phoenix sessions 005

So it turns out that if you wait to too long between set releases, pretty much every one of your favourite artists releases a killer new track. I guess you could refer to this set as the Epic Mix.

16 Bit Lolitas make a couple of appearances with tracks from their magnificent new LP. DJBS favourites UNKLE, Jaytech and Way Out West all contribute in one way or another — I even found room for the new version of the all-time classic Shapeshifter’s track, Lola’s Theme (which made an appearance on one of my first ever mix sets, many years ago).

This will probably be the last set released under the “phoenix sessions” moniker for a while, as I intend to explore some new spaces in the near future. Stay tuned.

  1. Black River (Gui Boratto Remix) – Bomb The Bass
  2. Reformation (Robert Babicz Remix) – Lucca
  3. Coconut Blues – Gabriel Ananda
  4. Bazook (Bazookapella) – Chris the Greek & Matheos
  5. Formula of Fear (Uberzone Dub Mix) – Hybrid
  6. Murder Weapon – 16 Bit Lolitas
  7. Azteca (KOS’s Stadium Mix) – KOS
  8. Twilight (Layo and Bushwacka! Remix) – UNKLE
  9. Lola’s Theme (2008 Re-edit) – The Shapeshifters
  10. Heart & Soul – Yvel and Tristan
  11. The Warning (Terracotta Army’s Eastern Invasion) – Way Out West
  12. Nobody Seems to Care (feat. Jennifer Horne) – 16 Bit Lolitas
  13. Candy (James Zabiela Remix) – Spooky
  14. Geko – Guy J
  15. Meaningful Story (Jaytech Remix) – Dinka
  16. Omptine D’Un Ature Ete, L’Apres Midi – Jay Haze and Yann Thiersen
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phoenix sessions 004 (Air Canada Edition)

A large chunk of this mix came together on a flight from Calgary to Montreal, early one morning a few weeks ago. It was a really nice way to spend the flight, and the presence of power adaptors on the seats really made my day. Flying the horrors of Continental or United lately has really blinded me to the perks the rest of the civilized world enjoys.

Only one comment this time about the set: Sultan and Ned Shepard have delivered one of the most mind-blowing breakdowns in recent memory in the form of “Jeopardy”. I’ve switched things around a bit here by combining the original’s techy progressions with 16-Bit Lolitas’ funkier remix, and it gives me chills. Enjoy.

  1. Bonafied Lovin’ (Juri Hulkkonen Remix) – Chromeo
  2. Movin’ (UNKLE’s Surrender Sounds Session 9) – Skylark
  3. Mongoose (Guy J Remix) – Sasha
  4. Jeopardy feat. Kuba Oms – Sultan and Ned Shepard
  5. Jeopardy feat. Kuba Oms (16-Bit Lolitas Mix) – Sultan and Ned Shepard
  6. One Dress, Two Legs (Dub Mix) – Jaytech and Jeff Drake
  7. Fun Punch (Bag Raiders Remix) – Bag Raiders
  8. Ikaros feat. Nicky (Retroid Remix) – Clesk, Pea and Shuda
  9. Anime (Rocco Main Mix) – Hernan Cattaneo and John Tonks
  10. Shine On – Soda Inc.
  11. The Big Space (Subsky Mix) – 3kStatic
  12. Dusty Horizon (Trafik’s Sirocco Mix) – Roland Klinkenberg
  13. Pyramid – Jaytech
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phoenix sessions 003

I’m not normally this prolific, but after the release of Strange Thoughts my buddy Kent and I had the following IM exchange:

Kent: Strange Thoughts was exceptional. I mean, really really terrific — I was literally transported to a new realm of musical understanding. One question though… when are you going to get back to making party music? Me: Umm… right now?

For some reason I don’t have a log of the exact conversation, but my memory of the exchange is very clear and I’m confident Kent used those exact words.

In any case, building a rocking, danceable party mix came effortlessly. There’s literally a TON of phenomenal new music out there right now, and it was a joy to build a set with it. I also wanted to get this out fast, hence the tiny turnaround after Strange Thoughts.

Session 003 hits all my favourite places — soft, epic progressive house and trance tracks like Williams’ “Love on a Real Train” and Jody Wisternoff’s incredible remix of “Miami Nice”. After the first half, things really start to take off in the form of some funky house courtesy of Ministry of Funk. Then we slide into some glitchy, dirty electro funk before polishing it off with Peter Martin’s classic “Perfect Wave”. Enjoy.

  1. Arrival – Stoneface & Terminal
  2. Love On A Real Train (Version by Studio) – Williams
  3. Yes We Can – House Music United
  4. If You Should Go feat. Susana (Inpetto & Duderstadt Dub Mix) – Armin van Buuren
  5. Titans (Elias Tzikas Mix) – Kosmas Epsilon
  6. Give It Up/Reaction (Adam K, Soha & Alex Gold Remix) – Alex Gold
  7. Miami Nice (Jody Wisternoff Mix) – Astral Tiger
  8. Surin – Quivver
  9. Love On A Real Train (Williams Odyssey Mix) – Williams
  10. Pictures – Stoneface & Terminal
  11. Funky Nation – Ministry of Funk
  12. You Control Me – Lil Devious
  13. Word – Sebastien Leger & Chris Lake
  14. In The End (Mazzali & Orlandi Mix) – Fuzzy Hair & Rock Da World
  15. Bleep – Sandy W
  16. Perfect Wave – Peter Martin
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Strange Thoughts

It’s a cliche — dance music and obscure science fiction samples go together like cake and frosting. But it’s an awesome cliche, because there’s something amazing about that little snippet of speech, taken out of context. And later — sometimes years later — you’re watching an old movie on TV, totally unexpected, and that line of dialogue weaves its way back into your consciousness in its original form. This happened to me a few months back watching The Thin Red Line. I think 90% of that movie has been sampled, mostly by UNKLE. (THX-1138 is another film where every 3rd line of dialog is familiar).

With that in mind, I wanted to create my own sample-laden mixset. The tone is darker and spacier, with less emphasis on the dancefloor and more attention paid to the headphones. There’s a bunch of futuristic dub, a bit of downtempo, and some killer progressive stuff in there. Enjoy.

  1. Serene – UNKLE
  2. Masato Eternity – System 7
  3. Bleed – Shiloh
  4. Obscure Hobbies – Pako & Fredrick
  5. Your Friends Are Scary – Younger Brother
  6. A Coffee Shop In Rotterdam – Alexander Robotnick
  7. Reckoner – Umut Gokcen vs Radiohead
  8. Indigo (Androcell Remix) – Tripswitch
  9. Fast Freeze – MyMy
  10. Itajai Vibes (Claes Rosen Remix) – Sultan, Ned Shepard & Maher Daniel
  11. 8000 – Extrawelt
  12. A Case In Point – Terry Lee Brown Jr.
  13. The Queen of All Everything – Ott
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phoenix sessions 002

Everyone has their hangups and preferences when it comes to music. I’ve long accepted the fact that dance music is a fringe group, but one of the friendliest and internet savvy. And the flow and swings really make work, play, and driving much more interesting. So pretty much 90% of my waking day.

My hangup with dance music (or electronic music, whatever you want to call it) is Divas. I hate Divas. Really, I eschew lyrics in general, but a wailing house diva will really make my eardrums rebel. Yet every once in a while a soaring female vocal will catch me just the right way and I can’t stop listening.

This set features two of my absolute favourite female vocal performances from the past year. The first is Hybrid’s “I Know (Keenan & Anderson Remix)”, a truly breathtaking track. The second is Robyn’s “With Every Heartbeat”, a track which drifts tantalizingly close to diva cheese before punching through with an emotional chorus that is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, it’s also a track that’s had a lot of airplay by DJs much more famous than I, so I mixed things up a bit by pulling the chunky minimalist Hugg & Pepp mix into the soaring (but mostly vocal free) Rory Phillips take.

The rest of the mix finds a solid progressive groove, with a bit more diversity and less driving dance tracks than my last few efforts. I hope you like it.

One of my all-time favourite mixsets is Sasha & Digweed’s first “Northern Exposure” double CD, an album that first truly introduced me to the art of the DJ set. Along with the brilliant track selection and song mixing, the duo included a graphic showing how each track overlapped. Maybe it was just showing off, but I was always impressed by how well they were able to layer diverse songs on top of each other, sometimes 3 at at time.

I thought it would be fun to do the same thing for this set, to illustrate graphically these sets are put together, showing loops and edits alongside mixed overlaps. I hope you like it as well.

phoenix sessions 002 infographic

Now, on with the tracklist:

  1. Magic Games Mastered – Jacuqes Renault
  2. Flicker (Cinematrik Remix) – Boom Jinx
  3. Leaving Planet Earth (Dousk Remix) – Talisman & Hudson
  4. I Know (Keenen & Anderson Remix) – Hybrid
  5. Hearts on Fire (Joakim Remix) – Cut Copy
  6. Bucovina feat. Shantel (Ian Oliver’s Clubovina Mix) – Ian Oliver
  7. Blew (Becker Remix) – Antix
  8. G Platz (Neil Quigley’s Pacemaker Dub) – Nick Muir
  9. A Field – Vector Lovers
  10. With Every Heartbeat (Hugg & Pepp Remix) – Robyn with Kleerup
  11. With Every Heartbeat (Rory Phillips Remix) – Robyn with Kleerup
  12. My Moon My Man (Boys Noize Classic) – Feist
  13. 2.20 Girl (Gutterstylz Dub Mix) – Suicide Sports Club
  14. Beautiful Life (Gui Boratto Remix) – Gui Boratto

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phoenix sessions 001

One of the advantages of being a bedroom DJ is only releasing sets when I am truly happy with them. Phoenix Sessions, my latest series, is an attempt to redefine some of the sounds I am using and mixing styles. Of course, you’ll still find some booty shakin’, head noddin’ tracks in here, but the first half in particular explores some downtempo and progressive breaks.

  1. Sleepless Nights – 120 Days
  2. Best Mamgu Ever – Underworld
  3. No More, Anymore (Elusive Mix) – Matthew Adams
  4. Human – James Zabiela
  5. The White Flash (Ft. Thom Yorke) – Modeselektor
  6. Gridlock (Digweed & Muirs Stripped Down Mix) – John Digweed
  7. Smoke (Dark Globes Angel Of The North Remix) – Trafik
  8. Moods Feat. Lemon (Valentino Kanzyani Remix) – Shlomi Aber
  9. Whatever This May Be (Ogi Gee Cash & Synchronized Remix) – Luke Star, Yves Eaux & Leron
  10. Beta Receptor (M.I.K.E.`s Undergroove Remix) – The Delta Rock Duo
  11. Royal Gregory – Holy Fuck
  12. Lumberjack – Kris Menace & Alan Braxe
  13. Sunset Boulevard – Paul Keeley

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ReCompletion

I suspect that for most fans of electronic music, there was a trigger song, band or album. It’s not like you hear this stuff on the radio — certainly not where I grew up in Calgary. College radio played hard-core techno on Friday nights, but to me it was (and remains) totally inaccessible.

My song was Orbital’s “Halcyon + On + On” from the Hackers soundtrack (at least, that’s where I heard it). I’d listened to a bit of other stuff, but that track blew my mind. I promptly went out and bought In Sides, and never looked back. Over the years, I collected every other Orbital album as well. Long before I dreamt of being a DJ, I imagined building new sounds out of “I Wish I Had a Duck”, from Snivilization. Layer upon layer of electro-squish and samples, Orbital created an imaginary world in the confines of that song.

Years later, I found myself searching for an opening track to complement Layo & Bushwacka!’s brilliant “Saudade”, and I reached for “I Wish I Had a Duck”. Orbital’s best work still resonates, and in a way this mix brings me full circle.

Sidenote: if you’re an Orbital fan, be sure to check out Paul Hartnoll’s solo album, “Ideal Condition”. Justifiably moving away from the core Orbital sound, he manages to find some brilliance in cinematic work and pop collaborations.

Tracklist:

  1. I Wish I Had A Duck – Orbital
  2. Saudade (Remix) – Layo & Bushwacka!
  3. Rej (A Hundred Birds Remix) – Ame
  4. When I Listen 2 This Sound, feat. ZM (Alex Celler Mix) – Nikola Gala
  5. Builder (Kris Menace Re-Edit) – Eva
  6. Anime (Sequential Remix) – Hernan Cattaneo, John Tonks
  7. North American Scum (Kris Menace Remix) – LCD Soundsystem
  8. Affectation (Dousk Dub Electro) – Chris Nemmo & Andree Eskay
  9. One & Only – Jimmy van M & Nick Warren
  10. Tornado – Habersham
  11. Discopolis (A Hundred Birds Remix) – Lifelike & Kris Menace
  12. Tease – James Harcourt
  13. One Day (Spiritchaser Terrace Mix) – The Craftsmen

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In Completion

It seems silly that it’s been so long since my last release, a problem that’s rectified by In Completion. My first set with the new Mixmeister Fusion software, it’s a lot closer to my live sound than the studio sound of previous mixes. The tone is mellow overall, but you’ll find a few barn burners stuffed in there as well. Enjoy.

Tracklist:

  1. Tripswitch – Indigo
  2. Ormatie – Glossow (Funk Harmony Park Remix)
  3. Jody Wisternoff – Nostalgia (Remix)
  4. Funk Harmony Park – Crystal Sky (Hernan Cattaneo & John Tonks Remix)
  5. Jaytech – Starbright (Jaytech Touch Your DJ Mix)
  6. Above & Beyond – Good For Me (King Roc Dub Mix)
  7. Dominic Plaza – Korny (D-Nox & Beckers Remix)
  8. Jaunt – Travelling
  9. Benz & MD – Signals
  10. Achillea – The Seeress Prophecy (Micah’s Premonitions Remix)
  11. Jaytech – Manipulator (Parallel Sounds Remix)
  12. Tsewer Beta – Marl 1 (You’ll Never Guess Remix)

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Mission Sessions 002

Since I posted part three first, it only makes sense to continue in reverse-chronological order. Part two cuts straight to the chase, delivering dance-able beats from the first track before diving into some funky house and then carrying through the progressive melodies to the 80th minute. Like the rest of the Mission Sessions sets, it’ll fit onto a single CD if you care to burn it.

Tracklist:

  1. Espen – Along the Edge (Peter McCowan’s Heliobacter Mix)
  2. Suicide Sports Club – I Don’t Know (feat. Dead Rabbits) (King Unique Mix)
  3. Exhibit A – G Minor (Soul Avengerz Mix)
  4. Colder – To the Music (Instrumental)
  5. Kings of Leon – Milk (Stretch and Vern Edit)
  6. Big – A Promise (Dousk Vandalismic Mix)
  7. Def E & The Beginerz – Wipe Your Tears Away (Punkrok Remix)
  8. Junior Caldera – Black Mamba
  9. Robimon – Aquatic
  10. Sayes – Dolphin Ride
  11. Matt Rowan & Jaytech – Tomorrow
  12. Macca – I’d Rather Be Alone (Dub Mix)
  13. Espen – Along the Edge (Original Mix)

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Mission Sessions 003

In January, I started a project called “Mission Sessions”, an open-ended series of mixsets in a similar vein — strong, dancable progressive house, each set under 80 mins so it could be burned to a CD. Of course, these projects always take longer than you expect, but that’s the nice thing about not having a deadline.

Today, to mark the live launch of brokendigits.com, I’m happy to release part three of the series, appropriately entitled “mission sessions 003”. The name comes from the Mission district in Calgary, where I moved in January. Overlooking the city, the sets capture my moods and tastes as the year has progressed.

Tracklist:

  1. Banco de Gaia – Kara Kum
  2. Wally Lopez and David Ferrero – Ca C’est Paris
  3. Basek and Jeff Bennett – Free Float (Subsky Mix)
  4. Kris Menace – Jupiter
  5. AFK – Lush (Matt Rowan and Jaytech Mix)
  6. Ray and Peter – Next Chapter (Derek Howell Mix)
  7. Micah – Epidemic, Part 2
  8. Dousk – Estrange
  9. Kirk Degiorgio and Esoterik – Starwaves (Spirit Catcher Mix)
  10. Jody Wisternoff – Cold Drink, Hot Girl
  11. Paolo Mojo – 1983
  12. Starecase – Vapour Trails (Matt Rowan and Jaytech Mix)
  13. Satoshi Tomiie – Glow (Spirit Catcher Mix)
I’ll be re-releasing parts 001 and 002 on this website shortly, along with some older mixes I’ve made over the past few years.

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