mix

Idjut Boys - Press Play

Idjut Boys - Press Play

In my mind these guys are another Nextmen or Unabombers; a DJing duo that put great lesser known tunes that make you want to dance before everything else. I accidently caught them at The Big Chill in 2005 and really loved what I heard. I think they Manchester based too.

They definitely swing more towards the soul / funky / disco side of the dance floor. The mixing is really simple - in fact, it's not really mixing at all, blending would be a better term. It's primarily a showcase of good tunes.

I've only heard a couple (consistently showing my ignorance, eh?) of the songs on here before (Word Up and Low Rider), though not these versions. Of course they're all killer. The music itself sounds like good old funk/soul stuff - but it can't possibly be. I need to do a bit of digging but I think some of these songs must be from the last couple of years (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas' Ballerina for example).

Yes yes, I have some friends that are about to find out they've been missing this all their lives.

the Axis of Cool - at the Telegraph

the Axis of Cool - at the Telegraph

This one is pretty close to my heart. It happens to be full of tracks that I love - that's not surprising really... given that I was involved in making it. It's basically the perfect mix for me; country, electro, pop, house, dnb, metal, everything really. A friend and I spent almost a year twiddling with knobs and dials in our respective countries sculpting a mix that we could really enjoy. There's something in there for everyone and something in there to offend most everyone (63 tracks 38 minutes).

I was reminded of it the other day after I meet someone who had been enjoying it of late. It was nice to listen to it again. It's great having a taylor made mix. Head over to the axis of cool to check it out - go on, find that moment in there that you really hate...

The Nextmen - Not the Nextmen (Live From The Newsroom)

The Nextmen - Not the Nextmen (Live From The Newsroom)

When I first moved to the UK I thought I'd get to see various DJs blow me away with what they could do live. Imagine my disappointment on discovering (on the 2nd day in town) that for most of them it's a fa├žade. DJs that were meant to be the greatest mash-up artists in the world turned out to be little more than slightly experimental electro/breaks DJs.

Now, I'd heard The Nextmen's work on various Grand Central offerings over the years but it was a chance meeting in 2005 that refuelled my interest in what they were doing. I have no idea how many Nextmen gigs I've been to since then. They tend to lean more towards soul/funk/hip-hop/reggae/dnb but really nothing is off limits - tunes to make you dance seems to be the only criteria. This album, or any of their mixtapes for that matter, are great showcases of what they do live.

I love the Nextmen. Hands down the most fun live DJs I've ever seen.

Nouvelle Vague - Late Night Tales

Nouvelle Vague - Late Night Tales

When I first purchased this I was put off listening to it because it sounded a bit too happy, I was worried that it would simply be a novelty. Imagine how very pleased I was when I finally did listen to it through and discovered that it's darker than I'd previously judged it to be.

Not only that but it features a few bits but one of my favourite French artists, Fred Avril. Not only do they use his wonderful Urban Serenade, he also does the production work on their new cover, Come On Eileen.

There are too many beautiful tracks on here to name... I just tried to pick a few but couldn't. Gah! It's all great.

Tom Middleton - The Trip

Tom Middleton - The Trip

I first discovered Tom Middleton when he did a mini set (like 15 minutes long or something) at the tail end of another mix set on a German dj website (4 or 5 years back). I remember being somewhat amazed. He was doing a rock set and I recall commenting on how great the variation of tunes was.

I then had the pleasure of witnessing him dj at the Big Chill festival a few years back. At the time he was working on Cosmosonica so he treated us to a fine mix consisting of cover after cover. His style live is brilliant, very casual, getting on the mic every now and again to tell a little tail or something. He ended up playing for much longer than he was meant to. Bonus.

This particular set consists of two discs. A chilled set and a party set, each perfect in its own way. Look out for Spanky Wilson's most excellent cover of Sunshine Of Your Love on the party disc (actually there are covers to be enjoyed throughout).

I look up to Tom Middleton - he's my hero.

Fred Deakin - The Triptych

Fred Deakin - The Triptych

If there's one thing I can say about The Triptych it's that it's too short - even though it weighs in at almost 4 hours. Now that's just unreasonable. When was the last time you sat down to 4 hours of music and were gutted when it finished?

Diverse doesn't even begin to cover it. Why the hell can't every mix set sound like this? Hang on, I know why - it's the same reason that playing this in my workplace elicits mixed responses. Actually, mixed responses is probably the wrong term. People's responses are exactly the same every time, and feel free to try this experiment yourself - at some point they will ask "what the hell are you listening to?". Later on they're going to say - "I really like that. What are you listening to now?". Though they won't quite understand the significance of your response - "exactly the same thing that you didn't like before".

The mixing is very nearly perfect. The tune selection is another matter. 100% hits the mark. Every. Single. Time. There's not a single song on here that I don't now love and given that a good many of them I hadn't ever heard before that's no mean feat. It almost seems silly trying to describe the nature of the tunes given that it's so eclectic but the choices are wild. I never thought I'd see day where "The Durutti Column" appeared in a mix set, and that's not even scratching the surface (check out the tracklisting on amazon). DnB, classical, banjo covers, old-skool hip-hop, rock, euro pop - man, take your pick, it's all there. It's music by music lovers for music lovers.

One day, when I know enough about music, this is exactly sort of mix I want to make. And that's the highest compliment I can give.

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