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.
PETER LEUNGLove International
Low-key Balearic god Peter Leung created this mix ahead of the inaugural Love International festival in Croatia. As I write this my surroundings couldn’t be further from the landscape that Leung had in mind while selecting records for this. Custom built for sunrise, its gentle tide is full of delicate, meditative excursions and melodies floating just out of reach. A sublime squint into the sunlight, offering brief respite from the hellscape of 2016.
MARCEL DETTMANNDJ Kicks / !K7
The first and most immediate observation is this mix isn’t a thunderous trail through the latest panel-beating techno to grace the Berghain dancefloor, the stable from which Dettmann is most frequently associated. The mix is essentially an amalgamation of deep cuts from Dettmann’s early digging days sprinkled with some re-rubs and a couple of exclusives. The result is a headsy and, as the mix progresses, increasingly obscure wandering into the head of one of techno’s heaviest weights. Grab a copy here.
Charles DrakefordBoiler Room Upfront: FTD
With tracks from the label run by Boiler Room’s Charles Drakeford amongst exclusives from his contact book, this glistening, freewheeling mix showcased the truly unique sound carved out by the FTD imprint.
When the news broke last November that NTS were opening a new studio in Manchester, it provided both a confidence boost for independent radio and another much-needed platform to showcase the city’s scene. Having impressed with her Feel Me track in 2015, local producer/DJ Willow appeared on NTS Manchester at the beginning of the year to showcase her taste with a tracklist that included Levon Vincent, Omar-S, October, Joe, Steffi and Prosumer as well as her Workshop bosses Kassem Mosse and Lowtec. Like the excellent +Workshop 23+ EP she’d release later in 2016, Willow’s NTS mix was a minimal exploration of nocturnal moods.
LEAFAR LEGOVRA 514
Resident Advisor’s finest mix of 2016 was a wonderful down-tempo exploration from a Giegling mainstay that piled on the emotion without ever wandering into saccharine territory. Textured strains of ambience and soft repetitive movements melded effortlessly in a mix that could soundtrack your rural walk as much as the end of a wonderful night.
PANGAEACrack Mix 123
Over the course of the past decade or so, Pangaea has been a key player in the UK underground’s shift away from the fuzzy post-dubstep milieu towards the sharper, more techno-oriented sound which dominates today, charting a course via a slow but steady stream of singles and EPs on Hessle Audio and later his solo venture Hadal. This year’s In Drum Play album possessed the elusive quality of sounding totally at home within its wider context. Almost every track on the release could slot comfortably in to a DJ set while maintaining a unique shimmer and deftness of touch that is entirely his own. Pangaea’s equally singular talent as a DJ and selector is evidenced on his Crack Mix, which features cuts from Willow, Andrea, and Lena Willikens as well as label-mates Ploy and Pearson Sound. A whistle-stop tour through cutting edge techno from one of the UK’s very best.
FLORENTINOFACT Mix 574
On this kaleidoscopic 60-minute masterclass for FACT, British-Colombian DJ and producer Florentino serves up a blazing hot buffet of reggaeton edits and UK bass VIPs. Rumour has it the playlist took Florentino a number of months to assemble. The Swing Ting affiliate fired up an array of his own cuts as well as remixes and the results are glorious. Bouncing Jeremih remixes, supercharged edits of reggateon king J Balvin and an arsenal of original productions which show a world of promise for future releases. An airhorn-blaring, whistleblowing, ceiling-dripping run-through of party music for 21st century romantics. El mas romantico de los romanticos….
DJ STINGRAYDekmantel Podcast 059
Dekmantel have maintained an impressively high standard with their Podcast series, but even so, their team must have been totally flattered to have Detroit legend DJ Stingray contribute. The balaclava-clad pioneer’s offering was a powerful, high-tempo onslaught of techno, ghetto tech and proper electro that could replenish the most depleted energy levels. And although it was released way back in February, over the course of the year we found ourselves returning to DJ Stingray’s Dekmantel Podcast when we craved a level of intensity that many genres can’t provide.
Roi PerezCrack Mix 122
A relatively new name on the international club circuit, Roi Perez turned heads in 2016 with his impeccable performances that included storming Glastonbury’s NYC Downlow and 10 hour closing sets at Panorama Bar. A soaring set from one of Ostgut Ton’s new school, his mix for us showcases the classy outlook that has paved his way to some of the world’s best dancefloors this year.
Helena HauffMixmag: In Session
On the surface, Hamburg’s Helena Hauff has only continued to do what she does best this year – careening through quality wigged out dance music with little interest in self-promotion. But Hauff is now more in demand than ever before. 2016 has proved that you can’t rely on literally anything any more never mind whether that DJ you just paid £15 to see is really gonna bang, but Helena Hauff has been consistently providing euphoria with all manner of dark and esoteric sounds. Hauff’s session for Mixmag channels the sweat soaked spirit of 80s/90s Frankfurt with spooky acid techno, proto-trance and blistering, body moving heft. It showcases what Hauff does best, capturing sweat and grit with exhilarating precision.