Where have those legendary Mix-Compilations gone?

AlexCross

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I have always been a big fan of thoughtfully compiled and mixed (not necessarily trance) compilations (e.g. Global Underground), which took you on a journey and where you could get totally lost in the mix. Some have become milestones in electronic music like Northern Exposure. But looking at all the compilations and mixes nowadays makes me wonder if they still exist. I see a complete saturated market where literally everyone throws out a loveless mix which is nothing more than just a careless sequence of recent tracks. Are the real god ones only harder to find? Or do they simply not exist anymore? And if they are still out there, which ones can compete with the classics?
 
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Hensmon

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Good question. The last truly special modern one for me was Solarstone's Electronic Architecture 3 (all of them are great). You can really hear the love and special thought behind the mixes and probably why we have such long waiting periods between each series... who knows if there will be another one.

His Pure Trance compilations are also very good as well, but feel to me more like a regular yearly showcase than unique/journey building type mixes.

Wish we could still rely on ISOS, Anjunabeats and ASOT. The first two I think have got a little better in recent years but I think theres simply not enough phenomenal music out there to choose from anymore. They are limited with what they have to work with, which the old compilations never had an issue with. They were spoilt for choice and therefore could craft mixes in a number of ways.
 
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Daysleeper

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In the last 10+years it seems like most mix-comp has only had like a sudden short beat transition without any creatvity in the mixing/transition between the tracks. Theres almost zero focus on the journey or the individual transitions between tracks. Its barely a mix for god sake.

The EA comps are pretty damn good overall even though i dislike a couple track choices here and there.
 
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Gagi

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I think theres simply not enough phenomenal music out there to choose from anymore. They are limited with what they have to work with, which the old compilations never had an issue with. They were spoilt for choice and therefore could craft mixes in a number of ways.
In the last 10+years it seems like most mix-comp has only had like a sudden short beat transition without any creatvity in the mixing/transition between the tracks. Theres almost zero focus on the journey or the individual transitions between tracks. Its barely a mix for god sake.
I think you two summed it up quite well, so much so that I don't have anything else to add, which, as we'll all agree, is a rare occurrence.
 
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dmgtz96

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In the past, DJs were celebrated for their technical skills. Electronic music in general had more of a "journey" feel to it. Music was distributed in CD format. The outcome: DJs creating 70-min mixes of journey-like tracks to create an overall journey according to a desired style. Examples are Northern Exposure, Forbidden Paradise, ISOS, Magik, Balance.
The whole process could take months, but being the creator of one of these mixes could boost your DJ career.


Today, DJs are more celebrated for their entertainment value. Raw technical skills aren't as helpful as being able to draw in an audience (pre-covid: large crowds at festivals/clubs, and post-covid: large number of subscribers to their radio show). Individual tracks feel less like a "journey," are more predictable, and cater to instant gratification. Music is (generally) no longer distributed with physical CDs, so mixes are not restricted by the 70 min limitation.

Nobody is making any more legendary mixes of old because there is no market for it, and developing the skills needed to make one would not be helpful for a DJ career. Even if you took the time and made one, you're probably going to have to share it on Soundcloud; Mixcloud, or YouTube. If you're really lucky, you can have your mix go viral on YouTube, but it's not the same outcome as having a physical CD mixed by you.
 
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Exodom

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In the last 10+years it seems like most mix-comp has only had like a sudden short beat transition without any creatvity in the mixing/transition between the tracks.

Shit you know what you are right, so right. In Search of Sunrise you could hear that track coming in from way before the switch and the types of tracks being mixed kinda felt different and interesting combos, like sometimes felt like they wont work but then somehow it comes together and you are left thinking about what happened, a real impression.
 

Magdelayna

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I have always been a big fan of thoughtfully compiled and mixed (not necessarily trance) compilations (e.g. Global Underground), which took you on a journey and where you could get totally lost in the mix. Some have become milestones in electronic music like Northern Exposure. But looking at all the compilations and mixes nowadays makes me wonder if they still exist. I see a complete saturated market where literally everyone throws out a loveless mix which is nothing more than just a careless sequence of recent tracks. Are the real god ones only harder to find? Or do they simply not exist anymore? And if they are still out there, which ones can compete with the classics?

Ive tried to recreate the feeling of 'journeys' in some of my recent DJ mixes - please try and check out my 'Deeper Journeys' series in this thread : Magdelayna - Deeper Journeys
 
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Juna

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Maybe how we listen to music changed too much. I used to have albums in my car and I would play them over and over, and maybe I listen to 100-150 new songs per year. Now i listen to 1000 new n different tracks every year thanks to all the internet things and availablty. Compilation of elite nature must take a lot of work, but what is the point if none of us spend da money on music anymore and just jump from one release to the next to get the new hit.
 
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Hensmon

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Yeah I agree with above. How many of us actually spend hard cash on music anymore, direct to artists? Are the labels gonna spend hours digging and developing unique tracks and crafting the perfect mix when they wont get a penny for it?
 

Katadunkass

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Manofearth

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Interesting topic. I think a small but significant part of what made old compilations legendary was the hype and notority that existed around them, something that unfortunately does not exist now. The DJ's had a reverence and were admired much more, and when they put their name consistently to a series in generated a lot of hype, expectation and manufactured awe of what was taking place.

It was deserved of course, I love those iconic ISOS, Northern Exposure, Global Underground series (and more), but I think getting caught up in the fame and pedalstool culture of the scene was thrilling and bonding, the anticipation of the next adding more. Afterall, many talented DJ's exist, not just Sasha, Tiesto etc. Anyone with decks and vinyl could have assembled an allstar list of tracks, mixed them flawlessly and presented it. Yet they do not have the same impact to us. What made the ones we know legendary is the stardom and collective awe it captured in that moment in time, that collectively caught up in and experiencing together. The scene is more fragmented now with the genres and the labels more isolated, it takes away from that in a way.
 
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Daysleeper

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I will pay for a good mix ala EA for example. That is worth the money. Not the later ISOS, the mixing feels like its not even done by a human. Its just a fast transition, ie the track barely dont even interact with eachother. That was what I used to love so much from ISOS,PoD's,GU'S.

Listening to EA now and its interesting to see the paralells between it and TIesto ISOS series. Theres a spooky but exciting similarity between the feel and even the mixing. Did he make the coffe behind the scenes secretly approving the tracks and transitions?
 
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