Best Mixes of 2009

“From the top to the bottom, bottom to top I stop…”

As an internet music fangirl aspiring DJ, scoping the best and brightest talent behind the decks/controller/laptop/mpc is key to keeping up with what’s going to wreck the dancefloor. In addition to hearing the latest mix techniques DJs are pulling in their sets, you become aware of the genre bending, old school blending mindtrips that beg to be reproduced in some fresh and poignant way.

For me, 2009 was a highlight year packed with so many artist and genre discoveries that I thought it imperative to pay tribute to it. Thus, I decided to do a “best of” mixes rendition in lieu of my usual full album review. The below 5 mixes range from 5 to 65 minute bangers and traverse the spectrum of nu disco, trance, mashup, R&B revival, and electropop in a way that makes my skin crawl with the disease of good music. It’s no mistake that all 5 mixes come from DJs who also happen to remix or produce their own tracks. Whether you are a DJ who produces on the side or a producer who DJs on the side, that second dimension of creating something that's your own makes you that much more interesting to listen to.

Bottom-line, these mixes have the power to keep you dancing, head-bobbing, jumping, jamming (whatever your poison is) over and over. My goal when selecting wasn’t to find the most artistic and technically sophisticated mix, but to choose the sets that I wouldn’t mind hearing again and again months down the line - impressive can last all of 50 seconds, but repeatable can last 50 years! Just ask The Beatles! Even my musically ADHD ears held out to the very last bar of these sets - and with the amount of tunes I listen to and verily pass on, I promise this is a cut above the rest! Now on to the mixes!

5. The Hood Internet - The Mixtape Volume Four (November 2009) [65:49]

Yes, I linked to this badass hip-hop/electro mashup monster only a couple weeks ago, but it really is good and deserves to be hyped again. If you’ve never heard of The Hood Internet, get out from under your rock and get into internet mashup culture! While AudioPorn Central is my first stop to anything mashup related, The Hood Internet are practically prolific enough as solo producers to host their own mashup database. The guys have composed over a hundred mashups over the past 3 years and are showing no signs of slowing down as their most recent mixtape (linked above) contains some of their best work to date. I admire how the guys have crafted a genre for themselves within the realm of playing other people's music. This mix starts and ends a little slow for my tastes, but the middle section from Bag Raiders to Solid Gold is so sick that it needs its own mixtape!

4. DVJ Jade (aka Curtis Wang) - Mixed In Key Megamix (October 2009) [13:22]

Earlier this year in March, when I started getting serious about learning how to DJ I discovered harmonic mixing and a game-changing software called Mixed In Key. Long story short, harmonic mixing is the key to any good mashup or in-key mix transition. Via the power of mathematical algorithms and $40, you too can attempt your own “Tenderoni” bastard pop or be the next Above & Beyond. Seriously, DJing never sounded so good until harmonic mixing became a ubiquitous tool - just ask any trance DJ. Trance is one of those genres that benefit from drawn out, overlapped mix transitions because its structure (more predictable, always 4/4, long build-ups/outros) affords the ability to create layered atmospheric sounds quite easily. When the MIK team announced a contest recruiting the best sub 15 minute minimixes, I eagerly imbibed all the harmonically mixed efforts that came out of the competition. Through this I was able to discover Canada’s Curtis Wang and his great uplifting trance mix.

3. Starsmith - The “Yes Mate” Summer Mixtape (July 2009) [5:14]

Ah-ha! Starsmith’s “Yes Mate” minimix is probably the most spot-on collection of pop-turned-electropop earworms I have ever heard! I wish more electronic producers were brave enough to pubically pay homage to their love of mainstream pop music like Starsmith. Imagine how much more fun house parties would be if your favorite 90s pop tunes were remixed by your favorite producer! Actually, why bother imaging when Fin had already done this for us! Destiny’s Child, Will Smith, Little Boots, Ellie Goulding, Frankie Goes To Holloywood, Michael Jackson - I hate to point out the elephant in the room, but these are just not artists you traditionally see mixed together. But you know what? Screw tradition! The mix works so flawlessly and blends so seamlessly that it truly feels like one giant pop song!
2. Futurecop! - Futurecop! vs 90’s R&B (November 2009) [26:43]

My affair with Futurecop! can historically be logged under the category of “needs restraining order,” as once I start listening to the duo’s retro revival sound, I simply cannot stop. If you take all the best elements of syrupy nu-disco, blend it with smooth 90’s R&B, and stir in Saved By The Bell and Rainbow Brite video clips, you have the beginnings of a Futurecop! cocktail. The guys have done some pretty amazing mixtapes in the past, but their most recent offering via the ClubAction series feels like all the best hits of my childhood remixed and remastered into one pre-game, club-happy ecstasy. If I were to choose one word to describe this mix it would be character. From the crazy tempo changes, to the distinct 80s remixes, and ridiculous cover art - this mix is signature Futurecop flavor!

1. Russ Chimes - Promo Mix (February 2009) [61:45]

Russ Chimes is too amazing for words. For him, I let the tracks speak for themselves:

All Systems (Russ’s Blackbox Edit) - Knightlife
Mulsanne (Russ’s Estefan Live Edit) - Russ Chimes
Afterburner (Russ’s Greece2000 Live Edit) - Russ Chimes

Happy listening!

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Meet the Author

Hi, I am Julie.
Sometimes Jules Juke.
This is where I ramble, reflect, and refocus.