Nick Warren’s Top Ten Dance Music Classics

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Last week we launched the new inthemix feature series Guest Lists, with the world’s most bankable DJ Tiesto giving us his ten favourite venues around the world. For round two, we’ve signed up another dance music game-changer, UK journeyman Nick Warren.

Together with Jody Wisternoff as Way Out West, Warren has been responsible for some bona-fide classics. However his regard as a DJ goes even deeper. Making a name for himself on the Bristol scene in the early ‘90s, he worked as a DJ for Massive Attack, before securing a residency at the storied Cream in Liverpool.

From there, Warren became one of the flag-bearers of the progressive house boom. “Every week there was a classic record coming out,” he recalls. In 1997, Warren was invited to mix a volume in the then-burgeoning Global Underground series. Over the following decade he turned out a succession of GU entries, culminating in 2008’s Global Underground 035: Lima. His sets are always committed to the ‘journey’, with lesser-known producers favoured over well-worn names.

It’s testament to his ongoing passion for the dancefloor that Warren is now helming an entry in the Balance series. With recent editions from Joris Voorn, Agoria and Will Saul, it’s a different proposition from Global Underground. As we detailed in our review, Balance 018 is the work of a veteran who still trusts his instincts.

All which brings us to this edition of Guest Lists. Given his history and pivotal role in dance music’s halcyon days, we were keen to hear what records Warren considers classics. Thankfully, he gladly obliged. So here’s what transpired…

Leftfield – Cut For Life

“It kind of sums up all the energy and power of the progressive house scene in the ‘90s. It’s got a kick-drum and a bassline, and then this huge drum break comes in. Leftfield for me made perfect records. The albums of theirs were just mind-blowing at the time.

“It’s a shame it’s only Neil now, though. It’s sort of like seeing The Beatles play without Paul McCartney, but hey, can’t complain really!”

Jam & Spoon – Odyssey To Anyoona

“Now, there is an awful vocal mix, and i hope people won’t go listen to it. It’s dreadful. In fact, on Radio 1 a few years ago they asked me to pick a classic track for them to play and they played the vocal version. People must’ve thought I was nuts, ‘cause it’s horrible.

“But the instrumental was amazing. Jam & Spoon were the kings of what was then called trance. They went a lot more cheesy towards the end but in the early days they were very, very cool. This has got everything in it that I love: huge melodies, fantastic drums, killer bassline. I used to play this at Cream back in the day and it was huge. Don’t put a video of the vocal version!”

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