It isn't often that you'll catch us having a lengthy blowing of our own trumpet here at THUMP, but indulge us just this one: we're pretty good at mixes. Over the last few years, we've been lucky enough to host a suite of immaculate sets that highlight everything we love about music. From DJ Bone's motor city brutalism to Moonboots' Mancunian melancholia, all the way through to this rib-rattling riot from P.O.L. Style, or this Big Night Out by Or:la, many of our personal favourite sessions have been home-grown—making them both musically rewarding and environmentally friendly.
You could make a pretty convincing argument for the idea that there are probably a few too many mixes online, because, well, that's literally true. I'm sure there's some artistic merit to your great uncle's long-running techno podcast—we're up to episode 238 now, I think—but the fact is, the poor bugger's hard work just gets lost in the SoundCloud mire, becoming just another thing to not click on in an infinite parallax scroll of things to not click on. And that's sad—and not just for Uncle Herbie. It's sad because it devalues the art of the mix, reducing something which, at its best, is imbued with the kind of transformative properties we normally only associate with either LSD or hefty blue cheese, to nothing more than audio polyfilla.
There are, however, some absolute scorchers out there, cutting through the mediocrity like a freshly toasted samurai sword through a block of Lurpak Slightly Salted. The easy availability of online mixes by also make everyone's life easier because they're a handy way of hearing good records both new and old that you can then nick and pretend you found for yourself. Everyone down the pub will think you're a fucking legend for "discovering" Tatsuro Yamashita's disco delight "Love Talkin' (Honey It's You)" and they'll never have to know you you stole it from that mix Beautiful Swimmers did for Test Pressing. Life's fucking great isn't it!
Life's even better when you find a mix series that you really gel with. You become obsessive, anticipating the next instalment with a near religious fervour, telling anyone who'll listen just how amazing that Cato Canari set was. With that in mind, here's five mix series we quite simply can't get enough of.
DJ Fett Burger's slightly demented brainchild is, for this writer's money, the best mix series in the whole wide world. These are mixes full of ingenuity, flair, and records you'll probably never be able to afford because it turns out that private press cosmic disco made by factory workers in rural Turkmenistan goes for a pretty penny on Discogs. Delving into a new edition of Trushmix is a bit like stumbling into the world's largest all you can eat buffet blindfolded—you're never sure exactly what you'll get but you can guarantee that it'll be hot, tasty, and leave you positively swollen with pleasure. Personal favourites include PLO Man's submerged house stylings, Fett Burger and Sotofett's other-worldly B2B set, Telephones' Balearo-house odyssey, Jonny Rock's dubbed-out deep dive, and this absolute MONSTER from the brilliantly named Balearic Gabba Sound System.
While it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to learn that the best Balearic website going is home to the best Balearic mixes going, we're never not a little taken aback by just how outstanding the selections sourced by Apiento and Dr Rob are. And it isn't just the kind of creamy wistfulness you'd expect from big boys like the aforementioned Moonboots. Perform an impeccable backwards flip off a cliff into the calming blue of the archive and you'll come up for air with dream house by Coyote, afro trance from Len Leise, and a recording of a set by Ricardo at Ku in 1984 ringing around your head. When you want to escape the blocked drains and overdrafts that are your life, take a trip into a better world with Test Pressing.
The dudes over at Libra Mix's no doubt plush headquarters—I'm seeing a spacious loft, nice prints on the walls, a pastel coloured bike hanging out coquettishly in the hallway—work to a pretty nice brief: "Interesting mixes from the Vancouver and the world," is how they sell themselves, and you can't ask for much more than that, can you? The interesting mixes include Sassy J's phenomenal ambient masterpiece "There is a Love", a mindfulness and meditation selection by 1080p's Richard MacFarlane, and THUMP favourite Ruf Dug's tropical glistener, "Island Life". If you like the laidback dustiness of the Mood Hut team, you'll find a hell of a lot to love here. Warning: repeated exposure to any Libra mix is likely to have you wanting to fuck your life off, move to Vancouver, and get really into weed.
Everyone tells me that Dekmantel is the best festival in the world and if I wasn't so adverse to the idea of spending a lot of money to basically get a hangover so bad that I'd probably cry on an easyJet flight, I'd head over to Amsterdam in a flash. Sadly, I am adverse to that, but happily Boiler Room pretty much stream the entire thing anyway. There's also the festival's gargantuan mix series to tuck into as well. Listening to all 123 of their mixes to date would take 187 and a half hours. That's nearly eight solid days of listening. Maybe you could listen to all of them in a row without sleep and then pitch us a piece about it. We'd love it. Honestly. Anyway, with everyone from Helena Hauff to Axel Boman, Mumdance to Autechre having contributed, the Dekmantel podcast the one to send to your little brother, the one who only listens to music from the FIFA soundtrack. His mind will expand and leave you responsible for his now voracious pinger consumption. Enjoy.
A friend of a friend used to work for Who's Who, and her job was to check that living status of everyone in the fucker. I always found it a slightly macabre task to think about, just one woman sat in a stuffy office in Fitzrovia ringing the Earl of Wilmot up to find out if he's croaked it or not. It used to make me think about death and I don't like thinking about death when I'm trying to huff down a slightly burnt vegetarian lasagna. Death and pasta don't mix. The point of me mentioning that was that FACT's 601 entries strong series really is a Who's Who of contemporary clubbing. Fearlessly and fiercely resistant to focusing in on one or two genres, there aren't many series' out there that can see sets by Hipsters Don't Dance, Mall Grab, and Delia Gonzalez arriving in the same month. If we ever want to make contact with alien life, I'd suggest sending an external hard drive out into the cosmos with every FACT mix ever on it. If that doesn't have the little green buggers making a bee-line for Burnley, nothing will.