The finest of the year, from Micachu & Tirzah exclusives to Slava's dark dance and Thom Yorke rarities
A mix can reveal as much about an artist as a formal full-length, whether it's a moodboard of their influences or dipping into territories unexplored in other releases. When we launched our Thom Yorke cover story for our February issue, we asked him to whip up an accompanying compilation. Little did we know that he would go into his Oxford to compile a 25-minute set including unheard solo material and new remixes of Radiohead and Liars tracks. Elsewhere this year, we asked some of our favourite artists to put together exclusive mixes for Dazed, and they did us proud. From Slava's contorted floorfillers to Jamie XX and John Talabot's collab and Tirzah & Micachu's laid-back exclusives-packed set, crack open our ten best of the year below.
Our most-played mix of the year includes some of Thom Yorke's most rhythmic work, sketches that can be traced throughout his work with Radiohead and Atoms For Peace's AMOK. Here, he presents his own solo demos, new remixes, and an early treatment for Radiohead's King of Limbs track "Bloom".
To celebrate our November Dark Arts issue, Software's genre-spanning dance artist Slava gave us a darkly rattling 45 minutes, including Divoli S'vere's flip on Britney, a re-up of "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" and propulsive edits from Physical Therapy and Rizzla.
Former Arab Strap member Aidan Moffat created Neverland Transmission, a haunting and ambient journey through Disney's more wavy output. Tracks such as "Scales and Arpeggios" from The Aristocats and Peter Pan's "Second Star to the Right" are twisted together in an ever-shifting trip.
The South London pals turned collaborators produced one of the year's finest slow-burn pop songs with "I'm Not Dancing", and the pair presented an incredible seven new tracks in their Dazed mix. A mesh of homemade pop with a warehouse pulse and deep groove, here the duo showed their creative bones.
You'd hope for nothing less than a pan-global excursion from Montreal-based CFCF, as found in his Belongings, Possessions mix, which he described as a moodboard for his Music For Objects EP. From composers such as Yukihiro Takahashi and Michael Nyman to Japan and Art of Noise, it feels as spectral as any of his own releases or remixes.
Hyperdub's Jessy Lanza made one of our favourite debut albums of the year in the forward-thinking Pull My Hair Back, and her Blue Champagne mix traces her influences, from LV and Girl Unit's dance to Omarion's R&B and Cherrelle's soul-funk classic "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On".
Author Joe Mansfield knows his Oberheim DMX from his Roland TR-808 – drum machines that have shaped the sound and texture of pop music. To celebrate the release of Beatbox: A Drum Machine Obsession for Get On Down, a book tracing the history of robot drummers, he compiled us a mix including some of his favourites, from Beastie Boys to LL Cool J, Shannon and Madonna.
For our June issue, we marked the return of synth saviours Daft Punk with an exclusive head to head between them and their legendary Random Access Memories collaborator Giorgio Moroder. To celebrate, Another Music's Wriggly Scott took us on a career-spanning journey from Moroder's Donna Summer classics to his excursion into gangsta rap for Scarface.
From the opening pitch-shifted verse of Squarehead's "Elegante" (itself lifted from Brandy's "What About Us"), Jamie Grind's hour-long mix teams bubbly hooks with bass-heavy house/garage rhythms. It's a party-ready roundup of the year's finest pop/dance crossovers, from Duke Dumont's "Need U (100%)" to Disclosure's "You & Me" and Mutya Keisha Siobhan's flipped take on Kendrick's "Swimming Pools (Drank)".
This shimmering three hour (!) mix was recorded in Miami for Nic Tasker's NTS show, and we teamed up with the radio station for the stream-on-demand premiere. It sees Hivern Discs boss John Talabot go back to back with Jamie xx for a cohesive marriage of house, disco and purple funk that twists and shimmers.