Fav Mixes 2016
My fav mixes, compilations and podcasts from 2016
Like my favourite music of the last year, I'm only listing the mixes, podcasts and compilations that I thought were blindingly good.
The first shining light of the year came from Paula Temple and her banging FACT mix - an hour of thirst-quenching Techno so addictive it leaves you gasping for more after every quaff. Intoxicating.
In February fabric offshoot label Houndstooth celebrated three years in business with Tessellations, a peerless compilation with many highlights. My favourites include Soft as Snow with Brainliquid, Bend Down from _Unsubscribe_, Throwing Snow with their emotive Elixir and the distorted Drum and Bass of Akkord's Vector.
Giegling stalwart, Leafar Legov, one half of revered electronic duo Kettenkarussell, produced a beautiful deep mix for Resident Advisor in April. Ideal for chilling out to, it proffers gentle, glitchy beats, piano riffs and deep House vibes. Ambient, Not Ambient anyone?
Another top-notch Resident Advisor podcast came in May from Kanding Ray. Reflecting the way he performs his own DJ sets, we're given a 90 minute masterclass in Techno selection and mixing. A must listen.
Conforce produced a mesmerising two hour mix for Electric Deluxe Podcast; moving stealthily from the finest eerie, textural Ambient sounds into emotive Electro and tasteful Techno.
It might seem contentious slotting Spiralgalaxie by Project STS-31 into this list, but strictly speaking it is a compilation of tracks from multiple producers (well two at least), even though the result as a whole works together seamlessly, as if produced by a single artist. Gerald Donald (aka Heinrich Mueller) joined forces with Robert Witschakowski (aka The Exaltics) to produce a meeting of minds that resulted in an instant classic. Not to be ignored on any account.
Using some Spiralgalaxie tracks Robert Witschakowski as The Exaltics turned in an hour of the very best, emotive Electro for Resident Advisor RA.536 in September.
The importance of a strong opening track on any mix, album or compilation is paramount; get that right and everything else seems to slot into place... well it seems like that to me at times but particularly in the case of Alden Tyrell's mix for Clone Records: Upfront 075 where his intro track Ur Not Alone U've Got Ur Phone by Nocow sets the scene perfectly, making you want to put it on again and again.
In support of his assertive yet soothing album Strands, Steve Hauschildt presented the perfect companion piece in the form of a podcast for Truancy: Truancy Volume 160; mixing a similar style of music from the likes Pete Namlook, Architectural, NGLY, Eluvium, Function, Convextion and Rrose.
In contrast to his own big room productions, Blue Hour (aka Luke Standing) put together an hour of restrained and considered electronic music for Secret Thirteen that included, among others, Leyland Kirby, Grace, HTRK, Helen, Acronym, Deepchord, Prurient and an untitled track from himself. Chill time.
In keeping with my general Ambient, Not Ambient obsession, one mix I keep returning to (mostly as a sleep aid, drifting off at might) is from Marco Caricola and his mix for the top-notch Headphone Commute series: A 1631 Recordings Mixtape. Beautiful stuff.
An uptempo mix to round things off nicely, from Apeiron Crew. The trio of DJs took their usual b2b2b approach and condensed it into an hour of dynamite. Tracklist includes Vril, Monolake, Dax J and DJ Seinfeld.
I can't end this post without mentioning the immense #savefabric compilation. With 111 tracks (I'm ashamed to admit I've only managed one complete listen through so far) it's the kind of selection that will no doubt benefit from repeat investigation - the breadth of music on offer deserves dedicated time, which I will endeavour to do over the coming weeks, I promise.