Well, it’s the end of the year again, meaning it’s time for me to link-dump my favorite tunes and mixes of the year for you.  This is the 2nd annual Recap, having done the first one last year in 2010.

Like last year’s post, I’m using this space to highlight some of my own influences – which have come in the form of individual tracks as well as mixes from standout DJs on podcasts and promotional mixes around the web.

Please enjoy this selection of mixes and tracks from these hardworking artists, and if possible, support them any way you can.  These lists are in no particular order.

Top 5 Tracks:

  1. DJ Fresh – Louder(Doctor P & Flux Pavillion remix) – I’m not normally into the super-heavy dubs like this, but with people making videos like this with this track, how could you not fall in love?  The original mix is a killer as well.  Respect is due to Sian from Kosheen providing the vocals on this one.

  2. Run DMT – Baraka’s Theme – Anybody who knows me knows I’m a HUGE Mortal Kombat nut.  So when I found out there was an electronica album coming out inspired by Mortal Kombat(curated by JFK of MSTRKRFT), I was all ears.  “Baraka’s Theme” was my favorite cut from this album, due mostly to the slow, deliberate pace and thunderous sounds.
  3. Trent Reznor and Karen O. – Immigrant Song(Led Zeppelin Cover) – This cover has a nice big sound, and definitely made me sit up straight in my chair when I heard it the first time in the trailer for “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“.  Like many NIN/Trent productions, this sneaks up on you in the most delightful way.
  4. Magnetic Man – The Bug  – British readers may note that this technically came out last year, but we here in the States didn’t get the message about this one until the spring of 2011.  I really liked this moody cut from the first and only(so far) dubstep super-group.
  5. Katy B – Katy on a Mission – I picked up Katy B’s album late this year, and was very glad I did.  The album was produced mostly by DJ Zinc, which gives the young Katy some serious credibility.  This particular track was produced by Benga and quickly found a place as my favorite from this disc.

Top 5 Mixes:

  1. XLR8R Podcast 200 – Richie Hawtin vs. Plastikman – How precisely does one get in a DJ battle with themselves?  And how does one go about remixing a live DJ set?  These seem to be the questions that Richie Hawtin is providing the answer to in the form of this XLR8R podcast.  Apparently, this is “Plastikman remix” of a Hawtin live set(and yes, they are the same guy).  At a minimum, this is a challenging mix that seems to gravitate even more toward the chilled-out spectrum than most of this minimal master’s work.
  2. Resident Advisor RA.270 – Tokimonsta – I had been a little familiar with the artist’s body of work, but when I first learned Tokimonsta’s identity, it was much like when Neo met Trinity in the first Matrix film:  I always thought she was a guy.  Rather, she is a very female L.A. based DJ with a demonstrated understanding of hip hop.  Moody underground beats, Toki’s own tracks, and a whirlpool of dubby effects make this mix a very notable contribution to trip-hop this year.
  3. Stereo MC’s – Spring Selection Mixtape – I love a mix that won’t commit to one genre or another.  Few DJs can reliably pull this off, but the Stereo MC’s have successfully made a true “mixtape” out of this mix:  Its diverse selection includes hip hop, dubstep, old-school electro, rare groove, post-punk, house, and classic rock…and yet nothing seems out of place.  This is a great mix to start your day with, or provide the perfect soundtrack to a late-night party.
  4. Barcode Recordings Filthcast 033 featuring Eye-D and Hidden – Like your drum and bass hard, techy, and fast, a la Dieselboy or Counterstrike?  This mix is for you.  Only Eye-D and Hidden’s own tracks are on display here, and they represent some of the best that hardcore drum and bass has to offer this year.
  5. Knife Party – Live at Space in Ibiza – Knife Party is Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen(both of Pendulum fame)’s side project, demonstrating some tech-house and dubstep chops.  This mix showcases many of their own tunes, and their remixes of other big house tunes.  Echoes of Pendulum-esque sounds can be heard throughout many of the selections in this mix.