Mix Sessions is a series of high quality, studio recorded podcasts that get serious about using music to take you on a journey.
Before Mix Sessions came along, I was heavily focussed in making Funky House / Disco House mixes that had a heavy blend of slap bass and funky vocals. Each mix was labelled depending on the month and year it was produced. Most of the early Funky House DJ mixes were well received and some of them - such as the Jan 2014 mix - did really well, gaining hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
When I moved from the UK to the US my music taste shifted, strongly influenced by the heavier sounds coming out of the West Coast nightclubs. Funky House as I knew it was not supported out there and it was near impossible to find traction. This turned out to be for the best as it helped to influence and shape me as DJ and evolve my sound into what it is today. I shed my disco boots and shiny mirror balls to embrace the tougher sound of Deep House and Tech House music.
This is where Mix Sessions was born. I wanted to explore the new sounds that I had discovered and present it in a way that was timeless. Stamping the month and year onto a mix and calling it “Feb 2013 Mix” for example is all well and good in the moment, but it doesn’t take too long for that label to become outdated and old sounding. Mix Sessions uses a roman numeral index to give it a classic, historical feel much like how each year of the Superbowl is named or the Final Fantasy games. I wanted my audience to be able to jump into and mix in any order and not feel like they are listening to something that is out of date.
Mix Sessions mixes are made and released on a roughly monthly basis. One of the benefits of moving to a model that is numerical as opposed to a monthly labelling structure is that there is no pressure to produce a mix once a month. Sometimes life happens, I am a more experienced DJ and so it’s nice to have that flexibility to release mixes on my own schedule. Every single mix will pull from the latest tunes that I came across in the weeks leading up to its release. I source my music initially from Traxsource, Juno Download and occasionally Beatport. Roughly 15% of music that I include in my Mix Sessions mixes come in the way of exclusive promos or unreleased tracks that either are sent to me or that I seek out.
Each piece of Mix Session artwork is hand selected from a pool of talented photographers and deliberately tries to represent people from all walks of life. Far too often in House music, I see mixes posted online using artwork that is bordering on NSFW, images of revealing clothing, titties and asses. I do love those things but I wanted my artwork to be different, more subtle and a lot more classy. I really want the music to speak for itself and I don’t want the distraction of an adolescent-minded thumbnail image adorning a carefully thought out Deep House journey. It just isn’t my style or the vibe of the sound. Instead I use a mix of people from all types of gender representation and I use their faces or the situation to convey the overall mood of the mix. Sometimes I do not use people at all, instead opting for abstract shapes and images to convey the mood. A blend of people, faces, shapes and colors, all reminiscent of that nightclub experience.
Just like being in a club, each mix is roughly an hour long, one hour being the traditional length of a DJ set. I have no hard line against a 60 minute mix time limit, sometimes I’ll be under and often I will go a little over, but I feel an hour long mix is just about long enough to tell a story. Back in the days of the compact disc, if ever I went over 72 minutes for a DJ mix, I would get emails from people who would complain that the mix is too long for them to burn on to a CD. To this day, I still don’t like making mixes any longer than one hour twelve minutes.
There are two things that are important to me as a DJ when I consider putting together studio mixes. Firstly, it is extremely important to me that every single track that I play is legally purchased through a reputable online mp3 download company, this is why I shop at some of the bigger names in mp3 downloads. I do not rip music from Youtube or from Soundcloud, I ensure that I pay for my music so that the artists themselves get paid for the amazing music that they make. As a part-time producer I know first hand how much effort is required to make a 5 minute track; it’s a lot. If you download music without paying, then you are stealing and that is not cool. Your music will sound like garbage. Buying music gives you access to download songs in WAV or 320kbps sound quality.
Secondly, it is important for me to credit the artists for every track of theirs that I play. Every mix of mine you find will always come with a full track listing where possible so that the artist is credited within the mix. This helps listeners of my mixes to find specific tracks that they have enjoyed and purchase them for themselves.
These mixes are designed to stand out, to tell a story and are engineered so that the audience may lose themself inside of them. They provide a distraction to the day, they allow the listener to reimagine themselves in the center of their favourite nightclub, surrounded by friends, full of laughter and fun. This is the experience I design for you.
This is Mix Sessions.