Among the picks are killer sets from radio shows, live streams, podcast series (some we’ve hosted, some we’ve not), mixed releases, and club and festival recordings. Hope you enjoy.
Sherelle 'LDN: Bass & Percs Boiler Room’
No other mix in the world this year has captured the attention as much as \Sherelle’s Boiler Room debut in February. A fairly bold claim, and hard to qualify, but one I feel justified making following the feeling in the room on the night and the viral sensation it became.
A climactic clip has drawn more than a million views on Facebook. If you’ve been living under a rock, watch it and you’ll instantly see why. The moment is pure, unbridled, irrepressible vibes. We’re talking DJ EZ Boiler Room Moment™ levels. Sherelle unleashes Fixate’s rude refix of speed garage masterpiece ‘Ripgroove’ and the place erupts. Limbs fly everywhere in the crowd, and Sherelle is at the front leading the charge. One fist pumps pneumatically while her free arm holds back the baying masses as she struggles not to capsize amid the chaos. A reload ensues, not that one, and Sherelle grows into the moment. She breaks free from the loving grip of losing-it friends, tears off her cap and throws it down furiously, breathes deep, shots Captain Morgan’s straight from the bottle, then hits play to go again. Just before the drop she points powerfully into the air in a pose more iconic than Lord Kitchener, and then the bass kicks in. The place erupts. The crowd is now just one heaving mass of haywire bodies, while Sherelle pulls off a kind yeehaw lassoing manoeuvre. And that’s just a 90 second section of the full 50 minute workout of circa 160 BPM slammers.
A celebratory energy for the enduring power of high-octane dance music courses through the mix, as new skool tracks and edits of Skream, Wiley and Loefah classics blend with the unblemished perfection of DJ Rashad’s back catalogue. The first pull-up happens within 30 seconds ffs.
Sherelle is a star, and this DJ set marked the moment the wider world caught onto her talent. Plaudits from legends like RP Boo and Norman Jay MBE rained in among the cascade of praise. She’s since grown from being a respected London resident with a day job to a full-time internationally touring artist and founder of the Hoover Sound label alongside Naina. Lady Gaga could never. Patrick Hinton
Leif b2b Peverelist 'TPF-004'
There is something magical about the back-to-back set. As Ben UFO mentioned back in 2016 on Facebook, “of course it can go wrong, but that's half the point - playing this way forces you to step outside of your comfort zone, to react spontaneously to things that are outside of your control, and to maybe reassess habits of your own that familiarity can blind you to.”
Welsh maestro Leif’s first night as a Pickle Factory resident in March, where he played a back-to-back set alongside Bristolian don Peverelist, is one such example of a back-to-back set ripe with spontaneity and fun, Leif’s balmier sounds slotting alongside Pev’s penchant for weightier, percussion-led tracks. However, they share a keen eye/ear for detail (see Leif’s ‘Loom Dream’ LP album on Whities and Pev’s brilliant Truants mix) which shines through in this brilliant recording, both artists pulling each other in different directions without either ever losing their moorings. The best example of this is when Matthew Herbert's silky ‘Long Night Dub’ of Jamie Lidell's 'When I Come Back Round (Live)' gets mixed into Lighter's UK funky hammer, 'Skanker', a seemingly head-scratching decision with body-shaking results.
They also dedicate the tail-end of the set to, what Leif terms, a "jungle rinse out hour." Here’s hoping that they link up more often! James Ball
CCL 'BIS Radio Show #990'
While there are many eclectic artists gaining increased recognition, CCL is fast leading the charge as one of the most unique selectors coming out of North America. Never confined to one genre or style, the Seattle-based DJ’s sets are a fluid evolution of ballads that relentlessly push the boundaries of creativity in all the best ways. When CCL stopped by Tim Sweeney’s longstanding and iconic Beats In Space radio show in NYC, a platform that allows artists to showcase a spectrum of their favorite cuts, they took the opportunity to dive deep into surreal, mystical, bubbling and cosmic motifs. The result is an immersive sonic experience featuring Happa’s haunting edit of ‘Persuasion’ by Throbbing Gristle, Upsammy’s hypnotic excursion ‘Words R Inert’ and the deep acidic stabs of Abby Echiverri’s ‘Nadezhda’, among a host of various broken rhythms and enveloping atmospherics. With so many textures and patterns woven throughout the BIS mix, listeners will stay engaged for countless listens, making it a necessary addition to our best of the year selection in 2019. All eyes on CCL moving forward. Harrison Williams
Gabber Eleganza ‘Hardcore Soul Mixtape’
When Gabber Eleganza dropped ‘Hardcore Soul’ on new label Never Sleep it was only right, natural really, to rinse it in its entirety for days on end. Factually, it’s (almost) nineteen mischievous minutes of hard, fast gabber giddiness that darts between saccharine sweetness and ruff ‘n’ ready, skull-pulverising dramatics to great effect. Plus, all tracks featured in the mix are fleeting in their delivery – meaning you’ll be primed, prepared and in position to sing the next line to something like ‘6 Days (On The Run)’ or ‘XTC Love’ with your arms flailing wildly before it’s smoothly swiped from your eager little hands. Killer.
Personally however, I’d like to think I defy the stereotype of your typical gabber fanatic. Not in radical, ‘Meet The Mixed Race Woman (With Hair) Who Enjoys Gabber From Time To Time Unironically’ thinkpiece kind of way though. I’m just part of a newer generation of fans who’ve never stepped foot in Thunderdome or even in Rotterdam, and still enjoy it for what it is, and what it might mean to us. With that in mind, this mix makes me happy, and somehow evokes a sense of pre-birth nostalgia I’m not even sure is scientifically possible, but I’m just going with it at this point... Jasmine Kent-Smith
Jensen Interceptor 'Mixmag Impact'
Just like the car model that he's adopted as his moniker, this Australian producer's steely sound is sleek, speedy, elite and tenacious. An electro road warrior with a dynamic and innovative ear, Jensen Interceptor, real name Mikey Melas, has spent the last 10 years grinding in the studio and his productions are currently operating at peak performance. The release of his debut LP 'Mother' on Maceo Plex's Lone Romantic imprint on top of a few wildly successful tour runs in Europe prompted the artist to move to Berlin at the start of 2019.
Equipped with his menacing brand of unbridled electro and techno, his high-voltage takeover of dancefloors throughout the EU and beyond continues to steam forward. Taking clubland thrill-seekers on an unforgettable journey, Jensen Interceptor threw together a multifarious mix of trap, dub, acid, SoundCloud randomness and a whole host of masterful electro on our Impact series. Cameron Holbrook
Ben UFO 'Boiler Room x Dekmantel 2019'
There are some streams that you put on in the background and never revisit. Then, there are those that you stumble upon and find yourself unable to look away. Somehow, 30 minutes, then an hour has passed and you're craving more. Somewhere, in the midst of Dekmantel, Boiler Room captured one of those magical sets with 56 sweet, sweet minutes of Ben UFO.
As the bouncing chorus of DJ Junk's 'Do It, Do It' cries out, bodies are moving and hands are going in the air, circling Ben in a 360-degree chamber of total, uninhibited vibes. People are dancing as if there aren't at least three cameras pointed directly at them at any given moment and the Funktion-One monitors are bouncing up and down with the room, nearly threatening to cave in on Ben's small stature. He's got nothing to prove at this point, but his mastery is certainly at an all time high with this display as he flies between breaks, techno and acid. There's really only so much that can be said about this set, but the energy is infectious, even when relived through a screen. We can only be continuously thankful for the capture of 56 minutes of pure, Ben UFO-driven bliss. Valerie Lee
Jody Simms 'PU$$YRAP on NTS'
PU$$YRAP is the aural definition of the smiling horn devil emoji. Crack open an episode of Jody Simms’ NTS show and dank bass and rowdy bars will spray over you like ice-cold beer, or champagne if you’re being bougee.
Simms is part of New York’s SISTASPIN, a party for black and brown women, femmes and LGBTQ+ people that has links to London’s Pxssy Palace and BORN N BREAD. With PU$$YRAP she’s made it her mission to champion female rap talent and the result is incendiary hour-long shows that are a barometer for what’s good in rap right now, from your faves right through to artists that barely have any plays on YouTube. Her taste is impeccable and her selections are mixed stylishly, with short breaks to shout out artists, friends and, best of all, herself.
Rap fans who give a fuck will know how imbalanced the landscape is (just watch how infrequently Spotify promotes women rappers and the deluge of negative comments they receive on YouTube, for instance), which makes PU$$YRAP vital in its championing of talent, as well as its celebration of sexuality and flexing. Jody Simms is a tastemaker to follow – play this as loud as possible. Seb Wheeler
Call Super & Shanti Celeste 'Lente Kabinet Festival 2019'
You know those mixes that just explode from the second you hit play? Those sets that burst with energy and gusto from the off, that demand your attention and refuse to let go. Very few sets have that desired effect but Shanti Celeste and Call Super's wild closing set from Lente Kabinet grabs you by the scruff of your neck and thrusts you onto the dancefloor. Call Super describes the three hour set as "The first (and probably only) recording of us playing together." and that makes it even more special. The mix is a high-octane, genre-hopping exercise that blissfully navigates through bumping house, spacey breaks and a bit of naughty UKG thrown in for good measure. It's testament to both their technical prowess behind the decks but also to their close friendship, one that allows the two to skip between sounds with ease and trust. It's a true rollercoaster and a session that really, really makes you wish you were as the sun came up, witnessing the magic first-hand. If you weren't, this will more than do. Funster
Floating Points ‘Late Night Tales’
The frequency of entries into the Late Night Tales series seems to have slowed up recently, but when they do drop, they don’t disappoint and this year’s entry from Floating Points was no different. The Eglo records founder has to be one of the most perfectly suited selectors to the format and delved into his record collection to provide a mix of ambient, soul, jazz and folk ideal for those dimmed light moments. Beginning with a brooding ambient soundscape from Canadian musician Sarah Davachi, the mix segues into a delicate folk cut from Brazilian artist Carlos Walker’s 1975 album ‘A Frauta de Pa’, before settling into a pattern of low-key American jazz and unearthed soul gems; notable cuts including ‘Blood of an American’ by Bobby Wright and the faultlessly beautiful ‘Gentle Man’ by The Defaulters. As the mix progresses towards its conclusion, it doesn’t peter out so much as evaporate with a trio of low-key and lucid soundscapes. An expertly selected mix for the wee hours. Sean Griffiths
Cooper Saver 'RA.685'
There have been a number of really great Resident Advisor podcasts this year, from sold’s immersive, ambient-heavy entry to Ash Lauryn’s hard-hitting mix. Los Angeles-based DJ Cooper Saver’s entry is also superb, an intense and psychedelic mix that you have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy, but once you’re locked in, you’re hooked.
Proceedings take a turn for the tremendous around the 55-minute mark once Château Flight’s remix of Antoine Kogut’s ‘Sphere of Existence’ creeps in, with its steamy vocals, dreamy synths and muted acid bassline. This is followed by an incredible series of tracks that veer between the pitched down trance of Hanson & Nelson's 'Move In Motion' to Carter Tutti’s remix of Chris & Cosey’s ‘Lost Bliss’, which gleams with glittery, arpeggiated glory. James Ball
Beautiful Swimmers 'WOW mix'
These boys and a party mood go together like turntables and a freshly-pressed record. Joyous, pad-filled house, bumping garage, playful breaks and basslines? They've got it in their record bags and stored on their USBs and they ain't afraid to unleash all of it within a one-hour set. Extended Family, the Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland-spanning mix series of Joyce Lim from 1432 R, invited the pair to do a mix back in February, with them calling it the WOW mix. Wow indeed, as they throw together the frantic dub of Dread & Fred's 'Unity', the hands-in-the-air piano house euphoria of Doo Dew Kids' 'Doo Dew Lifted' and the relentless phwoar of Data Bass' 'A Trip In The Night'. The best among these gems and other tracks by the likes of A Guy Called Gerald, Dreamscape and C.K, though, is one breaks-inflected r'n'b edit mysteriously labelled '?? - ??' in the tracklist. That, it turns out, is called 'Hit It Tool' from a various unknown artists release on Honest Jon's affiliate label Ghost Phone. Don't worry about who made it right now, though. All that matters is that the tune symbolises everything about a Beautiful Swimmers mix or DJ set: not too serious and good vibes from start to finish. Dave Turner
Octo Octa 'Mixmag Cover Mix'
Like, when you really think about it, the fact house music is still relevant in 2019 is incredible, right? Since the mid-80s the formula has hardly changed: 4/4, 120-130bpm, repetitive. And yet it remains a dominant sound on dancefloors across the world. But then, when such incredibly exciting new talent like Maya Bouldry-Morrison aka Octo Octa is conducting weekly history lessons with a syllabus of the best (and often underrated) house tunes written into existence, it all becomes very clear why this sound will never die out.
Octo Octa pulls no punches with what the next hour and six seconds is going to be about as The Raid’s ‘Jump In The Air’s opening salvo rings out: “I wanna tell you a story about house”. It kicks off a set in which Octo Octa blows through a collection of full-swing garage house face-melters like Bitch’s ‘You Are My Children’ (Dark Black Mix) and ‘Let Me Tell You’ by The Wildchild Experience as well as more introspective dancefloor proggers like Apollo 440 remix of Stealth Sonic Soul whose piano break is straight out of the M25 rave tunes playbook. All 15 tunes are whipped together with little regard for delicately drawn out blends and more of a no-nonsense attitude that allows for the character of every track to shine. If you ever need to keep the good times rolling, this is the mix to put on. Louis Anderson-Rich
Ploy ‘Cav Empt Cassette’
As we’ve discussed before here on Mixmag.net, once you’ve been memed, you’ve made it. Ploy recently received this highest form of flattery from the internet’s current best dance music meme portal: huge.dj.party.alerts on Instagram. His Cav Empt Casette tape made the collage for the page’s “Lo fi house (or whatever they call it in 2019) DJ starter pack” alongside choice picks like natural wine, hoop earrings, chopped breaks and Plastikman.
The deep, personal attack was felt by many heads across the internet. But a lightly bruised ego won’t stop most staying steadfast in their appreciation. Realistically, natural wine tastes good, hoop earrings are a look, chopped breaks sound rude, ‘Spastik’ never fails to detonate a dancefloor, and Ploy’s Cav Empt Casette is one of the best mixes of 2019.
Opening on DJ Plead’s ‘Still D.R.E’ inspired Arabic rhythms and moving through sharp static overloads, menacing sub-bass, palpitating beats and gruffly intoxicating vocals, it’s a superlative mix that maintains an assured sense of control through hectic highs and murky lows in the energy flow. The selection of SCRAAATCH’s ‘DON’T TALK TO ME’ late on introduces pop-like vocal refrains that ring out thrillingly above the dark foundations. Pop music, like the meme targets above, often faces scorn for being well-liked and established as good. My pleasure remains guilt-free. Patrick Hinton
D. Tiffany 'Groove Podcast 216'
One of the most noteworthy DJ-producers to come out of Canada in recent memory is Vancouver's D. Tiffany. Making a wide variety of music under her DJ Zozi, Ambien Baby and Plush Throw monikers, D. Tiffany's beautiful, drifting house jams have landed on various Canadian labels such as Pacific Rhythm, 1080p, Heart to Heart and more. She also runs two of her own imprints called Planet Euphorique and her freshly-minted xpq? label.
While she rarely posts mixes online, last month Groove Magazine locked in a podcast with this formidable selector who treats us to a rousing hour of unreleased music on Planet Euphorique and ISLA Records - the label run by her Ambien Baby collaborator, NAP. This amalgam of innovative club music shows us that this indefatigable selector, producer and curator is here to shake things up (in the best way possible) and she's only getting started. Cameron Holbrook
Kelela & Asmara ‘Aquaphoria’
We’ve been treated to a fair share of memorable megastar link-ups so far this year. Burial x The Bug? Good. Charli XCX x Christine and the Queens? Also good, very. Mssingno x r‘n’b acapellas*? The best. #AlexFromGlasto and BoohooMAN? We’re staying out of that one.
Next, we present to you ‘Aquaphoria’, an hour of contemplative power from Kelela and Asmara that debuted during Warp’s 30th anniversary takeover on NTS Radio. Throughout the mix the pair weave themselves, and their respective skillsets, into the very fabric of ambient material with the same flair for serenity found in many of dance music’s favourite low-key icons. Speaking of, a slew of classic Warp names and new wave avant-gardists feature across the mix; Kelela singing over the likes of Aphex Twin (‘Untitled’), OPN (‘Physical Memory’) and Autechre (‘Altibzz’) all producer x vocalist combos I never knew I needed.
Kelela described the seemingly water-themed, free-flowing mix as an “exploratory, healing conversation with myself and a very political, niche-filling project that has been expansive and magical to create.” It makes sense too. For every rave banger or brain-melting mix we tune into on the daily, it’s just as important and (enjoyable!) to revel in lush, quieter and more tranquil moments where appropriate; yin and yang listening if you will. Both Kelela and Asmara have previously offered up LPs and EPs that really explore the power of multi-faceted, story-telling electronic – but make it sensitive – material, but it's all the more soothing to hear them explore it together. Jasmine Kent-Smith
BAKE with J Chrysalis & Matthew Kent 'Rinse FM 24/06/19'
Bake’s Rinse FM show has been one of the station’s more intriguing slots since it started in 2015, covering everything from blissful ambient and balmy Vancouver sounds to snappy techno and blistering funky house.
More often than not, these shows hit a sweet spot and throw up some huge moments, like on his February 22 2018 show with Akash where Bullion’s uber belter ‘Blue Pedro’ is mixed into Chekov's 'Bierce', a blend which made my commute to work (at a time when I wrote about hair loss five days a week) somewhat bearable - cheers Bake!
His show on June 24, which featured guest mixes from Blowing up the Workshop boss, Matthew Kent, and J Chrysalis, was a gem. Kent’s mix rolls out for just over thirty minutes, kicking off with a bristling, beatless piece, then meandering through jungle and finishing on Luke Slater’s ‘Collage’ remix of his track ‘Love’ (under his The 7th Plain alias).
Kent’s sparse mix sets things perfectly for J Chrysalis, who provides a set flush with oddball bangers - namely Pearson Sound’s unmistakable ‘Starburst’ and G.E.O. Corp’s nifty remix of ELLLL’s ‘Febreeze’ - and delicate earworms, such as Oceanic’s colourful ‘Yellow Cone (Solo)’ and Linkwood’s hazy ‘Another Late Night’.
Fans of both mixes should check out J Chrysalis’ Blowing up the Workshop mix, which includes everything from Freerotation co-founder Steevio’s modular workout ‘Syzygy’ to a cut off The Wind Waker soundtrack. James Ball
Fauzia + Sherelle 'XTC on NTS'
The name of Fauzia and Sherelle’s high-speed NTS show is similar to DJ Taye and DJ Earl’s ‘XTCC’, a recent footwork anthem that the pair have no doubt heard. The track’s lead “ecstacy” sample – from the yearning line “there’s a void where there should be ecstacy” – comes from Kym Mazelle’s ‘Useless’ (which was produced by Marshall Jefferson). The track has been sampled numerous times in early jungle (Mickey Finn’s ‘Reality’), hardcore (Ecology’s ‘Feel The Vibe’) and garage (Dub Syndicate’s ‘No Longer’) and now, thanks to the pair’s homage or just pure coincidence, Fauzia and Sherelle are adding their own contribution to that fast, low-end lineage.
Indeed, paying respect to dance music that runs at 160bpm and above is the MO of XTC. The pair draw for d’n’b and jungle and you’re as likely to hear vintage LTJ Bukem as you are freshly-bounced dubs, as evidenced on the June edition of their always-excellent monthly sessions. The energy that Fauzia and Sherelle evoke is infectious, as is their no-boundaries approach to choosing tracks: they burrow into deep, liquid territory before dropping tear-out tunes with glee, as well as the odd weird-as-fuck banger. It’s the kind of thing that’s made for listening to on the way to raves in the dead of night, car full of hyped mates and a stereo pushed to its crackly limits. Just watch the speedometer, because it’s very easy to get carried away with these two. Seb Wheeler
CC:DISCO! 'Kala Festival sunrise set'
CC: DISCO!’s transition from Melbourne darling to one of Europe’s most life-affirming DJs has been a quick and fucking fun ride this year. Her ‘less chin-stroking, more dancing’ motto has converted dancefloors from Madrid to Manchester after moving across the world for the summer and we were lucky to get a taste of the joy she’s bringing crowds after a live recording of her sunrise set from Kala Festival appeared online last month.
Kala has heralded rave reviews for its inviting atmosphere and incredible setting but live recordings can be hit and miss. Decisions can be made in the moment that aren’t clear to a listener at home, nothing can be slyly edited and the length of the set is normally long and in the wee hours of the morning. But these hurdles only play into the beauty of CC:DISCO!’s mix. You can feel the Albanian sand beneath your toes as edits of Portuguese rarities and Senyaka rub shoulders. You can smell the salt off the Adriatic Sea during the guitar solo in the extended mix of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Family Man’. And you can feel the vibe of the crowd, dancing until morning, belting out the lyrics to Deep Dish’s gorgeous remix of ‘Everything But The Girl’. Louis Anderson-Rich
Ben UFO 'RA Live at Rainbow Disco Club'
Any DJ set from Ben UFO in 2019 could land itself on our list. His recent solo set at Dekmantel is present, and others like his b2b with Blawan at the same festival to his eclectic Solid Steel Radio set that kicked off the year could easily have featured. His expansive sessions always garner attention from new and seasoned listeners. He expertly weaves a unique sonic story that tickles the senses no matter where or when it's played. Here we've selected Ben UFO's gripping 2-hours from the Rainbow Disco Club festival in Japan that showcases the timeless power of his performances. Whether dropping contemporary tracks like Four Tet's 'Only Human' or classic jams like O̶b̶j̶e̶k̶t̶'̶s̶ DJ Bogdan's influential 'Love Inna Basement' (Morning Dub), the set traverses jacking rhythms, ethereal atmospherics and acidic textures to deliver a blissful experience. After nearly 15 years on the circuit Ben UFO is regarded as one of the most gifted and creative DJs in the world, here he asserts why. Harrison Williams
Naina 'Mixmag In Session'
Naina’s something of a industry staple here in London. With roles at both Reprezent Radio and Apple Music’s Beats1, she’s part of the next wave of radio stars who shell it as hard on the airwaves as they do in the club or even in the festival field – added bonuses like her distinctive drawl and her keen ear for bangin’ tracks, artists and labels from across the globe only elevating her natural appeal.
Earlier this year she touched down on Mixmag.net with an In Session mix that has gone on to soundtrack everything from pre’s to the gym to the bus ride to work for me ever since. And then some. Much like her radio shows or her sets, her In Session offering intertwines a string of genres from the realms of bass, club and more as Naina selects tunes, remixes and edits from names such as LSDXOXO, TSVI, Tarquin, Lil Silva, Gila and DJ Plead. (Her love for Olive and subsequent mix inclusion of an ‘You’re Not Alone’ edit yet another vital plus in my eyes.) Ultimately, this mix is an easy, breezy, beautifully blended trip into LDN clubland, mixed by one of the capital’s best. So if you aren’t already, make sure you keep it locked on Naina. Jasmine Kent-Smith
Deniro 'Reclaim Your City 339'
Dutch hotshot Deniro has graced a lot of our lists over the last three years and the simple reason for that is we think he's worth shouting about. Finally, he's starting to get the recognition he's been working towards since we first backed him all those years ago. Aside from being a staple on Nina Kraviz's Trip Recordings, both releasing on the imprint and playing her parties, he's released on Clone, his own label Tape and Dekmantel. In 2016, we did something we hadn't really done before, we put out a production mix from Deniro containing only his own tracks, some released, mostly not. Fast forward three years and Deniro delivers another package of his own cuts, this time for Reclaim Your City. With so much fire in the locker, it's only a matter of time until everyone's screaming about this Dutchman who always provides the techno space-pace. Funster
Eris Drew 'Raving Disco Breaks Vol. 1'
Along with her partner in crime and life Octo Octa, Eris Drew continues to make a name for herself as one of the scene's most talked about selectors - releasing a selection of electrifying mixes that wow crowds at clubs and festivals of all shapes and sizes.
Inspired by their love of "DJ culture, nature, magic and each other," the dynamic duo have recently set up an imprint called T4T LUV NRG which aims to bring more visibility to trans for trans (T4T) partnerships behind the decks.
For the label's debut release, Eris Drew put together a charity mixtape titled 'Raving Disco Breaks Vol. 1' that "colleges together a genre by scratching-in breaks with horn samples, mixing disco house with broken beats, dropping Miami bass jams with boogie keys and blending rave tunes with disco vocals." This energetic dancefloor excursion is a tale of personal triumph and cultural transcendence that cannot be slept on. Eris Drew is an inspiration, and her mixing style is a jaw-dropping combination of lethal skill and absolute class. Cameron Holbrook
박혜진 Park Hye Jin 'i-DJ mix'
If South Korea isn't on your map right now, you best save the rest of this list for later, do yourself a favor and get familiar. The world has been enchanted by the charming, sometimes English, mostly Korean vocal signatures of South Korean natives like Peggy Gou and Yaeji. With such a warm reception to tracks like 'It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)' and 'Raingurl', it should come as no surprise that there's plenty more talent coming straight from Seoul.
Proving that theory true is 박혜진 Park Hye Jin, a 24-year-old artist who seems to be able to do it all already, even in the earliest stages of her career. She's a skilled producer, bringing in her own hypnotic, half-sung half-rapped Korean vocals into her originals, and is a fierce selector, seamlessly matching the vibe of her own irresistibly dance-y tracks to Bicep remixes, FYI Chris, Jensen Interceptor and more. With a Boiler Room and Beats1 mix already under her belt, perhaps the best demonstration of her prowess comes via her i-DJ mix which was released at the top of this year. She plays the way her vocals feel: raw, to-the-point and with an undeniable draw. "It’s just a mix that says, ‘let’s dance all night long’," she says of the 54-minute journey. There's no beating around the bush there. Valerie Lee
Sally C 'The Lab LDN'
Sally C loves late '80s and early '90s house. Like, really loves it. Read this and you'll learn how the work of Tyree Cooper and hip house innovator Fast Eddie inspired her to start collecting records and DJing, planting the seeds of career spinning tunes. She lives in Berlin, but her set in The Lab LDN earlier this year was evidence she's swerved the all-black clad techno train and stayed on the tracks of fun-filled house and those old skool dancefloor flavours with enough zing to give you a sugar rush. The funky keys of Terrence Parker's 'Your Love' kicked off the hour-long set, before she dropped in a giddy rework of Bardeux's 1988 classic 'Hold Me, Hold Me'. Then came the hip house, the lively raps and rumbling basslines of Fast Eddie's 'Get You Some More' riling those on our office-turned-club dancefloor. Sally took a trip back to '96 for the closer, DJ Supreme's 'Tha Wildstyle' responsible for a rowdy ending, and there I was bouncing in my desk chair as I ticked off my final duties for the end of the week. I told you this all went down in our office, right? Dave Turner
Ciel b2b Shanti Celeste 'Live from Nitsa Club'
As great as it is to check out DJs who spin things that you've probably never heard, a la Nicolas Lutz and Francesco del Garda, there is something very special about selectors that absolutely nail a balance of tracks you know and love with those you desperately want to ID.
In an hour-long recording of their back-to-back set at Barcelona’s Nitsa Club, Ciel and Shanti Celeste achieved that sweet spot. In it, I heard D. Tiffany and Roza Terenzi's fresh remix of LAPS' 'Who Me?' for the first time, which in turn got me scrolling through the Soundcloud comments to see if DJ Bigos had worked his magic (he had).
Two tracks later they drop Tuff City Kids' phenomenal 'Dreamscape UK' mix of Radio Slave's 'Screaming Hands', a track that makes me misty-eyed and nostalgic about a rave that kicked off when I was -2 years old. There’s always this I guess... James Ball
Josey Rebelle ‘The Face Mix 001’
The relaunch of The Face has been a cause for celebration in 2019, not least because it published this sublime Josey Rebelle mix. The London legend in the making is one of the most versatile DJs around right now, packing weighty crates that go down a storm whether she’s helming a Rinse FM Sunday brunch slot or doling out peak time vibes in Panorama Bar. With The Face Mix 001, Josey’s enriched her growing legacy.
In the accompanying interview, Josey describes trying to capture the “bold, raw spirit” of The Face across the genre-and-era-spanning set, but also expresses sadness at the continued prevalence of racial prejudice in today’s world: “In many ways, it feels like little has changed since 1980 when the magazine first launched.” Inside the first four minutes, a spoken word sample of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s poem about the 1981 Brixton race riots ‘Di Great Insohreckshan’ is played above Culross Close’s mournful ‘Fractured’, before a patois snippet from The Specials’ ‘Nite Klub’ tees up Londe Posse’s old skool UK hip hop cut ‘How’s Life In London’. It’s an evocative opening to the mix, forefronting bold, black British culture. Elsewhere, there’s nods to The Face’s heritage, playing music from the magazine’s first ever cover stars: The Specials and Public Image Ltd., as well as blisteringly fresh club heat from the likes of Solid Blake and M.E.S.H. remixing Deena Abdelwahed, the latter of which seeps into the tender jazz of John Coltrane Quartet. At once classic, cutting-edge - and potent - The Face could not have hoped for a more fitting soundtrack to its return than this. Patrick Hinton
object blue 'Mixmag Impact'
End times need cathartic music. As Boris and Dominic Cummings push the UK toward oblivion, I need a shot of something stiffer than apathetic house music. There has to be space where we can rage and rave and swap ideas and bodily fluids, where we can be ourselves and better ourselves in resistance. Because dancing is a holistic practice, fuck I-forgot-what-I-did-last-night hedonism.
object blue has been DJing zones like this on her come-up – MegaLast, SIREN, Room For Rebellion etc – and here she sets out those parameters online, as part of our Impact mix series, for whenever you need to release/recharge. There are soft moments but for the main it’s souped-up energy and cyberpunk stomp, alien discharge that evokes the second room at Hotel Forum during Unsound, where the audience parties like it’s the last night on earth (you never know what you’re going to wake up to anymore).
She keeps things fast, hard and distorted, mixing with wild, post-everything abandon. Here’s wiggles of acid, gun-finger ‘ardcore, club (deconstructed or otherwise), the Doc Marten thump of tekno, rave stabs ‘n’ rap hooks, PC Music euphoria and tongue-in-cheek pop samples that appear momentarily, to remind us that, despite the fuckery, life is fresh. This is guided meditation for when the going gets tough – thank you object blue. Seb Wheeler
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