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[Mixtapes] – John Talabot, Fort Romeau & Mall Grab

Usually when a prominent artist uploads a fresh mix it’s a safe bet that some fresh tunes will shortly follow. This is not necessarily a bad thing as these types of mixes are usually chock full of exclusives and unreleased material. However there is a danger that these types of mixes can feel a little rushed and as a result lack the cohesion and clear sense of direction that a more considered mix would have. A problem that was perhaps less prominent in the pre-digital era of DJ mixes…

In the analogue world recording a mix often required the DJ to spend many many hours perfecting a sequence of vinyl only tunes before laying down them down in one seamless hit. A process that whilst laborious and often requiring numerous retakes did ensure a mix couldn’t be rushed. The danger with digital mixing, or to be more specific arranging tracks in a digital sequencer, is that this need for focus and concentration is no longer a prerequisite for recording a mix, and therefore for the less diligent DJs among us the results are often weaker than the sum of the parts. Now, this is not to say that digitally sequenced mixtapes are the spawn of Donald Trump, or that if it’s not recorded on vinyl it’s not really a mix, but what we are saying is that too many mixes feel like a momentary Snapchat conversation…

So what about these three mixes?

Well, firstly its unlikely any of these mixes will go down in history as genre defining moments, but lets be honest how many mixes ever do, so lets not get hung up on that. Firstly John Talabot delivers a typically considered and patient mix where the journey not the destination is clearly the main focus. Mall Grab on the other hand is not hanging about, by 3 minutes in the pace is already being jacked with layer upon layer of toe tapping groove underpinning his brand of party house, mixes are short, in your face and although a little jarring on occasion, full of energy. Fort Romeau like Talabot takes the more prolonged route with elongated tracks and mixes forming the basis of the mix, yet here the similarity ends, as right from the get go the energy levels are well amped and like Mall Grab, Romeau’s not hanging about.

Overall we downloaded and thoroughly enjoyed all three mixes, and whilst they are unlikely to make it into the mixtape ‘Hall of Fame’ they are definitely well worth your attention…

John Talabot – Phonica Mix Series 27

Mall Grab – Mixmag Impact Mix

Fort Romeau – Groove Podcast 67

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