I'm going to put my top ten albums of the decade on my myspace because here it seemed more appropriate to write about something a bit different. Something overlooked by our contemporaries at the Observer, but all too relevant to electronic drug people whose A.D.D. makes the space between tracks seem like a bleak eternity, here is my list of the best ten mixtapes of the decade. Si señor.
10. Goon & Koyote: Diamond Grills
Apart from or because of the loud and intrusive shouts from DJ Nasty, this is an incredibly slick mixtape full of all the essentials for number of repeat listens, including a 16 bar ghetto reworking of 'Good Life' by Inner City and a dope exclusive verse from Teki Latex. This tape represents the French take on booty, which seems to have been massive amongst our Gallic cousins.
Ibiza Moment: DJ Koyote: 'Playin With Witney'
9. Toddla T: Ghettoblaster
If this is how it started, T Willy has had it down from day un. This epic collection brought old favourites to our attention, scoured the ragga and bass scene for fresh gems, pushing all four versions of Toddla's first single, 'Do U Know'.
Ibiza Moment: Tiger Style: 'Tiger Style'
8. Aaron LaCrate & Low Budget: BMore Gutter Music
If ever a sound has been so easy to define it is B(alti)more Club. This tape is as good as it got. All the bangers you need to know about are contained within, with very few of the uninspired remixes that seems to have come to define this genre.
Ibiza Moment: Baltimore Club: 'Pork Chops'
7. Metro Area: Fabric 43
Their sound may be modest and reserved, but don't equivocate yourself: Metro Area are a production juggernaut. This Fabric mix came out about 4 years too late, but its classic content really negates time and fashions. It is also the only mix (possibly ever) with a humourous spoken intro that endears the artist to the listener.
Ibiza Moment: Devo: 'Freedom Of Choice'
6. DJ2D2: A Little Bass!
This is the gem of a selection of fine mixtapes from Barcelona's David Perez. Effortlessly floating between genres, it is so up on the new shit that even now it sounds futuristic. Why this lad doesn't have a residency in one of the city's larger dancing spaces I do not know.
Skream & Diplo 'Blipstream'
5. Vitalic: Live At Fuse 2002
This is the only live mix in the selection but I could not possibly discount it. Released bang in the middle of the electroclash years (I still shudder when I hear that term...), this hour of champagne techno sums up everything that is right about that sound.
Ibiza Moment: Vitalic: 'Newman'
4. Modeselektor: Boogybites Vol. 03
As far as progression goes, this for me is an amazing collection of forward-thinking music from the last few years. The mixing is eccentrically unpredictable, the order curious and the mood of each piece almost worlds apart from its predecessor, but these Germans with strange faces make it all fit.
Ibiza Moment: Holden: 'Idiot'
3. Disco D: Funk Flava 2005
This is the saddest entry of all. When David Shayman commited suicide, I read and watched quite a lot of the coverage about the why, and what emerged was that he was an incredibly hard-working character who wasn't getting the success that he needed, and this may have contributed to his depression. This baffles me. I saw both Disco D and Diplo at Sònar a year apart. Where Diplo was blending some throwaway hits, Disco D played a live set on his MPC, influenced by his recent trip to Brazil. Where Diplo came out with 'Piracy Funds Terrorism', Disco D dropped Funk Flava 2005, an engaging frenzy of Miami Bass, Baile Funk and Ragga. Who's the better artist? (No offence meant Diplo.)
Ibiza Moment: DJ Funk: 'Knock Knock' Vs Blacka Ranks 'Take Off Something'
2. Playgroup: Party Mix
The first time I heard this tape I found myself dumbfounded. I was just trying to get into one beat when another one jumps in to take its place. Apart from insane DJ Assault mixes, I can't think of any compilation that plays you less of any one song. Trevor Jackson's Party Mix grew and grew on me, and the lack of tracklist made it all the more interesting, in the tradition of DJs covering the labels on their records to avoid people copying their choices. At the time I read that there was a prize for anyone who could name all the tunes, which range from disco and funk to soundtrack and new wave, something that I have never felt confident enough to attempt. Some of the tunes are obvious, some obscure, but they are cut and blended in such a fashion that this hour is irresistible to the backpack muso and the top-of-the-popster.
Ibiza Moment: Too many to mention
1. 2 Many DJs: As Heard On Radio Soulwax Part 2
It's not hip anymore, but that doesn't alter the significance of this tape to me myself and the millions of others who couldn't get this out of the CD player for months and months a few years ago. Ignoring the wildly ambitious selection of bangers, both old and new, the amount of work that went into the re-editing of some of the instrumentals and vocal tracks is unfathomable. Not to mention the difficulty that they must have had in getting the rights to all the songs in order to sell this album. This tape opened my eyes to a lot of new ideas and will be eternally indebted to it for that.
Ibiza Moment: The Cramps: 'Human Fly