You’ll be pleased to read that I've not got any more MASSIVE QUESTIONS or regional features in the pipeline because, for the first time in ages, I've run out of friends to plug and events to get free entry to. So, back to what the Weekly Review of Dance Music SHOULD be about, eh? If there’s one thing this website is good at, it’s independently reviewing dance music on a weekly basis, and it’s on that basis that I, Tonka, after three and a half years of non-stop quality output, have been offered a job at Mixmag!

Yes, I received a phone call from someone called Konrad at Mixmag at twenty three hundred hours army time last night to see how much I charge for dance music reviews. He spoke in a ridiculous, faux-Jamaican-faux-capital-faux-embarrassed accent and littered his request with exactly a quad of unnecessary accoutrements like, “vibes”, “bro”, “hype” and “hashtag jingle jangle.” I told him, crisply, “No one writes like I do in dance music. No less than ten pence per word, mate.”

He snapped my fucking hand off and I suddenly felt undersold. I said, “Steve, let’s not commit to anything before…” and he rudely interrupted with a whisper, “My name’s Konrad.”

Konrad and I then entered into a lengthy negotiation about how and where I'd fit into their organisation (should I accept their offer of employment). I strongly advised that I would be best suited in a managerial position, possibly overlooking the magazine's editorial direction, with an overlap into HR where I could be assigned the role of restructuring their current music/event review teams and their Friday afternoon Boiler Room thing promotions and programming sub-team. To this, I was offered 1 x house single review with Joe Muggs, 1 x techno single review and 1 x event review on the online edition of Mixmag on condition that no contracts are signed and payment for my services could be paid as and when the employer remembers.

Like James off of The Apprentice, I took up a smile, went a bit cross-eyed and told my sub-team team leader - who'd been standing meekly next to me the whole time - to shut up and came back hard with the same demands as before plus recommendations of my own for at least two members of staff to be offered a sensible redundancy package which I would be willing to process and sell to them both as a magazine cost cutting exercise in person. Quick as a flash, the negotiation was ended when I accepted 1 x set of trial dance music reviews, unpaid, on the Weekly Review of Dance Music prior to anybody at the magazine agreeing to authorise the publication of anything written by me being associated with Mixmag. This is all with a view to see if I fit in with their editorial mission, or vision. I can't remember if he said mission or vision.

Here's some reviews in the style of a top Mixmag reviewer. Wish me luck, guys!

Tensnake feat. Jacques Lu Cont
Feel Of Love - remixes

Tensnake is no stranger to bigtime collaborations. On his debut album Glow he called in Nile Rodgers, Stuart Price, Jamie Lidell, MNEK and Jeremy Glenn, and on the Feel Of Love remix EP he’s enlisted more huge names. There’s the German power-unit of Boys Noize & Djedjotronic, whose edit features shining synth flashes, big bass stabs and a staggered drum pattern that gives the cut a playful edge. Kaytranada’s edit fuses wild drum-fills with jazzy interludes and a vibe that Pharrell would be happy with. Strong.


Berkson & What
Make It True feat. JoJo De Freq

Berkson & What are next up to release on Seth Troxler’s legendary Play It Say It with Make It True feat. JoJo De Freq; an elastic, fantastic, bright green plastic radiant house jam with sharp kicks, an acid tinged bassline, sultry nag nag nagging female vocals and the smoothest synths this side of your little sister's legs. Dance hero Luke Solomon delivers a ‘Remix 4 Turnings’ version which turns it into an almost new track (!) with a deeply grooving bassline, funky melody, spoken human vocals and very, very, very, very noticeable hats. Dance legend Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers heads up the B-side on the other side of the record, with his ‘Psychedelic Jungle Mix’ and ‘Smooth Mix’ doing just as they say, being both psychedelic and smooth.


Springblade/Chain 2.0

Korma is from Seattle and part of a wave of international producers giving UK bass guys a run for their money (see also: YNGN, Moslem Priest, Air Max ’97). Fans of that WTF?! sound that first emerged around the turn of the decade thanks to Bok Bok, Untold, Ikonika et al will dig these unpredictable tracks. ‘Springblade’ is a mechanical riddim shot through with warped bass and glocks being cocked; ‘Chain 2.0’ is mutant ghetto house music sheathed in sheet metal FX. See also Korma’s EP for Car Crash Set sub-label Ice Rink. Pure fire.


DJ Pierre
What Is House Muzik (Ricardo Villalobos What Is Remix)

Major big time riddim fire here from not just one maestro of the scene, but two. This stretched out, panoramic snapshot of a house past is brought right up to speed, and into the present day future, by way of a K-hole inducing trip via a minimal dance floor circa 2006 and into your eyes and ears today on a YouTube near you. Those trademark Ricky V slow-mo snap-claps and fizzing hi-hats sit perfectly alongside DJ Pierre's sultry "What Is House Muzik?" vocal line and that cheeky bass line in what is a sure fire Christmas minimal banger. 32 minutes of pure, absolute TUNEAGE that is sure to make your hashtags jingle jangle.


Kingthing & Jamie Grind

Here’s a split EP from two underground producers who know how to twist bass music inside out. Kingthing delivers ‘Waking Up’, a monstrous acid techno squelcher, and ‘Cold Diss’, a pounding juke run-around. Flip it over and Jamie Grind brings ‘We Still Play 140’ and ‘For You’, two warm, melodic future garage cuts with cosmic tendencies. Bliss.


Daft Punk

This is the track that would have been in Tron Legacy if the film featured an illegal drugs rave. Reminiscent of Rinzler, the contrast between modern synths and classic string and drum sections works beautifully. Expect frantic drum fills and a cheeky flute section that carries the song all the way to the abyss.



If I'm not getting the drinks in at the Mixmag Christmas party this year, I'll smash WRDMHQ up even more than I did last Christmas when I got my hopes up about a freelance writing job at Resident Advisor that never materialised and Meoko stopped paying what they promised me.

Either way, I'll be back next week with loads more FREE content on the internet. You can read all about my week on the Ran$om Note every Friday too. Join me.

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