Strong4Life – Year in Review Mix
Words by Tony Ferguson
So I was looking through my review folder late last year and I thought it might be a cool idea to create a kind of year end collection of tracks, the tracks that I’ve enjoyed listening to and writing about the most throughout 2015. So I did.
The idea wasn’t to create a killer mix, I don’t kid myself these days – I’m not a DJ (in the traditional sense) and I’m not a top “selecta” but I have this collection of tracks, a lot of really wicked tracks so why not drop them into a mix and see what comes out the other side. I wanted to keep it down to an hour or so which, for me, is never easy. If you’ve ever listened to my (Strong4Life) livestreams you will know what I mean. The time challenge is always hard especially when there are so many great tracks out there. Luckily I did have a finite list to choose from; only tracks that I had reviewed in 2015 and only stuff that I really loved hearing time and time again.
So I loaded all the tracks I’ve reviewed from 2015 into Ableton Live and went to make a cuppa. Putting everything into Ableton let me dive in and mix on the fly, dragging and dropping things where I wanted them in real time. I quickly had a list that I could squeeze into a 60 minute mash up and was ready to jam. Using Ableton’s Push and a Korg midi controller I hit record, had a mix and hopefully the results are fun and give some headphones a tickle. Getting this tracklist together was never meant to be a long and arduous process after all I’d heard each of these tracks a hundred times already. I wanted to just try and feel it, have fun with it. That said I did have a few “no -brainers”. Stuff from Impish, Saxxon and probably my favorite EP of the year from Mindmapper and Silvahfonk had to get a feature.
I don’t want to go into great detail about why I chose each track and also why I didn’t include others but I will explain a little about how I think about it. Imagine you’re putting together a playlist, you’ve got a crate of records in front of you and you flick through them with a vague idea of what you want to start with and perhaps where you want to go with it, or just what you want to end on. You recognise a sleeve, pull it up, “oh yeah that one’s hot” it goes towards the front and so on until you have ten or so tracks you have to play. Playing only ten tracks in an hour is like drinking blended whiskey, you just don’t do that shit. So I keep going until it looks like I might not be able to fit them all into an hour, at this point you just jump on the decks and have a mix, see what happens.
I really hope that’s not too vague but it’s how I often work. My idea was to try and get an image across of what makes me warm and fuzzy inside when reviewing these tracks. From the mellow vibes of ‘Delusion’ (Detail & Tiiu) to the grit of Karma’s ‘Dance’ there is hopefully a consistency in vibe and feeling that people will get from this mix. It was a lot of fun putting this together and was also tough to narrow it down to only 17 tracks: perhaps it was a bit of a tight squeeze getting these into an hour. That said though, with lots of energy and lots of sub, this selection will hopefully be fun for the whole family. I hope people will enjoy what I think is a collection of some of 2015’s top DnB vibes from a reviewer’s perspective.
Delusion – Detail & Tiiu
Impish – Digital Bath
Zero-T – One For Me
Saxxon ft John Scott – The Only One
Saxxon ft John Scott – Talking Jazz
Kasper – The Low Road
Satl, Kasper – Joy
BCee, Saxxon & Surplus – Tripped Up
Impish – Closer
Impish – So Sick
Nevertheless ft Steo – Need For Mirrors
Mindmapper, Silvahfonk – Compromised
Nickbee – Elysium
Trilo – Gatekeepers
Karma – Dance
Trilo – Closing Chapter
Reso – The Blob