13 January 2007

2006 Year-End Mincetacular, pt. 2a: Mixies

didn't you notice i'd forgotten about something? i encounter mix[tape/cd/mp3]s distinct enough a form from artist albums - and i was sufficiently tuned into them this year - that they deserve their own list. (also that way i had more room on the albums list.) for officialish, non-discriminatory purposes (like j'n p), night ripper is still my ostensisble #2 AotY.

sans plus adieu:

1. Night Ripper by Girl Talk
!!!!!!!! oh man. what is to be said. i'll admit it's not as consistent as one would want. my sister and i, studying it carefully on a drive to new york, realized there's a significant dip in quality after the first five or six tracks, from which it doesn't fully recover until around track 10 - the beginning of several longer-form interweavings built around "hollaback girl," "1, 2 step" (two of the best traxx of the millennium, easy), "kryptonite," and, um, "oh" (ludacris and ciara are all over the mix, from the get-go - not that that's a bad thing.) it's still an open question for me whether its astonishingly durable pleasurability is due simply to a truly profound level of sheer pop factor (such a density of hooks that the "novelty" apparently never loses its potency), or to something more subtle and structural (and indeed, i've found i enjoy it all the more as its familiarity increases.) either way...holy geez. it's not often you find this much happyment crammed into such an unassuming package. [oh yeah, shame about the artwork - ò if that.]

2. DJ-Kicks by Henrik Schwarz
this series seems to keep getting better and better. (four tet's installment was easily my favorite thing he did this year, which isn't saying a lot despite appearances - more later.) i'd never heard of this schwarz fella, but he seems to be doing something closer to what i'd theoretically like to do than anyone i'm aware of. to wit; elucidate the rapport between modern, electronics-based dance music and (almost inevitably, vintage) soul. he emphasizes the groove-based, cerebral and spiritually impassioned elements of that kinship (that might sound contradictory, but he does) - whereas i'd like to draw out more melodic, humanistic, pop aspects (something along the lines of this crossed with girl talk, actually) - but he does it in such a perceptive and compelling way - i think it's fair to say the results are breathtaking.

3. Soul Sides, Volume One (compiled by Oliver Wang)
definitely more of a mixtape than a compilation, if you catch my drift. the numero group's eccentric soul series continued to unearth some serious marvels this year, and i've found plenty to enjoy on the two-volume atlantic unearthed as well, but neither approached the personability of this trawl through soulmasta o-dub's personal vault of favorites, even if it doesn't all carry the cachet of the ultra-rare. honestly, it's worth it for the opening track alone, the truly stunning "i'll keep my baby warm," which i feel guilty about including on a mix of my own (but i finally just did it anyway.) it may lack the creds of being a true-school vinyl collector, but on balance i'm happy enough to let good folks like oliver do the dirty work and reap the benefits by buying their cd comps. especially when the fruits are as tasty as this. (and volume 2 is apparently in the works!)

4. Rainbow-Styling by Ross of Love
by which i actually mean both of the dj mixes i made in a digital format this year, only one of which is actually titled rainbow-styling, but both of which fit nicely on one cd-r and, i imagine, complement each other ok. you might say ¡OhSiX! is the more fitting choice, considering the amount of self-love it's been generating, but these two similarly, and perhaps more accurately, reflect my personal dvlpmt as a livingroom dj, and as a listener, in 2006. both were mixed "live" on my cd decks and turntable, and edited using garageband. r-s is comprised of "normal" dance music, whatever that means [favorite moment - xtina vs. lindstrøm, c. 14:03-15:20]; the other track (which i've been calling "soul vs. dancepop, vol. 1") is a stab at the cross-pollinating agenda mentioned above [reasonably successful although i do get distracted genrewise; the thelma houston/ciara mash is perhaps representative.] in some sense, i guess this is the apex of my achievement for the year. so i hope that means it's good. anyway...i just really like listening (and dancing!) to it. okay? [trizzzacklistings here, btw.]

5. Space is the Place (for Dancing) by Jube
wanna give a shout-out to the ilx dj thread, even though i'm evidently not cool (and/or electro-savvy) enough for them (unless somebody ever responds this, in which case perhaps i am), since it's recently been of a source of some inspiration, and hopefully not too much procrastination (thanks in part to many dead YSI links.) that's where i found this nifty trippy mix, aptly billed as "a lengthy excursion to the dance cosmos." in addition to a lovely, relaxed overall flow, i like how it's not afraid to get poppy at times despite its generally more minimal vibe (although i still think nobody can rock that j-tim track like me.) it introduced me to some choice cuts ("yes boss" and that kate bush rmx) and also clinched my love for "never be alone." still can't figure out which track is responsible for the keyboard bit that comes in at around 55:00, but that's a highlight too. well, right on. (jeffery mac's much lauded meditations in dub is indeed quite nice too.)

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