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From original sessions of found sound recordings (Julia Holter) and breakneck turntablism from the archives (Derrick May) to meticulous mixtapes of hip-hop and funk (Soul Clap, above) and full-blooded dancefloor attacks (Randomer), we enjoyed FACT’s mix series in 2012 more than any year to date.

Here’s our 20 office favourites.

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20: UNTOLD

“A mix of road-tested hardcore from the dustiest shelf in Untold’s record collection. It’s an education, but far from a snotty one, and we hope we’re not the only ones who’ll be forcing it onto someone’s stereo system at an after-party tonight. Happy New Year – let’s ride.”

19: HUXLEY

“Huxley doesn’t disappoint, taking full advantage of Ice Cream Records’ recent digital reissue series to drop two classic R.I.P. Productions tracks in with MK’s fantastic remix of Storm Queen, Disclosure’s equally distinctive take on Jessie Ware, and killers from Kink, Wookie, Steve Gurley and more. Simply a great mix, from a great new talent.”

18: EVOL

“Whether you’re a dedicated student of early jungle, acid techno and Belgian rave, or whether you’re a relative novice, yet to discover the joys of Sperminator’s ‘No Women Allowed’, FACT mix 330 is essential – we’ve never heard anything quite like it. Put simply: if you weren’t hardcore at the start, you will be by the end.”

17: BRENMAR

“Yes, shifting between genres is hardly a big deal in 2012, but on any given night you could catch Brenmar running hip-hop, reggaeton, grime or footwork, and doing it better than most specialists in those areas. He’s also got that unmistakably American swagger behind the decks that’s so rare in an age of boys raised on the Internet.”

16: SLOW TO SPEAK

“Dope Jams is more than a record store; it’s the nerve centre of numerous labels and related operations. The best known is probably the Slow To Speak bootleg series … Almost needless to say, no tracklist has been provided; even more needless to say is what an exhilarating listening experience it is.”

15: NEW YORK TRANSIT AUTHORITY

“Ever since we heard ‘Off The Traxx’, we’ve been craving more material in this vein, and it looks like this year Mensah will be obliging: his snappy, fiendishly addictive FACT mix features four new NYTA productions, including a V.I.P. of ‘Off The Traxx’ and a barnstorming remix of Redlight and Ms Dynamite’s ‘What You Talking About?’”

14: JULIA HOLTER

“When we invited Julia to contribute to the FACT mix series, we weren’t expecting her to submit anything ordinary. Even so, we were surprised to be sent thirty minutes of mostly field recordings, stitched together under the title of All My Love For You. If we had to hazard a guess as to who the ‘You’ in question is, we’d venture it’s the city of Los Angeles – the sound of its birds, sidewalks, fire hydrants and radio stations form the backbone of the mix. There are contributions too from local experimental composers like Catherine Lamb, Mark So and Laura Steenberge, all of whom appear to be interested, like Holter, in metaphysics as much as music. It all makes for a vivid, engrossing and enjoyable listen – so don’t be frightened, take the plunge.”

13: DERRICK MAY

“May has quietened down on the production front in recent years, perhaps aware that even he can’t top his profound studio achievements of the late 80s and early 90s, but he remains active and utterly compelling in the field of DJing – 25 years after his career began, still no one can rip apart a club like this man.”

12: BENEATH

“Beneath’s music might be house tempo, but more than anything it reminds us of the ruthless minimalism of early grime and dubstep: it’s lean, stripped-back music made for ciphers and the dancefloor, and there’s simply nothing harder out there right now.”

11: RANDOMER

“Randomer’s clearly got no time for compromise, and his FACT mix only deals in the most powerful dancefloor fare: whether that’s high-octane grime (Alias, Jon E Cash), dubstep (Mala), electro (Alden Tyrell, Mr. Oizo), breaks-heavy hip-hop and club (2 Live Crew, Rod Lee) or simply The Prodigy and Blazin Squad, everything here is designed to make you move. And if you’re not interested in that, don’t come to us crying when you’re the only one not having fun.”

10: DISCLOSURE

“Every bit as picture-perfect as the pair’s own productions, full of colour and led by melodies that could’ve been hits at any time in the last 20 years. As well as material from their new EP, there’s drops from some of dance music’s other most promising figures in Paleman, Jordan Peak, Thefft and Dusky, plus big hitters Kerri Chandler, Jai Paul and Eats Everything.”

09: I:CUBE

“Simply recorded on two Technics 1210s and a mixer, Cube delves deep, drawing for some of the oddest house, techno and classical records around. No tracklist here spotters, and don’t expect any help from us – mostly because we don’t recognise a damn thing.”

08: CARL CRAIG

“An absolute corker, hard as nails but fleet-footed with it, with a few tracks that you know (the Craig mix of Faze Action’s ‘In The Trees’ has never sounded so imperious as it does here) and plenty that you don’t.”

07: SILENT SERVANT

“Even though it’s only seven tracks, Negative Fascination is very representative of what I wanted to achieve,” Mendez told FACT in a recent in-depth interview. “There’s a little bit of Cabs, there’s a little bit of DAF, there’s a little bit of early Basic Channel and early Downwards, there’s some weird post-punk, upbeat, almost Joy Division-like sounds. It was just this weird mutation in my head.”

The Silent Servant FACT mix sheds further light on, and traces the origins of, this “weird mutation”. It was recorded live, with turntables, CDJs and mixer with effects. Stream or download it via the Soundcloud player below.

06: THE ORB & LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY

“A slow-motion kayak ride through a pipe of slurry, thick, overwhelmingly delayed basslines obscuring wonky melodies – some recognisable (‘What A Wonderful World’, ‘Zombie’), others from another planet entirely. Plus, of course, you get Perry toasting on top, though around half-way through he gets bored and toddles off for a while. Would you want it any other way? We certainly wouldn’t.”

05: JETS

“The four-part session is packed – and we mean seriously, seriously packed – with unreleased Edgar and Machinedrum material, and even features an ad break. It’s barmy, brilliant, and we recommend strapping in.”

04: LEE GAMBLE

“The whole thing moves with an undeniable, steamrolling momentum, and it is, when all’s said and done, one of 2012′s very best FACT mixes. Savour it.”

03: MIKEQ

“For those interested in the minimal, ultra-sharp modern ballroom sound it’s invaluable, and pretty much the definition of a neck-snapper, full of MikeQ’s edits and original productions.”

02: SOUL CLAP

“Those of you who remember King Midas Sound’s FACT mix – a beautifully crafted session of re-manipulated lovers’ rock that you’d have gladly paid money for, given how much effort and attention had clearly gone into it – will find much to love about this session. Sporting close to 40 tracks from Dam-Funk, Kokane, Miles Davis and many more, plus interludes, shout outs and, naturally, plenty of edits and originals from Soul Clap themselves, E-FUNK: The Mixtape is pretty close to nasty, stanky, funk perfection. Trust us on this one, it’s absolutely brilliant.”

01: RYAN HEMSWORTH

“Between his inventive mixes, original productions (both solo and for rappers like Main Attrakionz and Shady Blaze) and edits of the likes of Frank Ocean, we’ve been all over Hemsworth this year. We interviewed him back in August, and his FACT mix – rest of the world take note, delivered within around a week of asking – has been burning a hole in our pockets for months now. It’s a brilliant session: a pastel sea of acapellas (Danny Brown, Lil B), Hemsworth edits (of Frank Ocean & Andre 3000, Future, Waka Flocka Flame and a fucking Squaresoft-tributing take on Jeremih’s slow jam of the year contender ’773 Love’ ) and original material from Baauer, Antwon and Hemsworth himself. If you wanna talk about a perfect balance between emotive electronic music and rock-hard hood gear, then look no further – it’s right here.”

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