This is a mix that gets away from the popular dance floors and ventures far into the underground. Something you might listen to on a walk near the ocean, or a drive on a long windy road, or who knows. This mix is a soundtrack for a place far away from the maddening crowds. This is a mix that started in April, and finished in the beginning November – this would be the result of my latest efforts.
The samples in this mix – the vocal samples – are from Mad Men and The Walking Dead. Points to whomever can pinpoint individual episodes which each are from.
That is all.
Stiven Rivic, Michael & Levan – Leap Of Faith [Mistiquemusic]
Stefan Anion – Strangers [Silk Digital Records]
Christian Smith – Milky Way [Tronic]
Sasha – Mongoose (Guy J remix) [emFire]
GMJ – New Dawn (Kasey Taylor’s Rainbow Serpent remix) [Vapour]
Cid Inc. – Magnify (Quivver remix)[AfterImage Recordings]
Pako and Frederik – Western Approaches (Evolution remix) [Coded]
Hybrid – Blind Side (Hybrid Soundsystem remix) [Kill City Records]
Micah – Begin Again (Faskil remix) [Polytechnic Recordings]
Dibby Dougherty and David Young – Hydra Island (Cid Inc. remix) [Mirabilis Records]
Sunset Sessions is my new mix series that is appearing as a part of Sunset Collaboration’s weekly series of music. I will be doing a mix every three months as my contribution. Here we have some of the best music since last August, in my opinion. Starts off with downtempo, moves into breaks, progressive, and finally something which I don’t know what genre to call – doesn’t matter, it’s quite enjoyable.
Faskil – It Puts Me To Sleep (Prelude mix) [Frisky Records]
Oleg Zubkov – New Parallels (Fretwell remix) [Mistiquemusic]
Michael Cassette – Kilimanjaro (Solarity remix) [Anjunadeep]
Gemma Hayes – At A Constant Speed (Faskil remix) [White Label]
Dave Horne – Q.E.D. (Original mix) [Anjunadeep]
Proff – Starstruck (Solarity remix) [Silk Royal]
Mat Zo and Tyler Michaud – Battle Royal (Original mix) [New School Recordings]
Sander Van Doorn – Ninety (Original mix) [Doorn Records]
Mat Zo – Nuclear Fusion (Original mix) [Anjunabeats]
Christian Luke and Chardy – Because We Want To (TV Rock Remode) [Neon Records]
The last Pacific Front Sessions mix starts off atmospheric and ambient with some classic work by Saints and Sinners – “Peace,” remixed by the one and only Michael Woods. I had to do quite a bit of warping and filtering to get it to mix into the following track, Luke Chable’s “Melburn” which was given an ambient treatment by .. himself. I believe I heard this version when Kasey Taylor came to Focus at Lotus (Vancouver) several years back and started a set with it. Very cool so far as backwards music goes, or forwards music for that matter. Some light rhythm in Melburn sets the stage for the transition to breaks, where Domased Electronica’s “Mermaid” swims into the mix, with a remix by the atmospheric breakbeat authority of Fretwell. This track is brooding and determined, building momentum in preparation for Ronyo and Chris Drifter’s “Disconnected Illusions.” Aeron Aether is one of my favourite artists out there right now and he shows why in this understated remix which continues what Mermaid began. Half time beats and filtered down sounds come together to increase the inertia of the mix – layer upon layer.
The pads of Michael, Levan and Stiven Rivic’s “Free Fall” lay over top of Disconnected Illusions for a bit before the four on the floor takes over from the breakbeat of Domased Electronica, but it’s not long before they return midway through Free Fall, care of Dynamic Illusion’s superb remix work. Dynamic Illusion has grown to become one of my favourite remixers in progressive house and breaks over the last few years and he shows why in this track. Humbling work on this track, reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys and Starecase at the same time. The mix takes a turn for the haunting as Lighter and Gee’s “Helene” steps into the mix. Armin Prayd’s remix is somehow both abrasive and smooth at once, crafting an old school feel out of synths and a vocal that sounds like it could have come straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Dark, lo-fi and hi-fi at the same time, Helene’s unusual arrangement leaves you wondering how far down the rabbit hole you’ve actually gone. The answer is provided by BT’s new track, “Rose of Jericho,” which features rolling basslines and stupendous intertwining melodies. This track has an Adam K and Soha treatment on the remix, and the result of combining their very smooth remix style with BT’s unparalleled original work is nothing short of a progressive masterpiece. Following in this vibe is Mango’s “5th in Blue,” with a nod to the 80s with well placed tom rolls as well as a nod to the future with crisp and punchy bassline work in Proff’s remix. The mood of this track really opens up and resolves a lot of tension that has built up over the mix.
The second to last track, “Abydos,” continues with the energy that has built up and turns it into a driving bassline and arpeggiation. Probspot and Zinfandel (not a bad wine) keep it smooth and clinical and the track has built up into a many-layered eastern-melodic piece before you know it. Finally, Vince Vaccaro’s “South Pacific Ocean,” a favourite track of mine, gets a remix treatment by… me. There is breakdowns galore, synths and basslines galore, slide guitars, strings vocals, and a lot of effects. I made the ending of this track specifically the way it is to end this mix and the show in general. Hope you like it, it’s going to get properly mastered once I do another couple remixes.
Saints and Sinners – Peace (Michael Woods remix) [Lost Language]
Luke Chable – Melburn (Am Bee En Tea mix) [Trojan]
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Pacific Front Sessions is now over
With myself and Formulate as the hosts, Pacific Front Sessions has brought the sound of the Pacific northwest to an international audience on Proton Radio for 3 years. Our guests have included (in order of appearance, multiple appearances have been omitted):
Thank you to all of those who played, many of you several times, and a special thanks to Ben Malcolm who provided high quality voiceovers for the radio versions of the mixes. Thanks to all the record labels and producers that sent me high quality promos which I was able to mix into a lot of the shows. That network we developed has a specific sound to it, and I’m glad we have been able to collaborate this way.
We started the show at a very odd hour, as I recall, and over time the station recognized the show’s potential and kept moving it further into the peak hours of the day time until we were back to back with John Digweed’s “Transitions.” To this end we owe Jason and Sam from Proton Radio our deepest gratitude for sticking with us and believing in the show concept.
Finally, thank you to those who listened regularly and participated by leaving their thoughts behind with each mix. That included people on this site and a few other forums, most notably on hybridized and ravevictoria, as well as by email. It’s been a slice!
This penultimate edition of Pacific Front Sessions starts off truly downtempo with a new track from The Last Atlant. The melody meanders into G-Pal’s downtempo-breaks remix of Sunset Blvd who they hear a train coming – which is in fact Kasey Taylor’s remix of Wombat. Wombat’s “Helo” starts off chugging like a locomotive leaving the train station, picking up speed and delivering at our destination just in time for Spooky’s new weird one, “Eypes Mouth.” Weird but good, which is what I’ve come to expect from the duo of May/Forbes. Matt Rowan and Robbie Lowe are up next with a crunchy, tech-break house track called Ground Swell. This is followed up by “Tears on the Leaf,” one of my favourite tracks of the year – beautiful production and melody. Dousk’s complete gem of a track, “Chrysalis,” comes next with an outstanding breakdown, and Luke Chable delivers a brand new progressive monster (it’s about time!) in the form of “Pressure.” Great to hear Mr. Chable back into production – his sound has been missed. Steve Porter’s “Don’t Be Afrayed” takes the mix in a bit of a funkier and dancier direction before transitioning into a classic track by Lexos called “The Key.” Finally, a rare remix of Planet Funk’s “Chase The Sun” finishes things off in style with some melodic vocal progressive breaks.
The Last Atlant – Anima Mundi (Original mix) [Platipus]
Starts off atmospheric and breaky, quickly moves to four on the floor. This mix is one of layering and programming, every track building on the one before it in some way. It ends, literally, the same way it began with only one semitone of difference and some bpm shift. The tracks on here were selected for their summer-time feel and the parties and festivals that happen during the next few months. Hope you like it.
DJ Remy – Unplugged (Original mix – intro) [Audio Therapy]
David West – Illectronics (Original mix) [Tolerant Recordings]
Bastards of Funk and Sonic Union – Glitter (Original mix) [Lowbit]
March is the time of year where the days start to get longer, people spend a little more time outside and become a little more social overall as the overcast days start to break in favour of the sun. This mix reflects some of that mood – many of these tracks were ones I played recently at a sold out show where myself and Formulate shared the headline slot. We did a 2.5 hour set, playing 12:30 AM – 4:00 AM through a time change at 2 AM where it became 3 AM. Whenever you have an engaged audience, you find yourself making that little extra effort to connect with them in some way and many of the tracks I selected reflected this.
One bit of trivia here is that I was unsatisfied with the opening tracks at my disposal so I simply made one for this set. It’s called Lever but I doubt it’s going to live far outside of this set – maybe it will live only in this set. I’d be fine with that. After that is a track by the Chance Jumpers – there’s actually three remixes of this track that I really enjoy and this is one of them. It is likely you will hear another version on an upcoming mix. This song does a nice job of setting the mood without going over the top and sets up Kasey Taylor’s killer remix of Tim Davison’s “Patrol.” I know it’s not really an overtly energetic track but you just have to see what it does to the dancefloor, it’s something to take note of indeed. Reflekt’s classic “Need To Feel Loved” gets a newer treatment from Adam K and Soha and what a beauty it turned out to be – you may recognize this one from the movie “It’s All Gone Pete Tong.” Following this is an atmospheric progressive house gem from Elfsong and Aeron Aether called “Sylleptica.” Not sure what the word means, but like the song, it sounds cool. Fine Taste follow this up with something AIG will likely have to offer potential employees to entice them into the company – the song is called “My Golden Parachute.” The term refers to a payout to an employee should something happen to their job. It’s an agreement usually made on hiring for high-risk jobs. Fancy severance. The track itself actually reminds me a bit of Sonic the Hedgehog meets progressive house. There’s something about the mood that just reminds me of the game in a good way. Bright and festive, and just a little bit out there – definitely a party track. Not to be outdone, D-Nox and Beckers also bring the party with an energetic “Naked Punch,” which sets up one of my favorite tracks of the last year. Sudha hooked up with the unmistakable Zoe Johnston to make a song called “Leche” (not to be confused with “letchie”) and it gets a massive remix treatment from Thomas Schwartz and Fausto Fanizza. Stunning piece of vocal progressive, the kind that does not come along every day, let alone every month. The next track is by a fellow that is no stranger to my record bag, Steve Porter. I’ve got so many of his releases, and I was pleased to acquire this track recently, as it shows he’s in top producer form still. The track is called “Rizer” and it does what you suspect in Steve’s distinctive style. Ending the session is Planisphere with their epic “Spacetrash.” It’s really out there and I think it’s a fine way to end a mix. Enjoy!
AFK – Lever (Introduction Edit) [Unreleased]
Chance Jumpers – Korona (Ilya Malyuev Softtech Mix) [Morphosis]
Tim Davison – Patrol (Kasey Taylor remix) [Vapour]
Reflekt – Need To Feel Loved (Adam K and Soha Vocal mix) [Positiva]
Elfsong and Aeron Aether – Sylleptica (Original mix) [Proton Music]
Fine Taste – My Golden Parachute (Original mix) [Extrema Records]
D-Nox and Beckers – Naked Punch (Original mix) [HOMmega Productions]
Pacific Front Sessions January 2009 starts off the new year with some cool, mellow tracks that reflect the mood of winter in Victoria. The first track by Soundstorm is remixed by Dynamic Illusion into a subdued atmospheric house piece. Local techno legend Rennie Foster’s track adds a little fun into the mix with a remix from The Youngsters, which is followed up by 16B’s tech-funk house piece “To Run To.” The Humbertron (aka Formulate) remix of Trifecta makes its way into the mix by picking up the pace and slamming the speakers with bass and ride cymbals. I’d really like to hear that one on a big system. Next up is the final and official version of my own Bergamot – it’s fairly different than the version that aired last summer on Pacific Front Sessions. Last night I walked into Noodlebox and the next track was playing – Dale Anderson and Stewart Keenan’s “End To End.” Really beautiful breaks remix by Aeron Aether – not to be messed with. This sets up Dousk’s superb Blender which gets mixed heavily with Mango’s “Forever July” which then plays by itself for around a minute before Paul Keeley’s “Run To You” finishes off the mix.
Soundstorm – Iris (Dynamic Illusion remix) [Silk Digital Records]
Rennie Foster – Devils Water (The Youngsters remix) [Rebirth]
Omid 16B – To Run To (Original mix) [SexOnWax Recordings]
Trifecta – Terraforce (Humbertron remix) [Pacific Front Recordings]
AFK – Bergamot (Original mix) [Pacific Front Recordings]
Dale Anderson and Stewart Keenan – End to End (Aeron Aether remix) [Navigation Limited]
Pacific Front Sessions for November is my favorite kind of mix to pull off – from chill to breaks to atmospheric house to progressive. Starting off with some really cool and creepy ambient piece from Dynamic Illusion at the beginning, the mood is spacey and dark. From this it turns into breaks with a track called “The Phoenix.” Retroid’s remix of my own Bergamot track debuts next and what a job he did with it. After that there’s a transition to one of my favorite epic progressive breaks tracks – a LoStep remix of Scrambler. I’ve blended that track together with a four on the floor piece, my new remix of Fractal – Oceanography. Hybrid ramps up the intensity with some vocal progressive, and from there it’s not far to the finish line, yet it’s far from over. The two last tracks really crank up the energy levels and the final track ties everything together nicely.
I did this mix in early November while we were in Tofino. On the way back, I stopped at Cathedral Grove where this photo was taken in front of a tree that is over 800 years old. If you ever go to Tofino or Ucluelet, make sure you stop by the grove on the way and have a walk around – it’s an incredible park with great atmosphere and the trees are just ridiculously massive, like this mix!
Dynamic Illusion – Alone In The Space (Michael and Levan Ambient remix) [Silk Sofa]
Arthur Deep – Phoenix (Original mix) [Toes in the Sand]
AFK – Bergamot (Retroid remix) [Pacific Front Recordings]
Scrambler featuring Amarevois – Free (LoStep’s Class of 95 Reunion remix) [EQ Grey]
Fractal – Oceanography (AFK’s Ucluelet Detour remix) [Pacific Front Recordings]
Hybrid – Formula of Fear (Hybrid remix) [Distinctive Recordings]
Lanui – Jennifer (Original mix) [Baroque Limited]
David West & Orkidea – Gods Garden (Original mix) [Ava]
Every now and then I’ll do an all-breaks mix. In this case, it’s an all trancey-breaks mix. Why bother saying Progressive Breaks when people know about as much about Progressive Breaks as they do about fractured semiotic fields. What? Exactly. So it’s trancey breaks, I don’t care if trance is a bad word – you know it means melodic and that’s all I care about. The mix aired on Retroid’s “Morphosis” show on Proton Radio – yes, there is a relation to the music label there too, which is also run by Retroid. Morphosis is of my favorite labels, so of course I was honored to be a guest. I’m going to Tofino this weekend to get away, and I’ll be spending part of the time working on my new Pacific Front Sessions mix as well as finishing off my remix of Fractal – Oceanography, which incidentally starts the mix. Thanks to Retroid for having me on the show. Hope you enjoy!