Essential Mix Review: Maya Jane Coles returns to Radio 1, delivers compelling addition to catalog
This past Friday, Maya Jane Coles returned to the Radio 1 decks for her second appearance on the legendary show. MJC is one of my very favorite producer/DJs, so I was thrilled to learn I’d be able to digest another mix of hers less than two years after her debut in July of 2011. Her production style has that certain je ne sais quoi — quirky instrumentation, major grooves, and an undeniable sex appeal. In live sets, her DJing has always struck this perfect balance of emotional and danceable, introducing me to new material while playing the deep stuff she knows her fans want to hear. On top of her jaw-dropping number of accomplishments at the tender age of 25, she also emanates this air of effortless cool, DJing her way around the world with her stylishly cropped coiffure and docile demeanor.
When listening to the mix for the first time, I made the mistake of having any sort of expectation of what she would deliver. For whatever reason, I had imagined Maya Jane Coles of 2013 would sound the same as Maya Jane Coles of 2011, but with her knack for the avant garde I should have known better. Still one step ahead of the rest of us, her style and tastes have certainly changed in the last 24 months and this Essential Mix introduced me to a whole new cast of characters. The tracklist is largely unidentifiable to the casual dance music listener, but further examination reveals just how deep her musical knowledge extends.
Her background in hip hop and dub electronica rears its genre-ambivalent head, and the extent to which she chose to include vocal-driven house music propelled the mix forward — both keeping me light on my toes and arresting my attention. Yves La Groove’s recently released remix of The Poet’s was an unforgettable opener and Francesco Rossi’s “Paper Aeroplane” cover was an early highlight that’s sure to see some heavy rotation for the rest of the summer season. The mix continued along in its mellow manner — through tracks from Jordan Lieb, Nick Galemore, and artists on Hypercolour and Anja Schneider’s Mobilee Records. She pauses in the middle of the mix to introduce a track from her soon-to-be-released album Comfort on her newly formed I/Am/Me label. Unlike many of her other vocal tracks, she’s employed Swedish singer Karin Park to take the mic for “Everything” — a track also recently played by Pete Tong.
She chose Nana K’s “Old’s School,” a track relying on the melody of the Fugees’ “Fu-Gee-La” for midset action and pushed through the remainder of the mix with tracks by Adam Port, Paul Ritch, new material from Deetron/KiNK, and Frederick Alonso. Closing the mix with her own remix of Ella Fitzgerald’s uber-classic “Blue Skies” and Knox’s “Fault” off Sasha’s Last Night on Earth felt textbook — a little bit of familiarity, a little bit of evolution, and an overpowering awareness that women like her are the face of the bright future of dance music.
The Poet – “Rain On April” (Yves Le Groove Mix) [OT Records]
Joe Stawarz – “Suiteb” [Soma Quality Recordings]
A]pendics Shuffle ft. Blakkat – “Heavy Burdens High” (Safeword Remix) 6.32 version [Adjunct Audio]
Deep Guys – “Roomba” (Oceanic Mix)
Francesco Rossi – “Paper Aeroplane” (Original Mix) 7.18 version [D:vision]
Linus Quick – “There shall be light” (Mike Mass Remix) [Wayward Music]
Anonym – “I Can’t” [Vakant]
Jordan Lieb – “Dreams From The Ghetto” [Superfreq]
J. Wiltshire – Closer [Hypercolour]
Nick Galemore – “Pt. I” [Kindisch]
Maya Jane Coles – “Everything” ft. Karin Park (I/AM/ME)
Rodriguez Jr. – “Satellite” [Mobilee]
Nana K. – “Old’s Cool” [Red Eleven Recordings]
Weltenwandler – “Departure” [Electrophil Records]
Mad Us – “Hypnoze” (Luca Bear Remix) [Armonia]
Riva Starr & Rssll – “Absence” (Adam Port Remix) [Snatch! Records]
Marbert Rocel – “Small Hours” (Daniel Stefanik Remix) [Black Label 88]
Paul Ritch – Asteroid (Original Mix) [Quartz Rec]
Juliano Silva – 1000 Miles (Original Mix) [EON5]
LPZ – Council Fonk
Deetron – “Out Of My Head” ft. Ovasoul7 (KiNK Vocal Mix) [Music Man Records]
Alex Piccini & Marka – “Suite Yourself” (Original Mix) [Amazing Records]
Gianni Amoroso – No Matter How Far” (Original Mix) [Morning Mood Records]
Sivesgaard – “In The Night” (BLOND:ISH Remix) [Eklektisch]
Frederick Alonso – “96” (Tech mix) [Stab Recordings]
Paul Mad – “Undes” (Alex Piccini remix) [Deep Beep Records]
Ella Fitzgerald – “Blue Skies” (Maya Jane Coles Remix) [Verve]
Knox – “Fault” [Last Night On Earth]