While you can certainly get to know an artist by their albums and singles, one of the best ways to get into an artist’s head and understand their sensibilities is to hear them make a mix; how they select is just as important and telling as the music they write themselves. In the world of electronic music, whether the end result is meant for a dancefloor or to be heard on headphones, mixes are an integral part of an artist’s arsenal: acting as promotional tools, lab for trying out new ideas, added context for their own musical tastes and impulses, and a creative outlet that’s entirely distinct from their studio output.
Here we’ve waded through the vast amount of DJ mixes released so far this year to find the best, both live performances and pre-recorded, highlighting which artists you should be keeping your eye on and whose work you should dig right into if you aren’t already familiar.
rRoxymore — Solid Steel Radio Show
Back in May rRoxymore appeared on the legendary Solid Steel Radio show to promote her killer EP Thoughts Of A Introvert Pt2. Though she described the mix as “nothing special,” taking a listen tells a different story. From the warm hypnotic and sample-based music of the Brooklyn/Tehran based Saint Abdullah, to the influential techno of Dan Curtin, rRoxymore’s mix is a lesson in the power of contrasting elements.
Lorenzo Senni — Boiler Room x Genelec Helsinki
A completely enthralling set from this Italian pointillist trance master. This 48-minute-long mix perfectly distills Senni’s approach to trance music, subtracting all percussive elements to focus solely on the development and embellishment of melody. For nearly ten minutes, the mix opens like an invitation, before giving way to a purely liquid, floating melodies.
Yu Su — Resident Advisor, RA Live
The best mixes will take you on a journey, and Vancouver DJ Yu Su’s live set recorded at the London based nightclub Brilliant Corners by Resident Advisor is no exception. With cuts culled from records she’d picked up during her travels in Europe, it’s a surprisingly consistent, thoughtful mix, bordering on familiarity with its fun funk, and distant electronic. Consider this the perfect road trip mix.
RP Boo — Noisey Mix
If footwork is what you crave, RP Boo’s mix for Noisey is the best way to get it 100% pure and unadulterated. The Chicago native uses the mix as a platform for his own work (both released and unreleased), as well as the work of fellow TEKLIFE members DJ Rashad (RIP), DJ Spinn, DJ Earl and a host of others. Here the signature distorted sounds, stuttering samples and cantering drums of the genre are showcased in all their glory, acting as a sign of things to come from Boo’s upcoming LP, I’ll Tell You What!