Amirali and Felix da Housecat share decks for special live Essential MixAmirali Feli Da Housecat Essential Mi

Amirali and Felix da Housecat share decks for special live Essential Mix

This past week on the dance music marathon (which as many of you know includes shows from Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Skream & Benga, and Annie Nightingale), Radio 1 also decided to throw a bit of a curveball for the Essential Mix — Amirali and Felix da Housecat recorded dual live hour-long sets recorded in the BBC Radio 1 studio. Radio 1 has done live mixes before (in Ibiza, at a variety of venues across the world), but this was the very first time the mix was recorded 100% live right in the studios.

Amirali, a relative newcomer to Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels, released his first artist album In Time less than a year ago and if anything, his mix serves as a powerful marketing tool for dance music enthusiasts who’ve yet to lay ears on his precise production. Of the ten original tracks Amirali chooses for the mix, about half were from his May release. One of the most impressive aspects of the promising house producer’s arsenal of talents are his brooding indie vocals, which if you didn’t already guess, he sang live in the Radio 1 studio last Friday evening.  His classically trained ear ushers in soft melodies and thoughtful use of bass drum elements, but don’t be fooled — Amirali’s one-hour holds down a subtle groove through its entirety.

Early on, he throws in “Falling Down,” a track he uploaded to his Soundcloud about a year ago as a thank you to fans. Not much information yet on “Lost” and “I’ve Been Waiting,” but it his final track “Mechancholia” is looking at an April release. If there is one track not to be missed, it’s “Beautiful World,” appearing around the 45 minute mark. This was without a question the strongest song off his album, and one listen will best introduce you to Amirali’s fresh-cut sound. Nothing about Amirali is coarse (also reminiscent of labelmates Art Department), but powered by his own strong vocal presence he makes quite the enjoyable first half of this past week’s mix.

Once Tongy switched over to hour two of the mix, the mood had lifted noticeably. Felix da Housecat, the veteran DJ with his roots in the second wave of Chicago house, has been quite under the radar in the last four years. He said himself he’s been on a “personal nomadic hiatus,” but he still managed to release an album, Sons of Analogue, in 2011. Either way, he seems to be on a comeback with the announcement of a new album and the Sinner Winner EP. This mix serves as a jumping point for Felix’s move back into our collective conscious.

Felix’s tastes have never been limited to a single genre — electro, house, hip hop, disco all hold court his domain of inspiration. In his hour, he throws in originals like “Give Me Body,” “Kickdrum,” and “Ill Noize,” but focuses on mixing more than Amirali. His breadth of electronic music history is clearly vast — no surprises that he’d include predecessors and peers like Housemaster Boyz, Todd Terry, Green Velvet, Jack Master, and Marshall Jefferson but it’s his inclusion of names like Todd Terje, Phil Kieran, Sian, Mladen Tomic, Nicole Moudaber, and whale’s share of other new or newish releases that prove his continued relevance in the industry. A little Jefferson Airplane and Nina Simone doesn’t hurt either. Even more impressive is this effortless fusion of genres from decades upon decades worth of material. Maybe it’s that 90s revival we see today in house music, but maybe it’s just Felix.

Amirali Live Essential Mix

Amirali – Intro
Amirali – Lost
Amirali – Falling Down
Amirali – Hear Me [Crosstown Rebels]
Amirali – No Strings [Bpitch Control]
Amirali – I’ve Been Waiting
Amirali – Just An Illusion [Crosstown Rebels]
Amirali – The Sounds Of My Life [Crosstown Rebels]
Amirali – Beautiful World [Crosstown Rebels]
Amirali – Melancholia [Crosstown Rebels]

Felix Da Housecat Live Essential Mix

Felix Da House – Sinner Winner Accapella [No Shame/Rude Photo]
Todd Terje – Inspector Norse [Smalltown Supersound]
Felix da Housecat – Give Me Body [No Shame/Rude Photo]
Mario Ochoa – Nebulae [100% Pure]
Felix da Housecat – I Just Wanna… (Circus Remix) [No Shame/Rude Photo]
Todd Terry – Bac 2 Beat (Big Will Rosario Edit) [Inhouse]
Housemaster Boyz – House Nation (DJ T’s 2012 Edit) [Get Physical]
Green Velvet – Destination Unknown (Felix Da Housecat Remix) [White]
Sian, Mladen Tomic – Front Pocket (Nicole Moudaber Remix) [Octopus Records]
Felix Da Housecat – Sinner Winner [No Shame/Rude Photo]
Lil’ Louis – Video Clash [Dance Mania]
Danny Ocean – Back To The 90’s [Sincopat]
Phil Kieran – Ghetto Face Place Space [Twin Turbo]
Felix da Housecat – Kickdrum [No Shame/Rude Photo]
Umek – It Is Simple [1605]
Giorgio Moroder – Chase [Casablanca Records]
Jacques Lu Cont – Underground [TRACQUES]
Robert Armani – Ambulance [Dance Mania]
Jack Master – Bang [Jack]
Adonis – We’re Rocking Down The House [Trax Records]
Felix Da Housecat – Ill Noize [No Shame/Rude Photo]
Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body [Trax Records]
Nina Simone – Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat’s Heavenly House Mix) [Verve Records]
Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit (Umami Edit) [RCA]

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