Sometimes you have to look backwards to move forwards. In the case of Maceo
Plex’s DJ Kicks mix, it’s case of looking back with a different perspective. While
Maceo Plex’s mix is composed mainly of records that are up to 20 years old, it’s the
tone of those records that is important.
Eric Estornel, to use Plex’s real name, has certainly come up with a forward-thing set
that doesn’t sound like much else out there.
“The whole mix is very dark,” agrees Estornel. “But it’s very varied as well. It’s really
boring to stay one style. If you’re a lover of music, you don’t love one style. I think it’s
important to travel through different styles.” The end result is an education, a lesson in
how electronic music for the dancefloor is done with intelligence. Crucially, Estornel has re-edited nearly every track on the mix. “Most of the tracks are really old, so they needed freshening up,” he says. “A lot of them were missing percussion, or some other element I thought they could use.” I went through my own stuff and previous DJ Kicks mixes. Y’know, research. I think it is the most important mix series so I wanted to make sure it was music that I really loved and I want to hear in five or ten years time.

But isn’t it a bit of a contradiction, trying to bump electronic music out of a retro rut by
looking to a different set of old records. Estornel reasons it thus: “A lot of the music
on there is old, but basically has the sounds and the type of vibe that I think is missing
these days. I went through a lot of new music. I didn’t want to select anything that
everyone is playing at the moment and I definitely didn’t want to select anything that
was already out on digital. The whole mix is comprised of vinyl only and is not going
to be out on digital other than the DJ Kicks mix. To do that I had to go through a lot of
new music and a lot of old music, and there wasn’t much new music that I really loved. In time-honoured tradition, the mix contains a massive 10! exclusive tracks, the lead
kicks track bing Galactic Cinema, a muscular and suitably off-world house chug. “I’m
kind of known for a couple of big disco records and some really deep bassline house
tracks, but that track much darker, but still pretty sexy and soulful. The whole thing is
dark and futuristic.”

“This mix is kind of my legacy, or, at least, part of it,” says Estornel, by way of a parting
thought. “In ten or twenty years I’m going to want to go back and listen to this mix and
I hope it’s still fresh.”
Who knows. It sounds pretty timeless right now, though.


  1.  Monsters From ID / Spatial Lobe
  2.  Voice Stealer / Evaluation
  3.  Stingray313 / Defect
  4.  Mathias Schaffhäuser / Nice To Meet You (Maceo Plex Remix)
  5.  TV Baby / New York Is Alright (Blakspun Minimal Dub)
  6.  Maceo Plex & Mark O’Sullivan / When It All Comes To This
  7.  Lab Insect aka Nomenklatür / Oh Happy Day (Maceo Plex Edit)
  8.  Kimbu Kimra / Raise The Dead (Love From San Francisco Dub)
  9.  Mattski / Escapism (Maceo Plex Conversation Remix)
  10.  Eric Volta / Rez-Shifter (Maceo Plex Remix)
  11.  Visnadi / Racing Tracks (Indianapolis Drive Mix / Maceo Plex Edit)
  12.  Maceo Plex / Galactic Cinema (DJ-Kicks)
  13. Move D / Sandmann (Maetrik Treatment)
  14. Zeta Reticula & Freaks / Creep (Maetrik Fusion Edit)
  15. Jaydee / Payback (Maceo Plex Remix)
  16. S.A.M. / Nangijala (Maceo Plex Reggae Edit)
  17. Turner / Multiorgel (Schneider TM Mix)
  18. Maceo Plex / Mind On Fire