Mixes are critic-proof. They might as well be a kind of criticism in their own right. When done right, they’re an assertion of taste, a connection between disparate points in the musical universe, and when everything comes together, an exercise in prolonged groove and maintained intensity. These five sets come from wildly differing corners, and cover polar opposite ground from each other. They have different aims, different methods of achieving them. They’re all fire. Set aside some time and dig in.
5. Nightwave :: Dummy Mix 237
The Heka Trax boss, directly off her Nightlife EP, delivers an expertly mixed almost-hour that kicks off with Holly Herndon‘s frazzled paranoia and finds its common ground with turnt-up bass music from all corners. From bottom-heavy punch-ups like Randomer‘s “Freak Dub” to techy house to her own blend of trap and club sounds, it all comes together in the center of some freaky booty-bass Venn diagram.
4. LOGO Magazine :: Tribute 02: Manicure Records – Björk
Featuring clips from interviews with the woman herself that’ll have you wondering Winona-or-IRL, this second minimix (after Maxo‘s off-the-wall Limp Bizkit freakfest) goes from jacked-up peak to peak. Highlights include a tabla-heavy chipmunk flip of “Joga” from Chipped Nails and C.D. Rahm, ATG fav Guy Akimoto turning “Aurora” into a spectral stomper, and Dreamtrak twisting “It’s Oh So Quiet” into… well… calling it a “highlight” is a stretch, but it’ll definitely make you do a double-take.
3. Arca :: Sheep
Yes, it’s another short one, but with Arca busting out his unreleased material, you know it’s dense enough to keep you busy. The mood is heavy throughout, conjuring the billowing, seasick body-horror images for which he and Jesse Kanda have come to be known. Perfect for a fashion show, right? Sheets of noise are torn like curtains, herds of the titular mammal cry out, a catwalk-ready pulse bubbles for a tense moment under sonic chaos. Everything blends together like melted plastic, and by the time a chorale is roused for the finale, we’re left wondering if it’s just the mix that’s ending.
2. Yasmin :: Rinse.fm January 11
Even if its 3PM GMT (10AM EST, that is, prime snooze hour) airtime kept us from locking in live, with the modern convenience of radio archiving, we can heartily say that this mix of disco, funk, boogie, new, old, groovy, bangin’, head-nodding, everything, is absolute mandatory body-movin’ material. Ranging from crate-dug gems to forgotten chart toppers to Daft Punk, the King of Pop himself, and a pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas track, to her own throwback collab with Krystal Klear, Yasmin doesn’t let up for a second of her two hours.
1. Pender Street Steppers :: Resident Advisor podcast
Mood Hut founders Jack Jutson and Liam Butler deepen the mystery with a mix that starts off old-school New Age, dips into heavy funk, and packs its bags from there for some typically laid-back house hinterlands. Exclusives from Hut denizens Cloudface and Aquarian Foundation sidle up next to the soaring “Statues PF” from Hashman Deejay’s stoney, stellar Sandopolis LP, and an old-fashioned platform-boot stomper in “Poser, Poser” by Cos/Mes, about whom I can find zilch. Let the Steppers worry about the locomotion and just cruise, but hop on quick, as RA doesn’t leave their podcasts up forever. (If the shortened runtime leaves you wanting more, the groovehound duo was on NTS for a full two hours last week, so follow them down that rabbit hole.) Stream the podcast here.