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March: 18 albums you need to hear this month

Daniel Avery, Moby, D Double E and more

  • Words: Mixmag Crew | Photo: Rhodri Brooks
  • 1 March 2018
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James Zabiela 'Balance 029' (Balance)

Sixteen years ago, James Zabiela emerged as one of the last big DJs of the old electronic era: a time when mix compilations were still hugely popular, and when DJs had to be DJs rather than just a name behind the latest big tune. Nowadays, of course, SoundCloud, podcasts and online radio have taken over, but we’re pleased to report that Zabiela has not been left behind. The things he does in a club still defy logic, and his mix compilations remain thoroughly essential, as this carefully compiled two-disc effort proves. The first CD is all about layers of melody, creeping beats and seamless transitions between cinematic and immersive moods, while the second disc is a more club-focused affair. But both are epic and adventurous, plotting tricky yet coherent lines between ambient techno, slick electro and dreamy electronica from KiNK, Special Request and Lake People. It’s as timeless and escapist as a mix could possibly be. Kristan J Caryl

9/10

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