In the run up to Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow, Numbers co-founder and champion DJ Jackmaster hosted a special all Glasgow edition of the essential mix featuring Jasper James, Luma, and HSC favourites Dixon Avenue Basement Jams.
We’ve been listening to the essential mix for a long time at HSC. It would be a lie to suggest that we were listening from the off, Pete Tong and Paul Oakenfold don’t really excite us, but by week three things started to get interesting when Andrew Weatherall stepped up to the decks. That’s when it became apparent that the Essential Mix was actually essential. That’s how it’d be with the essential mix to this day.
Most weeks you’d rather be in the club dancing but every now and again someone would pop up that would get you very exited and a carefully co-ordinated plan would soon be hatched. “Right, who’s staying in tonight? Fancy taping the essential mix?” “Aye, nae bother” “Mind don’t fall asleep and forget to turn over the tape” “Cool, I’ll set my alarm”. If you managed to fill both sides a C90 then you a had very valuable commodity on your hands which would quickly be duplicated and passed around to your friends and acquaintances. Then the fun of identifying the tracks would begin.
Nowadays home taping is not required (funnily enough, despite the propaganda, music is still alive) thanks to the internet. We didn’t have that luxury back in the early nineties. (None of us had any clue the internet even existed until Future Sound Of London decided to broadcast their essential mix live from their studio over the internet. In 1994. That really was mind boggling.) So we had to make do with exchanging tapes. We didn’t mind though because they provided us with some top mixes. Hearing Slam dropping At Les while driving along Sauchiehall Street stands out, as does Dave Clarke’s first essential mix when Pete Tong crashes the intro to Red 1 or Laurent Garnier introducing us to Portishead.
Yes, the Essentail Mix is an integral part of our musical journey. It’s an institution, recognised all over the world. So when your pals are on the Essential Mix it really is very exciting and we just had to share it.