Here are the 20 best mixes of 2016, according to Crack Magazine.
Visit 2016.crackmagazine.net for more end of year coverage over the coming weeks.
SAOIRSECrack Mix 124
2016 has been a pivotal year for Saoirse. The London selector has hit her stride over the last 12 months, forging a unique style of heady, pared-down house and techno. For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing her play out, this mix is a good primer – a lush but restrained affair that unfolds beautifully over its seventy-minute course.
BRACKLES B2B RIZ LA TEEFRadar Radio
This garage and UK funky back-to-back from Brackles and Riz La Teef was something of a sleeper hit. There’s no fanfare or grand concept to the mix, but the duo’s finesse, swagger, and the sheer volume of well-loved anthems crammed into the two-hour session had us revisiting it all summer long.
LENA WILLIKENSCrack Mix 117
It’s been impossible to ignore the rise of Lena Willikens over the past few years. The Cologne-based spinner has built up a formidable reputation for razor-sharp eclecticism that leaves even seasoned diggers scratching their heads and scrabbling for their notepads. Here, Willikens lays down a smooth lead-in of snaking, slippery atmospherics, intense, industrial-tinged flavours and into the unfamiliar reaches Willikens is known for.
PIRATE MODERNITY (PASHTO AUTO-TUNE SPECIAL)NTS Radio
A jewel in NTS’ current programme, Pirate Modernity brings together cassettes from Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the past year, they’ve become on of our favourite regular shows. This October edition showcases a brilliant spread of hyperactive auto-tuned Pashto pop which is unlike anything else we heard in 2016.
DEATH IS NOT THE END: JAMAICAN GOSPEL SPECIALNTS Radio
With the proliferation of digging culture, there are plenty of aural archeologists around, unearthing the dusty micro-scenes of yesteryear. But NTS’ Death Is Not The End is still one of the best out there, toying the line between haunting and sublime. Presenting the good news of salvation with a crackle, this sepia-toned Jamaican Gospel Special is truly glorious.
DJ PERSUASIONAIR MIX 003
The AIR MIX series serves as a neat adjunct to Sean and Dan Kelly’s Happy Skull label, showcasing the talents of the fraternal duo’s extended circle of friends. Though the series usually embraces forward-facing fare, DJ Persuasion took this edition way back with a raucous and flawlessly-selected dedication to ’91 hardcore.
RAY KEITH AND DIZZEE RASCALRadar Radio
When drum ‘n’ bass veteran Ray Keith brought Dizzee Rascal into the Radar Radio studio for the mouthwatering prospect of a back-to-back jungle set, it felt good to hear Dizzee doing something purely for the love after years of crossover hits and unapologetic careerism. “Don’t worry man the album’s coming, I’m just having some fun!” Dizzee yelled, proving himself to be a skillful DJ and dropping the kind of tunes which would please his original fanbase more than a Calvin Harris collab ever could.
OBJEKT Kern Vol.3Tresor
Objekt mixes tend to be among the most unquantifiable around and this foray across BPMs and style was the kind of techy, wild creation that made his Freerotation mixes absolute classics. Kern Vol.3 is an incredibly trippy ride through the outer reaches of electro and techno, encompassing a wide range of blends that at one moment might feel disjointed and all eventually make sense. One electronic music’s modern masters, the 40 or so tracks condensed here make for one of the fullest and most varied listens of the year. Buy it here.
A mythology surrounds Moodymann – one that has been knowingly cultivated over the years through rare interviews, aphoristic pronouncements, performing with his face concealed or behind a sheet, and so on. Whatever the motivation behind his thinly veiled anonymity, this release – an open book invitation to his influences, a fleeting glimpse into his world – felt somewhat significant. Made up of a hearteningly diverse tracklist, and with passages of greatness, more than any other Moodymann release it felt like Kenny Dixon Jr. was allowing us a glimpse of himself beyond the Moody ‘persona’ – if that’s even what it is. Buy it here.