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10 Essential Mixes For Aspiring DJs

We’ve all been there — standing at your DJ setup ready to record a mix, but for some reason the inspiration just won’t come. For times like these, it can be beneficial to take a break and have a listen to how other people have done it before you. And while you’re certainly welcome to turn to any number of high quality podcasts now on offer, we recommend that you look into the slowly dying medium of commercial mixes. Though they may seem antiquated, the process of recording something limited by actual physical constraints (namely time and licensing) often makes for a sharper distillation of the artist’s message and a more thought-out narrative.

Suggested Listening

Let’s be honest, this is a far cry from a comprehensive list. Instead, treat it as inspirational listening material. Check ’em out with open ears and try to apply your analytical mind. As a suggested listening exercise, ask yourself these questions while listening to these mixes (and in turn, think about how you can answer them in your own mix!):

  • How are the tracks arranged?
  • When and why do the mixes happen?
  • What is the narrative trying to say?
  • What kind of tricks and techniques are being employed?

To help you out, we’ve provided some brief notes and links (where available) to streaming versions.

THE MIXES

Mix-Up Vol. 2 Featuring Jeff Mills, LiveMix At LiquidRoom, Tokyo
Artist: Jeff Mills
Listen: Full mix on Youtube
Why it’s so great: Sure, there are plenty of good techno mixes out there, but few come close to the raw intensity of this live recording of Jeff Mills in the mid-’90s. Using little more than three turntables, a mixer, and a crateful of 140 bpm wax, he creates a fractalized mass of shifting rhythms and alien tones. Most importantly, though, is the way he plays with dynamics and how he uses deck tricks (spin backs, power downs, and simple scratches) to veer off from his basic monolithic drive into uncharted, and continuously mind-blowing territory. This is what Paul Miller meant when he said, “Give me two turntables and I’ll make you a universe.”

45AREpm
Artist: DJ Muro
Listen: Full mix on Soundcloud
Why it’s so great: Every once in awhile a mix comes along that proves the artistry of the medium, and this modern classic by Japanese hip-hop DJ Muro is one of those rare works. The premise is simple: he takes a playlist of rare ’70s R&B recorded at 33 1/3 RPM and plays every track back at 45 RPMs. The result is something that sounds like the dopest Alvin & The Chipmunks record never made, and while we admit that reads terribly on paper, for some reason it totally works.

Suggested Use Pt. 1
Artist: Theo Parrish
Listen: Full mix on Mixcloud
Why it’s so great: A couple years ago we posted an article about isolators, those esoteric pieces of gear that allow DJs to play the EQs like an instrument. Theo Parrish is a modern master of this art, and this mix in particular showcases his bleedingly raw style. His enthusiasm for the music is infectious, and that allows him to take the listener on a rollercoaster ride through complex jazz-funk, brutal acid house, and even bits of disco. His jaw-dropping transition from ’70s fusion into J.T.C.’s “In The G” does a lot to explain why Parrish is such a revered figure in the underground.

In the Mix: Taka Taka
Artist: Ricardo Villalobos
Listen: Full mix on Youtube
Why it’s so great: Though many point to Fabric 36 as being Villalobos’ crowning mix achievement, we’re not of that mind. Yes, that’s an essential work in its own right, but In the Mix: Taka Taka is a much better representation of the man’s phenomenal abilities as a DJ playing other people’s music. This one’s all about pacing and selection, it’s like a perfectly assembled jigsaw puzzle of a dancefloor in full swing. Listen for his understated but cleverly placed transition from the scattered bongo house of Brothers’ Vibe’s “Manos Libre” to the precise dub techno of Vainqueur’s “Elevation 2.”

Sarcastic Disco Vol. 2
Artist: DJ Harvey
Listen: Full mix on Mixcloud
Why it’s so great: “Chicken Mcnugget Hideout,” “Sexy Woman Singing On The Beach,” “Eternal Vegan Crystals”–these are just some of the fake track names on DJ Harvey’s cheeky Sarcastic Disco Vol. 2. Released in 2001, it perfectly encapsulates the eclectic style he honed while DJing the late-morning shift at London’s Ministry of Sound, with scratchy ’70s dollar bin jams sleazily rubbing up against obscure Balearica. In the process he made one of the most creative mixes of all time, a concrete document that caused a whole generation to re-evaluate disco.

Live at Robert Johnson Volume 8
Artist: Dixon
Listen: Full mix on Soundcloud
Why it’s so great: It was a bittersweet moment when Live at Robert Johnson Volume 8 was released in 2011. Robert Johnson, the highly regarded German club, announced that this would be the last installment in its three year-running mix series. At the same time, Dixon also stated that this would be his last official mix, citing the physical limits of the format as his reason. Luckily, this last installment proved a knockout, with an unusual pacing that begins in an ambient haze before finding its concrete rhythm in the second half.

Radio Rothko
Artist: Deadbeat
Listen: Full mix on Soundcloud
Why it’s so great: Sometimes the easiest route into a genre is by being introduced through a well-executed mix. Case in point is Deadbeat’s Radio Rothko, which takes all that’s good about dub-techno and manages to condense it into an hour long lesson. Sticking close to its subject, it straddles the Atlantic, revealing the connection between behemothic labels like Deepchord in Detroit and Basic Channel in Berlin. It might not be the flashiest mix, but there are few better ways to become immersed in the style’s echo-drenched depths.

Where Dancefloors Stand Still
Artist: DJ Sprinkles
Listen: 10 minute teaser on Soundcloud
What it’s so great: Traditionally, dance music has tried to downplay its political dimensions, which is why DJ Sprinkles’ decision to create a protest mix feels so fresh. Released a few months ago, it stands to raise awareness about Japan’s puritanical 1 a.m. “fuzoku” curfew laws. But while it has a stated purpose, it’s never overbearing, instead choosing to spread its message by creating a timeless ambient house experience that’s as fully fleshed out and emotionally affecting as Sprinkles’ seminal ’00s album, Midtown 120 Blues.

DE9 | Transitions
Artist: Richie Hawtin
Listen: Full mix on Soundcloud
Why it’s so great: There are so many good Richie Hawtin mixes that it would be difficult to choose one, but if pressed, Transitions from 2005 fits the bill pretty well. It’s the third installment in the DE9 series, and it marked an important moment when Hawtin completely embraced the full potential of digital DJ technology. Using Ableton, he created an immersive experience (available in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound!) that was at once entirely new, while still remaining indebted to the fundamentals of old-school three-deck mixing.

Essential Mix
Artist: François K.
Why it’s so great: Few DJs are more qualified to summarize New York’s huge contribution to dance music than François K. The French-born DJ and producer moved there in the ’70s, and he’s been a part of the action ever since. Though it’s not its stated intent, his Essential Mix charts a scattered course through the city’s clubland history, but it’s not the narrative you might expect. Though there’s plenty of disco and house, he also weaves in bits of hip-hop, drum and bass, Jamaican dub, and techno. Along the way, he shows how even the most disparate genres can be woven together. The trick? It’s not what you’re playing so much as how you play it.

YOUR SUGGESTIONS HERE

These mixes barely scratch the surface of what’s out there. We want to hear from you, which mixes have influenced you? Do you have any in particular that you think every DJ should hear? Let us know in the comments below (and be sure to tell us why)!

  • Kody Klutts

    Martyparty -twisted summer mixtape is my chillout time to think goto mix

  • Thomas Ormond

    I’m old school, Top Buzz Fantazia NYE 1991 and Pilgrim’s Studio Mix Dec 1991 for me… 🙂

  • djas

    Charles Siegling ?– PLUS Technasia Charles Siegling

  • Dennis Parrott

    DJ Harvey mix is a 404 kids… long gone…
    DJ Sprinkles teaser on SoundCloud has met the same fate…

  • Kevin Reynolds

    All great ones. Theo Parrish’s Live in Detroit 1999 changed my perception of how slower bpm does not necessarily mean a slower feel. Stacey Pullen’s DJ Kicks is a study on the use of effects in a mix. The energy in Derrick May’s Mix-Up Vol. 5 is uncontainable. Also goes the same for Claude Young’s Dexit.

  • Romain

    Every mix of Holden, especially At the controls, Balance, DJ-Kicks & Resident Advisor.

  • @funkyghettosoul

    Mr.Dibbs – Turntable Scientifics

  • FAT GIRL

    I have a lot of favorites, but if I had to narrow it down to one, I-f’s “Mixed Up In The Hague, Volume 1” has always had a massive influence over me. If I’m doing a mix, I always strive to make it as smooth and as well-thought out as that one.

  • Aryan Sharma

    I’d throw in Sasha and John Digweed – Communicate (2CD Compilation) NEVER gets old for me!

  • workid

    daft punk essential mix?

  • Gunther

    Blech II – Blechsdottir (Warp)
    LTJ Bukem – Logical Progression Level I (GLR)
    Fumiya Tanaka – Mix Up
    Keith Fielder – Techno Methods London
    Richie Hawtin – Closer to the Edit
    Gilles Peterson – INCredible Sound of Gilles Peterson
    …..

  • Ziggy M

    Tiesto – In search of sunrise 1 (1999). This one is just great mix. It will probably even like to people who don’t listen trance.

  • SOULFamilySA

    Quite surprised nobody has mentioned “Unlock Your Mind” by Doc Martin – was mixed live on 3 turntables back in the Moonshine Music days, has some of the most epic tracks in house music, including Sneak’s “Latin Seoul”, Simon’s “2 Crates”, I-Cube’s “Disco Cubizm” and possibly one of the greatest tracks ever, Garth & ETI’s “20 Minutes of Disco Glory”.

    As KRS-One said, “You Must Learn!” 😉

  • Lord Quas

    Any mix by The Avalanches is class

    The Avalanches – Gimix

    Don’t know how this list doesn’t have an LTJ Bukem mix

    LTJ Bukem – Journey Inwards

    Some other great mixes:
    Agoria – At The Controls
    Robag Wruhme – Wuppdeckmischmampflow
    Marcus Intalex – FabricLive 35
    Jackmaster – FabricLive 57
    Tayo – FabricLive 32
    Dixon – Body Language Vol. 4
    Prins Thomas – Live at Robert Johnson Vol. 2
    Marcel Dettmann – Berghain 2
    Shackleton – Fabric 55

    DJ/Rupture – Gold Teeth Thief http://www.negrophonic.com/dj-rupture-mixes-free-download/

    • Sinixstar

      For LTJ – I’d go with the original mixmag set he did. Absolutely classic.

  • DirtyHz

    Dj Jesse Brooks-LA Groove. Super dope mid-90’s breaks with an ultra cheesy cd cover, ha! Programming, track selection and mixing was boss. I was a crate diggin foo back in ’97 for those tracks on wax.

  • Robin Renwick

    Two mixes that i think are well worth including are (though in fairness to the author, the suggested listening is quite a comprehensive and impressive bill) a couple from two very well known dj’s/producers, who have been in the game since pretty much the beginning.

    One is from way way back, the Kevin Saunderson X-Mix

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKshovQtmaQ)

    and one is from just a week or so ago.

    Laurnet Garnier, reminding us all why he has been so revered for so long, with his 20 years of Sonar celebration mix, a true Sonic Journey if there was ever one

    (https://soundcloud.com/laurent-garnier/20-years-of-sonar)

  • prout
  • hoozn

    Michael Mayer – Immer [Kompakt]: Extremely soulful deep/tech set

    Laurent Garnier – Excess Luggage Mix 3: PBB Mix [F Com/PIAS]: Perfect example of an exceptional downtempo/afterhour mix

    Laurent Garnier – X-Mix-2: Destination Planet Dream [!K7]: This is probably the essence of early techno, acid and UR philosophy

    DJ Hell – Body Language Vol 9 [Get Physical]: Sophisticated playlist that takes lots of unexpected turns and still works

  • Sergei Campos

    Creo que falto Paul Cameron, sin duda uno de los mejores DJs !!

  • o melan

    MCDE DJ Kicks !

  • Erick Flores

    Amazing sets for learning. Enjoy!

    Paul van Dyk at Cream, Amnesia (Ibiza, Spain)(2002-08-16)
    Live Set – Bal en Blanc – Markus Schulz – 04/04/2010

  • frolic

    just a few of the ones i’m diggin at the moment

    All of GLK’s mixes @ Low End Theory.
    Duke Dumont’s Essential Mix.
    Daphni @ Bussey Building
    Tiesto -In Search of Sunrise 6 Ibiza
    DJ Shadow – All Bases Covered (south beach set)

  • Ed Flynn

    Dj Andy Smith’s – The Document.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-document/id7314248

    Track listing:
    1/ G.B. Beats – GB
    2/ How Ya Want It – Jungle Brothers
    3/ Come Clean – Jeru The Damaja
    4/ Cissy Strutt – Meters
    5/ Funk #49 – James Gang
    6/ Can’t Seem To Find Him – Barry white
    7/ Stop Ya Skemes – Jeep Beat Collective
    8/ T Plays It Cool – Marvin Gaye
    9/ Looking Out My Window – Tom Jones
    10/ Deaf Mick’s Throwdown – Clockwork Voodoo Freaks
    11/ The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
    12/ Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay – Peggy Lee
    13/ Movement – SL Troopers
    14/ I’m A Man – Davis, Spencer Group
    15/ Can’t Seem To Find Him (Reprise) – Barry White

  • Brian Anderson

    Derrick Carter-Cosmic Disco——-CLASSIC

    http://youtu.be/Aas1UOfW5jw

    • Ed Flynn

      Double Thumbs up for this.

  • Denis Barre

    well the last big slap was the Thom Yorke mix on BBC radio 1 with his producer Nigel Godrich last march…

    https://soundcloud.com/earmilk/atoms-for-peace-bbc-radio-1

  • Jakob Svensson

    As heard on Radio Soulwax pt. 2 is a very interesting mix as well. Rough around the edges but very diverse and fun… But I’m a big fan of the humble and very different way of DJ’ing by the Dewaele Brothers.

  • Woo J

    Daft Punk’s essential of ’97 is a classic for me. ( +1 for Fat Boy Slim )

    Dj Marky & Patife – Jungle Jazz is the set that made me listen to dnb insanely for a couple years.

    Also from very old school, I think Danielle Baldelli cosmic mixtapes are some of the most influential pieces from the 80’s, awesome cross-genre mixing with pure vynil.

    This oldie from Aphex Twin https://soundcloud.com/masterofpuppies/aphex-twin-furthur-side-a

    And +1 for the newer but awesome Twelves mixtapes

  • Bennettkerr

    Although a lot of Justice’s new live album (Access All Arenas) is done in the studio, I think some of the mixes/transitions can be applied to other songs and genres. It’s one of my favorite CDs currently

  • dion mavath

    You’ve mentioned some of the best, must listen for the younger generation

  • Patrick Ijsselstein

    absolute nr. 1 is Jeff Mills, this man is out of this world and unmatched in skills….
    Julien chaptal is also very pleasant to listen to, this guy knows how to combine tracks and loops….

  • PhilipS

    Hi Derek! Really really appreciated your article! I try to attach great importance on the things you mentioned! For me, it’s all about selection, timing and flow! if you guys like to have a listen check out my newest live set recorded on a cloudy sunday afternoon! You can have a listen over here: https://soundcloud.com/philipstangner/reparations
    I hope you guys like it! Best, Philip

  • Delano Feurtado

    Kameron Sears – Phresh & Funky VOL 3
    great mix

  • discoali

    A few others for your consideration:

    Mr Thing – Champion Nerd or Nerd is Bond (either is fantastic)
    Larry Levan – Live at Paradise Garage
    Mark E – Resident Advisor Podcast #112
    Giles Peterson – Incredible Sound Of…(CD 2)
    Danny Tenaglia – Global Underground Vol 10, Athens

  • Nayami
  • Nick Bagot

    CJ Mackintosh Essential Mix, 1994. Two turntables (maybe three) and simply the most sublime mixing skills. https://soundcloud.com/mark-coleman/cj-mackintosh-radio-1

  • Rhodri Jones

    BT – Movement in still life (mixed)

  • Charles Mykid

    Magda – She’s a Dancing Machine & Fabric 27 by Audion should be on that list.

  • Very surprised Coldcut’s JDJ wasn’t mentioned. VERY SURPRISED

    Not much in the way of broken beats in general in this selection….

  • MichielyGil

    I have a dvd by Jeff Mills somewhere (forgot the name) where he does a lot of tracks of his own labels live. So you’ll get the mix itself (3 I believe) but also the camera on him while doing the mixes, which is a great thing to behold!

  • ChronicVader

    DJ Dan – Funk The System

    Kevin Yost – Small Town Underground

    DJ Brian – HarDeserTrance Series *especially #3

    Miguel Migs – Get Salted

  • Conrad

    Joris Voorn – Balance 014 !!!!!!!!!

  • Ok – what am I missing here? These mixes are either incredibly repetitive or extremely obscure. I don’t doubt the skill needed to mix, but I spin mainly glitch, breaks, and need some examples closer to my main genre’s. I’m not against listening to other stuff, it’s just that these left me with little to work with.

  • GrooveUltra

    Krafty Kuts instant party just add people mix which came free with mixmag about 10 years ago is a master class in programming and track selection to get a party dancing

  • technicaltitch

    Joe Acheson (Hidden Orchestra) is up there with DJ Shadow for studio mixes. Where Shadow is raw and visionary, Acheson is finessed and luxurious. His latest is here and showcases his detailed, subtle, and properly out-of-the-box programming, his incredible track prep, (most of the tracks are remixed/edited for the purpose), and inspiring sampling, and just like Shadow you feel like you’ve returned from distant shores journey by the end: http://www.tru-thoughts.co.uk/audio/unfold-radio/unfold-radio-sun-10th-march-2013

  • Maybe I’m dating myself here, but here are some of the DJ Mix compilation CD’s that I bought back in the day when I was getting started:

    Paul Oakenfold – Global Underground 007: New York – I still listen to this double CD on a regular basis. I have also bought several of the songs he used. I also enjoy the fact that he goes from breaks to ambient to progressive house in the same mix, and that I can hear the pops from the record on the turntable.

    Fatboy Slim – On the Floor at the Boutique. I see that several others have mentioned this one, and I don’t think I can add anything that hasn’t already been said. This is another one I still listen to regularly a decade and a half after its release.

    Frankie Bones – Army of One. Even though this came out many years past his prime years in terms of popularity, the original Frankie Bones sound is very prominent on this CD. If you want to hear a real techno set from one of the most important DJ’s in the early rave scene in the 1990’s, you need to hear this!

    With the advances of controller/laptop based DJing, the classic Mix compilations are hard to find in my opinion

  • Boarderbas

    dr. Lektroluv – live @ extrema outdoor. His feat: getting a very shallow, eurotrance loving crowd to go nuts on obscure electro and 80’s classics

    James holden – live @ pixel11 amsterdam. His feat: truly building an ambience. This mix just absorbs you.

    Raja Ram – @ zepp osaka. His feat: he can’t mix, yet this mix made him a classic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvY2KIFM8io

  • W

    Global Underground (Los Angeles) mixed by John Digweed – uncompromising Progressive House of the time. The transitions between tracks are, for lack of better words, simply amazing.

    James Zabiela – ALiVE – There’s a lot more than meets the ear(?) with this 2CD compilation, and Zabs included sleeve notes detailing just what’s going on. Above all, the tracks are great, the general vibe is very positive, and on both CDs, the mixes tell a story, building up to euphoric-like tracks at the end. It makes listening from start to finish very rewarding. Both CDs were recorded live.

    Global Underground (London) mixed by Danny Tenaglia – again, the track selection and vibe in this mix is what sets it apart from the rest. What I really appreciate about this mix though is it’s a recorded vinyl mix. I don’t know how much post-processing went on (if any) but at the time, a lot of DJ sets were sequenced in a DAW or similar – clearly noticeable by the soulless, clinical transitions – often what you find in any Ableton mix today (yes, I am biased to the oldschool)

  • This is great. Never heard DJ Muro before, very good. Mix-Up Vol.2 is a bible in my book. That is what djiing is to me. The Theo mix you guys have up is great but the one that made me look at funk and soul in a different perspective is Theo Parish Live In Detroit 1999. Other great ones:

    Derrick May Mix-Up Vol. 5
    Claude Young Dexit

    numerous Traxx tapes floating around.

  • This might sound typical, but I have always had a huge love for the original In Search Of Sunrise mixes done by Tiesto when he was under his previous label and still doing trance. Something about the track selection felt like a story. It gave a huge vibe to the city each mix represented. It’s amazing to me till this day.

  • Rjd2 – Breezeblock Radio mix .Excellent mix , one of my all time favorites

  • DJ AUSTRALAN

    Power 106 of Dj AM opened a lot of minds … i must say that i dont know almost any of those mixes …

  • Smuve415

    Me and a DJ friend used to go on late night 7-11 runs and listen to this repeatedly back in 2000. Still one of my all time favorite mixes – and one of the first mixes packaged and sold commercially I saw at a Target for shits sakes!

  • julius .

    Andrew Weatherall ?– Hypercity , Tiga – DJ Kicks ,

  • As a typical American. I hate all the crap u all seem 2 love. All the crap thats just a 4/4 beat for hours. Every techno subgenre sounds the same 2 us. Jungle, house, drum n bass, whatever. R u all gay? How about both Future Primitive Mixes. The Z-Trip and DJ P mix that was already listed, plus the Cut Chemist & Shortkut mix. Hip-Hop DJ’s are so much better. Also, Liam Howlett’s Dirtchamber Sessions is awesome. How about DJ Qbert’s Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Muzik. I’d rather hear DJ Shadow play the same mix forever than any of that Euro-Gay shit u can ignore 4 an hour and not miss a thing.

    • atom12

      Speak for yourself, not all of us are ignorant as you.

    • What would being gay have to do with anything tough guy?

  • Eissman

    James Holden Balance 005

  • guest

    Tyrant – No Shoes no Cake – Summed up London’s best club at that time
    Steve Lawler – Lights Out Vol 1

    2 Many Djs – As heard on Radiosoulwax
    Three mixes that I still listen to now that summed up my youth

  • David
  • Guest

    Theo Parrish must be completely tone-deaf. Instead of contributing to the overall experience of a DJ set (from a listeners p.o.v.) he’s destroying every single track he’s playing with his ferocious fiddling with the rotaries out of every musical context. Disgusting.

  • Best Legs

    my favorite mix of all time is the Twelfth Hour by the Twelves

  • Benji Davidson

    Sander Klienenberg – This is
    Steve Lawler – Nubreed

    But #1 is Global Underground Sydney, John Digweed,

  • Guest

    Dj Dimitri’s night at the playboy mansion is also a kind of epic mixtape …. here’s a small teaser : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x46EjfZGC9M

  • Bruce W. Illest

    Kid Fresh – Peolple want Sugar

    Not because he has been world champion solo and with LOF but because his mixing technique and ways of blending different songs & genres stand out on this one.
    TBH I should also list Spinbad’s 80s&90s Mixes plus his NTTGroove, but i’ma stick with Kid Fresh.
    Give it a listen, shit’s great!

    https://soundcloud.com/kidfresh/people-want-sugar-mad-decent-exclusive

  • I used to have an old Sister Bliss mix on a cassette that I listened to at least a bazillion times.
    No idea what any of the tunes were, apart from a couple of Faithless tunes, but every tune was a winner. I wish I still had the tape, so I could listen to it again.

  • Sasha & John Digweed Northern Exposure series . Light years ahead of everything else in 1997.

    • Anonymous

      Amen!!!!!!!

    • SOHAL PATEL

      I must wholeheartedly and soulfully agree; in my opinion, the greatest mix albums ever recorded are the Northern Exposure albums (East Coast and 0 North) as well as the Chemical Brothers “Dig Your Own Hole”. I welcome any arguments….

  • baz

    Balance 004 disc 1 by Phil K

  • Scoop

    Really really good content lately, keep it up guys!

  • Nicolas Jaar’s Essential Mix

  • Any DJ set from Justice, Daft Punk or Disclosure

  • mjr

    Lessons- Steinski, Cut Chemist and Z Trip
    Some unreal old school breaks

  • Hip Hop Dont Stop Greatest Hits mixed by Prime Cuts – the hours I’ve spent listening, enjoying and trying to disect that mix. Truely inspirational and a great reference for any hip hop dj. The mixing technics are second to none and stand up so well even now 🙂

  • tisbatman

    hm, not one hip hop mix included. I suggest “Dj cut Killer, Party Jam”, Jr Ewing
    “new york chainsaw massacre”, the Dj premier James brown tape, Soundbombing volume 2 by the beat junkies etc. Hell, I even give you this link: http://tapediggers.blogspot.fr/

  • I’ll just leave this here:

  • Any of the Greco-Roman Soundsystem mixes

  • Hopewell

    Netsky Essential Mix: Blew my Mind and got me into producing electronic music, and I don’t even make Dn’B the song choice and the blending, I read there we even triple drops in it, insane!

    Flying Lotus, Nicolas Jaar and Justice Essential Mixes, for showing range of different music I had not know about and the idea that depending on the venue and format a mix isn’t always about packing a dancefloor, It’s also informing and setting a vibe. Sasha’s 2005 Essential Mix did this for me as well!

    Always many more to explore but this is me so far and I’m glad this post and resulting comments is happening I think the best way to discover new and good music is too share, it’s much easier when someone can recommend and tell you what they liked about it so you can decide for yourself.

  • Guest

    yoshiesque by Deep Dish – changed my life

  • Matthew Goldstein

    Mark Farina – San Francisco Sessions v1
    Sounds just as good today as it did when it first came out in 1999

    • ChronicVader

      YES! one of the my ATF mixes.

      • Ed Flynn

        Glad someone added this.

  • HBtt

    Talking about (BBC’s) Essential Mixes… This one is truly legendary and I will never forget this set.. I went nuts when I heard it 10 years ago.. Adam Beyer was a rising star at that time and Techno was just banging (+135 BPM) ! Nowadays, Techno is slower than it was used to be (still enjoying though)…

    One of my favorite Essential Mixes.. Adam Beyer Essential Mix 2002

    https://soundcloud.com/adambeyer/adam-beyer-essential-mix-2002-12-15

  • Socrates

    Alive 2007

  • I started listening to dance music in 98 shortly after Daft Punk released ‘Around The World’. It wasn’t until 2003 that I poped on Paul Oakenfolds: Cremfields that sent me into a frenzy of emotions strictly by track selection. For that time, trance was in its golden years and It was the right time. I would listen to those tracks mixed by anyone, and I did. That is what kick started my DJing career. I rarely listen to other peoples mixes except for the festivals, its a creative technique that sometimes works against me . The main reason being is for a while that’s what I would do, listen to a mix and then create one myslef. The problem started when most of the mixes I would find would be total crap, or a lack of technique or just sloppy. But these are mixes that have been recorded and signed to a label. It got to a point where my stuff was more thought out, I would mostly listen to no names and big names to get the full spectrum. To close cause this could be an article, after enough time behind the decks you make the jacket fit to how you want and it becomes a nice fit. Give it some time and you really find waht your looking for and with added inspiration from the great Ean Golden. Thank you.

  • VL

    DJ AM.

  • Big Ups to the writer of this article. Instead of name-dropping Euro-cheese mixes or quoting a Paul Oakenfold early-2000s mix as “essential,” he actually presented us with some thoughtful insights into why these mix albums are good…because guess what? They’re actually MIXED!!!! Jeff Mills, Theo Parrish and Francois K getting a mention on DJTT means that its EDM-friendly crowd might actually pay attention! Thank you so much!

    • HBtt

      I totally agree ! The last couple of months DJTT is shifting into the more “underground” genres… Maybe because Ean changed his style into the more deepers sounds and made friends such as Loco Dice and Hawtin ? Anyway.. Not bad at all !

    • Dan White

      We’ve got an EDM-friendly crowd, but we’re well aware that many of our readers are into much more minute, underground, eclectic, or absurd types of music. Myself and the entire DJTT staff included!

  • Sasha’s Involv3r, as well as the original Involver album. The work that went into those… amazing.

  • Music….really too subjective to even try to make a top list. I will agree with the FBS Boutique mix, and will add Chemical Brothers Live at the Social vol. 1 😛

    • That’s a….. strange selection.
      Even The Chemical Brothers themselves have admitted that they aren’t good at mixing. So stating that it is one of the mixes that new DJ’s should listen to leaves me a bit amazed… can you explain why?

      • I think I did when I stated that music is subjective. *I personally* really like the mix, complete with flaws and all.

  • Zerodashzero

    Sasha – Involver

    Above and Beyonds 2011 essential mix. – A great mix that shows how samples can be used in a mix to create a great atmosphere and theme to a mix

  • JB

    Johan glelen @ trance energy 2003

  • DJ Pierre – Boiler Room – YouTube.

    Why?

    Because it got me (back) into Acid House and the mixes are so good thatyou often don’t notice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bicMOFbBMI

  • Gio

    Wow the DJ Muro mix takes me back. I had this gem back in the day. That’s a Staple classic!!! Shouts to http://stapledesign.com & http://thereedspace.com

  • Guest

    FabricLive 37 – Caspa and Rusko

    one of thebest dubstep mixes out there. back when dubstep was not a shit ton of midbass and bros moshing.

  • Skratch Bastid – The Entertainer: https://soundcloud.com/skratchbastid/the-entertainer-a-skratch
    His blend of classic funk, rap, hip hop always sounds fresh. Great for background of a party, or on a road trip with the windows down.

    • P.U.S.H.

      Pure class!

  • man, back in the 90s at the University of Michigan, we must have listened to the Jeff Mills mix 2-3 times a day for a couple years. mindblowing.

  • FabricLive 37 – Caspa and Rusko

    back when dubstep was not crap midbass being played through a vuvuzela

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FabricLive.37

  • DanJam

    Claude Von Stroke did a mix back in pre 2000, it was very much an inspiration for me, it had classic tracks like Steve Bud – Loverboy and Green Velvet – La La Land, the mixing was tight

  • connor

    andy c nightlife 1 2 & 3 /dj hype world dance cd / dj craze live in puerto rico / liam howlet dirtchamber sessions / dave clarke electro boogie / dj shadow & cut chemist brainfreeze / richie hawtin decks efx and 909 better stop now

  • MayRant

    Global Underground series

    Dave Seaman- Capetown and Melbourne

    Nick Warren- Reykjavik

    Deep Dish- Moscow and Toronto

    • While I find those mixes utterly boring now – they truly did it for me back in the day.

      • MayRant

        We all have our opinion.. What I love most about them is the fact that the music was still very experimental then, also the people that made them are still rockin hard. I’m curious to see how today’s music sounds in ten years.

    • Melbourne and Reykjavik were sick mixes

      • Robert Vigo

        Deep Dish Moscow has to be one of my favorites including their opening track “Escape” driving to heaven. I remember reading the inside cd cover which was an interview where (not sure if it was Sharam or Dubfire) said when he played Escape for the first time is was surreal experience how it connected with the crowd and everytime I listen to that mix it gives me goose bumps… Also, John Acquaviva’s “from saturday to sunday” has been played probably over a hundred times by me. An excellent example of how music matches the album title perfectly.

    • SOHAL PATEL

      Moscow was their greatest

  • heck listen to me:http://www.soundcloud.com/djcbzbeatz also I love dj revolution and dj scratch also felix the housecat!http://www.mixcloud.com/djcbz/

  • Spoo4

    I recommend both of the Pendulum Essential mixes, the first was in 2005 and the second in 2010. Although ostensibly by Pendulum they were really both done by Paul Harding, the DJ of the group, and both were hugely responsible for getting me into EDM. The 2005 mix was heavily drum and bass oriented and the 2010 mix featured heavy dubstep and similar. However both mixes traverse across various genres while sticking to an overarching theme and energy. I found about about SO many good tracks and artists from those mixes.

  • Greg

    I’ll add one more

    Carl Cox The Sound of Ultimate B.A.S.E.

  • Greg

    Here’s a suggestion of 3(but I have many more)

    Behrouz Essential Mix 2004
    Desyn Masiello Essential Mix 2004
    DE9 Closer to the Edit

  • Anonymous

    Coldcut’s Journey’s by DJs, 70 Minutes of Madness is pretty epic one from the 90’s as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbJvkMpMovk

    • Anonymous

      This. A thousand times this!

    • I’m surprised this wasn’t on the list. This was so far ahead of its time when it was released and still sounds terrific today.

    • Andrew Norris

      This is the mix that inspired me to learn how to DJ. 18 years on and it’s still one of the best mixes I’ve ever heard.

    • Keith Goodwin

      +1 on that! And one of the most surprising DJ mixes is also the Westbam Journeys by DJ until that point I had only really thought of westbam as hardcore…but the theme from midnight express…wow!

  • F.A.C.T.- Carl Cox. nearly 20 years ago and for me is still my fav mix

  • Fugi
  • fatboy slim – on the floor at the boutique.
    this was hands down the most influential mix for me and it’s still holding really well 15 years later. blending seamlessly between everything from 60s instrumentals, b-boy-classics, hiphop, squelchy acid house to big beat and back, it’s one of the most openminded, genrebending and most of all FUN mixes out there. this showed me early on that genres and niches are bullshit and it’s all about selection and the party 🙂
    check it here, essential listening!
    http://www.mixcloud.com/SkintRecords/on-the-floor-at-the-boutique-fatboy-slim/

    • Anonymous

      Bump for fatboy. Also all the old Essential Mixes…Portishead, Massive Attack, Chembros. Brothers Gonna Work It Out is a monster too.

      • technicaltitch

        Bump for the Portishead Essential Mix – absolutely legendary!

        • Dan Sheahan

          DJ Andy Smith of Portishead – I heard it live as a student in 1994. – still brilliant

      • SOHAL PATEL

        Brothers Gonna Work It Out was indeed monstrous. And as only the privileged and endowed really know, The Chemical Brothers and Sasha&Digweed are the most magnificently creative duos ever to produce and/or mix.

    • YES!! He had me at “Apache”

  • adat

    props for dropping liquid room

  • faxweich

    The first Resident Advisor podcast by Troy Pierce!

  • Hanzhebie

    Goldie’s ‘INCredible Sound of Drum & Bass’ was the one that started it all for me. Gettin’ weepy just thinking about it…

    • Dave

      Same here. That’s one of the first that got it all started for me

  • de oerwout dj

    Laurent Garnier

    ?–

    Laboratoire Mix

    Kruder & Dorfmeister : The K&D Sessions

  • LoopCat

    James Zabiela’s Essential Mix is next level and Midland’s XLR8R Mix

    • Guest

      And Midland’s XLR8R mix