PLAYY. Mix #169 – Karol XVII & MB Valence

Karol XVII & MB Valence have been formidable purveyors of deep house and the genre’s various offshoots for nearly two decades now, so it might come as a surprise that the Polish DJ and producer duo’s 2022 Essay was in fact their debut album. Their time has mostly been spent shaping the direction of deep house through their independent label, Loco Records. Since its inception in 2007, the label has found remarkable success, with Loco being named the best deep house imprint in 2010. Essay, which arrived on on Berlin label Get Physical, featured vocals from Jono McCleery, Lazarusman, and Keely Timlin across 13 tracks. Some of those tracks have received the remix treatment of the duo’s recently released remix EPs – stunningly reimagined revisits of their debut album’s sounds and textures. We catch up with them to find out more about the project, and the duo present an exclusive mix to welcome us into the world of the Essay remixes. 



Set the tone for us. What are your current creative inspirations?

 It’s a really hard question, a difficult topic for us to talk about right now. Sound weird? 🙂 Perhaps so, but let us explain. We’ve been making our musical journey for many years, coming across many different styles of music, creating many different projects, loving so many things, struggling with getting inspired by so many beautiful forms of art, but can you imagine that we decided to create our first ever album after nearly 20 years of our common cooperation? Furthermore, we’ve recently decided to start our 2 alternative projects which are completely different to each other. When we started to create our album, we thought that we’d found the way we wanted to continue going, but it turned out that it wasn’t true. Over the past 20 years, our inspirations have changed many times, and of course, that’s expected, but now, since we have definitely expanded our horizons, and felt that we wanted to evolve more than ever by starting some crazy projects in parallel, it showed that we just started to push the boundaries of inspiration like never before.



Surely, our core inspiration still resides in our equipment (including our beloved synthesizers and stomp boxes, which remain the best sources of inspiration we could ever dream of). However, there are also additional sources, such as people, musicians, producers, life, and even our Mother Nature. 🙂 But let’s not forget that each of us is different, with different moods and needs and lastly, let’s say we can have conscious and subconscious inspirations. 🙂 With all that being said, there are many different sources of inspiration for us at the moment. The newest one that we discovered lately came while we were working on one of the two alternative projects mentioned earlier. It actually involved leaving everything behind and diving deep into the studio environment for nearly a year! It was a remarkable experience that we’d never felt before. For almost a year, day after day, at least one of us was in the studio without having to worry about anything else but focusing only on music creativity. It was an exciting journey and finally resulted in creating an album that we consider the most beautiful and emotionally complex form of electronic music art we’ve ever heard. The project is named “ETAP MASKA”, inspired by our true love for art, beauty, and filled with artistic sensibility. All the way.


Tell us about your recent remix album? What was it like to revisit these songs in a new context?

 It’s not our first time collaborating with other artists to remix our music. It’s always great to hear how others understand our ideas and turn them into their own interpretations. Our album was actually originally designed for attentive listening rather than club dancing, so the shift in context is definitely noticeable. It’s a really great moment when you receive a remix and you can hear someone’s own interpretation of your song. It’s fascinating to observe what elements they retained, how many things were dropped, and how they blended our original components with their own. It’s a collaborative effort, like working with others on a single piece of music, a true partnership similar to that of a band. It’s certain that satisfaction may not always be guaranteed and sometimes you are not happy with the final result, but this time we can happily say that everyone passed the test with flying colors, meaning that they all did a hell of a job. 🙂


Why do you think remixes are valuable tools for artists?

 Well, remixes can be considered valuable tools for artists because they offer a bunch of great perks. First, they help artists introduce their music to new crowds, so it’s like expanding their fan base. It’s like a musical “hello” to fresh ears. What’s even cooler is that remixes can give a new lease of life to old tunes, making them relevant again, appealing to different tastes and attracting all kinds of music lovers. They also provide a golden opportunity for artists to team up with other talented musicians and producers. It’s like a creative boost that leads to making amazing music together. Moreover, remixes can help build excitement for an artist’s original songs before they even drop. It’s like a sneak peek. All in all, remixes are a versatile and powerful tool for artists to connect with their fans and the music industry.


How does this mix speak toward your current creative directions?

 This time, we’ve decided to prepare content based on the material taken from our latest album Essay (Remixes). We believe that all these great artists deserve to be included in the mix prepared exclusively for you.


FollowKarol XVII & MB Valence

IG / TW / FB