Mixtapes I’d Love to Hear in Bars (I’m looking at YOU CityBar)

Honestly, I’m a little tired of visiting bars on nights out, only to be secretly really disappointed with the music that’s been playing on some occasions. It feels like some DJs have a ‘safe’ back catalogue of music that they stick to, as they know it’s crowd-pleasing. I’ve literally moved from one bar to another, only to find that they’re playing pretty much the exact same few songs. And my God is that boring. Y’know sometimes, people (including myself) want to hear new things or experience different atmospheres. So here are a few suggestions to remedy the boredom… Enjoy!

1. ’57 Minutes of Deep, Deep Snake’

Now this is how you make a deep house mixtape. This is an impeccable example of how to mix your own work and still make it sound fresh (you couldn’t expect any less from Afrosnake really). The beats are practically beg you to dance, and if that’s not enough ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis turns up at one point. In fact, nearly every track has a line or two that you can’t help singing along to “Girl comes up to me, says, ‘What do you drive?” And I said ‘BUGATTI. BUGATTI.'” If that’s not prime drunk-singing fodder than I don’t know what is.

Best for fans of: Anything with suggestive lyrics, people who enjoy shouting “OHHHH this is my JAM” when intoxicated.

2. voyage – Zach Dufresne

‘voyage’ is a perfect daytime/afternoon mixtape, it’s wonderfully chilled and doesn’t feature any obnoxious, irritatingly prominent bass lines or drops to batter people’s eardrums with. What kind of sane human being wants to listen to dubstep at ear-splitting volumes straight after a long day of lectures? *cough* CITY BAR *cough cough* That’s what midnight is for guys, c’mon. Instead, I direct you towards this ambient chillstep mixtape. It has choice moments of future RnB vibes that create just the kind of mellow atmosphere people need to enjoy their first drink of the day with.

Best for fans of: MssingNo, trippy pitched Ciara/Tinashe remixes, Future, Drake, Purity Ring, Clams Casino

3. Selected Deep House 150k Mix by Endor

This is just solid, enjoyable mix of fairly popular deep house tracks from the tail end of 2014. It’s not very challenging or intrusive, but sometimes that’s what people want. Anything that you have to force yourself to pay attention to in order to appreciate, probably isn’t going to go down well in a bar. Endor’s mix is the exact opposite of this; it’s fun, well mixed background music.

Best for fans of: Clean Bandit, Duke Dumont, Disclosure, Kiesza, or any other decent dance artists that have managed to make house music capable of slipping into the pop charts.

4. Long Clothing Tape (Boy London) by Tamara Sky

Sky is one of my favourite underground DJs, as she has a talent for mixing music to create really specific, addictive atmospheres that make you keep coming back to experience them again. This one for example, in my personal opinion has a vibe of tight-leather clad vampires partying for that last hour before the sun rises. One of my favourite moments is when the Grimes track ‘Genesis’ (those synth patterns at the beginning still give me life) begins. And later on the tape beautifully segues into ‘Marka’ by Dub Phizix & Skeptical, a track that just oozes dark sex appeal.

Best for fans of: Synth-heavy music, industrial sounds, the ‘modern vampire’ aesthetic, people who buy their clothes from KillStar, UNIF or DollsKill

5. Deep House Amsterdam Mixtape #122 – Miguel Campbell

This mixtape literally makes me want to exclaim “Oh my GOD that’s the funky shit!” Campbell has somehow infused the mix with a distinct smugness, but it’s deserving as it’s a quality experience. There are vibes of Daft Punk, and the flow of the mix successfully keeps one-upping itself as the tracks just get better and better. I recommend this as something to play as the late afternoon transcends into the evening

Best for fans of: Purposefully overly autotuned vocals, Robert Babicz, Joris Voorn,

6. DHA Wonderland Festival Podcast #003 by Josh Butler

Butler’s created a flowing experience of mellow but still uptempo house vibes, the kind of music suitable for the early afternoon. It’s a mix that will subtly affect your mood for the better, but won’t crash over the top of your conversations in attention-grabbing waves of noise that make it hard to speak. Granted, this is only as long as the speakers in the venue aren’t turned up too fucking loud. When will people learn that it doesn’t sound good when your speakers can’t handle that kind of volume? It just becomes an experience of painful clicks and peaks, no matter how amazing the song is. Find a happy medium!

Best for fans of: Bakermat, French house music beats, Tensnake

**Honourable Mention: Ministry of Sound’s DECADE MAshup by Robin Skouteris (2000-2009)**

It’s not quite a mash-up, as it’s too short to be classified as such, but if you’re anything like me, then the songs featured on this mini-mix are the dance tracks that you grew up with. They helped to cultivate you in your music tastes, and hark back to a time when dance music so vehemently used sex appeal to sell itself. Now everybody (except dorks like Calvin Harris) is too cool to use sex as a selling point. Irregardless, Skouteris is incredible at creating innovative mashups, so I highly recommend you to check out his whole Soundcloud channel, or search for his work on Youtube. Trust me, you’ll be feeling happily nostalgic afterwards.

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