The best tracks of the year 2022 - August - Music - Mixmag

Alex Virgo ‘Don’t Buy The Sun’ (Shall Not Fade)

If your run-of-the-mill bass and disco heaters just aren’t hitting the spot right now, London-based producer Alex Virgo’s cavernous deep-house-meets-Italo in ‘Don’t Buy The Sun’ may be exactly what you needed to scratch that itch. Spanning 6-minutes, the title track from Virgo’s EP on Shall Not Fade delves into decadent kicks, frantic nu disco-esque jabs and eerie whistling synths — all of which create a programmatic soundscape preened for exploring the dark depths of the club as much as gearing up to take on M. Bison. Also, the track title is fucking class.

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Jubilee ‘Sunscreen’ (Magic City)

Although it’s titled ‘Sunscreen’, there’s nothing wafty and sunkissed about this down-and-dirty Miami bass banger. No, this track taken from the NYC-based DJ/Producer’s two-tracker of the same name on Magic City is destined for smoky dancefloors and sweaty basements — with its frenetic chimes, spine tingling basslines and that sultry little “are you ready?” sample. No spf required here!

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DJ Q & Finn ‘Speedy Gs’ (Local Action)

Summer may be coming to a close, but those bleary eyed, can-in-hand speed garage moments? Those are for life folks. For their second collaboration, “SG” aficionados DJ Q and Finn focus on their joint love of downright naughty basslines and up-tempo garage with ‘Speedy Gs’. With peak time in mind, this Local Action-released track features a double-drop around the halfway point, a who’s-who of iconic UKG samples (DJ Gunshot we’re looking at you) and some good old fashioned kicks to really melt minds across the Pennines and beyond. Corrrrr.

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Greentea Peng ‘Look To Him’ (EMI)

Filled with soulful vocals and catchy live instrumentals, ‘Look To Him’ is a message to listeners to look within rather than around for inspiration. Crescendoing trumpets narrate this track as Peng, the storyteller is reaching higher levels of self-awareness and wisdom. Blending a plethora of influences, this track is never dull for the ear and makes listeners feel as if they are entering this journey alongside the storyteller.

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IYRE & pyxis ft. Sydney Bryce ‘Psychedelics’ (Pilot Release)

This liquid drum ‘n’ bass track is trippy, melodic and serene. It acts as a musical exploration of how psychedelics can make you feel, and transports listeners into their own subconsciousness using mellow instrumentation and smooth, soulful sonics.

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Tara Lily Hotel Amour’ (EMI)

This track transports the listener by grabbing the essence of Paris's various subcultures - and it plays into the hopeless romanticness that the city creates. ‘Hotel Amour' dips and dances with style, blending alternative R&B, jazz, and Eastern sounds, drawing on Tara's Bangladeshi origin and Peckham upbringing. It combines slow, mesmerising beats with passionate jazz piano and strings. The lyrics are sombre and narrate the sadness and helplessness that comes with love, making for an emotional listen.

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Tom Place ‘Deep Cutzzz’ (ec2a)

Tom Place has been quietly and relentlessly putting out bangers throughout the course of 2022 across a plethora of labels, but this month, the DJ and producer made his debut on Dr Dubplate’s ec2a with the warbling ‘Deep Cutzzz’. Traversing through dubstep, electro, and breaks, this track balances its dark and strident basslines with floaty arpeggio synths.

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Courtesy ‘Night Journeys II’ (Jessy Lanza remix) (Kulør)

At the start of 2021, Courtesy announced the release of her debut productions which were due to land as an EP titled ‘Night Journeys’ in March. Upon release, the dreamy synth-forward record scored a solid reaction from fans and had the makeup for something more — a six-track remix pack featuring the likes of KMRU, Schacke, Jessy Lanza, and more. The latter artist built upon the album’s second track, ‘Night Journeys II’, playing with the delicate vocals of Sophie Joe and feeding through a pumping kick drum.

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Juicy Romance ‘Hummer’ (Mutual Pleasure)

‘Hummer’ is the ‘00s-inspired pop-turned-club anthem from Australia’s Juicy Romance, a tongue-in-cheek cut lined with acid basslines sitting at a cool 150 BPM. Armed with every pink, fluffy, Y2K item Melbourne has to offer, the track’s music video pays homage to a time long ago in the Australian coastal capital — flip-up phones, pink limousines, and low-rise jeans galore.

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Sonnyjim, The Purist feat. MF DOOM and Jay Electronica ‘Barz Simpson’ (Daupe!)

From a punny title to a liquid gold track, this jazzy release from Sonnyjim and The Purist mixes a smooth flute melody with verses from some of the best — including every rapper's favourite rapper, the late MF DOOM. To hear new work from DOOM will always feel special as it adds to his monumental legacy. Within DOOM’s verse is the line: “They said it's more than one way to skin a cat,” which echoes lyrics of his own track ‘Hey!’ on the infamous album ‘Operation: Doomsday’.

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Skin On Skin ‘Burn Dem Bridges’ (FFRR)

Drill meets techno in this powerful track. The newcomer Skin On Skin has jumped into popularity this year with this cut being his breakthrough. Taking the vocals from Sav'o and Horrid1's ‘Violent Siblings’, the build-up gets you rapping along excitedly for that mighty drop. Mixing different verses to moments of acapella, its detail is genius. A banger.

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Clipz feat. Nia Archives, Beenie Man, Chistale and ShaSimone ‘No Time’ (4ZA Music, Black Butter Limited)

The Bristolian producer Clipz has called on some of the best in the business on this new drum 'n' bass banger that is the perfect fit for festival season. Having the modern jungle star Nia Archive’s vocals weave the piece together along with a verse from the old skool dancehall legend Beenie Man, this tune is going to be played everywhere.

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Louis Culture, Bawo & YAMA//SATO ‘7AM’ (Different Recordings)

A mellow track, Louis Culture uses this soft beat to speak on his past and his journey of change. Self-reflective, ‘7AM’ has a piano beat that follows along with the vocals in a complementary way, allowing them to shine by emphasising particular phrases.

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