Having listened to a lot of this series recently including Midland, DJ Harvey (1998) and Floating Points, it is safe to say even the best DJs save their best for the Essential mix.
I first learnt of the song Celestial Choir – Stand on the Word (Larry Levan Remix) mix while watching the Black Madonna’s recent Between the Beats short documentary for Resident Advisor.
She had mentioned how Optimo’s last Sub Club residency show was a catalyst...
…and turning point in her music career as it was when, she first heard the aforementioned song which later became her breakout track, Exodus.
This impact on her life led me to listen to their essential mix believing it was the mix she was referring to (I later realised it was not), however I did not regret it. Their essential mix is nothing short of spectacular as it blends various genres flawlessly. Particular highlights for me were 45:33 Part 1 (LCD Soundsystem), Lady Bug (Bumblebee Unlimited), Left Leg Out (Mala), Eisbar (Grauzone) and of course Stand on the Word (Celestial Choir).
In my opinion, the making of a great mix is not just in the tracks or the mixing to some extent but how the songs fit together, whether there is a sudden change of pace or mood, the DJ plays something unexpected and importantly makes it work, and finally whether I am kept engaged throughout. Track selection is key and the perfect mix almost impossible to create, however in my opinion this comes damn close.
Check it out, you won’t regret it…