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January 1, 2014

MixMasters’ Review of 2013

It’s that time of year again, New Year. It’s a time for celebration but also one of reflection, with that in mind we at Conversations had a chat with some the Mixmasters from Nokia MixRadio (named ‘Disruptors in the music industry’ by Musically), to talk all things 2013.

Lauren Williams, Sharon Jackson and Diccon Jeffries take us through their personal musical highlights of 2013.

Favourite Nokia MixRadio mix?


Lauren (right): My favourites were the Nokia Music Festivals mixes we launched early summer, which celebrated Glastonbury and other festivals around the world. We worked with our territories to put together festival-specific mixes to suit all music tastes, and then identified them by using stage names such as the Acoustic Tepee Tent and the Swing Stage.  It was like our own festival inside Nokia MixRadio.

Sharon: Breaking Bad – I’m a complete and utter BB addict, and was devastated when the series finally came to an end this year. To soothe away my pain, I created a mix containing music featured throughout the five seasons. Music was a finely tuned part of the show, you didn’t necessarily notice some of the tracks at the time of viewing but listening back to them you immediately picture the scene, It’s pretty clever stuff.

Diccon (above): Really enjoyed both making and listening to the UK Garage and Trip Hop (made with Lauren) mixes, but one of the mixes that I’ve been returning to a lot lately is Soul/Funk/Motown – some nice bits from Bob James and Young Holt Unlimited in there who are favourites of mine. Also we’ve got an artist-curated mix by the band Saint Motel which is sounding rather good and it should be live soon. Finally the new Jazz selection we’ve got from Nile Rodgers is also pretty damn great.

Album of the year? 

Lauren: London Grammar – “If you wait”

This long awaited album did not disappoint, the trippy, electro soundscape includes some of my favourite songs from this year, especially “Hey now” and “Help me lose my mind”.


Sharon (right): Album Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’

I was never really a massive fan of these chaps until earlier this year when the album started to be teased out, and I couldn’t get enough of ‘Do I Wanna Know’. The rest of the album didn’t disappoint and I would be surprised if this album didn’t top a few Best of 2013 charts. So many good tracks!

Diccon: Special Request – ‘Soul Music’

Been excited about this one since Paul Woolford started his new Special Request in 2012 – first a few hand-stamped 12”s (the Lana Del Rey bootleg was killer!) and then this LP which was a great signing to fabric’s imprint Houndstooth. Sometimes revivalist music can be too rooted in the past, but he’s captured some of the essence of early 90s hardcore & jungle, and used it as the DNA for a great record full of fresh ideas.

Most memorable live gig?

Lauren: The Local Natives at Beacons

At Beacons festival this year I saw The Local Natives, an indie band from the US. They weren’t on my list of acts to see but when we stumbled across them I was blown away and am a now a massive fan.

Diccon: Chic at Glastonbury

Pretty much one of the best things I’ve ever seen, let alone just this year. James Blake was also great, I saw him twice this year (Glasto & Bristol) and he never disappoints, I was pleased to see him pick up a Mercury too.

Favourite music event of the year? 


Lauren: The launch of Nokia MixRadio. Launching a free, ad-free service which decides which songs to play you based on your music taste and preferences whilst also delivering curated mixes for all moods and genre tastes.  Of course this was my highlight!

Sharon: Totally in agreement with Lauren, excuse the bias, but the Nokia MixRadio & Nokia UK ‘Lumia Live’ events that took place up and down the country this year were absolutely brilliant. Looking to highlight up and coming artists, they were small and intimate affairs set in locations you wouldn’t normally expect to attend a gig in, so a skate park or a beach cove. In particular the Ghostpoet event in Bristol, which took place in a cemetery, was beautifully set and the acoustics were spot on.


To learn more about Mixradio and all the music it has to offer this blog post will tell you all you need to know about the free personalised music service, and it could even be just the ticket to kick start all of your Christmas parties.


What were your music highlights for 2013? And what are you looking forward to in 2014?