Roll up, roll up; welcome one and all to the enthralling, enticing, sensational, phantasmagorical experience that is the 405's Top Tracks/Remixes/Mixes. We'll have you white-knuckle on the edge of your seat as we rampantly course through the year's finest noises, from the chilly spark of James Blake's sonic dusk to the balmy dew of Chance The Rapper's sticky flow. There's ample opportunity here to stumble upon sounds you've forgotten about, never heard of or those which you already need to keep your finger hovering over the repeat button.

We hope that utilise this as a nifty guide from which to peruse the tip-top aural delights released all throughout the year. Some you'll probably see coming, others will hopefully be a little more surprising. Anyway, let the spectacle commence! - Larry Day


A handy playlist of tracks from 25-16...

25. Ciara - 'Body Party'

What a bloody cheeky little number this is. Subtle like a brick, it may be, but frankly, who doesn't love a good brickin' ever now and again? Produced by trap pioneer Mike Will Made It and written by Future, Ciara, the aforementioned Mr. Will Made It, Pierre Ramon Slaughter, Carlton Mahone, Rodney Terry, this is most definitely a case of many cooks making a pretty exquisite broth.


24. Grouper - 'Living Room'

From the glamorous kink-slink of Ciara to the bonafide feelings-quake of Grouper. The Oregonian folk auteur has crafted a bespoke ballad for the frustrated, formed from muffled murmurs and delicious, earthy, bassy acoustic guitar. It's a lo-fi effort riddled with static, but it's a genuine cross section of Liz Harris' brain that just seeps emotion and effortlessness.


23. Youth Lagoon - 'Dropla'

A gigantic, quivering behemoth of a song, Trevor Power's 'Dropla' is a psychedelic amalgam of post-rock and classic pop. Studded with painful elements akin to rusty acupuncture, you'll somehow be left intact after its conclusion; it's a rare effort that dredges you through an emotional trench and sets you back together afterwards. It's a beautifully aquatic catharsis which will leave a motivational mantra embedded in your head-crevices: "You will never die, you will never die."


22. Deerhunter - 'Monomania'

Let's all climb bambi-legged into Bradford Cox & Co.'s amniotic pleasure park named 'Monomania', decorated with subtle minimalist synthscapes and avante-psych titbits, it's not something that strolls up to you and wallops you in the lips with hooks 'n' riffs. No big beats here. This is a sprawling, exploratory affair. A 'lay-on-the-bed-in-your-makeshift-sensory-deprivation-chamber-which-is-actually-headphones-and-a-sleep-mask' kind of song.


21. My Body - 'Make It Good'

Stateside electropop pair My Body combines the tooth-rottingly sweet (though somehow not twee) with the glitchy fusillade from a hundred-strong battery of synth cannons. It's distorted and contorted like watching a really naff VHS from a carboot, but through the electric eclectics, there's a tingling vocal performance and heartfelt niceties.


20. Pusha T - 'Numbers On The Boards'

Though Kanye's behind the glass on this track, dutifully severed from Pusha T's fantastic LP My Name Is My Name, he doesn't steal the show. Pusha proves himself more than capable of outshining Kanye, utilising a Ginsu-sharp flow to flatten the competition in a 100-mile radius. Completed by rolling bass drones, factory mayhem beats and cheering kids, it's an original take on industry-standard braggadocio.


19. The Knife - 'Full Of Fire'

Shaking The Habitual was a unique onslaught in 2013. Swedish siblings The Knife, dropped their first record in seven years to rave reviews, showcasing an austere, experimental side that couldn't be further from 'Hearbeats' if it tried. 'Full Of Fire', the lead single, worms its way through an uncomfortable 9 minutes, challenging your perceptions and sense at each juncture; it's not an easy listen - rife with dissonance and possessed vocals - but therein lies the unusual charm. It's a liberating anarchy, inciting free though and galvanising a dormant well of oppression. The video purportedly challenges a Swedish law giving tax breaks to rich families that hire maids; an easy, background listen? Not a chance. Impressive, genius and vital? You bet.


18. Vic Mensa - 'Time Is Money (feat. Rockie Fresh & Beldina)'

Uncontrollable up-and-comer Vic Mensa, hailing from the bustling Chicago scene, wowed onlookers with his debut mixtape INNANETAPE in September. Featuring slots from Chance The Rapper, Ab-Soul and Thundercat, you couldn't be anything but stunned by it. 'Time Is Money' sees Mensa and fellow impassioned young rapper Rockie Fresh launch jawdropping spiels at us. Mensa cements his place as a rising star in the Chi-town scene, and instead of opting for over '90s throwback samples, he offloads over swooning electronica and dream-pop keys. It's not just chest-beating 'me me me!' either, it's a worldy effort, critiquing society and Chicago's gang issues.


17. M.I.A. - 'Bring The Noize'

Super-jittery and threshed like a jellyfish run down by a combine harvester, 'Bring The Noize' is an exceptional number from an exceptional album. M.I.A's loud, brash and not in the slightest afraid to get into everyone's faces here, bringing not just noise, but a cataclysmic, riotous disorder like only she can.


16. LIZ - 'U Over Them'

A rose-tinted neo-R&B anthem, LIZ showcases an innate talent for sounding almost exactly like a long-buried gem from the mid-'90s. It's creamy-smooth, with garage beats and throbbing bass - this isn't just for intimate romance, it's for massive Say Anything moments. Clearly LIZ has no 'chicks over dicks' principles though.



A handy playlist of tracks from 15-6...

15. Dornik - 'Something About You'

Sounding a bit like MJ is a wonderful gift, and UK soul-pop/future R&B legend doesn't waste it. Using sleek, '70s lounge glamour and the sultry seduction skills of '90s lotharios, Dornik proved himself an essential member of this year's R&B roster with 'Something About You'. It's the kind of chilled jam you put on toast. Nah, it's the kind you put on in the car as you woosh around the French Riviera in some spangly red convertible, hair billowing in the wind and your preferred arm candy bronzing in the passenger seat. It's the 007 of R&B (sans horrendous misogyny).


14. ASTR - 'R U With Me'

HUGE POP KLAXON. This is the star-littered synthpop opus that speakers were designed for. "As long as we've got each other/ we could be so much better," rings the chorus, a breathy, glitzy kerfuffle punctuated by resounding half-time drums and more swoons than high school Shakespeare. It's hazy, lilting brilliance.


13. Banks - 'Waiting Game'

BANKS and SOHN you say? Well, that's a decisively winning combo. As we strut into 2014, the two forces are primed to be catapulted to HAIM-level hype plateaus. As for the song, 'Waiting Game' is trademark BANKS: biting, menacing noir&B. There's a dash of Ellie Goulding in her shivering pipes, but SOHN's brooding piano, doom-gospel backing choir and leviathan bassline alleviates any further comparisons. It's more closely related to The Weeknd - i.e., what Tesfaye wishes he could articulate.


12. Chance The Rapper - 'Cocoa Butter Kisses'

Amongst the platinum-encrusted diamonds peppering Acid Rap, 'Cocoa Butter Kisses' stands a whisker above the rest. Chance's crystalline vocal talents shine like the rapture through an upbeat old-meets-nu school backing from Cam and Peter Cottontale and appearances from Twista and Vic Mensa (what a guy). It's a sleepy, slovenly Sunday morning track that insists on utter tranquillity and a healthy dose of relax-acetamol. However, as the song wears on, it's easy to glean a darker message of facing his mother's disappointment.


11. James Blake - 'Retrograde'

King of 2013's Mercurys, James Blake has proven himself a major player this year. Overgrown was released to rave reviews, and a string of accolades has bolstered an already illustrious career. Perhaps, at least partially, all that is down to 'Retrograde'. That humming hook at the outset is enough to ignite chills, and goes down as one of the most infectious melodies this year. Glazed with fizzing synths and Blake's calling-card soul-pop voice, 'Retrograde''s a track consisting of pure magic.


10. FKA Twigs - 'Water Me'

You'll be hard-pressed to find a composition released this year that's as traumatic as 'Water Me' by the reinvented semi-newcomer FKA Twigs. The tick-tock percussion and spectral samples meld beneath Twigs', AKA Tahliah Barnett's, luxurious but devastating words: "He won't make love to me now/ not now I've set a fee/ he said it's too much in pounds/ I guess I'm stuck with me." Not only is the song capable of leaving the most stoic completely distraught, the video is mesmerising in an eerie kind of way.


9. GEMS - 'Sinking Stone'

Washington DC duo GEMS unleashed this woozy, hypnagogic slab of pop, entitled 'Sinking Stone', earlier this year. Drawing comparison's to Cocteau Twins and contemporary Empress Of, it's a whirlpool of finely-aged shoe-pop guitars and swarms of satin synths - the duck'n'weave vocals appear and dissipate on a whim, eternally gorgeous, but only occasionally harmonising. There's an organic randomness to it.


8. Kanye West - 'I Am A God'

Brimming with primal yowling, the ominous synth menace plaguing Yeezus, and interspersed with juddery rhythms. It feels like an omen of an impending apocalypse or the OST to a complete breakdown of Kanye's fragile psyche. It's a desolate, terrifying hymn. Kanye is blatantly not a god, and as much as we love him here at the 405, we mostly understand that, but he sure does a good job of making us think he is for a few minutes. Also, the lyric of the year is in this - see if you can guess which one it is (hint: it's the croissants bit).


7. Torres - 'Honey'

Mackenzie Scott stirs a bevy of upper-lip shaking, tear rivulets and bloodshot eyes with 'Honey' from her eponymous debut. Dusty neo-Americana axes wail, distorted and fuzzed into rock territory, working in tandem with echoing floor toms to climax in the undergrowth as Scott weaves a heartbreaking tale: "Honey, while you were ashing in you coffee/ I was thinking about telling you what you've done to me." Just the tip of the iceberg - explore the LP if you're up for a bit of emotional masochism.


6. Alma Elste - 'Virtualism'

Parisian chanteuse Alma Elste, despite the scarcity of offerings, has delivered an incredible package in the form of 'Virtualism'. Dropping references to Grand Theft Auto and filling the noir-pop void Lana Del Rey left when she scurried off to gallivant on Tropico, Elste proved her worth tenfold. The synths, while mysterious and malice-filled like '60s cop shows, keep her smoky voice buoyant amidst narcotised romance; it's dreamy pop music with an intense, surreptitious dance bent. More please Alma. Soon.



A handy playlist of tracks from 5-2...

5. Mausi - 'Move'

Did someone say 'song of the summer'? This is what the UK Top 40 should sound like; effervescent, high-octane, and Medonistic (a word which here means 'partying in the South of France'). The Newcastle x Milan foursome destroyed festivals this summer, as well as recent stints alongside Charli XCX, unleashing sun-tongued pop upon the masses. Just you wait for the quasi-drop when vocalist Daisy Finetto commands movement like a seasoned diva. You'll dance 'til your feet are stubs.


4. Big Sean - 'Control (feat. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica)'

This may be a Big Sean ditty, but we all know who's running the show. Sean's a competent hors d'oeuvre, but when Kendrick Lamar, the ultimate main course, delivers his now infamous verse, you'll forget everything else. His mastery of the English language is unparalleled in modern hip-hop, and he's not afraid to completely slam down any rumours of competition. This may say Big Sean on the label, but Kendrick's making him sound like Lil Chris; Jay Electronica barely registers in comparison (though neither he nor Sean are by any means bad, in fact, they've upped their game to compete - but still, they never stood a chance). Surely it's etiquette not to show up the host as a guest on the track? Even if that's some kind of true, when's Kendrick stuck to rules?


3. Samaris - 'Góða Tungl'

Icelandic youngling trio Samaris turned us to mere puddles earlier this year with their chilling electronica full-length. Weaving post-house production with classically trained clarinets and one half of Pascal Pinon seems like a mismatch, but in reality it couldn't work better. 'Góða Tungl' takes, like all their tracks, lyrics from forgotten traditional poetry - in this case, the song is about the moon. It's thoroughly enticing, with viral melodies, some of the best vocals you'll hear all year, and a sparse, cleansing intimacy. Genuinely beautiful.


2. Pure Bathing Culture - 'Pendulum'

Oozing ageless class and supreme charm, this indie-pop sizzler simmers in the sweet-spot between dusk and night, where the sky turns a dark pink and people talk about shepherds. The sultry, soft, almost accidental guitar licks that penetrate dense shoe-smog are a real treat, and exemplary of the kind of thing we loved about PBC's debut, Moon Tides. 'Pendulum' is almost the pinnacle of Mount Pop. But not quite. Which brings us to our top track of 2013...


1. Young Galaxy - 'New Summer'

Oh yes. The big one. Our track of the year is Young Galaxy's 'New Summer'. The Canadian quintet have summoned immense power on the lead single from fourth record Ultramarine (which was shortlisted for the Polaris prize). With feral, tribal synth-howls and the gentle flicker of percussion the band cultivates an uplifting tone with faint flecks of melancholia dappled throughout. It's crammed with motifs you'll be whistling or humming (pick yer poison) for yonks - and you'll never grow tired of it being stuck between your ears. Let's not get started on the phenomenal video accompaniment (people with money: make the Young Galaxy film).

There's not one element that needs tweaking to adjusting in this song of songs; it's a tremendous Ark of the Covenant-esque source of awe that will induce chilling shivers so strong it'll be like your whole body is getting a text. We doff our caps.

Top this, 2014. We dare you.

A handy playlist of the remixes...

15. CHVRCHES - 'The Mother We Share (Blood Diamonds Remix)'

CHVRCHES have gone from strength to strength over the past few months, releasing a polished anthology of synth-pop gems and tearing America a new one; Blood Diamonds has been considerably more reticent, scarcely peeping his mug into the arena since working with Grimes on 'Phone Sex' last year. On CHVRCHES breakthrough bombast, he removes the veneer, revealing a glitchy skeleton full of Sims-ish piano, xylophones and peppered gaiety.


14. Lorde - 'Royals (The Weeknd Remix)'

Ella Yelich-O'Connor and Abel Tesfaye couldn't have had bigger 2013s. From relative nobodies to arena-seller-outerers and top-spot-crusaders in a matter of mere months is a mammoth feat, and the pair working together (surely that's going to be a thing soon?) would be mindblowing. For the time being, we'll make do with this stellar remix of Lorde's magnum opus 'Royals' by The Weeknd. Gone is the fingersnap swagger, instead, we've got a platter of hallucinogen synths and woozy psychtronica.


13. Autre Ne Veut - 'Play By Play (Jacques Green Remix)'

Canadian producer Jacques Greene has demonstrated his finesse with original material this year, but so far his grander appeal has appeared via a remix of Autre Ne Veut's neo-R&B belter, 'Play By Play'. The original's an anthem with pop hooks and glossy synth splendour - just you try and refrain from singing along to that chorus - but Greene's subdued the noises, turned it a tad techno and much more emotionally raw. The pièce de résistance? Dat bass.


12. Phoenix - 'Chloroform (Sleigh Bells Remix)'

Is this a remix? Is it a cover? We'll go with the former for the sake of arguments. Alexis Krauss' take on the Phoenix vocals is magical, and a wonderful chance to glimpse her not howling or battling axes; it's still an erratic mishmash, á la Sleigh Bells, but there's a hazy nonchalance to the music like watching a pipebomb explode in slow motion. It's a gorgeous blending of whistles, the softening of Phoenix's synthwork and a gentle burst of energy.


11. HAIM - 'The Wire (Tourist Remix)'

HAIM's soft-rock dancefloor-filler, replete with muted riffs and the calling-card clipped vox, gets a total makeover from Tourist, replacing guitars with delicate synths and zapping the momentum. No longer is 'The Wire' a stompin' stormcloud, now it's a lo-fi afterparty tune with narcotic keys, calypso hooks and the results of putting Este, Alana and Danielle in a washing machine.


10. alt-J - 'Breezeblocks (RZA Remix)'

Here's a collaboration that sits near the top of the pile labelled "things we never thought we'd hear". Wu-Tang's RZA turns Mercury-nabbers alt-J from math-indie jitterbugs into nu-folk troubadours; not only is the pairing a surprise, the direction RZA's headed isn't what you'd expect either. Apparently pilfering influences from "breakbeat, funk and jazz", he ups the riff ante and does away with alt-J's rhythmic oddities. Be prepared for lots of toy piano and offbeat bass guitars.


9. Summer Camp - 'Fresh (Thumpers Remix)'

Indie-pop heroes Summer Camp deployed a valuable LP this year, and genre-mates/newcomers Thumpers went crazy on the lead single. They've coldly, calculatedly, amputated the Disney strings and effervescent glee, implanting a romantic delirium in its stead. It's still got Sankey's incredible vocal line and doo-wop backing singing, but the rest of the music veers down psych alley, glitching and popping and locking along the route.


8. Empress Of - 'Tristeza (El Guincho Remix)'

Brooklynite dreampop starlet Empress Of sees her sonic smoke grenade 'Tristeza' get a brutal abattoir-style evisceration. Bleepy-bloopy blippings have long since packed a bindle and trundled away, and we're left with a rhythmic onslaught and the fragments of distant Balearic-pop x lounge jazz. Wonderfully detached and removed from the original.


7. James Blake - 'Life Round Here (feat. Chance The Rapper)'

What a year Mr. Blake and Mr. The Rapper have had. This is another magnet for the masses, splicing Blake's post-pop R&B/soul with Chance's impeccable flow; why this track hasn't been a bigger deal is utterly befuddling. It's dark, fantastical and thorny like slogging through a haunted rosebed with a butterknife to defend yourself. When you've had your fill of Blake's impassioned croon, Chance whips out a palate-cleansing spiel to raise your spirits (if only marginally).


6. Madonna - 'Ray Of Light (Supermarket Love Remix)'

Released way at the front of this hefty year, Supermarket Love's rework of Madonna's late-'90s classic 'Ray Of Light' removes the original from its trance coffin, placing it on an electro-pop podium. It's breezy, light and crisp with stammering guitars and dreamy synths, and so distant from Madge's prime version you'd be forgiven for forgetting the link. While we're here, let's take a moment and remember the terrible robotic toddler dancing on display in the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3ov9USxVxY ).


5. Everything Everything - 'Kemosabe (Post War Years Remix)'

Essentially a perfect pop song, Everything Everything's massive single 'Kemosabe' has been reduced to a melty pile of oozing sores and acid-trip horrors by past tourmates Post War Years. No longer are we sandblasted by the stunning chorus. It's a seedy melange of squirming synth slithers and tropical trinkets; Jonathan Higgs' falsetto no longer sounds awash with hope and power. He sounds terrified, dazed and like someone experiencing the malevolence of going cold turkey all at once. Oh yeah, there's also the warble of weird-ass saxophone at the end. Why? No one will ever know.


4. Ella Fitzgerald - 'Blue Skies (Maya Jane Coles Remix)'

A re-envisioning of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald's 1958 take on the 1926 Betsy classic, 'Blue Skies' is utterly mutated. London producer Maya Jane Coles has torn asunder the scat singing and bluesy chordage, injecting deep house synth threads and the low murmur of dubstep bass. It's barely recognisable, but every now and again a snippet of Fitzgerald's unparalleled voice creeps through the dance tendrils to grip you by the heart.


3. Oh Land - 'Renaissance Girls (Nick Zinner Remix)'

Monsieur Zinner, of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame, contorts Danish chanteuse Oh Land's feminist ode, burning away the fat and pop glitz, reducing it to base elements. It's engorged with primal, tribal rhythms, glistening chimes and muddy bass licks; the synths have been contained to the background, bringing forth organic strands, and, in the process, putting Oh Land's message front'n'centre. It's a driving, empowering, wry hit. Zinner and Oh Land's knob-twiddler Dave Sitek (also a longtime YYY producer) appear to share a similar vision, and Zinner channels Sitek's originally subdued parts to craft the track from pop-with-a-message to vital pop-aganda.


2. A$AP Rocky - 'Thuggin' Noise (It's Hemsworth, Bitch Edit)'

Dat PMF's debut was, to put it politely, lacklustre in comparison to prior efforts. A bloated money-machine, it lacked the joie de vivre and allure of his game-changing beginnings, and while a few tracks glowed, many others fell over like flimsy cardboard monuments in a gentle zephyr.

When Canadian wunder-producer Ryan 'The Don Of Remixes' Hemsworth got his paws on A$AP Mob's 2012 cut 'Thuggin' Noise', a reminder of Rocky's wondrous past, earlier this summer, we were gifted the most gobsmacking juxtaposition; using the instrumentals from Britney Spears' 'Everytime', trap beats and Rocky's words, he creates this soft-centred, bubblegum rap ditty with weeping willow-strings and plastic keys. It's strictly more a mash-up, but the amount of pure pleasure this conjures supersedes semantics. Bloody marvellous.


1. Clarence Clarity - 'KADYクソPERRY'

I'm going to hand over to 405 writer Katie Taylor to describe our favourite remix of the year...

"This isn't so much a remix as a shimmering glitter explosion. Forcing Katy Perry's original into a tight-fitting ridiculous neon extravagance - it's full of warpy electronic glitches, Rainbow Road type sound effects (remember that from Mario Kart?) and fun. It's just really fun. Especially when 'Eye Of The Tiger' busts in."

Incredible.

10. Ducktails - FACT mix

Listen to the mix by heading here.

Matt Mondanile of Real Estate, and more currently, Ducktails, has been spouting wondrous, dazed pop sounds for years across a variety of labels and with a cadre of impeccable talent like Joel Ford and Oneohtrix Point Never; his mix for FACT delves into a different side of his psyche. Whilst his own output has been lumped into chillwave and hypnagogic categories, he's curated a distinctly dance-flavoured fusillade for FACT, featuring Disclosure, Todd Terje and Jay Shepherd.



9. Kele Okereke/Bloc Party - !K7 Tape

After the hubbub of their will-they-won't-they hiatus/not-hiatus, Bloc Party (well, Kele Okereke to be precise) plonked this stonking stunner into our laps. He's followed in the footsteps of The Rapture and Foals for Berlin-based mixtape connoisseurs !K7. Taking a transcendental sojourn through post-rock, Afrobeat, grime, house, 2-step and their own back catalogue, Okereke's guided tour of his and his bandmates' sonic inspiration reveals the ground zero for his passion for electronic sounds. Expect Wiley, Do Make Say Think, Fela Kuti and Double 100 to satiate a lust for dance music, and don't be alarmed if you can't stop shakin' it - it's a common side effect.



8. Fenech-Soler - August Morning

The boys over in Fenech-Soler have made many a mixtape, releasing one monthly to keep us updated on their listening habits. They're always interesting, highlighting burgeoning acts and tackling the behemoths of music, but it's the August mix we premiered earlier this year that stands out; featuring Banks, Body Language and George Marple, we see Fenech-Soler bathe in polished R&B tones and the brooding, cutting-edge synthwork that has defined 2013. There's also a sneaky new version of their own cut, 'Maiyu' lurking in there.



7. Kaytranada - BEMF 2013

For the sixth annual Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, they roped in Canadian producer extraordinaire Kaytranada to host a mix. The unsung talent blends hip-hop, R&B, disco and house into a glorious, heady brew, forcing you to get off your keisters and jerk rhythmically like a spider spasming at the cusp of death. De La Soul, TLC, Banks, Azealia Banks, Missy Elliot, The Internet and many more make for a deliriously entertaining listen that should be on repeat as your slap on the slap and gee yourself up for a night on the town. Or, if that's not your cuppa tea, perhaps it could soundtrack pensive alone time.



6. Polly Scattergood - Femme Fatales

Working on a stringent theme - see if you can guess what it is - Polly Scattergood whipped up a tasty mixtape for NYLON earlier this year, putting a whole host of incredible artists on a podium together. There's smatterings of Grimes and Lykke Li, CHVRCHES on remix duties, Charli XCX reimagining of Scattergood's own recent single 'Wanderlust' and essential efforts by Beach House, Ultraísta and Purity Ring. It's a glorious synthpop/electrodance menagerie, and showcases some of the strongest voices (both creative voices and actual singing ones) in music today.



5. Jacques Greene - FADER mix

Hot Montrealese (-ian? -ite?) knob-twiddler Jacques Greene has collated an incendiary salmagundi of electronic music as he explores the sounds of Samoyed, Nosaj Thing and Anthony Naples. Masterful transitions aplenty - with Greene at the reins, this is surely a given - and an abundance of underground talent and big(ger) names all vying for your attention, this is an exceptional mix filled with a plethora of opportunities to shuffle off this mortal coil and ascend into dance Valhalla.



4. Lapalux - FACT mix

Listen to the mix by heading here.

Thundercat comrade and all-round manufacturer of awesome Lapalux also contributed a wonderful mix for the fellows at FACT. Instead of opting purely for hedonistic barrages of dancefloor fillers, Lapalux has included plenty of instances where just laying somewhere comfy with headphones and no interruptions would be more prudent. There are dollops of vivacious hip-hop too, via the likes of Notorious B.I.G. and The Underachievers, but Luther Vandross, Chilly Gonzales and Linda Perhacs are the kind of artists that comprise the bulk of the mix. It's relaxing like a holiday to the Sea of Tranquillity.



3. Rhye - WO/MAN

Mysterious twosome Rhye sculpted this mix as a companion piece to their eponymous debut; they've dubbed it "a soulful mix for the lover's dancefloor." Compiled with assistance from KCRW presenter Mathieu Schreyer, the three players aimed to create a mix full of songs that demonstrate a powerful dominance over emotions. The fruits of their effort is a subdued, slinking mix rammed with heavyweight feelings from the likes of King Krule, John Talabot and Bill Withers. Not only is a scrummy tape to be devoured by music fans everywhere, it also serves to bolster the reticent pair's background and aural history.



2. Ryan Hemsworth - BBC Mix

One of the most promising producers to appear in recent times, Canada's Ryan Hemsworth proved to a wide swathe of listeners that he's literally the shit back in March on Diplo's Radio 1xtra show. If you can handle the incessant idents, then you'll adore this, a mix for the ages - it's stuffed with variety, from the F-Zero theme tune to R.Kelly, from Dirty Projectors to The Knife and from Nada Surf to Ciara. Emblazoned with his trademark flippance and appreciation for all things great and weird, Hemsworth's succeeded at distilling an entire DJ set into a bitesized package. A pleasure from start to finish, it does something few mixes can - it leaves you wanting more.



1. Samaris - 1993

Opening with a clip from Tarantino's romantic crime flick True Romance where Patricia Arquette and James Gandolfini are talking in a motel room, Samaris' 1993 mix begins on a sombre tone. For starters, it's a bitter reminder of Gandolfini's recent untimely death, but also because it's an unsettling scene which (at least in this clip) ends with a woman being beaten. Samaris merge Aphex Twin's 'Weathered Stone' with the end of the snippet, and take us on a strange stroll through dance music, past the likes of Tricky, Jamiroquai and Björk.

What makes this mix truly great, and our mix of the year, isn't necessarily in the music choices (though they're fantastic), but in the construction and context. Entitled 1993, the Icelandic trio, too young to even vaguely remember the year itself, whisk us through the sights and sounds of the tumultuous 365 days: "Jurassic Park, the separation of Czechoslovakia, the Rodney King incident, Michael Jordan retires (but thankfully returned): 1993, what a year. Maybe we weren't there to witness all those, and other remarkable events that happened that year, but they sure have influenced our lives and others," the band say in their introduction to the mix.

It's also a fantastic insight into a fledgling band with much to demonstrate. We get to see a side of them that isn't necessarily given the chance to shine in their music; where they tend to careen towards an ethereal, moody folk-tinged electronica with 19th century poetry and trip-hop influences, this mix places the spotlight blatantly on their dance and pop inspirations. This mix serves three purposes with aplomb: it fleshes out the Samaris themselves, it tells a story, and it's a rollicking good listen. It's expertly conjured. However, probably the main deciding factor on its validity at the top spot is the sheer amount of didgeridoo found in the mix.