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The Drop: Maya Jane Coles Kicks It Up A Notch

Mads Perch Photography
Courtesy of the artist

Since I'm a club DJ, a DIY venue curator and an electronic music lover who happens to write for NPR, I get a ton of dance music sent to me. So it takes something special for me to want to stick with a new mix for longer than a couple of days. The last mix that I obsessed over was Maya Jane Coles' "BBC Essential Mix," which came out last summer. It had a personality, an uncommon flair achieved through rhythmic variety and a broad range of sounds that made it stand out.

This spring, it's Coles' entry into the DJ Kicks series that has me hooked. The 24-year-old Londoner has already proven herself as a producer with tracks like "What They Say" and "Contradiction," and as a rock solid remixer on cuts like "4 You" and "Cicadas." This new DJ Kicks mixfurther cements Coles' reputation as an incredible selector, with energy that ebbs and flows freely through low-end heavy house and U.K. basstracks. "Money," by Chasing Kurt, is a perfect example: the original track is full of punchy percussion and tinny reverb with a soulful vocal, but Coles speeds up the cut, giving it an energy it didn't have before. Like the BBC Essential mix before it, the DJ Kicks mix is paced so that it moves just before it stales. Makes sense coming from the freshest DJ in the game right now.

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Sami Yenigun is the Executive Producer of NPR's All Things Considered and the Consider This podcast. Yenigun works with hosts, editors, and producers to plan and execute the editorial vision of NPR's flagship afternoon newsmagazine and evening podcast. He comes to this role after serving as a Supervising Editor on All Things Considered, where he helped launch Consider This and oversaw the growth of the newsmagazine on new platforms.