The Essential Mixes That Made Waves


For those of you who are not aware of what Essential Mixes are, let me give you a quick run down. BBC Radio 1 and Eddie Gordon (later taken over by Pete Tong), have been inviting DJs onto the airwaves to showcase themselves to a large audience for over two decades. It has become a great honor for any DJ who gets to participate in this.

I was introduced to Essential Mixes through YouTube shortly after being introduced to dance music. I remember turning on an Essential Mix every chance I had. It always felt like going back in time and hearing all these amazing stories through various DJ mixes. It makes me nostalgic just thinking about it.

In this short blog post, I am going to take you through three Essential Mixes that have deeply resonated with me.

Armin van Buuren 2003

Armin van Buuren’s 2003 Essential Mix takes number three on my list. This mix took place during the early years of Armin’s career, the same year he released his first album “76”.

This Essential Mix is full of what the “A State of Trance” brand originally stood for, Progressive and Trance. Armin van Buuren beautifully mixed this set with amazing progression. Almost every track in this mix later turned into a timeless classic. It’s a shame we do not get to see this style from Armin much anymore, but artists have to grow and evolve.


Mark Otten – Mushroom Therapy (Lightscape Remix)

James Holden & Julie Thomspon – Nothing (93 Returning Mix)

Andy Hunter – Amazing (Fade Sanctuary Remix)

Yahel – U Feel

Scott Bond Vs Solarstone – Untitled

Armin van Buuren Feat. Ray Wilson – Yet Another Day (Sunday 5pm Remix)

Hydra – Affinity

AR52 – Hibernation

Solid Globe – North Pole

POS – Remeber

Ferry Corsten – Indigo

Armin van Buuren – Song For The Ocean

Orange – 7

Kansai – Rococco

Solarstone – Solarcoaster (Midway Remix)

The Green Martian – Wizardy

Unknown – Nexus

Li Kwan – Point Zero

The Goa Mix

Paul Oakenfold’s 1994 Goa mix, often referred to as “The Goa Mix,” takes the number two spot. Oakenfold has done over 30 different Essential Mixes in his career, but this one takes the cake for me. Historically no other mix even comes close to this one. With this mix, Paul introduced the world to a new sound, which in my opinion was way ahead of its time. Oakenfold was inspired to pursue this sound from his stay in Goa, India.

Goa Trance is a mix of synthesizers, melodies, and traditional Goa India music with the occasional vocal sample overlay. Goa later evolved into what we know as Psychedelic Trance. “The Goa Mix” will forever be known as one of the most groundbreaking Essential Mixes for trance music.


01. Mr. V – Give Me Life (Full Vocal, Full Monty Mix) (re-edit)

02. Grace – Orange (Original Perfecto Mix)

03. Li Kwan – Point Zero (Original Extended Mix)

04. The Disco Evangelists – De Niro (The Spaceflight Remix)

05. Virtual Symmetry – The V.S. (Original Mix)

06. Vangelis – Tears In Rain (re-edit)

07. Salt Tank – Eugina (Unknown Mix) (re-edit)

08. Hallucinogen – LSD (Original Version)

09. Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (A Mix Of Two Halves)

10. Wojciech Kilar – Vampire Hunters (re-edit)

11. Electrotete – Alcatraz

12. Vangelis – Main Titles (from the Blade Runner soundtrack) (re-edit)

13. Man With No Name – Floor-Essence (Dayglo Mix)

14. Scorpio Rising – Dubcatcher (Oakenfold Instrum. Edit)

15. Man With No Name – Evolution

16. Goldie presents The Metalheads – Inner City Life (Full Length Mix) (re-edit)

17. Wojciech Kilar – Love Remembered

18. Voodoo People – Co-Incidence

19. The Infinity Project – Stimuli (Original Mix) (re-edit)

20. Trance Team – Wake Up (Trance Mix)

21. V-Tracks – Heretic Voices (Original Mix)

22. Marmion – Schöneberg (Marmion Remix) (re-edit)

23. Karl Biscuit – Hiérophone (re-edit)

24. Vangelis – Rachel’s Song

25. Virus – Sun (Oakenfold/Osborne Mix)

26. Man With No Name – Deliverance

27. Perfecto Allstarz – Reach Up (Papa’s Got A Brand New Pig Bag) (Indian Summer Remix) (re-edit)

28. Para-Dizer – Song Of Liberation (Exit EEE Remix) (re-edit)

29. Dead Can Dance – Sanvean

30. 4 Voice – Eternal Spirit (Southern Mix) (re-edit)

31. Man With No Name – Sugar Rush (Original Mix) (re-edit)

Gabriel & Dresden 2003

Taking number one on my list is the legendary American duo Gabriel & Dresden’s 2003 Essential Mix.This mix was a part of an American DJ showcase leading up to the 2003 Miami Music Week. To me, this mix showed a perfect blend of American music at the time and the dance music which was all over Europe. You get a little bit of everything in this mix, as it starts out with Breaks then leads into Drum and Bass with Hip Hop, and ends with Trance. The mixing in this set is flawlessly done, and hearing Pete Tong’s voice give the introduction and closing always gives chills, especially for this Essential Mix.


01. Virgin Souls – Personality (James Zabiela Remix) [White]

(Led Zeppelin – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (pqm acappella)

02. Attention Deficit – Use Only The Drugs (Original Mix) [Loaded/Skint]

03. James Talk – Eggs Are Cute (Re-Percussion Mix) [Unsigned]

04. Gabriel and Dresden -Serendipity [Organized Nature]

Coldplay – Clocks [Parlophone]

05. Duncan Sheik – On A High [Gabriel and Dresden Love From Humboldt Dub) [Atlantic]

06. The Dirty Fours and Luke Chable – Bass Trap [CDR]

07. Ian Brown – Fear (UNKLE Remix) [Global Underground]

08. Steve Porter and Eli Wilke – Bubble Bath [Chug]

09. Der Dritte Raum – Hale Bopp [Ultra]

10. ID

11. Andain – Beautiful Things (Gabriel and Dresden Unplugged Mix) [Black Hole]

12. Layo and Bushwacka! – Let The Good Times Roll (Josh Gabriel Unauthorized Dub) [CDR]

13. Gabriel and Dresden – Acid Elliot [CDR]

14. Gabriel and Dresden – Lament (Dub 4 Satoshi) [saw.recordings]

Way Out West – Mindcircus (Gabriel and Dresden Acappella) [-]

15. Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes [CDR]

16. Josh Gabriel – Alive (Club Mix) [Nebula]

17. The Dirty Fours – Breathless [Mob]

18. Nalin and Kane – Beachball (Gabriel and Dresden’s South Beach Vacation) [Ultra]


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