Whether they’re recorded straight from the decks in the club, arranged for streaming at home or crafted in a radio booth, these sets ride hard into whatever sunset they’re aimed at. On their way they may be booming out the windows with immortal trap anthems, jocking some stone-cold techno classics or bleeping and whirring like a mecha-monstrosity; that’s the selector’s prerogative. (Or the selectors’s prerogative–we’ve got one guest mix, one b2b set and one stand-in.) What do we have to do to put you in a new mix today?
5. Zaytoven :: FADER Mix
Just off his mixtape with Future and apparently just before the release of his autobiography, the mayor of Zaytown spins a sampling of his ridiculously deep catalogue. (Actually, DJ Showtime is the one doing the spinning, since Zay is nothing if not busy.) Usher and Migos’ “Still Got It” opens things up and says it all — from royalty to throne-challengers, Zaytoven’s been behind so much fire out of the ATL as to make such an improbable collaboration an inevitability. From there it’s onto Gucci, Jeezy, Plies — and, yes, “Versace” — a strong showing from a freaky subset of leftfield Southern hip-hop.
4. Total Freedom :: Live @ Bambi’s 06/21/2014
This bludgeoning, hour-and-change set from the Fade to Mind affiliate features tracks from that label’s star roster of bass wizards (Kelela pops up towards the end), in addition to edits of Ciara, Lil Jon and, uh, Tyga x Biebs. It all comes together over samples of gun noises, weaponized-mech noises, lasers — you get the drift. The “Work” bells make an appearance, as do the Bulgarian chanters from Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World. That is to say, it’s a sweaty, wide-ranging workout, one that’ll have you juking in your seat and wishing it was June again.
3. Flying Lotus :: BBC Radio 1 Residency January 15th
FlyLo splits his inaugural R1 residency set with Brainfeeder champ Jeremiah Jae, and both of them deliver hour-long trips into the stoney stratosphere and down into some jazzed-up bedrock funk and fusion. Between throwbacks — proggy touchstone George Duke naturally pops up, as do War, Pink Floyd and Can — they connect the dots between their own work (FlyLo flips “Never Catch Me” for a more meditative transmission from planet Kendrick, while Jeremiah busts his own tracks, some brutal production work for Busdriver and a remix of Run the Jewels) and some distant lights in the electronic and hip-hop underworlds. Bumps from Herbie Hancock (who’s there to talk Buddhism and what it means to be “old-school”), Hannibal Buress (“Are roaches really chill, and we’re just being assholes?”) and Vine meme Rick Ross (“I eat pears”) round out a blissful two hours of sundown cruising material.
2. Caribou :: 6 Mix January 16th
This set from a little higher on the BBC’s dial comes as a welcome missive from Dan Snaith’s globetrotting victory-lap off of Our Love. It’s warmly introduced, which is to say, there’s a lot of talking — Snaith is a historian and an enthusiast, and every track here is either “a classic” or something he’s “loved for a long time.” It’s easy to see where the love comes from, though: whether it’s Snaith’s personal hero Carl Craig remixing his own track, house and techno classics from ESP and Lil Louis, dollops of soul, jazz, funk and hybrids thereof or an unreleased Daphni track, it’s all golden. It may be slightly shorter than his 1,000-song YouTube mix, but it’s still a lot to chew on, so dig in.
1. Floating Points & Four Tet :: NTS Radio January 16th
For condensing marathons, though, crate-diggers Sam Shepard and Kieran Hebden have outdone their valedictory 6-hour set at the recently-shuttered Plastic People with this show-off set of rare grooves and spectral jazz. The closest to the surface that they get is an early Al Green(e) track and an alternate (demo-sounding) take of Michael Jackson’s “Working Day and Night”—the rest is all dusty deep cuts from unknowns and faded stars. If you’re looking for bum sides, curiosities, anything but burners, look elsewhere — every cut is stellar, with several holy-shit-rewind moments scattered throughout. (Detroit outfit Percy & Them will have you bopping with “Shake It (Parts 1 & 2),” a double-A side so long-gone that Floating Points shouts out to NTS listeners for help finding a double to mix with.) Armchair selectors like us will be left alternately shaking their groove thang and plotting their next trip to the bins.