We’ve again compiled a short list for the Best Music Podcasts 2012. This being the first edition for 2012, focusing only on the best music podcasts in the first half of 2012. As with last year’s best music podcasts 2011, there are lots a great music podcast to choose. To define our focus we like to concentrate on podcast series, not just one off mixes. Though for 2012 we’ve added a new section at the bottom that includes free promotional dj mixes not available on a podcast series. We also ensure these are lasting mixes, ones that not only impress us on the first listen, but every listen throughout the year. That being said there are probably some great, bangin’ mixes out there from djs with loads of turntable skills. Sets that would sound amazing if we were seeing them live. But that’s not always what we’re going for here. These are dj mixes that we enjoy listening to, time and time again, at the office, on road trips and hanging out with friends. Hopefully this will give you a chance to discover you own hidden gems you may have missed in the first half of 2012. We also will not admit to listening to every music podcast from 2012, so if have some suggestions on sets that did not make it on the list, please – leave us a comment. These podcasts are ordered according to release date. Check out our Best Music Podcast 2012 Part 2.
Sawf is a local on the Perc Trax label and known for his stripped-down techno with punchy kicks and pounding bass. Check out his remix of Forward Strategy Group ‘Mandate‘ off the Labour Division EP2. You can see where he gets his aggressive style by listening to this podcast. I’m completely drawn to this mix and placed it on the Best Music Podcasts 2012 list because it takes me back to my electronic music roots. Sawf serves up dark industrial and EBM with the likes of Ministry and Nitzer Ebb. Plus he tosses in one of my favorite tracks of all time the Aphex Twin – Nine Inch Nails remix/rework ‘At The Heart Of It All’ – a beautiful fucking track. This is also one of my favorite podcast series because you never know what to expect. You hardly ever hear a set the dj would play live and the tracks always seem to mirror their early influences.
This Resident Advisor Podcast was the first I’d heard of Developer, a techno producer from L.A. and owner of the Modularz label, although he’s been a dj for 20 years. Yes he has been rocking the L.A. techno scene on and off for 2 decades but it wasn’t until last year when he created his own label and productions that he started receiving international attention. This mix is deeper techno, something that wouldn’t be uncommon from fellow L.A. techno icon and Sandwell District cohort Silent Servant, which is probably what caught my ear and landed this on the Best Music Podcats 2012 list. Developer does admit this is an unusual set for him and though he’d like to “do something different than my usual pounding 40 tracks per hour aggressive techno style.” Though the style does reflect that of his own productions and I believe he tossed in some of his unreleased material at the time.
This Resident Advisor Podcast also happened to be the first I’d heard of this artist. Airhead is a new talent from the UK, good friend and collaborator of James Blake and signed to the R&S label. This mix landed on the Best Podcasts 2012 list simply for it’s variety and freshness. It’s a fun mix to listen to. Airhead describes, “It’s a collection of some of my favorite music as well as some of my own work, roughly divided into three sections. I spent a fair amount of time trying to strike a balance between the more dance floor-oriented tracks and quieter moments.” I agree and you’ve done a nice job with that.
Dadub is a live techno act and sole mixing engineers for Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artifacts label. One of my absolute top labels currently. I love Dadub’s dubby, inventive and atmospheric approach to techno production and their unique signature found on all Stroboscopic Artifacts releases. Check out the Way to Moksha release for some of the most brilliant and thought provoking techno of 2012. This particular mix is not one of their live sets but it is definitely dubby and atmospheric and much more soothing and airy. I spent many sunny summer afternoon’s kicking it with his mix in the backyard which is why I think it is one of the best music podcasts of 2012.
ASC has been known as a drum n bass producer from the UK but in the last few years he has been pushing out perfected IDM styled techno. I think every ASC mix I hear is outstanding and this one is no exception. I listened to his RA.233 podcast from the end of 2010 for all of 2011. Every track in this set is an original except just one. This mix definitely pushes into much darker and harder territory then I’ve heard from ASC in the past.
This podcast came out just before Movement 2012, giving listeners an insightful preview to their scheduled performance at the Detroit electronic music festival. Project 313 is a duo of Detroit natives who have been putting in work djing and promoting across the Motor City for years and their production team has taken shape nicely. I’ve heard a few other Project 313 sets prior, but this one set me back and got me real excited for their set on Memorial Day. This mix starts out deep and atmospheric and builds to an energetic experience with several waves in between, just as any good set should. I felt their inspiration pouring out of this podcast and it spilled right over into their set at Movement which is how it landed on our Best Music Podcasts 2012. The duo behind this live production team also founded the Blank Code record label and run some of the best events currently in the mid-west. Their Scene parties have been bringing in some phenomenal international talent into Detroit and the Scene-Interface afterparty was one of the highlights of this years Movement festival.
Modifyer is great concept – an experimental collection that serves as a platform for artists. I like podcasts series that surprise me and that’s exactly why I love this one. This mix from Amir Alexander could have been chosen at random and given me the same satisfaction as toiling through each and every process part. This mix made the Best Music Podcasts 2012 because I can hardly stand hip hop these days. In fact I avoid it like overweight chicks in a gym class kickball team. This mix however is not that hip hop. This shit is classic. Plenty of old Outkast, Wu Tang, East Coast, West Coast, R&B and turntable skills.
Best Promotional DJ Mixes 2012
O/V/R aka James Ruskin & Regis Live @ Blueprint Records – Berghain
I’ve not going to say much about this one. No need. Just listen and be prepared. O/V/R Live in one of the most infamous clubs in Berlin. If you don’t know, now you know.
Redshape Live Tel Aviv, Israel
This is a great live performance from Redshape and it exemplifies his music and style perfectly.