The best DJ mixes of the year 2022 - March - Music - Mixmag

Jake Muir ‘Juanita’s Mix 065’

For Juanita’s 65th edition, Berlin-based producer Jake Muir drops an illbient mix paying homage to New York’s ambient and experimental scenes. Accompanying his latest release on Illian Tape, this mix is a self-described “companion piece” to his brand new album, ‘Mana’. “I wanted to connect the dots between NYC's illbient scene and the wider landscape of abstract sampling, surveying the past ~30 years,” the producer said on this trippy mix.

Lone in The Lab LDN

There’s very little Lone can’t do, as he proved when he stepped behind the controls at Mixmag HQ this month for a debut in The Lab LDN. Across the live set, Lone leapfrogged from an ambient opening to faster, heavier breaks toward the end of the set, including his fresh remix from SHERELLE. The hour-long show is the first-ever live set he’s created, incorporating a spread of pads, synths and keys to mark the milestone in style.

Interplanetary Criminal ‘PLFM Mix 002’

Bass-belting selector Interplanetary Criminal made a stopover on Parklife Festival’s brand new mix series this month, hot off the heels of Purple Disco Machine’s inaugural edition. The producer/DJ’s mix comes in thick and fast with a number of new UK bass favourites including Conspiracy Dubz, Bass Dominators, and Interplanetary’s own collaborative ATW project with Main Phase spanning the timeline of UKG.

Leon Vynehall ‘fabric presents’

When British producer Leon Vynehall was picked to present fabric’s latest mix for their ongoing series, he delivered. His entry into the esteemed clubbing institution’s esteemed discography brings through both emerging and big-name DJs, including db Selective, Commodo, Shinedoe, Ana Roxanne, and some exclusive tracks from Skee Mask, Or:la, and the producer himself with ‘Sugar Slip (The Lick)’. Moving through a musical journey of gqom to dubstep to hard-hitting breakbeat, Vynehall’s debut fabric mix speaks for the producer’s boundless music knowledge.

Ahadadream ‘RA.825’

That tag: “DJ Ahadadream”, letting rip at the beginning of this mix is a declaration of intent if there ever was one — the producer tag has become synonymous with the most exciting music London has to offer. For his RA podcast, Ahad really lets rip, highlighting not only the very best in UK South Asian music, but also gqom, Afro house and drill. Moving between his own productions - such as: ‘Hydration’, ‘Shakedown Drum Dub’ and of course his edit of Champion vs Digga D - and familiar favourites, Pevelerists ‘Roll With The Punches’, Averian ‘Small Arms’ and Kaval ‘Howling’.

Physical Therapy ‘NTS: Big Sad UK Megamix’

Look, there’s a lot to be sad about in the UK right now — energy prices are going up, it's freezing again for some reason and everyone has COVID. So, a chance to really sink into it with some lovely, sombre UKG is just what the doctor ordered. Sifting through only the most melancholy of R&B edits, Physical Therapy offers up an hour of staring-out-of-the -window-into-the-rain anthems. There’s a Coldplay ‘Clocks’ edit, Y Tribe’s ‘Enough is Enough’, Klippa ‘Love Games’, a particularly down-tempo T2 ‘Heartbroken’ and of course, the sad banger to end all sad bangers, a full playthrough of All Saints ‘Never Ever’. As George Michael Bluth once said: “It’s a great day for being sad.”

VTSS ‘Dazed Mix’

Yes, we’re getting towards the warmer months — but VTSS has officially ended our friendship with woozy house; 145+ BPM punching techno is our new best friend. The hour-long mix — aiming to prove fast, hard music can be “fun” — veers effortlessly between hardcore, donk, techno and bewildering edits. It’s silly, exhilarating and ridiculous, demonstrating why VTSS is such an exciting DJ to catch: expertly mixing between high-speed genres and impeccable selections, all the while not taking herself too seriously whatsoever.

Kush Jones on HÖR

Having shared his desire to “DJ in the toilet”, the dance music community was pretty thrilled for Juke Bounce Werk member and Bronx icon Kush Jones’ Hör Radio debut. Bringing that kind of heat that rightly shouldn’t be employed mid-afternoon on a drizzly Berlin Saturday — but if there was ever a place for it, Hör is it. The selections are, of course, impeccable: there’s a Mortal Kombat remix, ‘After Dark’ by the late great Paul Johnson, ‘Perpetrator’ by AceMo and big guns in the form of Jossy Mitsu’s ‘Turismo’. Lets have it!

Joy Orbison ‘Mixmag Cover Mix’

A Joy Orbison mix is always something to cherish. The effort he turned in to accompany his recent Mixmag cover feature is typically elite: expanding and contracting through screwface techno squelch, indigenous Latin American-inspired beats, inventive UKG-meets-drill blends and his recent monumental club smash ‘pinky ring’ for an all killer hour.

Bruce ‘Truancy Volume 289’

It’s been nearly four years since Bruce last released a studio mix but his Truancy Volume is well worth the wait. The 100 minutes is a wild ride: opening with the quacking of birds and a choral rendition of ‘Morning Has Broken’ - because why not? - it seen devolves into far greezier sounds of, spanning punk-infused techno to make you dance and haywire, rasping kazoo-esque experimental to make you grin.

KMRU ‘Dekmantel Podcast 378’

When your brain needs a break from the relentless chaos of the world, KMRU is a go-to artist for sounds that soothe and relax. The Kenyan artist’s mix for Dekmantel’s podcast series is a remarkably beautiful hour of music, cocooning you in a blissed-out haze of ambient textures.

Mad Miran ‘Ilian Tape Podcast Series 077’

Mad Miran is a perfect fit for Ilian Tape’s esteemed podcast series: the Amsterdam-based artist deals in the style of bass and percussion-led bangers that have come to be associated with the Munich-based outlet. Her instalment brings these sounds in abundance, alongside a decent dose of spacey synths and disorientating melodies.

Gifta ‘Unlocked 005’

This mix is raw, naughty, and unhinged. It’s laced with perfect drops, and clever transitions that showcases the Reading and London-based French DJ’s impeccable mixing ability. With selections ranging from jump-up to jungle, to liquid - it highlights how varied in sound drum ‘n’ bass can be. Just as you thought you’d heard it all, she brings in rolling drums, soulful melodies and minimal techy sounding d‘n’b, making this mix perfect for not just rave environments but also as being the perlker that you may need to cook, clean, and just get on with your day-to-day life.

Mixtress ‘Hardcore, Amen on Balamii’

Mixtress never misses. This two-hour mix takes listeners on a hardcore journey - and covers genres from breaks to jungle, to footwork and more. It shows the DJ’s crafty mixing skills live up to her moniker, and highlights how precise her genre knowledge is. It has unreleased bits from Denham Audio, Polo Lilli and Mysmiakos - giving a taster for listeners to look forward to.

Mystique ‘SYSTEM Mix 070’

Marseille DJ Mystique deals in high-energy dancehall. This mix that is bouncy enough to get your hips shaking and dance groove on, feeling like the sunshine we’ve been beginning to see recently. Containing everything from Kanye samples, to afrobeat influence, to raw reggaeton, it’s packed full of inviting flavours. The tempo shifts from some crawling moments, to more fast tempo bangers - which will really keep you on your toe.

Nikki Nair ‘FACT Mix 851’

From spinning electro to breaks, to his own production, Nikki Nair never disappoints, and this mix is another sterling addition to his catalogue. Laced with some of the freshest sounds around, it makes you want to get straight to a dancefloor, fusing techno and breakbeat in a very digestible way. It proves to be a great gateway into understanding just how skillful Nikki is. He transitions from genres smoothly, and always keeps you guessing as to what direction he’ll take next. Hats off.

DJ Python ‘Peer Review Takeover on Rinse FM’

Starting off with the bubbling beat of Abby Echiverri’s ‘Inquilinism’, floating through this atmospheric mix of bird cries and wind chimes is like heaven for the ears. An hour and a half in, things start to change as more techno synths and bass are introduced. The slow and relaxing style is similar to his latest album ‘Club Sentiments Vol.2’, so if you enjoyed that, you'll love this.

Anz on NTS

Yet again, Anz is back on our list of mixes. This radio show is true sorcery, taking listeners on a banging bass and club anthem rodeo. A personal fav track on this mix has to be OSSX’s ‘Big Yawn’ which is a new release that’s reminiscent of ‘90s breaks. Some more mellow electronic tracks are also thrown in that echo more onto the garage side of things. It’s a quality show from Anz as per usual that, as she mentions, is “engineered for the sun”.

Yoshinori Hayashi ‘Grains of Peace on 20ft Radio’

As part of a fundraising broadcast called ‘Grains of Peace’, Kyiv’s 20ft Radio hosted a week-long radio stream with a range of Ukrainian and international DJs to provide some calming music, as well as a place for others to donate. Japanese DJ Yoshinori Hayashi dropped some electronic jazz in this particular mix along with classic ‘70s disco sounds with a sprinkle of dub tracks. It's a surreal yet cheerful show. Don’t just listen to this mix but also donate here.

OLHA ‘Hör supports x DRIFT Kyiv’

Ukraine-born DJ, OLHA is the co-founder of DRIFT Kyiv, which is a community platform and event series that is now raising funds to support Ukraine while the country is invaded by Russia. OLHA infuses hardcore rave into this non-stop hour-long set, making it extremely high-energy. It’s a sweaty one. Not only is this set incredible for its heavy techno, but also for its efforts to support Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine. Check out our list of ways you can support Ukraine here.

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