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The best DJ mixes of 2017

Listen to the top DJ mixes of 2017 from dance-party burners to meditative chill-out tunes and spacey electronic sounds

Bjork
Photograph: Courtesy Santiago Felipe
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Whether you want to ring in New Year's Eve with some trippy Black Sabbath edits, rave through Christmas in New York with a stack of hard-hitting techno or just stash away hours of worthy music for a rainy day, look no further than our list of the best DJ mixes of 2017. You'll find house music compilations, extended funk workouts, pulsating techno songs and more, selected by our expert mix-diggers.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best of 2017

Best DJ mixes of 2017

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Needle Exchange: Siren

Restraint is a rare commodity in clubland, a domain more associated with a party-till-you-drop ethos, so it’s all the more noteworthy when a mix like this one comes along. It’s full of tracks that could ostensibly be deemed “club music,” but it’s the kind of elegant, moody, low- to mid-tempo club music that’s as attuned to horizontal activities as it is to dancing, with nary a cheap breakdown to be had. The set was threaded together by NYC’s own Darshan Jesrani (of Metro Area fame) and Dennis Kane (master of the Disques Sinthomme and Ghost Town labels), who have spent the past the past few years producing windswept, near-epic house under the Siren moniker.—Bruce Tantum

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Crack Mix 174 by Franklin De Costa

German DJ, producer and founder of Berlin's leading recurring club night, Mother's Finest, delivers one of the year's most impressive mixes. With an impressive catalog of releases and imprints—including his most recent EP with DJ Spider for label Berceuse Heroique—Franklin De Costa is a name that's been in the electronic scene for some time. It's only recently that he's getting the attention he deserves not just for booking incredible talent time after time but also for his work as a musician himself. De Costa has a crate digger's taste for music on the level of such longtime reputable selectors as Ben UFO—pulling never-before-heard tracks from abstract ambient to club techno and confidently and seamlessly mixing them into a mix like this one.—Vivienne van Vliet

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Solid Steel Radio Show by Otzeki / Tyler Pope

One of the longest-running current mix shows, SSRS was launched by Ninja Tune founders Coldcut in the frightening pre-streaming days of the late-1980s. Thirty years, and twice as many formats later, it’s still going strong. The first hour enlists Interference Pattern boss and LCD Soundsystem secret weapon Tyler Pope for an hour of mid-tempo, Weatherall-esque drug chuggers. Hour two shines its light on young London duo Otzeki, fresh off a Radio 1 Maida Vale live session and a pair of EPs this year alone. Both mixes are terrific examples of expert selectors creating vibes sans boundaries or genre and perfectly paying off the tagline “The broadest beats.”—Christopher Tarantino

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NTS Radio: Cherrystones Jaki Liebezeit Special

Under his Cherrystones guise, digger extraordinaire Gareth Goddard compiled this special two-hour dedication to the recently-departed drummer of experimental German legends Can. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Liebezeit’s contributions to the percussive arts. The founding Can member, whose surname translates to “Love Time,” was known as "one of the few drummers to convincingly meld the funky and the cerebral” (as his Wikipedia bio accurately states). He pioneered what became known as the motorik style of drumming for his repetitive momentum and similarity to a metronome. Here, Liebezeit gets two hours of love time to himself on NTS courtesy of the extremely thorough Mr. Goddard.—Christopher Tarantino

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Electronic Explorations 471 by re:ni

A DJ on the rise with her Electronic Explorations mix released this year, re:ni is part of the London-based all-female collective SIREN. With the monthly SIREN show on NTS Radio as well as a steady stream of gigs and festivals, re:ni is definitely one of our DJs to watch going into 2018. Her natural ability to blend seamlessly between genres—from dub and experimental reggae to techno and electro to drum ’n’ bass—sets her apart from her more conservative piers.—Vivienne van Vliet

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Bombstrikes Records: Bombs From The Vaults by Boca 45

Bristol’s Boca 45 (human name Scott Hendy) is a DJ in the classic sense of original block party-rockers: They’ll play anything to move the crowd and fit it all together so well you can’t even imagine it apart again. This bonus disc is part of Mr. 45’s new box set—covering his production work, remixes, numerous aliases and collabos—and all elements of it show you someone that knows their way around a beat. It makes sense that Boca’s mixes are reminiscent of Andy Smith’s now-classic Document mix series, since Mr. Hendy was half of one-and-done duo Dynamo Sounds with him, and much of that material appears here, as does his work with Portishead’s Geoff Barrow. If this mix does not get your holiday party started, you need new friends. Or new holidays.—Christopher Tarantino

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Boiler Room: Jayda G

It’s been a breakout year for Jayda G, the Vancouver, Canada spinner who heads up the Freakout Cult label. That’s how it should be, as she’s someone who knows that the main role of a DJ is to facilitate fun—and this set, recorded live at this year’s Dekmantel festival in Amsterdam, is definitely that. The mix, as it generally does with Ms. G, skews toward feel-good R&B, disco and house, but even if you’re the kind of Gloomy Gus who doesn’t do gleeful, her obvious passion for the music she’s playing just might win you over.—Bruce Tantum

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Worldwide FM: Deano Sounds with Evans Pyramid & Uchenna Ikonne

Few selectors are more qualified to start a truly global radio station than DJ/radio veteran Gilles Peterson. And few selectors are more qualified to host the one-year-old station’s Boston-centric episode as label boss Deano. His top-notch reissue machine Cultures of Soul finds your favorite “new to you” music you didn’t know existed from years ago. Along with Beantown artist Evans Pyramid (Andre Evons) and record collector/funk excavator Uchenna Ikonne, the show focuses not only on the local dance scene, but also the best Nigerian disco, Japanese boogie funk, zouk and gospel disco. Four hours of pure musical unadulterated joy…from Boston? Amen brother.—Christopher Tarantino

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Rude Transmissions Mix 3/17/17 by Sally Rodgers

Sally Rodgers has never been one to get hung up on niceties like style, either as one-half of the beloved A Man Called Adam duo or as a DJ. She’s really living in her own freeform musical world, and it’s that stylistic freedom that make her pleasingly low-key DJ sets such a joy. Any mix with her name affixed to it is worth a listen—we highly recommended tracking down her sets for London’s Brilliant Corners audiophile lounge—but this genre-agnostic mix for the Rude Transmissions crew might be her best of the year, if only for the inclusion of Stephen Duffy’s “Kiss Me.”—Bruce Tantum

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Creme Podcast #37 by Rhythmic Theory

After the release of his excellent debut album, Circulation, on Idle Hands in 2016, Bristol artist Rhythmic Theory teamed up this year with rising star Pessimist for an EP, Outlawed From Reality, on Netherlands-based label Crème Organization. A little over an hour long, this promo mix for Crème treads along haunting terrain with ambient and abstract tunes from the likes of Burial, dark industrial techno on Simon Shreeve's Osiris Music imprint, and house vocals on Peace Division's ‎cynical tune "Blacklight Sleaze."—Vivienne van Vliet

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