The best DJ mixes of 2022 so far

In March, he uploaded the mix to sound.xyz, a web3 music platform, as an NFT in an edition of 150. The price was 0.1 ETH, or around $300, on release day. A smart contract written in the blockchain guarantees almost 6% of each sale to each of the 14 producers with a track in the mix, while Maelstrom takes home 15%. (FWB, the crypto organization that helped him execute the concept, got 5%.) The only catch was that all the producers needed to have blockchain wallets to get paid, so Maelstrom got ended up sourcing from leads he found on Ninaanother blockchain music platform, as well as others he solicited on Twitter.

Listening to the whole, which is also free to distribute– you would never guess he was shooting from such a limited pool. Mixing heavy hitters like Space Dimension Controller and Boys Noize with relative unknowns like Bagvs and Random Brothers (both, coincidentally, from Indonesia), his mix flows naturally through an evolving selection of dark techno and electro.

Sales of the set brought in 15.0 ETH – on release day, the equivalent of just over $45,000, which meant a payout of around $2,266 for each artist involved. Whether this strategy is sustainable, of course, is another question – the number of buyers willing and able to spend hundreds of dollars on a single blend is likely to be limited. As a musical proof of concept, “Ensemble Mix” revealed the growing breadth of the blockchain music community, while highlighting a simple yet provocative idea: musicians deserve to be paid for their music.


Shannen SP: Dekmantel 377

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On her new Dekmantel mix, London resident NTS Radio (and co-curator of Hyperdub’s monthly show Ø club nights) Shannen SP intends to trace connections through the history of dance music, bringing together rap, techno, electro, drum’n’bass, footwork, ghetto house, hardcore breakbeat, and more, both classic and recent. The assembly is so tight that it seems ready to break at any moment. That’s especially true down the home stretch, where rapid fire explodes in Tanzanian singeli, a dizzyingly fast style that sounds a bit like a merengue tape played with the fast-forward button pressed. You can tell she also had a blast mixing it up: the faster the beat, the more giddy the vibe.


James Bangura: Original Tapes 051

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James Bangura from Washington, DC comes out in this set for UK promoters Sound of origins, dishing out booming drums, punchy bass lines and the staccato chords of classic Detroit techno. Bangoura Sound interpretation PE for New York label Mister Saturday Night in 2020 balanced muscle with depth, and his mix here does the same: the drums hit hard, but its textures are diaphanous and bloated. The opening mix blends a Robert Hood-esque squelch with a percussive drive from veteran producer Mark Broom and cavernous techno. The mood softens in the back half as Leon Vynehall’s “Brother” gives way to a Deep house track from 1996 from a surprising source. It ends with “There’s a Vibe Tonight” by Detroit producer Shigeto, which is, really, quite the vibe.


Mask Skee B2B Simo Cell

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In April 2019, French bassist Simo Cell teamed up with German breakbeat polymath Skee Mask for a seven-hour B2B set at French Trempo club Nantes, and in November 2020 Simo Cell’s label TemeT released a pair particularly dynamic extracts of 45 minutes. of the night like TemeTape1, the first edition of a new series of mixtapes. The tape sold out quickly, but in late January, Simo Cell’s TemeT label released the whole thing on SoundCloud, making it available to everyone without shelling out silly money on Discogs. On side A, the two explore EBM, electro and gothic trap, finding unexpected connections between Drexciya, Autechre and Ikonika. The B-side is a 160 BPM whirlwind tour that emphasizes footwork, hardcore breakbeat, and jungle; towards the end, the mix of Depeche Mode-sampling LSDXOXO’s “False Idols” in a track by DJ Chap that samples New Order transforms new wave into fast techno in ways you might not believe possible.


Slowfoam: Our future with Ran Park

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For the January installment of his monthly show on Guadalajara’s Internet Public Radio, Berlin-based musician Slowfoam mixed a slew of Seattle experimenter Ran Park’s material — songs, snippets, stems — with some of her own unreleased tracks. The results are hazy and shapeless in the best way. The opening passage plays incandescent synthesizers over spritzes of static and radar chirping; electric jazz intimations add depth, and the diffuse atmosphere brightens to reveal a simple, poignant piece for piano and flute – one of the “obviously ambitious” nods to Ennio Morricone and Ryuichi Sakamoto to which Park refers to in a note accompanying the mix. There’s so much more: sweet chamber jazz sketches; shiny reeds; room piano; and even, towards the end, a dreamlike trip-hop breakbeat. There is no track listing and no clues to the parts of Park and those of Slowfoam. It’s best to just close your eyes and let it wash over you.


Laurel Halo: Admiration 10.01.22

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In January, experimental artist Laurel Halo celebrated the first anniversary of her monthly residency on NTS Radio. His show tends to be very varied – a typical episode might include classic minimalism, primitive American guitar, dub reggae and Detroit techno, all blended seamlessly. This program is no exception: it begins with a psychedelic Orb bootleg, drifts over half an hour of ambient soundscape and eventually emerges into a sunny glade of spiritual jazz.

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