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All words: Shea Van Horne + Matt Bailer

Two years ago, when we started MIXTAPE, it was just a way to throw a party where we get to play songs that we love to dance to. It’s been great to see the party grow in size and popularity. Over the years, the party has venue-hopped a lot (Dahlak, True Story, Warehouse, EFN Lounge, DC9, Town, and the Rock & Roll Hotel), but we always try to keep the essence the same–an eclectic mix of songs that make you want to dance. Nothing too elaborate or over the top.

Here are some songs that embody MIXTAPE. They are either songs that we have played often or songs that got great crowd reactions.

Check out the Mixtape 2 Year Anniversary Party Saturday at Rock & Roll Hotel


Download Mixtape’s 2 Year Anniversary Mega-Jam Compilation


Gossip – Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix) –> For a while, this track felt like a MIXTAPE anthem. We both love this song so much. Beth Ditto’s voice and Fred Falke’s remix. Shea: “I will always remember playing this track at the Warehouse and right before the climax, accidentally hitting the pause button. OMG. So embarrassing when everyone looks over like, what happened? Half a second later, we were all jamming to Beth Ditto again.”

Bonnie Pointer – Heaven Must Have Sent You –> LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. Just makes us super-happy and want to dance. And even though our crowd may not know it by name, they always seem to love it just as much as we do. Infectious.

Macy Gray – Slap A Bitch –> This one is the other anthem. Matt: “I am a HUGE Macy Gray fan. In some ways, to me her eclectic, makes-ya-wanna-shake-it music embodies what Mixtape is all about. The first time I played this song, the crowd went crazy. We probably had at least one person request this song each month since, and we’re happy to oblige.”

Ting Tings – Great DJ –> We’ve played a lot of Ting Tings, but this seems to be the simplest, purest, craziest, funnest moment at many of our parties. Sometimes you need nothing but the girls… and the boys… and the strings… and the drums…

Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance –> This was one of the songs we played a lot in the first few MIXTAPE parties in late 2008. Great crowd reactions the moment she says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce the high hat…”

Royksopp ft. Robyn – Girl & The Robot –> I mean, it’s Robyn singing with Royksopp about loving robots and falling asleep in front of MTV. ‘Nuff said.

Basement Jaxx – Raindrops –> We both love this song so much. We love this band so much. This was a track that seemed like a slow burn… Not everyone was digging it as much as we were at first, but eventually, it became a song that people looked forward to. Never stopped us from dancing like crazy in the DJ booth though. Sometimes, I think we play a song just so we can hear it. It’s better when others want to dance to it too, but I’m not opposed to dancing on my own..oh oh oh!

Pulp – Common People –> Five-and-a-half minutes of Brit-pop bliss.

Phoenix – Lisztomania (Alex Metric Remix) –> This track is much slower than a lot of the songs we feature, but despite ts low tempo it packs so much energy and has such a cool groove that it tends to turn the dancefloor inside out.

Kylie – Wow –> This could be any Kylie song. We just can’t get her out of our heads.

Madonna – Like a Prayer –> This was a request back in July. It was a friend’s birthday and his boyfriend requested anything by Madonna. Typically, we put our heads together during the last hour or so of each MIXTAPE and try to come up with super random and fun songs to play. We opted for “Like A Prayer”… so exciting to have everyone on the dance floor singing in unison to this song. We’re happy to entertain requests, especially since they can result in a moment as unforgettable as this one.

Yolanda Be Cool – We No Speak Americano –> This has sort of become Matt’s signature song of 2010. Matt: “The first time I played it was at the BYT Pride Party. Probably half a dozen people came up to ask the title and artist, which, for the record, is kind of the best compliment you can give a DJ. And I just love watching people bouncing around to this quirky little gypsy-infused house tune.”

Janet Jackson – Love Will Never Do –> The first time we played this song was the BYT Pride Party, as the agreed-upon-in-the-moment transition song between Shea’s set and Matt’s. It remains an utterly perfect song, even 20 (!!!) years after its initial release. We’ve dropped it (along with a few other old-skool Janet jams) a few times since then. Always a crowd pleaser.

New Radicals – You Get What You Give –> We’ve only played this twice, but both times it got overwhelmingly HUGE crowd response. A fist-in-the-air shout-along flashback of a good time.

Florence & The Machine – Dog Days Are Over –> This was the last song of the night at our June 2010 party at the Rock N Roll hotel. It was the perfect song to finish with. A potentially risky choice for a dancefloor, but everyone was so into it. They knew the pauses, the slow parts, the fast parts… so much fun.