DECEMBER 17, 2009

Lists, lists. Not only are we at the end of a year, but the end of a decade, and the reminiscing goes deeper than ever. I've put together a list of mixes that stuck with me this year. Some are featured on Percussion Lab, some are from other sources; there's cutting edge dubstep cozying up to some serious classics, a mix posted last week and one from the beginning of the century. It was an eclectic year, and my picks reflect that, but it was all held together by Percussion Lab. Thanks for listening!

DJ Bobble Live at the Atrium Atlanta - 2000
Let's begin at the beginning: the year 2000. Drum'n'Bass seemed dead, rave was on its last gasps, and a new sound was floating over to the US from London. Atlanta's DJ Bobble, a legend in his own right, jumped on the emerging 2-step style and hosted a series of ground-breaking events highlighting the sound. If you think garage is 'the latest thing', allow Bobble to take you back. A full set of bumping, aggressive 2-step, this one connects the dots between dub, hardcore, dnb, and garage.

Silkie: Trainwreck mix
A preview of Silkie's City Limits LP, this one appeared on Red Bull Music Academy Radio early this summer. Silkie's sound runs to the deep end of the dubstep spectrum, with obvious house and reggae influences throughout. The mixing is tight and the tunes are amazing. Check it.

Instra:mental and D Bridge Autonomic Podcast Layer 8
These two producers are at the bleeding edge of dnb, melding synth pop, electro, Burial-style ghost-step, and the newest sounds coming up from the jungle into a heady, challenging sonic template. Light one up and sit back.

Bop DOA Mix
Dogs On Acid is a legendary drum'n'bass forum known for its rants and flames. Bop's mix is a radical departure for the site, calmly bubbling along, with barely any discernible breakbeats to be found. It's an ambient exploration for the dnb-addled mind, a relaxing excursion perfect for a rainy day.

Chris Meadows: Brew Pub Dub
Remember when a dj mix 'took you on a journey'? Atlanta's Chris Meadows does. Start out with some Burial, end up dancing your ass off.

Eskmo: Colorbrain
A stunning new set from SF's Eskmo, dropped exclusively on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder site. A late entry, but definitely my top pick for December...

Body Language - Influences - Soul
The Body Language boys explore their influences, ranging from Air to James Brown to the Beach Boys. This one's perfect. Roy Ayers people!

Christine Vaccine on Big Up Magazine
Vaccine is one of US dubstep's hottest producers and dj's, dropping heady, introspective downtempo influenced tunes into her forward thinking mixes. This is a perfect blend of hard and soft, it'll stay on repeat for sure.

Mala Live on RBMA Radio
A set of deep rollers from the one like Mala. I don't want no more bloddshed! Absolutely impeccable, this mix pretty much defined the summer.

Landau Orchestra Live from Percussion Lab
Recorded live at one of the best Percussion Lab events in history, this set stands as a testament to the power of a finely tuned Orchestra. Defying the preconceptions of your ear, these guys play electronic music with traditional instruments, including several Machinedrum covers, and do not miss a beat. Also: KILLER Fela Kuti cover.

Photo by Sougwen Chung

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