While Kevin Saunderson is one of the original creators of dance music, he’s never logged that most prestigious dance world stamp of approval: the Essential Mix.
That is, until this past weekend, when Saunderson dropped a scintillating two-hour run of house and techno for the iconic BBC Radio 1 show, which has been sharing DJ sets with the world every Saturday evening for more than 25 years.
“We are living in a very challenging time, with the current events of the world right now,” Saunderson states at the beginning of his mix. “I want to express my care and compassion to you and all of your loved ones, all of our brothers and sisters, our grandmothers and grandfathers, our children, all our aunts and uncles and cousins and our friends.”
“Let’s take a moment of silence right now and with an open caring heart acknowledge everyone around the world who’s been affected,” he continues, “and all who have suffered and all who have left this world. They will not be forgotten. This is for them, and all of you.”
The mix then launches into “We All Move Together,” the opening and title track, from the first Inner City album in 30 years, released this past June. A spoken-word manifesto delivered by Idris Elba, the track recaps dance music history before reiterating the sense of unity that is so core to the global scene, and one that Saunderson has felt in varying degrees throughout his work under his own name, with Inner City and the other projects contained in his decades-long career.
Described by Essential Mix host Pete Tong as “devilishly good,” the mix features tracks by a wide spectrum of house and techno aces including Todd Terry, Robert Hood, Kink, Dog Blood, Kenny Larkin, E-Dancer and many more.