On that day 11 years ago, dance music history was made with Avicii's "Levels" debut on one of the largest public platforms in the EDM arena: Essential Mix by BBC Radio 1.
Avicii may not have known it back then, but this mix would include one of the earliest versions of arguably his most iconic work.
Listening to the almost two-hour performance is like opening an acoustic time capsule. At the beginning, Pete Tong gives a goosebumps-inducing performance of Avicii: "He is the 21-year-old Tim Bergling from Stockholm, who has experienced a meteoric rise to fame," said Tong. "He only released his first song" ManMan "two years ago."
To add further context, Tong praises Avicii's latest work in "My Feelings For You," his largest release at the time. We couldn't help but smile when Avicii stepped in to introduce the mix himself, noticing that he had recorded a few tracks that he had never played before but wanted to test live.
After the “Fade Into Darkness” worth singing along, the sticky, unmistakable “Levels” melody comes into focus. The textures are a little different and even the key is different from the final cut. Yet even in this primitive form it can be clearly seen that the resilient and uplifting spirit of "Levels" remains present in all its glory.
For fans looking to take a trip back in time to progressive house, check out the full mix and tracklist of Avicii's debut Essential Mix, which includes "levels" after about 35 minutes.