Welcome back to our roundup of the mixes you need to get on your speakers right now.
It goes without saying that mixes have taken on a new lease of life over the last year. With clubs still closed, mixes have provided us with the closest alternative to a night of music discovery.
With that in mind, we’re back with our first mix roundup of the year, and it showcases the best selections from January 2021. Bear in mind that it’s Bandcamp Friday too – so if you hear a particularly spicy cut, consider making a purchase from the artist today.
DarwinRinse FM: Garage Hour
A match made in speaker-rattling heaven. Darwin’s a proven fan of bass-laden, UK-centric material and she puts this affinity to good use on her contribution to Rinse FM’s Garage Hour show. Over the course of, well, an hour, the selector, SPE:C label boss and “REEF mom” journeys through lively UKG cuts plucked straight from the ‘classics only’ vaults, offshoot material, fresh interpretations, mischievous edits and more. It’s also a mix close to Darwin’s heart. “It’s impossible to play garage and not think of Alex T,” she wrote online. “This mix is dedicated to him.”
KrustBBC Radio 6 Music
D’n’b steward Krust makes music that hits with the kind of force comparable perhaps to a deep tissue massage. Hard and pummelling exactly where it needs to be, yet still intertwined with meditative moments. He explores the heavier fringes of his sound on this guest mix for Mary Anne Hobbs’ BBC Radio 6 Music show. It’s dedicated, Krust says, to “all the hardworking people in the entertainment industry keeping the vibes going, staying positive, staying focused.”
livwutangAnimix Twenty Three
Seattle’s livwutang follows up superb mixes for Truants and NuZi with this grin-inducing offering for Melbourne label Animalia. The Denver-born DJ and artist melds tunes to get lost in with infectious move-your-body material – all with the nonchalant ease of a veteran. If you’re venturing outside for some exercise, definitely put this one on.
John TalabotJohn Talabot presents Eternal Sunset (Barcelona, 05/09/2020)
John Talabot set sail on a five-hour trip through the sunset at a Nits del Fórum event in Barcelona last summer, programmed by the organisers of Primavera Sound. While we can only imagine how joyous it would have been to see this play out IRL, this recent upload does offer some sense of what it would’ve been like. Recorded on his home turf, this set drifts purposefully between ambient to psychedelic, Balearic to utterly blissed out sounds. Take note, this includes both DJing and elements of live improvisation.
MC Yallah x EomacMixmag In Session
Kenya-born, Uganda-based vocalist MC Yallah and Irish producer Eomac weave together musical inspirations both shared and disparate to unpredictable effect in their instalment of Mixmag’s In Session series. The pair previously flexed their talents as collaborators on their 2020 EP Mama Waliwamanyii for label Phantom Limb and turn up the levels here. With more blends than a Nutribullet, expect everything from Destiny’s Child to HudMo, Missy Elliot to J Dilla, Boards of Canada to Frank Ocean. It’s wild, wacky and bound to blow the cobwebs off your speakers.
Beautiful SwimmersThe Lot Radio (16/01/2021)
Washington DC duo Beautiful Swimmers recently took part in this stream by The Lot Radio, recorded live from the Eaton DC Hotel and with a line-up curated by fellow DC resident dreamcastmoe. Much like Beautiful Swimmers’ Crack Mix, it’s a spirit-rousing entry that skates through house-indebted hues, Baltimore bangers and even an edit of The Stone Roses. This is guaranteed to wriggle its way into your brain and reside there for the foreseeable future.
In the January edition of his monthly Balamii show, Croydon DJ and producer Skream drops a serious nostalgia bomb as he embarks on a tour of bangers via early/proto-dubstep, grime and post-garage. The show sees Skream charting an era dear to many dance music fans’ hearts and quite obviously his own, too. If there was ever a time to introduce a gun finger emoji it would be now.
Ariel ZetinaMixtape Club 001
Mixtape Club is a newly launched, non-profit mixtape series offering financial and artistic support to DJs during the pandemic. It’s also set to provide us, your humble listeners, with an essential string of mix offerings such as this one from Chicago’s Ariel Zetina. Across the mix, Zetina draws from a trusty palette of house, breaks and ballroom, and takes inspiration from the elaborate verse form known as the sestina.
Anthony NaplesJuanita's Mix 037
What links Oneohtrix Point Never, Miles Davis, Jennifer Lara and Shelter together? Well, Anthony Naples, apparently. The Incienso co-boss touched down for a Juanita’s Mix offering that spins together tunes from the aforementioned and more in a celebratory manner. Another display of Naples’ versatility as a selector, and a head-first deep dive into his expansive pool of influences.
In the wake of MF DOOM’s passing, our Issue 117 cover star, KeiyaA, celebrated one of the “greatest artists who ever lived” with a special mix loaded up with sentimental favourites, new edits and headsy reference tracks. We may be a little biased, but we reckon this is well worth a listen. Play this loud. All caps.