Special Request continues his impeccable run of form with a typically fervent entry into the DJ-Kicks mix series. His adventurous 26 track mix takes in personal favourites, new school classics and of course a selection of his own brand new and exclusive edits, dubs and reworks next to some overlooked gems.

Leeds based Paul Woolford dares to go where few others do. He can do face-melting underground bangers, peak time piano anthems, ambient cinematics or chart climbing crossover hits. What unites his work as Special Request is precision engineering, but never at the expense of real, raw emotion and visceral impact. He is an artist who very much pours his heart into everything he does, and has been on such a prolific run in recent years that it has been impossible to keep abreast of all his many projects. Even in this mix, he hints at yet more new sides and sounds.  

Says Woolford himself, “I have wanted to create my own edition of DJ-Kicks since hearing Claude Young, Stacey Pullen and Carl Craig’s contributions back in the mid-nineties. I always saw the series as a benchmark of quality and a time-stamped gateway into an artist’s state of mind. For this volume, I wanted to focus on lush melodics. I kept that as a constant thread throughout, choosing only records I cherish. It’s important to me that this mix is playable in multiple contexts: it’s not a “current snapshot” by any means, more of a chronicle of some of my all-time favourites. Accordingly I have included obscure gems such as Psyance “Gates Of Heaven”, Ron Allen’s 1992 tear-jerker, alongside the lush instrumentation and positive messages of Detroit disco legend Alicia Myers, rubbing shoulders with the recent instant classic “Sequence Of Life” by AceMo. It comes handmade with love to you all.

True to his word, this is a mix that can be played at home, in a car, or on headphones. Rather than pure dance floor dynamite from the off, you are slowly encouraged in that direction through some heart swelling house, cosmic boogie and scuffed up New York disco by artists like Harvey Sutherland and Morgan Geist. The midpoint sets you off on a trip through the galaxies with pixelated pads and crisp electro drums that get ever more pensive. Of course, the old school jungle, raved up breaks and blistering techno does then arrive courtesy of tracks from Psyance, Galaxian and Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.

There’s also a stack of exclusives including Special Request’s own reworks of Mike Paradinas’ Mu-Ziq, which has been causing havoc during gigs over the last year or so, two versions of FC Kahuna’s spellbinding “Hayling”, a handful of Special Request tracks including an insane rework of “Pull Up” by ascending star Tim Reaper. Finally, he closes the mix with “Petrichor”, a collaboration with Sheffield’s 96 Back, who he says is “one of modern dance music’s most promising young upstarts.

As always with Special Request, this is an emotional, full spirited ride through the musical mind of one of the most accomplished artists of the day.

01 Intergalactic Quartet – Shores Of Alpha
02 Sun Ra & Solar Arkestra – Cluster Of Galaxies
03 Alicia Myers – Right Here Right Now (John Morales M+M Remix)
04 Harvey Sutherland – Priestess
05 Morgan Geist – Lullaby
06 Intergalactic Quartet – Delta Waves
07 Special Request – KissFM NY87 Mastermix
08 Special Request – Vellichor
09 AS ONE – We Are But Shadow
10 Virgo – R U Hot Enough?
11 Krystal Klear – Tun Valve
12 Speedy J – De-Orbit
13 LS1 Housing Authority – Ultraviolet
14 AceMo – Sequence Of Life
15 Symbols & Instruments – Mood (Tropical Dream Revisited)
16 LS1 Housing Authority – Life Moves Fast
17 µ-Ziq – Drocovums
18 Psyance – Gates Of Heaven
19 FC Kahuna – Hayling – Special Request Mix
20 µ-Ziq – Twangle Frent (Special Request Rework)
21 Galaxian – Glasgow To Detroit
22 Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse – Drowning In Her (Sonar’s Ghost VIP)
23 Special Request – Pull Up (Tim Reaper VIP)
24 Special Request – Elysian Fields (Tim Reaper VIP)
25 96 Back x Special Request – Petrichor

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