Monday, December 28, 2015

Top ten mixes/podcasts of 2015

A typically great year for mixes ... mixes never go into a slump!  As in past years, the list is unranked and presented in chronological order of release.

Shapednoise, FACT Mix 482 (February 9)

One hour of caustic, savage noise and garburated beats, it's the perfect introduction to the world of Shapednoise.

Logos, Resident Advisor Podcast RA.456 (February 23)

A captivating twenty minute beatless intro, followed by a noisy load of abstract electro and bass music.  There are countless surprising turns and unexpected transitions here.  On some days, this was my favourite mix of the year, but it was eventually topped by an even more adventurous mix.

JD Twitch, Bigfoot Series 001 (It's a Nuclear War; It's a Motherfucker) (March)

Twitch's "tribute" to the threat of nuclear war, immortalized in song from Sun Ra to Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Lowlight Mixes, The Ambient Dishwasher (April)

Arguably the finest selector of ambient music on Mixcloud, Lowlight Mixes produced consistently great work this year, but this mix stood out for its unforgettable theme.  For most of us, a malfunctioning dishwasher is just that, but for some, it's the perfect source material for blissfully chopped and stretched new ambient music.

The Cyclist, FACT Mix 498 (June 1)

The year's finest mix clocks in at an economical fifty minutes, but is packed with more preposterously ambitious transitions than most podcast series manage over the course of a year. Anyone who can finding the common thread to seamlessly connect such a wide flung range of tracks is hearing music on a impossibly high level of intuitive understanding.  Flawless, and best of all, it's an easy and fun listen.

Exium, Blocaus Podcast 13 (June 13)

Cavernously heavy and dark, it's the best way to experience the feeling of being in a club at 4 AM without having to leave the house.

Carlos Suffront, Bunker Podcast 98 (June 16)

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the epic Aphex Twin filedump is that more DJ's didn't megamix the whole lot like Carlos Suffront did.  The mix isn't as mindblowing as you'd expect given the source material, but consider the degree of difficulty here.

Fotomachine, Juno Plus Podcast 115 (June 24)

This mix is so bleak it should come with its own Prozac prescription.  Barely functioning on the very fringes of what might get an open minded dancefloor to grudgingly move their feet and dance, many of these tracks are bordering on unclassifiable.  A good number of the transitions are unmixed, but the track selection is so good that it only becomes apparent after multiple listens.

Max_M, Podcast 77 (July 30)

Another predictably great mix from the minimal techno master, sadly, this may have been his final recorded mix before his sudden death from cancer in May.

Oake, Secret Thirteen Mix 170 (December 15)

After posting one of the finest mixes I've ever heard in February of '14, Secret Thirteen quickly became one of my favourite podcasts and became the favourite of mine in '15.  This collection of gloomy noisescapes and industrial-tinged techno is the kind of sound I've been trying to nail down on some of my own mixes since forever.  

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