Our top compilations of the year rundown used to be reserved for official releases. From fabric mixes to Dekmantel Selectors to DJ-Kicks to label V/As, there are many sick series holding the format down. But as the stranglehold of physical media has waned and digital risen in prominence, the best mixes in the game are increasingly found exclusively on online portals, so we’re opening up the criteria.
Alongside the usual, this year’s picks stretch to include club and festival recordings, Boiler Room sessions, radio shows and installments of magazine’s podcast series (including a couple of our own). Explore below.
20 i-DJ: 박혜진 park hye jin
Working alongside i-D magazine, multi-faceted artist 박혜진 park hye jin produced a stellar hour-long mix of banging house and acid tunes and it’s not hard to see why this mix has garnered a lot of attention.
Her collaboration with Baltra, 'Ahead Of Time' was one of our favourite tracks of the year, proving that she can delve into any shade of dance music.
19 Gabber Eleganza - Hardcore Soul Mixtape
You’ve just taken a pill in the rave and you’re waiting for that inevitable drop so you can finally FEEL the music after a long week at the office. You keep waiting… Yet the drop never comes?
This is what an eternal limbo would feel like if it was a hardcore set, in fact, Gabber Eleganza himself has coined the term “sonic limbo” to describe what the 20 minutes of this entire mix feels like.
It’s trippy stuff, but well worth the listen.
18 Seth Troxler | Boiler Room Ibiza: DC-10
In the midst of another successful summer season in Ibiza, Seth Troxler lays down the heat in a tightly curated set in the one and only DC-10. Break out the cocktails and have a dance to some of the hottest tracks to hit the Balearics.
17 Cassius BBC Radio1 Essential Mix
This year we lost Philippe Cerboneschi, most notably known as Zdar. The electronic music community was broken by the news. How could we lose such an iconic figure in such a tragic accident?
A month later, it was revealed that he and Boombass had completed a BBC Essential Mix that would coincide with (sadly) their final album release.
With Philippe’s family and Boombass’ blessing, Pete Tong spun the final Essential Mix from one of France’s greatest house music duos.
16 Skee Mask & Zenker Brothers at Dekmantel Festival 2019
Skee Mask and Zenker Brothers bring you a dubby, dynamic, driven-by-breakbeats approach to techno. This mix recorded live at Dekmantel shows you the scope of their vision. Perfect.
15 FLOATING POINTS TAKEOVER W/ JAMIE XX, CARIBOU, MAFALDA, ELKKA, BEN UFO, LAYLA, MIDLAND, PEARSON SOUND, GE-OLOGY, SEIJI ONO & MORE
This isn’t Floating Points only mention on this list, but it’s a noteworthy one as anything with Jamie xx and Caribou on the same setlist is worth talking about.
Celebrating the release of his album 'Crush', the NTS takeover sees Floating Points, with a host of musicians like Ben UFO, Midland and Pearson Sound all laying it down in a three-hour span.
14 Aphex Twin – London 14/09/19
Aphex Twin’s return to London as a part of Red Bull’s Music Festival 2019 sold-out almost immediately. Catching RDJ play a set in the flesh is something quite a lot of people dream about, so it’s understandable when it becomes physically impossible to grab a ticket.
The lucky ones who managed to swoop up tickets were treated to a frantic frenzy of Aphex classics and carefully selected floorfillers for the open-minded.
13 M2 Performance Enhancer
This long-awaited mixtape was surprise released in July this year. The mix effortlessly blends Mssngno's love of rap, r'n'b and bass, including an acapella from Mariah Carey played over heavy low-end. A unique and experimental experience.
12 Crack Mix 273 – CCL
CCL first stormed onto our radar with their outstanding contribution to the Honey Soundsystem mix series. Crack Mix 273 is a celebration of dynamic queer club spaces and moves fluidly between nuanced moods, eras, tempos and genres.
11 Palms Trax at Dekmantel Festival 2019
The Dekmantel fave moves effortlessly through deep, dubby house, timeless disco and everything in between for this immense mix of euphoric feels - essential, obvs.
10 FACT mix 720 - Barker (Aug '19)
Sam Barker has helped push the boundaries of dance music in Berlin and here he welds together a handful of live performances for this exclusive mix of original material exploring rhythmic complexity.
9 Late Night Tales: Floating Points
Floating Points’ music taste is notoriously tricky to define and this personal collection of soul, ambient, jazz and folk gives us even more to get our teeth stuck into when it comes to the highly regarded selector.
8 BIS Radio Show #983 with Powder
Powder In Space marks the first in a new series exploring "dance music’s form and informality" from Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space Records. The limited edition 12” features two exclusive new Powder tracks showcasing house, disco and indie-leaning electronics to create introspective emotions - and here Powder celebrates the release with a lengthy DJ mix. Brilliant.
7 Ben UFO b2b Joy O - Recorded at XOYO in August 2019 (Calibre Residency)
Back in August, the eclectic drum 'n' bass producer Calibre curated a stupendous line-up for his XOYO residency.
It came as no surprise that a b2b set from both Ben UFO and Joy Orbison would be something to preach about, with an ID-heavy set that people on SoundCloud and the internet in general are still trying to get their heads round. It was one of those things where you had to see, or in this case hear, to believe.
6 Mixmag Impact: object blue
object blue presents frenetic experimentalism during her Impact mix, lashing together stomping dance music that cruises across the faster end of the BPM scale. It's a life-affirming blast and an excellent example of object blue's skill in the booth.
5 Fabric presents Bonobo
Bonobo links up with Fabric to present an esoteric mix that represents the current sound and direction of the club that celebrated 20 years in the game this year.
4 DJ-Kicks: Peggy Gou
There’s absolutely no doubt in anyone's minds that Peggy Gou has dominated dance music for the past few years. So of course a DJ-Kicks mix was on the cards.
With tracks ranging from DeNiro’s ethereal jam 'Epirus' to the 2001 Aphex Twin release 'Vordhosbn', there’s something for everyone on this tightly-packed release.
3 Eris Drew Raving Disco Breaks Vol 1.
Eris Drew mixes never disappoint and this is another to add to her library of wild, ecstatic journeys through uplifting dancefloor music.
2 The Mixmag Cover Mix: Octo Octa's 'I Wanna Tell You A Little Story About House' mix
In July 2019, we featured house music royalty Octo Octa on our cover.
Speaking about her cover mix, she explained that “House music for me is a genre that I can easily set intention with: cast spells that I need to perform. I have messages I want to convey, not only to others but also to myself. Every day is a mixture of love, success, confrontation, sadness, and hope; hope for what I need, and what I think others need.”
1 Sherelle | LDN: Bass & Percs Special
“Excuse me… Excuse me?” “What the fuck was that?”
This could possibly be one of the best Boiler Room sets of all time. No joke.
Sherelle has catapulted herself to stardom in the past year, and the main catalyst behind her propulsion is undoubtedly her Bass & Percs Boiler Room that happened earlier in the year.
There aren’t words that can describe the complete and utter euphoria behind every single song choice, whether it's late and great DJ Rashad’s 'Brighter Dayz', or the lightning fast refix of Double 99’s 'Ripgroove' by Fixate, this Boiler Room will be cemented in the history books for years to come.