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20 Best DJ Mixes of 2013

James Murphy, Atoms for Peace, Four Tet and more of the year’s most transcendent sets

DJ Mixes

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Dance music continued its inexorable march towards the heart of the culture in 2013, but regardless of whatever commercials, award shows, or genre-bending collaborations DJs participated in, their chops, and genius, are best displayed in live mixes. Here are 20 of the year's best.

By Michaelangelo Matos, Mike Spinella and Elissa Stolman

Tim Sweeney

10

Axel Boman, ‘Beats in Space #697’

Not long before the November 11th release of his debut full-length, Family Vacation, Studio Barnhus heartthrob Axel Boman joined the "king of progressive Balearics" Tim Sweeney on his WNYU radio program Beats in Space. The two giggled over a lilting African vocal track before Boman settled into a memorable mix of simmering, melodic house beats.

Nicolas Jaar

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9

Nicolas Jaar, ‘Live at Boiler Room NYC: RBMA Takeover’

This year, electronic music phenom Nicolas Jaar focused on developing his brooding post-rock band, Darkside, but his webcasted appearance on Boiler Room proves that his solo endeavors haven't suffered. The camera showed Jaar composing beats from scratch, and each element he uses bears a hallmark of his unmistakable sound: He rolls out buxom beats peppered with slice-and-diced rap and R&B vocals, and bass-heavy grooves so thick listeners can sink into them like perfect pillows.

prosumer

IGR photo

8

Prosumer, ’60 Minute Boiler Room Mix’

A staple of the Berlin dance music scene and a selector virtuoso, Prosumer descended on London's Boiler Room for this webcast mix. The former Panorama Bar resident went back tobasics with a crate of vinyl and two turntables. Surrounded by a dance party, Prosumer packed in funky grooves like D'Marc Cantu's "Size And Shape" and went back to '88 for E-Smoove's "Down the Drain."

Maya Jane Coles

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7

Maya Jane Coles, ‘Essential Mix’

Two months before her hotly anticipated debut, Comfort, London house producer Maya Jane Coles proved yet again why she became a headlining DJ before turning 25. The bubbling, glossy, soulful style she specializes in can charm nearly any floor, and her second Essential Mix (the first was 2011) has new dramatic flair. Her own new material stacks up nicely against the glitch-soul of [a]pendics.shuffle feat. Blakkat's "Heavy Burdens High (Safeword Remix)" and Coles' own climactic Ella Fitzgerald remix.

6

Todd Edwards, ‘Essential Mix’

Daft Punk collaborator and veteran producer extraordinaire Todd Edwards stepped up to the decks in celebration of his friends' Random Access Memories, whizzing through a two-hour set dominated by original edits and remixes that nodded to the Grammy-nominated album. This essential mix includes work from Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, and detours into edits of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and My Morning Jacket's "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. II" fused with Fleetwood Mac's "Big Love."

Danny Tenaglia

Brian Killian/WireImage

5

Danny Tenaglia, ‘Electric Zoo’

After decades of controlling the dance floor like a puppet master, Tenaglia debuted his first official SoundCloud mix on Rolling Stone in celebration of his hometown appearance at Electric Zoo in September. The mix takes listeners on a one-hour journey, kicking off with an ode to Giorgio Moroder and building to an infectious LCD Soundsystem vs. Boris Dlugosh mash up, with stops at recent tracks  from Nicole Moudaber and Emilie Nana along the way.

Fred Hayes/Getty Images

4

Flying Lotus, ‘Grand Theft Auto V’

In September, L.A. beat king Flying Lotus joined the ranks of Femi Kuti and Chuck D when Grand Theft Auto V commissioned him to host one of the game's radio stations. His mix traverses rap, juke, trip-hop, and soul, and comes frontloaded with FlyLo originals — but it's hard to imagine stealing cars to the sound of his ambrosial rhythms, so the set soon strays to more menacing moments from the likes of Tyler, the Creator. 

Eric Prydz

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3

Eric Prydz, ‘Essential Mix’

2013 was a big year for Stockholm progressive house heavyweight Eric Prydz: he played at massive festivals like Coachella, Ultra, EDC and HARD, opened up a residency in Las Vegas, and topped the Beatport charts with "Power Drive." He started off the year with a victory lap by returning to Pete Tong's Essential Mix series for the third time in February, unloading a host of original material and fresh cuts from his Pryda Friends label.

Jamie Jones

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2

Jamie Jones, ‘Live at Time Warp, Mannheim, Germany’

One of underground house's biggest stars, Jones runs the Hot Creations label, which issues club favorites like communion wafers. His set from this German festival mostly sidelines the easy hooks he writes with Hot Natured (his group with Lee Foss and Infinity Ink) in favor of deeper, dubbier tracks such as the winking, bleeping electro-disco of Click Click's "Ducks in the Kiddie Pool" to the James Brown sample-fueled "The Funking," by Fer BR.

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1

Disclosure, ‘Essential Mix’

House pioneer MK mauled the U.K. dance singles charts in November with his remix of Storm Queen's "Look Right Through," fueling the garage revival championed by U.K. sibling duo Disclosure. Following the climactic release of their debut album, Settle, the Lawrence brothers laid out a buffet of influences on their boisterous Essential Mix. Disclosure's winning formula mixes Dilla-indebted hip-hop with classic house from Detroit producers like Moodymann and new-school garage darlings like T. Williams. 

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