Best of 2009: Best mixes of 2009

Things I was excited about in 2009 pt.4

Andrei0id – Vakars pie Ezera aka Minipower podcast 037

This is one of the best mixes I heard, ever. Why? Because of extremely deep and very natural integration of tunes, most of which I heard before but in the context of mix they got a new life, sometimes I almost felt as if I was listening to them for the first time; and even more importantly - because of the pace of the mix. It’s not a party mix, surely more for attentive listening at home or on a car-ride, and the way it takes me out there of this world is absolutely psychedelic.

Sven Weisemann – Groove magazine #119 mix

Very tasty house music, varied, groovy though not peak-time, no cheese. Again, the ultimate reason for being my 2009 fave is the pace/development (modern classical intro (Max Richter), then slow-mo deep house from Sven himself, then unfolding and getting groovier, more minimal, dubbier, and all of sudden – you can hardly even noitice – we’re in 140bpm territory, and ending with Max Richter again) and the mixing style – two turntables and a CD mixer, totally natural flow but deep integrity and precision of an Ableton mix.

CX1 podcast by Loxy

At the moment of writing, there are 6 other CX podcasts by Loxy in similar mnml dnb vein, and two others, less mnml/more traditional ones by guest mixers… But the one that rolled the ball still remains my favourite (well, CX3 is equally good). I guess I listened to this one at least 20 times since it was published… Deep as Mariana Trench, delicate as a Japanese massage, beautiful as a Wong Kar Wai movie, (subtly) rolling as a… mmm… the contents of your Rizla. Incredible stuff.

FACT 70 mix by The XX

The XX is widely hyped as the best new indie band, and rightfully so – I totally agree and am a fan too. But if you checked their debut album and were a little bit underwhelmed by a bit too samey sound of gently flangered unfuzzed guitars and melancholic/husky murmur of vocalists (this is how КИНО should have sounded in 2009, hehe), check this mix, which in its 30 minutes features excerpts from “private” stripped-down bassy edits of some of the XX tracks from the album; a few dubstep tunes; a few alt-folk/hip-hop mutations; a drum solo; and a few pure pop/rnb/disco songs of various cheese levels, which all of a sudden resolve in another bassy edit. The pace here, again, is jaw-dropping: switching from mood to mood is absolutely effortless. While there is a lot of “normal” mixing, you will hear some of the best showcases of the non-beatmatched mixing “by mood/sound” – the way CocoRosie’s “Rafael” (an ultimately beautiful song, btw) segues into that extended drum solo, which in turn kickstarts a disco track, is nothing short of genius: it just sounds as if it was all meant to be that way.

Unsound 2009 mix by Philip Sherburne

Painstakingly compiled (in Ableton, I guess) as a showcase for artists to perform at Unsound festival (Poland, October 2009), this a genius masterpiece of a polystylistic mix. To be given a pre-selected playlist consisting of modern classical, ambient, experimental, drone (and drone-metal), techno, deep house, dubstep and singer-songwriter stuff, and blending them in a coherent whole is a very serious task. And it takes an experience, broad and ultimate taste of a seasoned music writer and DJ Philip Sherburne (I remember reading his columns way back in the 1990s yet) to get away with it, done perfectly.

FACT 50 mix by Braiden + FACT 29 mix by Brackles

The best showcase of a “funkstep” crossover disregarding if the name would stick or no – mixing dubstep of various blends, house, UK Funky, breaks, switching from straight to broken beat, from uplifting, sometimes tongue-in-cheek party tunes to serious bass bashment, never staying at one mood for more than 2-3 tracks… I only wish to hear things like these in Space: Garage (and I believe the party would be rocked hard!)

Autonomic Podcast #7 (The whole series is groundbreaking, and as a whole deserves a Palme D'Or, so see Autonomic Podcasts)

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