A Music Institution

Radio 1's Pete Tong

Pete Tong at work

A quick post I felt compelled to write after being reunited with Radio 1 on a Friday night for the first time in a while. For those unfamiliar, Friday night on Radio 1 is the ‘dance music marathon’ – including Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Judge Jules and the legendary Essential Mix.

I grew up listening to Radio 1 on a Friday night, usually at a high volume, in my dad’s car on the way to and from restaurants and family parties. I can distinctly remember jumping around with my brother, as much as my seatbelt would allow, to Danny Rampling on the way back from somewhere, much to my mum’s disapproval. My dad likes house music and I was introduced to it through these Radio 1 shows, it formed the musical taste I have today.

Pete Tong, for me, has done so much for electronic music in this country, running the Essential Selection and Essential Mix for so many years. He has also been heavily involved in bringing through new DJ’s and artists on his own show and with another he launched on Radio 1 – In New DJs We Trust – a show that has acted as a career launch pad for DJ’s like Kissy Sell Out, who now has his own show. Radio 1’s personable DJ’s even seem to develop their own catchphrases, what with Pete Tong’s “we continue…” and Judge Jules with his array of musical similies and metaphors.

As for the aforementioned Essential Mix that Pete presents, it is simply brilliant. A weekly two hour musical journey from the biggest names on the planet, in everything from Dubstep to Techno and everything in between. Some of my favourities mixes include (links are to tracklistings): Erick Morillo, Trentemøller, John O’ Callaghan, Herve and Sinden, Daft Punk, Eric Prydz, High Contrast, Gareth Emery and not to forget Paul Oakenfold’s widely acclaimed ‘Goa Mix‘. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what has been put out on the airwaves since 1993 (yes, I looked that up on Wikipedia) but I’m working on it.

It’s great to see that Friday nights on Radio 1 continue to offer a great selection of the latest electronic music, both live and online through the BBC iPlayer, in an era when services like Last.fm and Spotify have changed the way we experience music. I look forward to tuning in for a long time to come.