Earning the right to deliver an Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 is one of the highest honors a DJ can receive. Among the few accolades that surpass being invited to stand behind the series’ coveted decks is to be deemed the purveyor of the Essential Mix of the Year. In 2015, German techno icon Ben Klock received the esteemed award.
Now, the Essential Mix has released their nominees for the year’s most definitive contributions. 2016 had no dearth of remarkable contributions from prodigious DJs to the series, as is evinced by the five skillful song-weavers who have been nominated for this year’s award: Âme X Dixon, Dusky, Leon Vynehall, Midland, and Recondite.
Learn more about this year’s EOTY candidates and listen to their nominated mixes below:
Âme X Dixon
Âme, the German duo of Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann, are no strangers to working with Dixon. The partnership have contributed regularly to Dixon’s Innervisions label, and have an eagerly-awaited album slated to be released on the imprint in 2017. Dixon sent techno devotees into a frenzy when he decided to team up with the duo for his third Essential Mix as a continuation of the program’s X series – which sees notable artists, such as Eric Prydz and Jeremy Olander, provide b2b sets. Âme X Dixon was undeniably one of 2016’s most hyped Essential Mixes, and given its abilities to live up to expectations, is deserving of its nomination.
British artist Leon Vynehall provided perhaps one of the most uplifting Essential Mixes of the year, and certainly the most uplifting of 2016’s EMOTY nominees. Over the course of the two hour set, Vynehall melds of house, jazz, funk, and mystifying soundscapes. This selection marks Vynehall’s first Essential Mix.
Lorenz Brunner’s abstruse vision of techno astutely justifies his choice to produce and DJ under the Recondite moniker. The German artist has purveyed an array of dark, recondite music for a number of esteemed imprints, including Innervisions and Dystopian. In November, Recondite provided his debut Essential Mix, a dreamily umbral curation which will surely entreat Pete Tong to invite him back to the broadcast.
British DJ/producer Harry Agius continues the trend of virginal EOTY nominees, following his spellbinding Essential Mix as Midland in late February. Midland’s series contribution is as eclectically-curated as it is carefully-compiled. Over the course of his two-hour mix, Midland impressively succeeds in his career goal to “create a homogeneous sound that people from different musical persuasions can appreciate.”
The British duo of Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman, have had a momentous year in 2016. In October, Dusky released their second album, Outer, to great critical reception. In an interview with Dancing Astronaut, Dusky remarked that they came to conceptualize Outer to celebrate and delve into their diverse influences: “…we wanted to express what kind of tastes we were into because we’ve got really eclectic tastes, and wanted to explore different ideas and styles and cover all the bases.” The duo’s November Essential Mix continues this trend, as Dusky astutely “cover all the bases,” drawing from an array of genres to culminate in a mix that is sometimes mellifluous, sometimes harrowing, but always fundamentally danceable.
Âme and Dixon pair up for standout Essential Mix
Midland closes out February with a mystifying Essential Mix
Listen to Recondite’s debut Essential Mix
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