Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Top ten mixes/podcasts of 2016

This list is always my favourite part of the year-end round up.  No pressure, no rankings, no trying to break down what it all means.  There's nothing to it but great music!  As always, these are listed in approximate chronological order of release.
DJ Nobu, Bunker Podcast 117 (January 26)

The first mix on the list also happens to be the best by miles and miles.  It's seventy minutes of dancefloor slaying deep as fuck no nonsense techno, mixed as seamlessly as any set you'll hear this year or in any other.

Samuel Kerridge, XLR8R Podcast 425 (February 9)

Bridging the gap between industrial-edged noise and warped techno, believe him when Kerridge says that it's not something that'll fly in most clubs at 4 AM.  The same could be said for his own music, so if you dig the mix, you'll want to hear the album and vice versa.

Regis, The Boys are Here (The Blackest Ever Black) (March 30)

There's a relaxed, home movie quality to this set that you simply never hear from techno mixes. Regis dialed down his typical white-knuckle intensity and knocked out a set that comes off like a personal influences mix that was meant to be circulated only among close friends and intended for bedroom listening.

Internazionale, Secret Thirteen Mix 188 (May 15)

Secret Thirteen had a great year yet again, but this mix of spooky ambiance, synth pop oddities, and mechanized techno by Internazionale was my favourite (narrowly edging out excellent mixes by JK Flesh, Nite Fields, and a few others that are well worth the listen).

Conforce, Electric Deluxe Podcast Episode 173 (June 5)

This epic mix takes it's time getting off the ground, but that's the point -- the beatless first hour lulls you into submission and strangely enough does a wonderful job of setting up the blissful headnodding beats of the second hour.

Volte-Face, Electric Deluxe Podcast Episode 174 (June 20)

Yet another epic from Electric Deluxe, spanning forty years of techno, Krautrock, and experimental music.  Plus my favourite Billy Idol song.

Objekt, Kern vol. 3 (July 8)

Once in a while, something comes along that aims to deconstruct the typical boundaries of mixes altogether.  The famous "Grandfather Paradox" mix is often my go-to example of that, and Objekt's bold and innovative mix for Tresor's Kern series has certainly forced its way into the discussion. You might expect that a mix with nearly forty tracks in only 76 minutes would be a madcap schizophrenic dash, but the mood somehow stays relaxed throughout, selecting from the deepest of deep cuts and ignoring a number of rhythmic conventions along the way.

Bill Brewster, Record Replay 001 (September 8)

Are you starting a new mix series where you send a DJ to a used vinyl shop and ask him to make a mix out of whatever he can buy with only ten pounds in total?  Yeah, that's a task that couldn't be more well suited to Bill Brewster's talents.

Dan Selzer, Lodown magazine Monday mixtape, New York Endless Another Mix Pt. 1 (September 11)

When you listen to this mix very closely, it becomes apparent that Selzer isn't doing anything remotely complicated with his mixing or transitions.  What he's doing is even more impressive -- making a perfect selection of tracks and leading one perfectly into the next, i.e. the only true task required of a DJ.  And of course, this mix isn't meant to be heard "closely", it's meant to be danced to, and for that it's nearly impossible to resist.

John Twells, FACT Focus Mix 7, Halloween rap special  (October 26)

This mindbending mix of tracks based upon an unusual theme (hip hop tracks that sample from horror movies) is why the FACT Focus series needs to exist and double or triple their output next year.

RVDS, Resident Advisor 547 (November 21)

This is mix #11, but I couldn't find a way to leave out this newly uploaded one from the always notable Resident Advisor podcast series.  The theme is "slow music", which in this case falls between electronic music you can't exactly dance to, and late night after party music that's a bit too energetic when all you really want to do it crash on the couch.   

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