Friday, December 11, 2009

Could I attempt to rank mixes/podcasts this year?

Answer: ugh. My head hurts just thinking about it.

I probably should do some sort of review, seeing as I tended to be more excited about the appearance of great new mixes or podcasts than for the release of new albums. The announcement of release dates and tracklists for new albums don't seem to match the overall "wow" factor of reading the tracklist for a forthcoming mix.

I should keep updating this space to list more of my favourites, but for now, two stand out in particular.

Ben Klock, "FACT Mix 31". Ben Klock was arguably the year's finest techno artist, his DJ sets helped to further refine the rougher edges of minimalism, and his album "One" was a techno love letter that paid homage to classic Detroit, Polygon Window's "Surfing on Sine Waves", and the banging techno styles of 2009. His FACT 31 was the year's most consistent, effortlessly cresting from peak to peak, and hitting its finest stride around the forty minute mark with his own hypnotic, deathly sparse "Before One".

Surgeon, "Resident Advisor Podcast 144". Typical Surgeon: driving, manic, absolutely relentless. True to his name, he slices up some thirty tracks in little over an hour, skillfully colliding one fierce techno and dubstep track after another. His style hasn't changed much over the past decade plus, I've always been amazed by his stamina (this stuff isn't all a bunch of studio trickery, he maintains this breakneck pace in his live DJ sets too), and how he finds ways to shoehorn non-conventional dancefloor tracks into his sets without ever breaking the mood or the rhythm (track down some sets where he slots in a bunch of mid-90's Autechre tracks, dropping them every fifth track or so).

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