from one of the best 90s Hip Hop songs in existence: “93 Til Infinity” by the Souls of Mischief. The difference here is the Essential Mix track had no vocals, no talking about how “this is how we chill from ’93 til”. What the track DID have was a chilled out Tech-House vibe thanks to the production work of Matthias Meyer. The German producer/DJ hails from a small town near Hamburg and roams the underground House scene. I can’t say that I had heard of Matthias Meyer before this track, which came out in 2011, but he’s absolutely on my radar now. While I usually have a lot to say in my posts, I’ll let the music do the speaking for me in this one. Definitely go check out Matthias Meyer and see what he’s all about, after you listen to his gem “Infinity”.

Mattias Meyer – Infinity | Purchase on Beatport 

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In Case You Missed It: Maya Jane Coles Remixes Ella Fitzgerald on “Blue Skies”

For those of you who don’t get down with Deep House, chances are you haven’t heard of the UK-based producer/DJ Maya Jane Coles. The 20-something, of Japanese and British decent, has been doing her thing for years and this past May had the honor of recording a set for BBC Radio 1′s Essential Mix for the second time. During her Essential Mix, Maya Jane Coles debuted her remix of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Blue Skies”. This song, originally written by Irving Berlin in 1926, has a long history that puts Ella Fitzgerald’s version right in the middle, released in 1958. Fitzgerald was a well-known jazz vocalist who was known for her scat singing, but Maya Jane Coles certainly puts her mark on “Blue Skies” with this deep 2013 take. I absolutely love the use of Fitzgerald’s vocals combined with the original 1950s jazz horn samples. Adding some House drums, at a relatively slow 120 bpm, and an eerie bass line really ties this all together. Maya Jane, via Facebook, announced that she was finally able to put this on her SoundCloud today, though it dropped on Beatport last month. The track is part of a compilation album called Verve Remixed: The First Ladies and features remix work of some classic female vocalists by some of today’s hottest dance music producers. I think all music fans will appreciate this “Blue Skies” remix and if you do, make sure you show Maya some love!

Ella Fitzgerald – Blue Skies (Maya Jane Coles Remix) | Purchase at Beatport

Tracklist after the jump

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