Desyn Masiello: My Top Ten Dance Music Classics

Image for Desyn Masiello: My Top Ten Dance Music Classics

1992 is a year close to Desyn Masiello’s heart. Listening to sets now from the UK DJ, you can feel the influence from those heady halcyon days of dance music: the melodies, the insistent groove, that deep-in-the-night vibe. With his Classics list for inthemix, Masiello has left no doubt of what he considers to be dance music’s golden era, and it’s a history lesson well worth taking.

On the first weekend of winter, the selector is flying down to Sydney and Melbourne alongside Tom Morgan. The duo is touring under the banner of Faciendo, a new DJ ‘collective’ that’s all about pooling the powers (and record collections) of several players. “When the electronic dance music movement started, it wasn’t about the DJ idol like it is now, it was a lot purer when it started,” Masiello muses. The Faciendo concept aims to put the music, not one ‘headline’ name, at the forefront. That said, Masiello has a built-in love affair with the inthemix community that largely began with his Balance 008 volume and the tours that followed. After a couple of years where he admitted to losing his way, the DJ now seems refreshed and energised – and you can feel that in his selections here.

Here’s what the man himself had to say about this list: “Having had a peek at some of the previous top 10s from DJs like Nick Warren and Anthony Pappa, I already knew that some of my favourite records were also some of theirs so I've purposely avoided doubling up – tracks like William Orbit’s Water From A Vine Leaf, and Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy are some of my favourite-ever EDM pieces too.

I've been collecting vinyl almost every day for 20 years now, so I dug around the roots of my collection, and have come up with a list covering a few of the genres I've fallen in love with over the years and that inspired me in the beginning, and some that will never fade for me. There may also be the odd track in here that even the most hardened rave-rotter might have missed!”

Alright then, take it away Desyn…

#10 Solar Plexus – Solar Plexus [1992]

“1992 was a magical year for dance music. The rave and house music scenes had exploded globally, and really talented musicians were getting to grips with early home computer sequencers (Atari STs mainly) and there was an explosion of amazing music around then. It was a special time – also in the UK, where the producers were influenced by US house, the Italian uplifting sound and the sped-up hip-hop and breaks sampling over the house grooves to create fat, crunchy and energetic rave beats.

This was all part of creating the blueprints for what would become progressive house. It was about melody, mystery, and harmony and often ethnic samples and vocals, and this was a track that just gelled perfectly and touched a lot of people.”

#9 Aphex Twin – On [1992]

“A man who clearly has music running through his veins, making countless classics over the years like Windowlicker, Didgeridoo, the Analogue Bubblebath series and many more. This one was more overlooked by the less avid followers of his work, but a timeless beauty nevertheless.”