The criteria of what makes a good mix, DJ or otherwise, differ from person to person. Agreed? Now that's out of the way, here are three mixes that have stood out and in no particular order.
RA.268 Ed Davenport
Best for: Midday excursions to anywhere but here
So fresh, so good. Almost immediately from the pulsating fade in, you know that you are in good hands, even if in outer space. The tipping point is when your ears stop being the critical beasts that they are and let the music wash you over.
This point occurs especially when we get into Force/Emerge remix of 7 Citizens' Quietus. Dario Zenker's 10AM is another break through to the other side led by rattling sheets of steel for a short segue before Bandulu's Shroud stomps in like a female killer.
We'll leave the rest of the plot for you to discover. But do take note of Chicago on the itinerary. A useful break in Kilgore by Morgan Geist and an appropriate ender with Heavens & Angels are further highlights. The word 'journey' is really over-used when describing a mix, but I do believe I went on a day trip this time around.
If there is one takeaway from this? Bandulu.
01. Echologist - Hummer - Electric Deluxe
02. John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - President At The Train - Varèse Sarabande
03. Jack Dixon - Wrong Number - Take Records
04. Gliesers - Kuiper Belt -Youandewans Dour Version - Fullbarr Digital
05. Photek - Solaris - Science/Virgin
06. 7 Citizens - Quietus -Force / Emerge Remix -Praterei
07. Mr. Fingers - Distant Planet - Trax
08. Dario Zenker - 10AM - Ilian Tape
09. Bandulu - Shroud - Blanco Y Negro
10. Minimal Man - Spiritual Edit - Guerilla
11. Unknown - Untitled - Herzschlag Schallplatten
12. Pierre LX - Index 1 - Initial Cuts
13. Deee-Lite - Power Of Love -Pal Joey's Dub Mix - Elektra
14. Ace & The Sandman - Let Your Body Talk - Trax
15. Minimal Man - Bocyc - Trelik
16. Dimi Angélis & Jeroen Search - Cortex - Figure SPC
17. 95 North - Sun Goddess - Large Records
18. Bandulu - Lifestyle - Infonet
19. Morgan Geist - Kilgore - Fragmented
20. Rick Wilhite - Blame It On The Boogie - Music 4 Your Legs
21. Mick Welsh - Dissonant Dialect - Elektrosouls Recordings
22. Grain - Untitled - Grain/FatCat
23. Jeff Mills - Every Dos Has Its Day Vol. 4 C1 - Axis
24. Chicago Skyway - Heavens & Angels - MOS_DEEP
Surgeon Live @ Wax Treatment, Horst Krzbrg, Berlin - 29-05-2011
Best for: Commuting to and fro your office job
Opening with Alice Coltrane sort of twists you out of shape. It signals something like "this is no ordinary mix" and you better believe it. The other notable time this track appeared was in The Kings of Techno Part B, compiled by Laurent Garnier and Carl Craig -- worth checking out too.
So where do we begin? Anywhere it seems. Surgeon has pretty much mastered the way of the mix.
He has cultivated a sense of knowing just how long to prolong and when to quit. He has turned the DJ mix into a new creature, one which all schools can quickly become fans of. This is of course backed by a deep and wide music understanding and an openness that allows sounds (for lack of a better word) to cross each other meaningfully. Plus, I speculate, a healthy interest in music cognition so you're really getting a workout here.
It might probably be good to mention Emmanuel Jal's Kuar (Olof Dreijer Remix) vs Zomby's Godzilla at this point, just to have you prepared in case you implode on the train home after work. Godzilla wins, and you are now putty.
Impressively too, this set was recorded live before an appreciative audience. So folks, anything is possible.
01. Alice Coltrane - Journey To Satchidananda
02. Shina Williams And His African Percussionists - Agboju Logun
03. Rhythm & Sound & The Chosen Brothers - Mash Down Babylon
04. Om Unit - Prawn Cocktail
05. Emmanuel Jal - Kuar (Olof Dreijer Remix)
06. Zomby - Godzilla
07. RSD - Sugar Plumb Instrumental
08. Martyn - Broken
09. R-A-G - Rage
10. Surgeon - Atol
11. Surgeon - Coaster
12. Paul Woolford - Let It Go (Kommonazmuk & Appleblim Remix)
13. Linval Thompson - I Love Marijuana
14. Blawan - Lavender
15. Peverelist - Dance Till The Police Come
16. Surgeon - Transparent Radiation
17. Chasing Voices - Acidbathory
18. Oscar Mulero - After All
19. RSD - Pretty White Light
20. Lone - Explorers
21. Martyn - Suberbia
22. The Tuss - Rushup I Bank 12
23. Taz - Future Funk
24. Ed Chamberlain - Synthia (Surgeon Remix)
25. Surgeon - Right Road To Dubland
26. Scuba - Ruptured (Surgeon Remix)
27. Inigo Kennedy - Obsidian
28. Surgeon - Sleep (Ultra Violet)
29. RSD - Over It
30. Love Joys - All I Can Say
DJ-Kicks Motor City Drum Ensemble on !K7
Best for: Clambake Sundays with friends
Stuttgart's Danilo Plessow's Raw Cuts series never really leave the box. But let's talk about this mix instead. A fine selection, this non-ego mix pretty much lets the music do the talking -- and to each other too.
Check out the jamming moments between Motor City Drum Ensemble's L.O.V.E., Aphex Twin's Actium and the Isolée mix of Cardiology by Recloose for some interesting communication, for example. The transitions are somewhat short pleasures in this age of the infinite loop. But the focus here is about the songs after all and how they make you feel, lest you forget.
A winning entry is Mr. Fingers' baseline groove and its accompanying exit is Timo Lassy's African Rumble. Then, you get the final reward of James Mason's Sweet Power, your Embrace.
01. Sun Ra - Door To The Cosmos
02. Electric Wire Hustle - Again (Scratch 22 Remix)
03. Rhythm & Sound - Mango Drive
04. Tony Allen - Ariya
05. Peven Everett - Stuck
06. Bad Jazz Troupe - Breakdown Treat (Dusty Rework) (MCDE Edit)
07. Mr. Fingers - The Juice
08. Rick "Poppa" Howard - Can Your Love Find Its Way (Club Vocal)
09. Stone - Girl I Like the Way That You Move (Dub)
10. Fred P - On This Vibe
11. Creative Swing Alliance - Don't Forget Your Keyz
12. Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats - Black Woman Experience
13. Philippe Sarde - Le Cortège Et Course
14. Robert Hood - The Pace
15. Loose Joints - Pop Your Funk (Vocal Version)
16. Arts & Crafts - I've Been Searching (Walter Gibbons 12-inch Mix)
17. Motor City Drum Ensemble - L.O.V.E.
18. Aphex Twin - Actium
19. Recloose - Cardiology (Isolée Mix)
20. Latecomer - Cosmic Cart
21. Timo Lassy - African Rumble
22. James Mason - Sweet Power, Your Embrace