BBC Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong has achieved legendary status over the past two decades as host of BBC 1's Essential Mix, a two-hour radio show early Saturday morning that lets dance music greats (and up-and-comers) do their thing and take listeners on a 120-minute journey on the dancefloor and elsewhere. Over the years, Tong's turned in quite a few entries for the series himself—and now he's done an hour-long mix for FADER that leans hard on the dark, dancefloor jams while keeping things suitably melodic, just in time for the holidays.
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings. On a plane to New York - I see multiple tv screens and silhouettes.
What's the funniest thing that's happened to you during a DJ set? Grace Jones knocking out Boy George for interrupting her fourth encore at the Hong Kong handover. It wasn't funny at the time.
What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you? Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin.
What did you open and close this FADER mix with, and why? I opened it with "Missing You" by Icarus - its their debut single on Sub Soul. I loved them so much I have just signed them to FFRR. New duo from Bristol with serious tunes. I closed it with a Paco Osuna tune from a few years ago because it conjures up a good feeling for the ending with the vocals I used.
If you could have anyone spin your next birthday party, past or present, DJ or not, who would it be? Larry Levan would be impressive if he was at the peak of his Paradise Garage powers. A real experimentalist, or Marilyn Monroe, to show Paris Hilton how it's really done.
What's your favorite dish to cook and how do you make it? The Great British Roast Dinner. I recently did a big Turkey roast for Thanksgiving and ditched the tradition and served up my roast potatoes which I get rave reviews about from my 8 year old daughter. The secret recipe has been handed down the Tong generations. If I told you I'd have to kill you.
What's your greatest New Years' Eve memory? 31 December 1999 Cream on the Liverpool Docks with 10,000 people Live on Radio 1.
Where do you see the state of dance music in 2014 and beyond? It's been a year of transition musically. I think creatively the big room EDM sound has hit the ceiling and that things will look and sound quite different a year from now. The Uk has been on a real creative spurt.
Who's the one artist, living or dead, that you'd love to collaborate with? Marvin Gaye or Bob Marley. I'm a big film buff so I'd have to say Dikon Hinchcliffe, Cliff Martinez, and Jon Hopkins would be amazing.
What's your favorite Essential Mix of all time? Impossible question to name just one...15 June 1997 David Holmes was VERY Special. Other faves are by Ame, Paul Oakenfold, and Ten Walls this year.
1. Missing You - Icarus
2. Y.O.U.D - Culoe De Song
3. 18 Hours - XXXY
4. Fantasia - Kink
5. Sordid Affair (Maceo Plex remix) - Royksopp
6. Harmony - Luca Guerrieri
7. Reject (Joeski Dub) - Martin Landsky
8. Make It Real (ESS Remix) - Agoria
9. Point G (Balia) - Point G
10. Pimp Jackson- Loco Dice
11. Atopisimo - Paco Osuna