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One day I stumbled upon a bunch of classic house music tracks from my highly impressionable days in the early 90′s. The kind of straight-up, solid-gold house they made before the dance music world splintered into a thousand sub-genres. The rush of nostalgia urged me make a mix in this style but when I made my first attempt something was wrong. It wasn’t standing up to the test of time.

After some introspection I decided that, with Traktor, it was way too easy (and boring) to achieve the mix taking an old-school approach—plus, my attention span just couldn’t tolerate the long repetitive sections. I needed to use the tools at hand to take it to the next level—to modernize it somehow. Simply adding effects was too gimmicky. Editing the tracks down with beat-jumping felt sacrilegious. My favorite approach ended up being to use all four channels in Traktor Pro to layer-up a more engrossing level of complexity. I devised a system that worked for me.

House tracks typically have three sections: a build up, the main part, and a wind down—almost always perfectly in thirds. I consistently started a new track a third the way into the last track. Thus, while any given track was on its main part, the previous one was on its wind down, and the next one was on its build up. The net result is that there is never a lull in the momentum. It feels like it’s always building up—a constant ascension.

In this mix there is pretty much always three tracks playing at once, sometimes all four, and rarely *just* two. As you might imagine, layering tracks like this could easily get out of hand and sound messy, un-harmonic. It took a lot of careful planning in the playlist and cue point creation phase, fitting the pieces together like a 3D jigsaw puzzle. I also had to practice a lot to remember where to jump sections in order to align breakdowns or skip problematic areas. Most importantly, I had to constantly EQ the channels to bring the focus of the most interesting sounds to the front.

In a way, this mix is like one of those classic cars they rebuild with all new components. It has the soul of the original but the performance of a modern design.

_play | _download | _djmix gui

tracklist

No. Track Artist Label
1 body move – frankie j remix bryan jones funkfield recordings
2 score harold heath plastic city. play
3 alto – yse saxless mix pete dafeet lost my dog
4 sway the feel feat. femme audes troydon phonoshuffle
5 der urknall babylon robots, ante perry systematic recordings
6 qyoza carlo lio kitsam recordings
7 how sweet the candy dealers alphabet music
8 starwaves – jimpster remix kirk degiorgio, esoterik freerange records
9 sweet dream – redub hanna agave
10 mnemonic gianni pellecchia bauns
11 windy city theme mario fabriani jackin tracks
12 ghost convertibles alka rex musique risquee
13 droppin’ bombs joey youngman nightshift recordings
14 one thing lawnchair generals lawnchair generals music
15 under the swimming pool tuccillo bubble soul tracks
16 logical crash nima gorji welt recordings
17 greasy beats feat. bootsy collins – tech funk mix claude vonstroke dirtybird
18 woawoa varoslav, okain tsuba
19 the french revolution daniel thompson farris wheel recordings
20 love shit martin venetjoki tronicsole
21 damage control danny stott new era recordings
22 house ain’t back (it never went away) jamie jones crosstown rebels
23 mountain 004 the mountain people sample
24 doggstarr – joey youngman remix ladybug mecca om records
25 get up, make love alan barratt npfr
26 get closer – boys mix harold heath lost my dog
27 murda on the mountaintop joey youngman fetish recordings
28 stepping out – frankie j remix the candy dealers flapjack

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