If you got your raving education via UK funky and pirate radio, chances are you’re a lifelong fan of Hackney’s DJ Pioneer. Raised on soundsystem culture from day dot, the East London selector has been a mainstay on our airwaves for well over a decade.
Back in the days of pirate radio, you could hear DJ Pioneer on Pure Magic, London Underground, Y2K, Déjà Vu and more, spinning house music, garage, broken beat, UK funky and anything with plenty of jumpy bass—no surprise, then, that he was tapped up by Ministry to mix their epic The Sound Of UK Funky compilation at the height of the scene’s first wave in 2009. Nowadays, his home is at Kiss FM, seven years deep into a residency, spinning 4x4 bumpers every Thursday night, 1-2am.
For obvious reasons, Pioneer’s had to take a step back from his intensive global touring schedule, but that just gave him time to recallibrate and work on his own productions—the latest of which is a bumpy house edit of TJ, Zoey Dollaz and Chris Brown’s “Post & Delete”. We caught up with DJ Pioneer for an exclusive new mix and a chat for the latest edition of Complex Sessions. Jump in below.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
In this mix, I’ve selected some of my favourite tracks throughout the pandemic and three of my productions which are all different styles of house music.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
A new track I finished recently with Truce called “Forest Of Illusion”, which is a Amapiano-style production inspired by the sounds of South Africa.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
I really wanted to include a new track by Biscits called “Talk To Me”. It’s a really great track that I support heavily on my radio show.
What’s the first single or album you ever bought?
The first vinyl I bought was a jungle record called “Dictation”, which came out on Dope Dragon Records, but my first ever single was “More Money More Problems” by the legendary Biggie Smalls.
What’s the last physical record you bought?
It would have been a soulful house record from Vinyl Junkies back in 2008. After using Serato, I haven’t bought any vinyl again, but I do miss it.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I would like to see more of my singles released and doing well. Also, an increase of releases for my label SOTU Recordings.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
People taking balloons at clubs and festivals.
1. DJ Pioneer & TJ x Zoey Dollaz ft Chris Brown – Post & Delete Remix
2. 5 West – One Shot (DJ Pioneer & AR Remix)
3. DJ SKT ft Nikki Ambers – Right Before My Eyes (DJ Pioneer Special)
4. Lush Kells ft DJ Supa D & Mr Taffa – King & Queen
5. Malume Kabza – Expensive Souls
6. Brandy & Monica – The Boy Is Mine (DJ Eastwood Remix)
7. Culoe De Song – Rambo (Dub)
8. Wizkid – Essence (Mr Taffa & DJ Supa D Remix)
9. DJ Pioneer & Truce – Forest Of Illusion
10. Scottie Dee – Lost In Abyss