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Continuing the end of year round up fun, here are 12 mixes that made my year in 2008 and spent the most time in my iPod. The same disclaimer applies to this as to my rundown of the 30 best tracks of the year, ie. this is a fairly personal and biased selection not some sort of attempt at representing everything and everyone.

CD and, since the turn of the century, digital mixes have replaced the mixtape and while the benefits and drawbacks of it can be argued ad nauseam, one thing is for sure: mixes are easier to put together and make available but that also means there’s more crap to sift through to get to the good stuff (as is the case with pretty much any online content since the explosion of user generated content in the era of Web 2.0).

Still if you know where to look, there is a wealth of amazing mixes out there, from straight forward ones that rely purely on selection, like the best mixtapes did, to those which evolve the pause tape and multitrack techniques of the 80s and 90s to turn in deeply layered and intricate musical journeys.

There’s a bit of everything in my selection, covering all sorts of music and mixing styles and including both live and studio mixes. There’s a brief description, link to where you can download the mix as well as links to the artists, labels and/or shows they were originally aired on. There is no order, every mix comes heavily recommended, especially if you need something to spice up the xmas after dinner or nye party.

12 mixes for 2008

Brainfeeder Radio pt 2 – Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Samiyam, Ras G, Gaslamp Killer, J Rocc and more
Originally aired June 08 on Dublab.
Download the mix (Megaupload) / Brainfeeder myspace
6h, some of L.A. best producers, weed, turntables and drum machines.

Devotional Dubz – Grievous Angel
Recorded for Fact Magazine, October 08.
Download the mix (from Fact’s site) / Grievous Angel myspace
2step meets rnb w/ a dash of hip hop and dub mixing styles, ridiculous.

Mixtape Runners – Megasoid
Recorded for Megasoid North American tour, August 08.
Download the mix (zshare) / Megasoid myspace
Sweaty, dancefloor business with added grindin’.

Keysound Radio 08 – Dusk & Blackdown
Recorded for XLR8R podcast series, August 08.
Download the mix (from XLR8R’s site) / Dusk & Blackdown myspace
Blackdown & Dusk bring the sounds of London to XLR8R in a glorious, eclectic fashion.

Live at Maida Vale – Kode 9 & Spaceape
Recorded for Gilles Peterson BBC radio show, July 08.
Download the mix / Hyperdub myspace
Kode9 & Spaceape live from Maida Vale proving that the future of music is quite possibly already here.

A Mashed up mix – DJ Zhao
Recorded for the Blogariddims podcast series, July 08.
Download the mix / Zhao myspace
Fusing worldwide sounds, urban beats and bass into a beautiful new sonic whole.

Terminus – Blogamuffins
Recorded for the Blogariddims podcast series, October 08.
Download the mix
The end of a beautiful podcast era, as deep as the entire series in 60 or so mins.

Floatation Device – The Smokering
Recorded for the Monday Jazz podcast series, October 08.
Download the mix / Monday Jazz myspace
Hazy and smoky textures that enter your ears and float around your brain.

Dang In Dub 3 ‘Dang in Digital’ – Wrongtom
Recorded for the Rhythm Incursions podcasts, July 08.
Download the mix / Wrongtom myspace
Twisting up the dub inna digital stylee bwoy.

Phi – Carlo
Recorded for the Rhythm Incursions podcasts, October 08.
Download the mix / Carlo myspace
Delving deep into crates you probably never heard or knew existed.

Live at BTC – Quarta 330
Recorded live at Back To Chill, Tokyo, December 07.
Download the mix / Quarta 330 myspace
Dub and 2step with bips and bleeps, live on 2 game boys.

Wonk Fonk – Kper
Recorded for Serie B Magazine, June 08.
Download the mix
As Mr Trick said, this is fairly shameless considering it is my mix but with over 6,000 downloads, a mention on the New Yorker blog, podcast on Percussion Lab and positive feedback from around the world I felt like I had to include it. And also it’s quite possibly the mix I’m the most proud of in a strange way.

So there you have it. Having put the list together, I’m noticing that actually all of these bar 2 are from the second half of the year. Weird. Here’s to hoping the first half of 2009 offers as much quality mixes then.

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