The Best (and the Most Ground-Breaking) Mix Albums Of All Time

By ctdub74 ctdub74
updated over 2 years ago

So what constitutes "ground-breaking"? Here's a nice quote, "choice tune selection is vital, of course, but the durable mix goes way beyond that. It will evolve and mutate sonically within its own identifiable idiom. It will also, in its sympathetic tapestry of tracks, evoke quite specific moods, atmospheres, places and memories. It will make a definite musical statement....."

In deference to the DJs who really put in the hours and the effort to go beyond simply 'showing up' and 'playing a few tunes'; those artists who sweat blood; "those game-changers who either catalyze, or encapsulate, fundamental musical shifts"; those dedicated professionals (who are really the most obsessive fans) who are probably going blind from toiling in bad light every night into the early hours to find that faultless combination of tracks - that exact match of tempo and pitch to create the most unique and perfect build to crown that particular 'one in a million' mix - and in so doing reminding us all how much we rely on music to access and express our internal capacities for joy and freedom of spirit.

To celebrate these glorious artisans I have compiled a collection of undeniably-fine, first-rate, "topper-most-of-the-popper-most" lists of DJ mix albums, whose mixes come exploding out of the ether to shake us to the very core with their unbelievable quality; proving beyond any shadow of doubt that it is possible to make something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

(Incidentally, this list is by no means definitive. It is both growing and evolving at regular intervals. Thanks to those from whose reviews I have taken abridged sections. It was meant as a compliment and I would hope you would take it as such if you happen to come across this list and recognize your contribution).

  1. Henrik Schwarz / Âme / Dixon - The Grandfather Paradox

    The mix format is dead? And why shouldn't it be? With certain haggard franchises now ambling complacently into double figures and with limitless podcasts and downloadable live sets offering near infinite possibilities, you can't help but think that it's only a matter of time before they're completely obsolete. How can they compete with performances by every working DJ playing tracks fresh from the plant, selections unhampered by licensing restrictions and it all coming at the low, low cost of free? The answer is actually pretty simple. You trust that the laws of physics work, and that cream DOES rise to the top. Then you close your eyes. You click your red-heeled shoes together and say "The format is alive" three times.

    And when you open your eyes you find 'The Grandfather Paradox' in your hands. Immediately the sound travels up your arms in stereo - passing across your chest so you can feel the bass pumping in beat with your blood flow - and then upwards to your ears and finally your brain stem. And as you are consumed by the music you experience the revelation in its entirety; and there's no going back. In so many ways it is the most mind-expanding, ear-tickling, earth-shattering, genre-defying, history-spanning mix that it is physically (or probably even meta-physically) possible to commit to a listenable format. It's no small wonder that it took three of them to put it together.The Grandfather Paradox finds them compiling cuts from a dizzying array of de facto minimalist music forefathers into a deceptively dense and pulsing history lesson in the rich past of "The Sound of the Future". It's not just the quality of the track selection or the deftness of the connections and the skill of the combinations; the sheer reach is impressive, as is the musical and intellectual grasp: The textbook syncopating minimalism of Steve Reich’s 'Electric Counterpoint' that opens the mix echoes in Detroit native Robert Hood’s 1994 'Minus' near the end, closing a most diverting circuit. All of that is amplified and compounded when you realize the relation they bear to the creative notion of the project. It's the ideal precursor to one of those magnificent - but rare - moments you will have in your life when the essence of existence comes clearer into focus in your mind than you can ever hope to be able to convey with words. That's what music can do. You'll spend the rest of your life getting to know the way these tracks blend into one another, and I promise you that you'll love every minute you spend of that time. Dive in, the water's perfect.......

  2. Joris Voorn - Balance 014

    What DJ Shadow did for Hip-Hop, Joris Voorn does for DJ'ing. Balance 014 represents a giant leap - of which Neil Armstrong would be proud - forward for the sometimes beleaguered (and sometimes fairly so) mix format. Here, across 2 discs and utilizing - remarkably - over 100 tracks, Joris Voorn constructs a seamless mix of some of the best in tech house, minimal techno and almost every other form of electronic / dance music. Voorn used both Ableton and Traktor to edit and rearrange each track, using full tracks, bars, and breakdowns as necessary. Track five on Disc 1 alone includes components from Dub Kult, Kenneth Graham, Je Dàvu, William Kouam Djoko and Johnny D. Although the mixing of the music is layered, and Voorn shifts moods and tempos regularly, it is seamless enough that it would take a perceptive ear to isolate the components of each track. The sheer number (not to mention the quality) of the samples he amasses - in addition to the framework he constructs into which they are fixed - justifies this being tagged as his 'Magnum Opus', no question. If there was a Nobel Prize for mixing, this would win it twice over (once for each disc. "yes, they are both that good"). Voorn describes this work as painting with music, which is bang on. Both discs - the first emotive, full of deep electronic ambient and in turns equally dance oriented; the other the same but slower, steadier to build and more musical - lock your mind into compositional analysis, and into interpreting the shades and tonal spread on offer, as does visual art. Suddenly it's fun to learn. Dancing is fun as well, and Balance 14 will make you do that too.

  3. Henry Saiz - Balance 019

    Knowledge, insight and personal experiences are reasons why DJ’s and producers are able to continue to come up with impressive beat sequences, and Balance 019 is burbling, twinkling and resonating proof that if you have a dream to share in the electronic dance scene, then you should share it.

    Which is precisely what Henry Saiz has done. He is at the forefront of a spectacle of ecstatic musical elements that push the margins while staying innovative, creative, and intuitive. He’s showcasing the sound of his Natura Sonoris label and a 21st century brand of Latino influenced (completely fresh) dance music, much like Holden did in 2003 with his take on Electronica & House. The romantic in me wonders if this could follow in propelling this fantastic sound to those dizzy heights like Balance 005 did. After my third listen, I’m so impressed, it just might. The "mix" is much more than just a mix you see.....This is the result of a huge amount of passionate work and effort poured into one of the most dedicated compilations I have ever listened to. Each track has been composed individually and specifically to fit within the overall flow. As a concept, it’s a direct reversal of the traditional DJ’s method of sourcing material from existing records. Here Saiz tells his own story his own way, kick-by-kick, synth-by-synth, sample-by-sample. Retro and futuristic elements abound, defining an evolution within Progressive Techno / Tech-House. Saiz has the ability to conjure sounds which are utterly captivating. Each crescendo, peak, breakdown, lull and build is composed exactly the way he wants it to be, giving him true creative freedom and control. It is hard to talk about tracks when each slice is so relevant and in perfect harmony with its predecessor that the complete end product could only ever be viewed as the whole it was intended to be. This is a single body of music telling a story so detailed that it has more in common with a sizeable novel than your standard DJ's offering. The overall feel is melodic and warm; the vibe is overwhelmingly positive throughout. Each transition is delicate, precise and timely and showcases Saiz’s finely tuned DJing talents. You have to remind yourself whilst listening that Saiz has in some way produced the vast majority of these 31 records himself. Remember that line from the 'Shawshank Redemption' that goes "some birds are not meant to be caged". Indeed.....

  4. Richie Hawtin - DE9 | Closer To The Edit

    Hawtin's 1st entry in the DE9 series will keep you coming back and rediscovering why you love it with each listen. This is a breathtaking compilation, created from a wide range of different tracks - all sampled, looped, cut-up and re-edited (hence the title). Percussive grooves, sonic funk, pounding beats, and haunting melodies are all showcased here. It begins with Hawtin's trademark sound - a deep, minimal, echoing beat that slowly builds and becomes a completely different track without you even realising. There is so much going on that every time you hear this CD you will notice something different. This is the style of the whole mix - melodies from one track layered over beats and percussion of another, then stripped down to the basic elements and re-assembled to form a totally new sound. The tracks are hypnotic and sharp and lay-out a journey that is well worth repeated listens. It builds wonderfully, from the Bluetrain dubbed-out opening, through to the massive middle section where Roman Flügel's "Tracks On Delivery" weaves in harmony with Carl Craig's "The Climax". A sheer masterpiece of an album, which for all it's flaws in planning, has produced a work which still commands respect and will do for many years to come.

  5. James Holden - Balance 005

    We have a winner; 58 Customer Reviews on Amazon. No-one else comes close. It can hardly be disputed that the art of the mix album is a beautiful one when done properly. Of course, there are "rules" to abide by: It must not be too long. It must not contain two songs by the same artist consecutively. It should be generally diverse in the styles contained therein. And finally, it should have appropriate peaks and valleys as it progresses, with heavier and lighter songs ordered properly so as to give it all a unifying sense of character. Holden violates all of the above rules with the exception of the last in piecing together Balance 005. Prior to hearing it one may take that as a good thing or a bad thing. Upon listening one can't help but take it as a great thing. This is House, this is Trance, this is Techno, this is IDM, this is Progressive, this is pure magic across two discs. In Balance 05 the term progressive (which some philistines view as to mean monotony, or slow transition) is defined through the medium of house, and authentic evolved house. Holden is a prodigy. He is arguably a gypsys' Mozart of Electronica, having the musical sense of a maestro, and more importantly the transitional intuition of his greatest predecessors. Holden's sense of swell, build, phase, reverb, frequency, and complimentary bass lines are nothing short of the intricacies that can be found in the roar of a waterfall as the London Symphonic Orchestra performs Gustav Holst's Planets Symphony. Into a world of mainstream musical poverty in 2003 entered James Holden stage left, feeding the parched ears and watering mouths that have longed for the most extreme use of mathematics in beat, ambient echoes in song, and musical theory in melody.

  6. Nicolas Jaar - RA.211

    You have to forgive me, but this entry is added in effort to represent something else - an album that is (quite criminally, to my mind at least) not kept in the Discogs catalogue. The compilation I am referring to is his BBC Essential Mix, recorded in 2012. It is extraordinarily complex and diverse for such a young exponent of the art, and it can be heard (gorgeously free from any BBC over-chat) here: - "". Beginning with Angelo Badalamenti describing the creative pinprick that produced the gloriously macabre Twin Peaks theme, Nicolas Jaar pulls no punches on his dancefloor-averse, diversity-strong collection. The Ivy League student behind last year’s massively acclaimed ‘Space Is Only Noise’ LP draws on a dizzyingly broad variety of music, from a snippet of Jay-Z to Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack for There Will Be Blood. Jaar's ingenuity is on full display on his Essential Mix. His knack for selecting and combining music that moves your mind and (forgive me) your soul more than your soles, and his masterful appreciation for and manipulation of silence have never been so evident. Enjoy.....!

  7. Ewan Pearson - We Are Proud Of Our Choices

    This is just a perfect compilation; a beautiful work. The transitions come neither too soon nor too late. Sometimes Pearson keeps a part going across a number of tracks, as with the self-actualization type speech that he loops for a few minutes about a third of the way into the set. It gives a sense of contrast, of open space and a shift in the experience of time. It's the exact right thing to do at that moment. It feels completely natural, and (as is the case with all truly talented artisans) its effortlessness utterly belies the hours of toil that it would have taken to perfect. It's for this reason that he's rightly referred to as Kompakt's "best of the best". Unlike many DJs who use Ableton to simply replay their club performances without the blemishes, Ewan Pearson takes advantage of its tools to reconstruct tracks so they can be blended for a seeming infinity, with small elements transplanted from their usual homes to other far reaches of the mix. This seems to me to be the studio equivalent of his love for combining tracks when playing out not because of any strict stylistic similarities, but rather the sonic and emotional resonances between them. This prolonged looping creates a trippiness that binds the diversity of ideas on offer into a coherent whole. It also reproduces those endless yet brief instances of being lost in exaltation among the smoke and flashing lights. Moments we want to recapture as if experienced for the first time but discover are now teasingly beyond reach. By eschewing the easy pay-off and seeking out those intensities in more complex movements, Ewan Pearson has created a work of great subtlety but also great feeling.

  8. DJ /rupture - Uproot

    1 For Sale from $13.18

    Rupture has put together a mix that sounds so fresh, so invigorating and yet so familiar to the mind, that it feels simultaneously like you're listening to it for the 1st time and the 1000th time, and you couldn't be happier to be in his company. He conceded on its release that Uproot would be a sleeper: "I did the crazy dynamic three-deck thing in the past, so now it's time for the sensual slow dance of a (relatively) smooth turntablist-experience that deepens on repeat listens.… I wanted to make more of a field of sound for you to sink into." Using Dubstep as a guiding principle Uproot downshifts into languorous long-blends and gorgeous moments of ambient warmth. He weaves older tracks and live recordings into exclusives (often from his own Soot label), emphasizing cold space and deep bass. Rupture's eclecticism isn't defined by sonic opposites on his tracklist, but his ability—and willingness—to reconcile them. Taking the twin lessons of bass and space taught by 70s Jamaican dub visionaries, Uproot explores a wealth of new material -- almost half of it previously unreleased -- in a mix that is deep, contemplative, and contagious. Cosmopolitan UK Bass Music never sounded so good. Let the world take note.

  9. Shackleton - Fabric 55

    25 For Sale from $2.99

    Hands-down the best experimental Bass Music album there is out there. Rising out of the murky opening atmospheres come Shackleton's favoured tribal drums and percussion that rapidly kick things into action. Refined sub-bass underpins much of the music here, alongside ceaseless drums, ominous vocal samples and layers of precise hisses, bleeps and mournful melody. Key to Shackleton's sound is a lightness of touch and delicacy in the arrangement that could be at odds with the force of his sound but instead illuminates the different elements and awakens the senses. At times seriously freaky and twisted, with frantic percussion and jarring keys, there's an all-encompassing deepness to the whole as Shackleton weaves a path that completely absorbs up to the final sigh of the closing bars. It's a mix that instantly captures the listener and barely lets up before finally releasing you after 80 minutes of some of the most deep, intense and beautiful electronic music you are likely to hear. The transitions are smooth and fluent, drawing attention to a shifting aural geography, a landscape of total immersion. Fabric 55 is executed with consummate skill, it stands as an incredible demonstration of Shackleton’s ability as a DJ, as well as a producer. As philosophical as it is dance-able, this is a mix and an experience that you shouldn't miss.

  10. Scuba (4) - DJ-Kicks

    A spectre is haunting dance music, and that spectre is Dubstep. As with most electronic music genres, it’s a marvellously adaptable term, standing in for a slew of values and expectations that run deep but are vastly changeable . Techno is another genre-organism, a great dark sponge of connotation mingled with precise details, a cloud of glass dust with nothing substantial inside. I mean that affectionately. In order to talk about Scuba, aka Paul Rose, both of dupstep and techno have to come up, with all their functional imprecision. Add a prefix, or suffix: "post", "ambient", "progressive", and magically a genre is born. All it needs is a vehicle to carry it into the bubble of communal consciousness. And this is that vehicle. We’re dealing with a mix here, a product whose authorship is difficult to grasp even when it’s amazing—which mixes often are. They’re also necessarily quick to die. Not this mix though. This is a relentless "be-yatch" of an album, Scuba's DJ Kicks moves through a 32-song playlist that neatly balances itself with a blend of abrasive tones, complex rhythms, and straightforward dance music. It all starts with a flash from the depths; Sigha's beatless and alien "HF029B2" ominously gives way to the harsh, percussive drive of Surgeon's "The Power of Doubt." Right away, Rose establishes a layered mixing style that leaves no room for air, as tracks blend in and out almost every minute. It's a style vaguely reminiscent of Ramadanman's Fabriclive 56 mix, though much much better, with breathing room sacrificed for perpetual motion.

  11. Four Tet - FabricLive 59

    22 For Sale from $3.90

    Fabric made a point of flagging Hebden's entry in the series for its sonic and conceptual unity. Certainly it does feel all of a piece compared to his DJ-Kicks entry. This is hands down the best of the Fabriclive catalogue. Starting out with distinctive some UK Garage with Deep House vocals filtered through, it brings in some Techno and Minimal, and we set off on a fantastic journey through some groovy, funky, and dirty house music. An absolutely fantastic mix, remarkable for its effortlessness. The truly remarkable thing about the work, though, is that he combines the tracks together so fluently and with such effervescence that he renders genre a redundant nonentity; something to be turfed out and consigned to the trash as nothing more than a trivial inconsequence. Music is all it is and that is all she wrote. Music is everything and it is enough to call it that and have done with it. What more do you want?

  12. Henrik Schwarz - DJ-Kicks

    The DJ-Kicks label endeavours to be a hallmark of a certain kind of rare quality. Maverick producer Henrik Schwarz doesn’t diminish this fierce reputation in the slightest. His 23-track mix reflects the German’s impeccable, diverse taste, not to mention passion for a good groove. With typical flair, favouring a list of forgotten classics over current floor-burners, Schwarz has produced some of the more exciting dance music to have emerged over the past three years and his DJ sets are a similarly classy, unpredictable and cliché-free affair. He sounds genuinely fresh, and with his roots in soul, jazz, funk, house, techno and afrobeat unearthed here for everyone to enjoy, this DJ-Kicks shows exactly why. A simply breathtaking choice of music on this compilation! Including (but not limited to) one of the most ingenious Intro's ever; Moondogs Bird's Lament; one of Dreciya's greatest tracks; a deep deep dubbed-out pearl by Rhythm & Sound; the Womack & Womack masterpiece 'Conscious of My Conscience'... So many different styles of soulful music at different tempos. In almost any set, you can throw in one or two tracks that are really hard to get elsewhere. Henrik Schwarz's musical vision is just incredible...

  13. James Lavelle - FabricLive. 01

    An absolute belter. One of the best compilation albums you can lay your hands on. Lavelle blends the tunes together like a true master, from ambient, to trip hop, to hip hop, through the living room to the club to some downright dirty tech-house before a treat of a sequence into and through Radiohead's 'Everything In Its Right Place' as a cracking finishing sequence. this has something to offer everyone, regardless of their musical taste. All inclusive, not exclusive. It's just better this way. His desire to follow the rules remains as non-existent as it always has been. A quick ogle of the tracklisting tells you this album is going to be pretty unique. Styles range from a prog rock/psychedelic intro by the Psychonauts, through an electro middle portion claimed by Green Velvet and with a grand and twisted finale by Radiohead just mentioned. All with the predominant sound of raw, live drums rather than sampled beats, constructed like a club night including both before and after parties with the styles shifting accordingly, this is a true education, courtesy of Mr Lavelle.

  14. Michael Mayer - Immer 3

    11 For Sale from $8.00

    Immaculate track choice and smart, fluid transitioning makes this Immer just as good, if not better, than the first. 3 has little of its founding father’s impact, but what it loses in surprise it makes up for in character. Starting with another of Ewan Pearson’s gilded remixes for Cortney Tidwell, Mayer steers clear of electronic music’s current masks; that Tidwell leads into Closer Musik’s “Departures” -- one of the Kompakt’s most stolidly melancholy productions from the early noughties -- suggests that Mayer wants Immer 3’s will to bend to his own guiding aesthetic. (It’s also a reminder of the majesty of Closer Musik’s slim body of work.) While the first Immer built momentum rather slowly, by the fourth track of Immer 3 we're deep into Mayer's imagination. A lot more vocal pieces help to differentiate the vibe, but it's still Mayer through and through. Every track fits right into place and delights in their own way, even returning very satisfactorily to a place similar to that from whence you came a little while earlier. A proper little diamond of a mix.

  15. Daniel Bell - The Button Down Mind Of Daniel Bell

    When it comes to minimalism, the likes of Hawtin, Mills and Hood are generally considered to be the innovators in the field. Yet while Dan Bell may not have released nearly so many records as his contemporaries, his early Accelerate releases like Blip and Beat Freak were vital in shaping the movement. In keeping with the theme of the Globus series, Daniel Bell's 'The Button Down Mind...' is essentially a House mix and includes a plethora of juicy tracks from producers such as LoSoul, Thomas Brinkmann, Cari Lekebusch, Herbert and Maurizio, as well as two from Bell himself. With inch-perfect mixing and a spotless track selection, the flow is seamless throughout and finishes on a flourish with Shake's 'Detroit State Of Mind.' Highly recommended.

  16. Coldcut - Journeys By DJ: Coldcut - 70 Minutes Of Madness

    There are DJs who can program a set to produce some form of atmosphere, and there are others who can do all forms of trickery that is undoubtedly very clever. However, there are very few DJs who can do both. But moreover, there are very few DJs who are experimenting with the whole concept of Decks and Mixer; Coldcut have always been the shining light. It's hard to believe that this is ten years old and it still excites today. Despite featuring several records at the wrong speed, a stupefying range of random samples (including the Dr. Who theme) it never feels like it's resorting to stunts. The choice of tracks is thoroughly original and - unlike many 'cut and paste' mixes - the whole thing flows superbly from start to finish. One of the few of these types of album that can be considered a genuine classic in comparison to albums of any type. To start off with the breaks of Bola - Philorene & Street Beats- Vol. 2, to work though a couple of Coldcut classics like Beats & Pieces to scratch around, throw in some samples scratch around some more then drop into First Time I Ever Saw Your Face - Joanna Law and then back out again is just staggering. Try it yourself and see if you can figure out how it's done.

  17. M.A.N.D.Y. - Renaissance: The Mix Collection

    15 For Sale from $4.73

    Whether it's a Body Language cut, their Fabric entry or their At The Controls double, Bodmer and Jung bring a sense of maturity, smarts and cohesion to the mix format that is rare these days. Renaissance is no exception. But for someone who might find mix albums infuriating and difficult to inspire focus, this one's a deep grooving winner. You'll be jumping back in line to ride it again soon. The transitions are seamless and to be honest, even with tracklist in hand I had some trouble picking out cuts I knew by heart after they'd been chopped in M.A.N.D.Y.'s blender. To some degree, that's what a good mix is about—letting go of the control freak in you and letting someone else's taste wash over you. Like any tour bus ride, there are landmarks and stops you like more than others. But for someone that usually finds mix albums infuriating and impossible to focus on, this one's a deep grooving winner. You'll be jumping back in line to ride it again soon.

  18. Cio D'or - RA.219 Panorama 33 Extended Mix

    Cio cares so much about the music and this set is far more about showing people the artists she loves that are writing interesting, forward-thinking music than about her own name. Cio has one of the biggest hearts in techno and it shows through and through. Something like this was not just 'another mix' for her: it was a document, it was a record of something. Simply mattered. Cio put a huge amount of care into creating something special. As part of that process she created a number of versions. The one that was decided upon was 1 hour 16 minutes long. Lucky for everybody, Cio then made available the extended version, which clocks in 1 hour 42 minutes. You get an extra half an hour of her operating at peak performance, with Cio really going for the jugular. Outstanding!

  19. Sebastian Mullaert aka Minilogue - WaWuWe

    Sebastian Mullaert - the DJ of the group - demonstrates their slower, emotional tendencies on Disc 1. Deep and atmospheric, yet consistently groove-driven, the disc begins with Sebastian’s own composition “Lyssna Då Björkarna Viskar!” (“Listen to the birch trees whisper!”), an ambient piece that references Stockhausen as equally as it does Aphex Twin. Disc 2 functions as a peak-time club selection. Upping the pace, yet maintaining the melodic current found on the first disc, Disc 2 takes the listener on a journey through cuts from Mike Dehnert, Cobblestone Jazz, & Âme. Mixing live on turntables without the aid of a computer, Mullaert’s compilation comes as an example of his unique taste - pumping, emotive and melodic – a highly personal creation, yet one that is undeniably Minilogue.

  20. Dadub - RA.356

    The first time I heard this I was absolutely blown away. Having been expecting a run-of-the-mill entry in what is a generally decent series by Resident Advisor, Instead I found myself stimulated almost beyond comprehension; emotions being pulled one way and then another by purveyors of a medium who were at the top of their craft (they're both professional mastering engineers, which really shows through and elevates them above the crowd). What Dadub have produced is in a league of its own. You might think this praise is over-blown, but I assure you it is not. The impeccable sequencing is tied together by a run of utterly stunning, almost imperceptible transitions that combine to create a symphony of epic electronica comprised of numerous acts. Just outstanding!

  21. Tobias Thomas - Please Please Please

    9 For Sale from $6.00

    The presence of this on the list makes stating that it is one of my favorite compilations almost completely redundant, however my stating of the bleeding obvious should definitely be overlooked, because 'Please Please Please' thoroughly deserves the accolades and so I'm saying it anyway. It is a masterpiece that provides a unique overview of the more Leftfield musical trends of 2007. As good as Immer 1 though without having been accorded the same levels of appreciation. Perhaps it's because Please Please Please (as with Thomas's earlier works) diverges from the expected path of a customary dance mix. Again, He uses the format not as an attempt to condense an ahead-of-the-curve, three-hour set into 80 minutes of nonstop intensity; instead, he challenges the ears of the most open-minded techno fans, designing a set that plays out more like Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation or Wire's 154 than Jeff Mills' Live at the Liquid Room or even Michael Mayer's Immer 2. Having previously used a monologue from one of Blumfeld's albums, nearly half of Vladislav Delay's 22-minute "Huone," and 12 minutes of beatless ambience, Thomas evidently couldn't care less about doing the expected.

  22. Kruder Dorfmeister* - The K&D Sessions™

    This music is anything but simple. The amount of work and effort that went into this album is astounding. Not only is the K&D Sessions technically proficient, but it is also devastatingly atmospheric.The overall tone is mellifluous and cinematic, but there is variety too. Brian Eno's 'Going Under' is very dark. It could be considered a chillout song, but it has a very paranoid sound to it, especially the second version on disc 2. The 'Sessions' is composed so flawlessly, in my opinion, that it would easily rank in my top 5 albums, excepting for one track, 'Bomberclaad Joint' by Knowtoryus, that is so embarrassingly bad I'm pretty sure they must have mixed it in as a bet. Shame...

  23. Sasha - Involver

    Such a beautiful release. 37 Customer Reviews on Amazon tells you how much it effects people. Nearly 5 years on and it is still fresh as it was when it arrived. This isn't a club orientated mix, but more a mix to compliment a night in or maybe for a road trip. It shows the subtle, articulate side to Sasha's programing. Almost perfect in every way, except that track 9, Felix Da Housecat 'Watching Cars Go By' doesn't really make sense....As usual with Sasha, it's a grower. On first listen you might be disappointed, by the fifth a little more excited and by the 10th listen you'll finally begin to appreciate it. It's melodic, ethereal and haunting - all the usual characteristics of a Sasha mix - with a patient build-up that only really gets going in the second half. The pace finally shifts into fifth gear with Felix Da Housecat's Watching The Cars Go By before driving through into its euphoric finale, the breaks-inspired, bassline-driven On My Own from Ulrich Schnauss. If you ever needed proof that Sasha was ahead of the game, this is it.

  24. Richie Hawtin - DE9 | Transitions

    How can something so minimal be so complex, so engrossing, so full of restless energy? Richie Hawtin had been producing fine music for at least 10 years before he compiled this. With 'Transitions' he finally and fully arrived, creating something truly ground-breaking in its conception, production and execution. But unlike so many other Techno tracks or mixes that claim to be the next step or evolution, this is not overtly experimental or esoteric, rather it is a natural and perfect crystalization of where the genre had been going and where it has come from. Hawtin's disco is not for hands-in-the-air types, but for lovers of linear representations and multifarious moments. It's as deep and hypnotic as anything Hawtin has yet produced. The rhythms relentlessly tap into the twisted realms of our psyches, with no real peaks and troughs or even any next song segues to help out. Just, well... transitions. Kinetic and complex, the album is undoubtedly the sound of the mysterious synthesis of man and machine.

  25. Magda - She's A Dancing Machine

    17 For Sale from $3.30

    Following the lines of Richie Hawtin's DE9s, Magda applies a similar formula, but opts for a far higher degree of funkiness. Through the mixing technique that both these artists use, it really is possible to make something very cool out of basically 'nothing'. Listen to the tracks on their own, or mix them using two decks, and you'll struggle to figure out just how she gets them to sound so good. This is minimal as it's supposed to be. We get offerings from Marc Houle, Troy Pierce, Der Dritte Raum, Robert Babicz, Matt John, Larry Heard and of course Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos and Magda herself. But Magda keeps things moving nicely and the beats keep pumping enough to give a good interpretation of what she does in the clubs. This compilation is achingly cool but is also actually pretty good - style AND substance! Magic!