2009 was my favorite of the decade when it came to excellent music gracing the weekly Essential Mix show. As Pete Tong put it during last weekend's rebroadcast of Sharam's Essential Mix of the Year, 2009 truly was a "vintage year."
Below I've compiled my top 10 list of the mixes I thought were best over the past 12 months. For your listening pleasure, I've also included Megaupload download links. If you weren't able to listen in weekly, here's your chance to catch up on the best-in-class electronica from the past year.
1 - Blame - Essential Mix 2009-02-28
Genre: Drum & Bass
One of the most blinding drum & bass mixes ever to grace this Radio 1 time slot. Even people who don't like drum & bass love this one. I listened to the mix 20+ times this year. Great at volume set to 11.
2 - The Twelves - Essential Mix 2009-12-19
Definitely the most fun mix of the year. Very housey, and lots of remixes of classic tracks you'll undoubtedly recognize. It's like having a party in your head.
3 - Eric Prydz - Essential Mix 2009-08-08
Genre: Progressive House
Ironically, this took place at Radio 1's weekend in Ibiza, which also saw 2008's most aggressive set: John Digweed's hour-long monster at Amnesia. Keeping in theme, Prydz drops big room track after big room track. This is what an Ibiza set should be.
4 - Gui Boratto - Essential Mix 2009-03-27
Mr. Boratto makes some absolutely beautiful music. This two hour offering was heavy on his own production work, and thankfully so. Instant classic.
5 - Tiga - Essential Mix 2009-04-04
A set that was sometimes confusing, sometimes eclectic, but always brilliant. I preferred this mix to his Ciao! album released around the same time.
6 - Laurent Garnier - Essential Mix 2009-05-23
This guy is a legend for a reason. Hour 1 is driving techno, hour 2 is a mish mash of 100 different genres…and pulled off masterfully.
7 - Simon Patterson - Essential Mix 2009-11-21
This was perhaps my sleeper hit of the year. I'd never heard any of the gentleman's work prior to this mix, but it proved to be my favorite heads-down working music of 2009. If trance starts moving in this direction, count me in.
8 - Erick Morillo - Essential Mix 2009-07-04
Soulful house for 4th of July weekend. Best played in the warm sun with an icy beverage in hand.
9 - Caspa - Essential Mix 2009-07-11
This mix hit me at just the right time. I'd seen some great dubstep DJs at Future Fest two weeks prior, and Caspa's mix continued the head bobbing. Love listening to this one in the car.
10 - Felix Da Housecat - Essential Mix 2009-08-22
I actually didn't like this mix the first two times I listened to it. But upon replay, I realized it's a fantastic snapshot of many styles of house. As you'll be reminded throughout the mix, he's got house in his DNA with heritage in the Electronica Holy Trinity of Detroit, Chicago, & London.