You like lists and we like self-important navel-gazing, so here it is, another mind-blowing collection of some of XLR8R's top-notch content from 2009. Over the course of the year, our weekly podcast series ran all over the musical map, courtesy of guest mixes turned in by some of our favorite artists. Picking the best of the lot was a King Solomon-esque task, but these were the podcasts we found ourselves coming back to again and again.
It's unclear whether the native Chilean is returning to his roots or simply enjoying the exploration of a new sonic palette, but we're certainly fascinated by the results. On this exclusive mix, Aguayo's penchant for experimentation continues, as he combines several of his own productions with everything from classic cumbias to Latin-flavored flea-market finds.
Awesome Tapes from Africa
In 2006 Brian Shimkovitz launched Awesome Tapes from Africa, a blog devoted to sharing hard-to-find musical gems from Africa with audiences outside the continent. Here at XLR8R, we've long been fans of the blog, so we tapped Shimkovitz to put together an exclusive mix.
Something interesting is brewing on the fringes of dubstep, and 24-year-old Rob Kemp, better known as Brackles, is right in the thick of it. We somehow convinced him to put together this exclusive mix for XLR8R. Full of unreleased gems and a few underground classics, the results are absolutely thrilling.
Chavy Boys of London
Baltimore club music has a rep for being energetic, but from the sounds of this mix, which is primarily just that, the Chavy Boys of London must keep an entire fridge stocked with Red Bull—and pound a few down when commissioned to do DJ mixes.
Youthful French producer and ZZK compatriot Douster has certainly made a splash in 2009 with his clubby European take on the various tropical rhythms (and riddims) emerging from around the globe. Whether it be dancehall or kuduro, cumbia or UK funky, Douster can be counted on to deliver an uptempo, chopped-and-sliced dancefloor filler.
The Heatwave's Funky Bashment Mix
Recent months have seen a whole lot of hullabaloo surrounding the burgeoning UK funky house scene, but significantly less attention has been given to how these rhythms are intermingling with the world of dancehall. In search of more information, not to mention a sampling of new music, we turned to The Heatwave, the London-based DJ and production crew headed by Gabriel Myddelton that has spent much of the decade firmly planted on dancehall and reggae's bleeding edge.
Jahdan Blakkamoore: Full Hundred Mixed by Matt Shadetek
Shadetek gathered numerous tracks featuring Jahdan's fine lyrcial flow and mashed them into Jahdan Blakkamoore Full Hundred. It's a mere 22 minutes long, but Shadetek packed an impressive amount of music into that time, and if you had musings over just what tropical bass mashed into melodic dancehall and hard-hitting dubstep sounded like, here's your mix.
Loaded with high-quality tunes—many of which are forthcoming or entirely unreleased—this mix assumbled by Martin Kemp (a.k.a. Brackles' little brother) occupies that unique space where garage, 2-step, funky, and house bubble together in a uniquely potent brew.
Kid606: Megachurch Meltdown
Pulling from a collection of current club tracks and old favorites, the man born Miguel Depedro has crafted a bouncy, bass-heavy techno-meets-dubstep-meets-booty-house mix that's as close to an actual night in the club as one can hope to get.
Future Blappin' with Lazer Sword
Lazer Sword delivers a 36-track set that features hip-hop, future-bass, electro, and more. Many of the tracks are remixes the boys have made themselves, and, in true Lazer Sword fashion, names like Dr. Dre and Keak Da Sneak crop up on the tracklisting.
Move D Live in Portugal
Veteran house DJ and producer David Moufang, better known as Move D, is a hard man to pin down, so when he offered up a portion of a recent live set for the XLR8R Podcast, we jumped at the opportunity. Recorded over the summer at Plano B in Portugal, this set features the Heidelberg, Germany native weaving his way between cuts both classic and cutting edge.
Nosaj Thing's LA Mix
We head south into the wilds of Los Angeles for a heavy dose of spaced-out future-hop, courtesy of native son Nosaj Thing. With a litany of unreleased and exclusive tunes at his disposal—many of them coming from Low End Theory compatriots like Flying Lotus, Daedelus, and The Gaslamp Killer—Mr. Thing assembles a mix that captures the boundary-pushing spirit and chilled-out vibes of Southern California.
Traxx: Entrance to the Alter
Chicago is home to a lot of house music history, and veteran DJ/producer Traxx has long been in the middle of it all. As he prepared to unveil his debut full-length, Faith, the man born Melvin Oliphant was also kind enough to pass along Entrance to the Alter, an exclusive mix that weaves through a variety of jackin' beats, including a number of unreleased tunes and a couple of sneak peeks from his album.
Labels We Love: Type Records
Whittling down the candidates to make XLR8R's annual list of Labels We Love is no easy task, but the inclusion of experimental U.K. label Type Records was a no-brainer. In fact, we like the label so much that we commissioned label head John Twells (a.k.a. Xela) to put together a mix encapsulating the imprint's unique mix of ambient and drone sounds with just enough pop melodies to keep things interesting.
Taking an open-minded approach and liberally utilizing his stock of unreleased tunes, Untold slots heady and experimental tracks alongside animated dancefloor cuts, and even finds time to dabble in some classic house and B-more club. If this mix is any indication, dubstep's future remains bright.
Labels We Love: Wireblock Records
Glasgow has a reputation for gloomy weather, but you'd never know it from the crunked-up glitch rave turned out by the Wireblock Records gang. The label, which we recently profiled in greater detail, is home to artists like Rustie and Hudson Mohawke and is headed up by brothers Neil (a.k.a. Nelson) and Calum (a.k.a. Spencer) Morton, along with Dress2Sweat's Jack Revill. Here, the Morton brothers have teamed up to put together a genre-hopping, bass-heavy mix that's simply bursting with tunes, including plenty of unreleased goodies.