The best DJ mixes of the year 2021 - December - Music - Mixmag

Welcome to the December section of our best DJ mixes of the year 2021 rundown — read the full list here

DJ SWISHA & Kush Jones ‘LIVE @ Sustain-Release Year 7’

Two of our breakthrough DJs of 2021, DJ SWISHA and Kush Jones, showcase their mind-blowing deck capabilities across the stretch of this two hour b2b set, recorded at the Sustain-Release in September and released online at the start of this month. As the closing set of the festival’s Friday night, it carries that lawless sense of hype throughout as people throw themselves into the festivities, with a fast-paced selection of juke, jungle, footwork, house and more all mixed to perfection.

Ifeoluwa ‘SYSTEM Mix 064’

Ifeoluwa conjures up a dark, heady atmosphere with their rib cage-rattling SYSTEM mix. Plucking from the cuts of bass-loaded UK techno, gqom, dubstep and experimental club music, with some cheeky pop moments erupting from the murk, it’s a full-bodied exploration of club thrills.

Gracie T ‘Fact Mix 837’

Gracie T's high-energy mix dips into some South Asian underground favourites, both classic and contempoary. The mix has tracks from favourites such as Ahadadream, Yourboykiran, Darama and Desi Sub Culture. It also features bangers from some of the best, upcoming electronic artists outside of the South Asian underground, including Anz and Grove, showcasing the best of what the UK has to offer. It has deep blends and smooth transitions, with Gracie T’s versatile taste and skill coming through across this mix.

Girls Don't Sync in The Lab on Location

If you didn’t catch it when the set went viral, check out the latest Lab on Location this month where we headed up to Liverpool for an unruly two-hour set with all-girl collective Girls Don’t Sync. Perhaps one of our most rowdy Labs yet, the selections travelled back in time to incorporate a few early ‘10s bangers and a fistful of old skool garage wobblers, jumping back to the future for the occasional amapiano hitter. These Girls don’t use automated beat-matching, but they certainly do sync behind the decks.

Swing Ting ‘The Last Show on NTS’

When we got the news that Swing Ting would be ending their incredible 13-year run as Manchester's primo party promoters and record label, we were gutted. Especially so when the massive increase in Omicron cases in the early part of December meant that their planned last party was called off. It meant Balraj Samrai and Ruben Platt's last ever NTS show as Swing Ting as a particularly emotional one, featuring an hour full of moving testimonials from friends and family such as Geraldine, Shanique Marie and Jubilee. The pair highlighted the tracks that have made their parties so unique with drops of Mr Killa 'Run Wid It', Florintino 'Domina', Meleka 'Go', Tubby T 'Tales of the Hood' and their own remix of J Hus' 'Spirit'. Swing Ting, you will be missed.

Aya ‘The Ravers Hour’

aya may have moved from our breakthrough DJs list in 2019 to our live acts list in 2021, but this 30-minute mix for Tom Ravenscroft’s The Ravers Hour show on BBC Radio 6 Music shows she’s still got DJ blends for days. It starts spooky and atmospheric before barrelling into no-holds-barred hyperactivity.

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Logic1000 ‘Dazed Mix’

For her Dazed mix debut, Australian producer Logic1000 opted for a vibey 30-minutes consisting of older classics and newer selections - manoeuvring rolling percussion, sweltering UKG basslines and wafty breaks. Highlights include MoMa Ready's 'Keep it 100', Chloé Robinson & DJ ADHD's 'Casper' and Manakinz 'Snakehips'. A perfect bite-size mix.

Smokey Bubblin' B with Prozak Smoke ‘Best of 2021 on Rinse FM’

Rinse FM resident Smokey Bubblin’ B teamed up with Dublin’s Prozak this month for a whopper two-hour UKG show. Featuring Mattik’s recently released ‘Crazy In Dub’ that made circles around the garage circuit this summer, DJ Q’s ‘Thief in the Night’, as well as tracks from the Picard Brothers, Soulecta, and a handful of a couple of Smokey’s own releases, this mix could get you out any lockdown fearing funk.

Buttechno on NTS Radio

Pavel Milyakov, also known as Buttechno, is a Russian DJ and electronic artist who founded Johns’ Kingdom, a community of electronic artists from the suburbs of Russia. Since then, he has released multiple works that have demonstrated the talent that is coming out from Russian artists. In this particular mix for NTS Radio, Buttechno blends deep bass beats with some acid house tones to create a complex mix. With no set list provided you’ll be Shazaming the whole hour of tracks.

Yazzus ‘Fact Mix 838’

What better way to round out 2021 than with this brain-melting FACT mix by Berlin-based, London-born Yazzus. Rarely deviating from the extreme end of the BPM spectrum, this punchy techno mix flits between harder bass bangers and playful forays into ‘90s video game soundtracks. Between the slamming drums, there are highlights such as ‘Kitsch’ lifted straight from the Tekken 4 beach stage, as well as sounds from Ghost in the Shell on PS1, Wipeout 2097 and System Shock 2. Fast, furious and just in time for Christmas!

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