In the early- and mid-1990s the mixtape was ubiquitous and essential to a DJ's career. Mixtapes from California rave legends like Doc Martin, Jeno, DJ Dan, Ron D. Core, DJ Trance, Daniel, Thee-O, and Eli Star are still highly regarded and coveted to this day. Mixtapes provided a ninety-minute journey for the listener, the most successful of which became seamless loops encapsulating a singular musical vision that could be played continuously.

The mixtape was also an excellent medium for collaboration, neatly divided as they are between between two discrete sides. I've had the fun and good fortune of creating mixtapes with friends and respected DJs such as Mr. Annand, Brian Seed, Jason Blakemore, and John Kelley.

By the end of the 1990s, most DJs had switched to producing CDs, which were by far the dominant music medium of the time. And, with that switch, a much loved, iconic artefact of early rave culture met its demise.

From Us To You series
From Us To You mixtape series (1997-2007)
The FUTY mixtape series was a token of appreciation from fellow Moontribe DJ Brian (now Brian Seed) and I to our beloved Moontribe family. With each new edition, we would give them out free to any and all that happened to be grooving on the Full Moon Gathering dancefloor. This project was purposefully retro, harking back to the days when the mixtape reigned supreme. We continued this series until sources for blank cassettes literally disappeared. Musically, the FUTY mixes were an outlet for exploring tech-house, acid-house, and other sounds not prevalent on our CD releases. The artwork for the original From Us To You was designed by Madeleine Delage; the rest were done by dela.
Tropical House mixtape series
Tropical House mixtape series (2000-2001)
Tropical, the brainchild of Ben Annand, began in 1998 and is one of L.A.'s longest running underground House Music parties. As one of the original resident DJs, I had the privilege of collaborating with other Tropical regulars and highly regarded DJs including Jason Blakemore, John Kelley, and Mr. Tropical himself, Mr. Annand. While Tropical parties pumped out a true house sound, these early editions of the Tropical House mixtape series included a diversity of genres including tribal, tech, and progressive house. Artwork by dela.
Breathe (2001)
I became a fan of Jason Blakemore (originally known as DJ Trance) the moment I heard his MindScratch II mixtape circa 1993. So, when we began playing L.A. parties together, such as GoodVibe Crew and Tropical events, I was truly stoked. Seeing him spin live only increased my admiration for his superior skills. Eventually, we became good friends and Breathe is our second collaboration. Enjoy this dreamy, acidic, and progressive ride! Artwork by Madeleine Delage and dela; breathing instructions by Paul Cabanis.
Basstrip Gaia 2: Situation Critical
Basstrip Gaia 2: Situation Critical (1999)
Our Mother Earth is struggling under the heavy burden of humankind's growing population and consumption. It is Situation Critical! This mix features sci-fi electro breaks, ambient textures, and the classic from Young American Primitive "Over and Out". Will technology save us? Artwork by dela. Warning: "Watch your bassbins, I'm tellin' ya!"
Within Quiet Spaces
Within Quiet Spaces (1999)
In praise of those invaluable moments in which we reflect inwardly. Gaining strength and insight through inner contemplation, we move forward. This mix has proven to be an enduring favorite amongst my friends and fans alike. It features tech-house with hints of disco, some tribal elements, and an undeniably optimistic vibe. Artwork by Madeleine Delage and dela; quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Reflection/Refraction (1998)
Techno, especially Swedish techno from legendary producers Joel Mull, Cari Lekebusch, and Adam Beyer, was having a major impact on the scene at this time. This mix marks the first time that I (and Mr. Annand) attempted to bring this innovative and influential sound to life on a mixtape. Alternately lush, driving, and tribal, Reflection/Refraction is for the lover of classic, late-1990s tech-house and techno. Artwork by Ben Annand.
EarthHeart (1997)
A voice poses the question: "Am I on the Moon, or am I on the Earth?" This was my existential question of the moment. Did I most resonate with the sound of psychedelic trance so predominant at Full Moon Gatherings in the preceding era or with the tribal rhythms, breakbeats, techno, and acid house that was my dance music foundation? Listen to the flow from beginning to end and I'm sure you'll hear the answer. HearTheArt.
Forever Becoming
Forever Becoming (1996)
This tape honors the birth of my first niece, Carly Rose Stone (C.R.S.). It is also the final installment of the trilogy I began with Magick and continued with Incantation. Together these three mixes delve into the magical, mysterious, unseen forces of the Universe. None being more wonderous than the birth of a new life. Forever Becoming is an electric mix of acid-laden house, breaks, and trance. Artwork by Madeleine Delage.
Incantation (1995)
In one of those rare moments where my personal taste perfectly coincided with the vibe of the rave scene, Incantation was born. It features classic tracks by Leftfield, Nebula 9, Astral Matrix, Taylor, and Earth Nation. Side A is an energetic, tribal romp while Side B elevates the spirit with both beautiful and intense trance. This mix is the second in the trilogy that started with Magick. Through Incantation we call forth the Magick. Artwork by Madeleine Delage.
Magick (1994)
The first in a conceptual mixtape trilogy, Magick explores my abiding fascination with the hidden reality beyond ordinary perception and the unquantifiable variables that shape magical experiences. It is these unknowns that can transform a party into a life-changing event and a mixtape into a transcendant journey. Magick is a blend of many elements: progressive, breaks, techno, acid, and trance. "Do it, do it, 'til your Soul feels free!" Artwork by Madeleine Delage.
Basstrip Gaia
Basstrip Gaia (1994)
The title is a reformulationof a fairly common term during this period for Planet Earth: Spaceship Gaia. One of my first musical loves within electronic dance music was 1980s electro. Side A incorporates some of the funk and futurism of older electro with the mind-expanding grooviness found in the acid house and techno music of the early 1990s. Side B starts off slow and trippy, finally resolving itself into a steady, San Francisco-house inspired conclusion. Artwork by Madeline Delage.
Blazing Trails
Blazing Trails (1993)
This is my first mixtape released beyond a close circle of friends. It was inspired by the varied Bay Area soundscapes that were rocking my world at the time, including the psychedelic reverberations of acid trance. Blazing Trails is a sun-dazed excursion, one that pushed me into a whole new sonic realm. "It's gonna set you free!" Artwork by Madeleine Delage.
Into the Light
Into the Light (1993)
Recorded in June of 1993, this was my first mix to go semi-public. The predominant influences of my time in the San Francisco scene are clearly present in the funky disco and acid house songs featured here. This bounty of San FranDisco classics is sure to re-awaken some fond memories in those who experienced that remarkable era. Artwork by Madeleline Delage.