Maya Jane Coles – DJ Kicks Review

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There is something quite magical about Maya Jane Coles’ rise to fame. The usual formula is that you start at the bottom of the bill and slowly work your way up – putting in years of graft touring the dingy pub, club and livehouse circuit to relatively small crowds before you finally get a shot at a headline slot and making a name for yourself. However, Maya Jane Coles has bypassed all this and transcended from the position of unknown DJ/producer to international superstar in a blink of an eye.

At the start of 2010 Maya’s name was only known to a hand full of club aficionados and switched on A&R men. Fast forward to the end of 2011 and this British/Japanese artist is one of the most talked about DJs in the world – having had releases on heavyweight labels such as 2020 Vision and Crosstown Rebels and not to mention being named the 9th best DJ in the world in Resident Advisor’s taste making poll. Not only did this make her the highest-ranking female DJ, it was also her debut in the poll having not featured in 2010’s list. Her secret? A flawless blend of classic club sounds, heavy bass and intelligent production, which takes, nods from not only house and techno, but dub, electronica and dubstep also.

2012 now sees Maya the star taking centre stage. She is set to release the latest chapter in the ever reliable DJ Kicks odyssey with a mix which has such craft and scope of sound that it is hard to believe that she was once ambivalent to DJing; “I only started DJing regularly fairly recently. When I first started making music I didn’t have turntables. It was a couple years later when I got into club music that I learnt to mix and had my first DJ gig, but for a long time I focused more on the studio/production side of things rather than playing out” explains Maya.

The mix showcases not only her influences, but her diversity also. “I don’t just do one thing and I wanted it to reflect that” says Coles. “Most of the mixes I’ve put out there so far have been house based, but I also produce stuff under the Nocturnal Sunshine moniker, which is more two-step/bass influenced stuff. This mix evolved into something that wasn’t just four-to-the-floor.”

Indeed, the mix is constantly shifting in it’s focus – straight-up dance floor moments from Tripmasterz and Marcel Dettmann are counterbalanced by Adam Stacks’ “Hey Love” and the excellent Caribou reworking of Virgo Four’s “It’s a Crime” which lighten the mood and add a tenderness to the mix.

Maya’s own productions also feature; the swelling bass of deep house track “Not Listening” and skittering dubstep of “Meant To Be” (the latter under the aforementioned Nocturnal Sunshine sobriquet) seem to be the two sonic way-points the mix travels between. My personal favourite track in the mix, however, has to be “No More Stories” by Last Magpie – a track which for me sums up everything which is right with the dance music scene in the UK at the moment; with hints of everything from garage to jungle.

The mix will be released on K7! Records in April, but if you can’t wait until then we suggest you join Tokyo Indie on the dance floor at Womb on Saturday March 17th when Maya Jane Coles will hit Japan as part of the Crosstown Rebels night, DJing alongside label boss Damien Lazarus. It promises to be a great night.

Maya Jane Coles DJ Kicks Tracklist:

01. Deft – Loqux & Past
02. Kris Wadsworth – Mainline (Jimmy Edgar Remix)
03. Chasing Kurt – Money
04. Bozzwell – In My Cocoon
05. Larse – Karoo
06. Milscot feat. Angela Sheik – All Alone (Domyan Just Slow Remix)
07. Adam Stacks – Hey Love
08. Phil Kieran & White Noise Sound – Never Believed
09. Sigward – Nuerd
10. Maya Jane Coles – Not Listening
11. Virgo Four – It’s a Crime (Caribou Remix)
12. Roberto Bardini – Hate Me (Muteoscillator Fairy Tall Remix)
13. Tripmastaz – Guess Who
14. Standard Fair – Little Helper 16-3
15. Nocturnal Sunshine – Meant to Be
16. Zenker Brothers – Berg 10
17. Last Magpie – No More Stories
18. Zoe Zoe – Church
19. Gerry Read – Roomland (Youandewan Remix)
20. T. Williams – Analog Tour
21. Marcel Dettmann – Translation Two
22. Claro Intelecto – Hunter’s Rocket to the Sky

Words: Mark Birtles

Translation: Kaori Ishikawa

March 8, 2012