As The Hold Steady sang, "Everyone's a critic and most people are DJs." Problem is, some people really shouldn't be DJs -- a point that gets driven home every summer when barbecue season rolls around and the self-styled tastemakers in your social set grapple for control of the boombox. (Seriously, who invited that dude who's really into Crazy Frog?) So save yourself the headache -- and save the party while you're at it -- by leaving the mixing to the pros.
To assist you, we've compiled a slew of mix albums that'll go down with whatever summer shenanigans you have planned. Best of all, they're all seamless, single-track mixes. Record labels have been slow to catch on to the fact that DJ mixes broken into multiple tracks don't really work well on streaming services, given that the second or two of silence between tracks pretty much kills any sense of flow. Fortunately, more labels are beginning to offer DJ mixes as a single, unbroken track, as is the case with all the mix albums showcased here. (Often, they're listed as the final track on the album, following the mix's individual tracks that are presented in full, compilation-style. But there's no standard, so you'll want to skim through the track listings before loading up your player for the party. The mixes are easy to spot, given that they're usually an hour or so long.)
We've gathered sets from Frankie Knuckles, Maya Jane Coles, James Holden, Michael Mayer, Tiesto and dozens more, ranging from old-school house and classic trance to cutting-edge bass music. Check 'em out, and take over as the (virtual) DJ at your next party.