Top 20 DJ Mixes of 2013 So Far
Top 20 DJ Mixes of 2013 So Far
Once upon a time, DJ mixtapes were for the faithful. Today, it's the opposite – everyone can access them, and more and more, they do. By the time you finish this sentence, 20 more livecasts and podcasts, club and stadium sets, amateur and pro, old and new, will go up on SoundCloud, and 20 more on Mixcloud. It's overwhelming, but it's also a treasure trove, as this chronological selection of 20 of the best we heard in the first half of 2013 proves.
MK, FACT Mix 366 (January 21st)
Disclosure broke garage to American EDM youth, but the sound was incubated in the early-Nineties remixes of Detroit-born New Yorker Mark Kinchen, a.k.a. MK. Their gorgeously cut-and-pasted vocal trickery inspired future Daft Punk collaborator Todd Edwards – and then London in the late Nineties. Two decades later, MK's in L.A. and the trick still works. This mix highlights his recent fruit – notably, scintillating remixes of Lana Del Ray's "Blue Jeans" and Storm Queen's "Walk Right Through."
Tensnake, Essential Mix (February 16th)
Hamburg DJ Tensnake's approach on his 2010 club banger "Coma Cat" – friendly, assured, patient – typifies this Radio 1 showpiece. It begins slowly, with Alice Coltrane, but rides a steady arc to far giddier grooves – especially the second hour, where Todd Terje's remix of Hot Chip's "How Do You Do" and a yet-untitled new one from Tensake mesh easily with house classics like T-Coy's "Carino" and Röyksopp's remix of Felix da Housecat's "What Does It Feel Like."
Truss / MPIA3, RA.351 (February 18th)
Nail-hard, back-to-basics techno – the kind of machine-oriented music that made Surgeon and Adam X underground DJ kings in the mid-'90s – has been on an upswing recently. London producer Tom Russell is a prime example, as both Truss and MPIA3. His edition of dance site Resident Advisor's podcast works as a primer for this new wave of brutalist techno, grounding it in Nineties touchstones by Der Dritte Raum and Pilldriver, and letting melody seep into the assault.
Atoms for Peace, Essential Mix (March 9th)
No surprise here – Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich have been moving decisively toward electronic music ever since Radiohead's Kid A (2000), and the closest to straight-up rock their Essential Mix (as Atoms for Peace) comes is the late desert-blues guitarist Kuodede. But this is exactly the kind of laptop-compact, blooms-in-your-headphone set you might hope for, dotted by Steve Reich, Aphex Twin, and enticing snippets of unfinished Yorke material.
Ron Morelli, Beats in Space #668 – Part 2 (March 12th)
"Beats in Space" is Tim Sweeney's long-running NYC dance radio show with guest mixes every week. Here, Sweeney's chat with the dry-witted Morelli, who runs the acclaimed dirty-house label L.I.E.S., is worth hearing by itself: Morelli thanks "Russian torrent sites" for providing his set's tracks. He's kidding – the set is stuffed with vintage house goodies (such as N.Y. House Authority's classic "Apt. 2B") given a cloudy cast by hard-jacking techno and Conrad Schnitzler's eerie electronics.
Jack Beats, Live at Ultra Music Festival (March 16th)
DJ Plus One and Beni G of London's Jack Beats are both former hip-hop DJs, and their EDM is as cut-and-paste antic as their old scratch routines. Their set from the Miami mega-fest's first weekend careens from dubstep to trap, from the stop-start stomp "Incredible," by Carnage & Borgore to Mat Zo & Porter Robinson's gushing summer anthem "Easy," with every transition building on the previous one or spinning it on its head.