Welcome to Selective Sounds, where we highlight some of the year’s top mixes from across the internet from some of Asia’s and the Asian diaspora's finest.
Throughout the past few years, online streaming and DJing have gained prominence, shifting dance music from local clubs on a Friday to the internet 24/7. Even as clubs reopened, digital mixes and online sets remained as popular as ever, signalling the lasting era of the online DJ for both household names and newcomers to the community.
As the internet relentlessly breaks barriers and connects people across continents, a wave of exceptionally talented DJs from Asia and the Asian diaspora entered the spotlight, each bringing their unique style and cultural influences to the table.
In our previous edition, we highlighted some of those leading the way in left-of-centre sounds, with some eclectic, oddball and uniquely impressive efforts. This time, we’re spotlighting high-energy mixes, showcasing artists that make listeners move wherever they are, which came out in 2023.
Expect to hear infectiously powerful sets (with some coming with an added bonus of pumped-up crowds dancing excitedly) from an inclusive range of subgenres and styles. Again, this is by no means a definitive list; more like a selection of incredibly spirited party starters.
January 25, 2023 Marcus L x Partiboi69 (South Korea)
The Stingzone, curated by Partiboi69, hosts incredible B2B sets with artists like LB AKA LABAT, KiNK, Hector Oaks, Mell G, Skream, and Kettama. The B2B with Marcus L stands out as the one we return to most. It's a non-stop barrage of rave, techno, G-tech, and K-tech, delivered by both DJs who exude a charming, drug-dealer-with-a-heart-of-gold vibe.
June 11, 2023 FUKHED (Australia)
We thank the HÖR x AIAIAI mix competition for bringing its winner, FUKHED, onto our radar. Not only has she been taking Australia by storm, but she's also getting her deserved flowers from the rest of the world. She is definitely one to watch. All we can say is this mix is stupidly good.
February 4, 2023 ¥ØU$UK€ ¥UK1MAT$U (Japan)
Ironically, this set ¥ØU$UK€ ¥UK1MAT$U at RSO.Berlin is one of his more mellow sets, but it's still a punch in the face. There are few DJs out there that are as brutal, unforgiving and downright dangerous (as you'll hear in this two-hour offering).
July 21, 2023 Didi Han (France/South Korea)
Some may know Didi Han for her more mellow, R&B-centric sets, but this particularly energising set showcases her talents across acid, rave, techno and much more. Definitely looking forward to seeing (and hearing) what else she'll surprise us with.
June 14, 2023 D.Dan (Germany)
Deciding on one single set to feature from D.Dan has been more difficult than we thought. Easily a top-contending favourite when it comes to techno, every one of his sets brings something new to the table. It's weirdly hypnotic but never stops being groovy.
May 31, 2023 Manami (United Kingdom)
Every single set Manami churns out, she pulls off a mind-boggling number of genres, and it always seems to work so cohesively and effortlessly. Track to track gives us whiplash in the best way possible.
June 21, 2023 XAN (Japan)
XAN is only getting better, with her online mixes for Rinse, HER and once a month on HKCR all being exceptional. Her June show for HKCR is one of her most infectious mixes we’ve come across, and that says something, as every single one is worth a listen.
August 17, 2023 Kimoji (Indonesia)
Zodiac Jakarta resident and disco dynamo Kimoji's non-stop grooves are only matched by his retro taste, making for an incredibly fun listen throughout. This one will get you smiling for sure.
August 23, 2023 Lawrence Lee (Germany)
After Lawrence Lee smashed his recent Asia tour, it seemed only fitting to highlight one of his best online efforts with this set for HÖR
December 15, 2023 Yung Singh (United Kingdom)
Okay, this one was the very end of 2022, but we’ll count it because it's that good. Yung Singh is something else when it comes to garage. He delves into UK classics with artists like The Streets and Double 99 before going into the best up-and-comers like DJ Daddy Trance and Skin On Skin. Prepare to go all out at the 48-minute mark when he drops 'Y’all Ready For Dis' by Y U QT. Huge.
March 21, 2023 Zequenx (India)
Zequenx has been going from strength to strength recently, and the flow of this tracklist she gave us for The Lab Goa is flawless. Quickly becoming one of our favourites.
June 13, 2023 JUN x Botherbones (taiwan)
Taipei residents Jun and Botherbones showcase Taiwan’s love of breaks in this short but sweet set that we can’t get enough of. Jun also has a weekly mix series with some of Taipei’s finest if you want to see what else is happening there.
August 18, 2023 Acid Sister (Thailand)
This set has acid, techno, disco, house, whatever else you want, and it’s infectiously fun from start to finish. Plus, we always prefer sets where the crowd looks to be genuinely enjoying it, not just glued to phones or trying to look cool. Acid Sister pulled this off with their selections.
March 21, 2023 Peaky Beats (United Kingdom)
You know how at every rave there's always that one person dancing without a care in the world, making everyone jealous of their lack of inhibitions? Peaky Beats is that guy. What's more, 100% of the tracks are unreleased originals, full of samples from his Iraqi/Indian heritage mixed with UK Bass/dubstep.
July 26, 2023 HER x Molly Lin (Taiwan)
Taiwan’s Molly Lin and HER may be two of the least recognisable names on this list, but that really deserves to change. Taking Taiwan by storm with some of the most intriguing B2B’s we’ve come across on the island, they’re definitely the ones to watch in house, techno, breaks, acid, UKG and everything in between.
July 29, 2023 Licaxxx (Japan)
The founder of Tokyo Community Radio goes to show why she’s the head honcho in this set for TCR. It’s weird, it's energetic, it’s unpredictable...it's one that definitely represents the spirit of this particular list.
January 20, 2023 Risa Taniguchi (Japan)
Japan’s leading lady in techno, Risa Taniguchi, played at Mutek Festival giving just big bangin' techno throughout.
January 9, 2023 Jyoty (United Kingdom)
Jyoty says it best when speaking on her cover mix for Mixmag; “It's flu-induced and definitely has a couple of questionable transitions but I actually love this mix! Covering some UKG, broken beat, jungle, baile funk, of course some bootlegs for the fiends, with a random dancehall track and Ciara tune to keep people on their toes."
May 15, 2023 Wata Igarashi (Japan)
Japan is arguably leading the way in techno worldwide, and Wata Igarashi is at the forefront of this. Every set he plays is a treat and a journey into the rich soundscape of the genre that'll make you just want to get up and move to the sonic energy.
Henry Cooper is a Writer at Mixmag Asia. Follow him on Instagram.