The best DJ mixes of the year 2024 so far - April - Music - Mixmag

Arca ‘Boiler Room: Caracas’

Arca takes to the decks in her home country of Venezeula with a set that morphs constantly as we watch her dig deep into her USB to search for what to blow minds with next. The selections are never predictable, blending in Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Rain (I Want a Divorce)’ from the film The Last Emperor to her own edits of Frank Ocean’s ‘Little Demon’ and a jungle rework of Beyoncé’s ‘Ring The Alarm’. Elsewhere there’s blasts of alternative reggaeton, twisted club, mutant kuduro, and more. Just sit back and watch the madness takeover.

Anetha ‘The Cover Mix’

What the actual…! Anetha has cut together a raucous hour-and-a-half mix to accompany her Mixmag cover. It’s a headfuck in all the best ways. Flirting with a whole host of genres, she kicks things off down the industrial techno route then weaves through a range of blasting trance and a killer final stretch of d’n’b with some upper-cuts of donk. On top of these curveballs, Anetha plays out some of her own productions as well as some tasty unreleased work soon to come via her Mama told ya imprint.

THC - Hotbox with DHC B2B ferrari rot on Rinse FM

The sun is shining thanks to this saucy mix from DHC and ferrari rot. Jumping on the airwaves, their fruity hour-and-a-half on THC‘s Rinse FM residency has everything you need for a good time and more besides. It injects you with an instant serotonin boost to get you ready for the start of spring, with spiralling electro house running through its veins

DJ Wawa ‘Truancy Volume 325’

DJ Wawa steps up to the Truants mix series with a sumptuous blend of house music in many forms. Opening on a deep house masterpiece by Frank & Tony with DJ Sprinkles, they move through the psychedelic stylings of Sweater On Polo, bass pump from the Strictly Rhythm vaults, a sublime Egyptian cover of Suzanne Vega, and more. It’s like an aural massage, and a welcome change of pace from the fast-paced nature that dominates contemporary DJ culture, caressing listeners over the course of 73 blissful minutes. We're grateful for DJ Wawa.

Ellvester (Ella Knight b2b Jeremy Sylvester) ‘The Funktion Cast 004 - Live from The Cause’

A coming together of an established and future great of UKG, Jeremy Sylvester and Ella Knight’s partnership as Ellvester is a surefire dancefloor winner. Across 90 minutes, in this mix recorded live at East London venue The Cause, they blend silky, shuffling and screwface beats in the UKG and house spectrum. Sure to get your body moving, body grooving.

Call Super on The Lot Radio

Call Super makes their The Lot Radio bow with an expansive two hour set that’s gripping throughout. Opening on some folk music from the 1970s, the London-born DJ weaves an aural tapestry of sounds that showcases plenty of recent releases and forthcoming dubs among deeper cuts in the realm of house, techno, downtempo, dub, minimal and more.

estoc ‘Crack Mix 572’

Philadelphia’s estoc shows off her range is this beauty of a mix for Crack. It opens with sweeping, lush instrumentation and ambient textures with silky R&B vocals, before ramping up the pressure with harsher and more intense tones. By the 20 minute mark it’s at full throttle, charging onwards into pulsating percussion, trancey synths and chaotic hardcore, before fading away into shimmering static.

Laelo Black on Rinse FM

For those who know, Laelo Black’s Rinse residency is a guaranteed lock-in, with global club and amapiano seamlessly blended with broken beat, UK funky, and more experimental UK dance music. For this instalment, she takes us on a journey via amapiano towards the emergent, emotional and highly charged 3-step sound, with productions from DJ Kwamzy, Thakzin, and Tekniq inside.

Nia Archives ‘Boiler Room Nottingham: International Women's Day’

For the junglists Nia Archives is hot property, with her groundbreaking new album combining old school jungle and hardcore breaks with haunting Britpop inspired hooks. This mix is a work of art, seamlessly blending crowd pleasers from the opening edit of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ to her own productions, and grinning ear to ear throughout. High-energy, high-emotion, jungle is massive.

Through the Motions: A UK Jazz Dance Pt.1 w/ Shadeda on Balamii

South London’s Balamii is a place of experimentation and exploration, and Shadeda’s ‘Through the Motions’ show is a prime example of this. This month’s episode chose a specialist focus of delving into London’s temporary but impactful ‘80s jazz dance scene, with a mix that shifts from melancholy, to frenetic, and then back again, in a comprehensive education on the movement.

LAYA/TALA w/ ISHU on Workshop Radio

New Bristol-based community station Workshop Radio has been pumping out superlative sets since its launch at the start of 2024. In April, bass collective LAYA/TALA called in London’s ISHU to take over a silky smooth two-hour set spinning amapiano and UK funky with tracks from Slikback, Ahadadream, Darama, and more.

In Focus: Channel U on NTS Radio

With a one-off special focusing on the spectrum of UK grime platform Channel U in its ‘00s glory days, NTS Radio puts on a broad-ranging mix of throwback tracks - from the early tunes of Tinie Tempah and Wretch 32 to classics from Kano, Lady Sovereign, Roll Deep, and more.

Beatrice M. ‘The Mix 007’

Recorded at La Machine du Moulin Rouge in Paris during Positive Education Festival, Beatrice M.’s live recorded Mixmag mix is a freeing escape into dubstep and techno, experimenting with sounds from 120 to 140 BPM. “The set felt like walking on a tightrope,” they explain, “balancing intensity and murkiness, bass and techno, playing with tension.”

Eris Drew ‘Raving Disco Breaks Volume II - Rock The House’

I said, are you ready to rock?” Well, we’re sure you will be after you have given Eris Drew’s second edition of her ‘Raving Disco Breaks’ series a spin. Based around “rocking the house” Drew’s mix is, at its heart, a marrying together of house and rock ‘n’ roll — combining some jacking four-to-the-floor with samples from the likes of Janis Joplin, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin and more. The T4T LUV NRG co-founder explains that each track on the mix was a result of “digging through dusty bins and YouTube rips” and none are “under 20 years old,” though we doubt you’ll be sending this one to your old man any time soon — the mix still holds all of that delicious rave-fuelled energy, dithering through rapturous piana house deep cuts and spine-tingling bass.

Haruka ‘XLR8R Podcast 845’

Digging his heels into trippy, magnetic chug from the first few seconds until the final throes, Tokyo’s Haruka delivers a bewildering minimal techno mix for his XLR8R podcast. Delicately manoeuvring through tracks from the likes of Gigi FM, Tauceti, Ike Release, Laura BCR and more, this mix puts a focus on texture and rhythm, dangling samples of rainforest rain, squelching acid riffs and scattered bass over a harmonised array of rattling percussion and soft stabbing synths.

Jana Rush ‘In Focus: DJ RASHAD’ on NTS

It would be far too simple to say that DJ Rashad’s work popularising footwork/juke was pioneering, or even groundbreaking — when a decade on from his death, the Teklife founder and Chicago scion continues to disrupt and alter our understanding of dance music. While electronic scenes all over the world took the opportunity to pay tribute to him this month, NTS delivered the homage of an In Focus mix — allowing Chicago’s Jana Rush, a friend of the late artist, to plough through 32 of his finest tracks, while demonstrating his influence in the work of DJ Paypal, DJ Hank, DJ Chap, DJ Manny, Boylan and more. RIP Rashad!

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