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Sometimes you have to look backwards to move forwards. In the case of Maceo Plexs DJ Kicks mix. its case of looking back with a different perspective. While Maceo Plexs mix is composed mainly of records that are up to 20 years old. its the tone of those records that is important. Eric Estornel. to use Plexs real name. has certainly come up with a forward-thing set that doesnt sound like much else out there.
“The whole mix is very dark,” agrees Estornel. “But it’s very varied as well. It’s really
boring to stay one style. If you’re a lover of music, you don’t love one style. I think it’s
important to travel through different styles.” The end result is an education, a lesson in
how electronic music for the dancefloor is done with intelligence.
Crucially, Estornel has re-edited nearly every track on the mix. “Most of the tracks are
really old, so they needed freshening up,” he says. “A lot of them were missing
percussion, or some other element I thought they could use.” I went through my own
stuff and previous DJ Kicks mixes. Y’know, research. I think it is the most important
mix series so I wanted to make sure it was music that I really loved and I want to hear
in five or ten years time.
But isn’t it a bit of a contradiction, trying to bump electronic music out of a retro rut by
looking to a different set of old records. Estornel reasons it thus: “A lot of the music
on there is old, but basically has the sounds and the type of vibe that I think is missing
these days. I went through a lot of new music. I didn’t want to select anything that
everyone is playing at the moment and I definitely didn’t want to select anything that
was already out on digital. The whole mix is comprised of vinyl only and is not going
to be out on digital other than the DJ Kicks mix. To do that I had to go through a lot of
new music and a lot of old music, and there wasn’t much new music that I really loved.
In time-honoured tradition, the mix contains a massive 10! exclusive tracks, the lead
kicks track bing Galactic Cinema, a muscular and suitably off-world house chug. “I’m
kind of known for a couple of big disco records and some really deep bassline house
tracks, but that track much darker, but still pretty sexy and soulful. The whole thing is
dark and futuristic.”
“This mix is kind of my legacy, or, at least, part of it,” says Estornel, by way of a parting
thought. “In ten or twenty years I’m going to want to go back and listen to this mix and
I hope it’s still fresh.”
Who knows. It sounds pretty timeless right now, though.
(added: 2013-02-27 14:52:20 )