Mix of the Week 8/5: Stefan Serer - Destination London mixtape

A self-professed lover of house and techno music, Stefan Serer releases mixtapes from the heart of Australian EDM, Melbourne. However, this week he has taken listeners around the world to England’s capital with his Destination London mixtape. Ahead of his own visit to London this month, he has curated an hour and twenty minutes of new and old electronic tracks, inspired by the sound of that city.

Serer shows that he isn’t kidding when he says he’s a lover of house and techno. The mix combines everything exciting about the two genres into a varied assortment of sounds. However, his biggest accomplishment with this mix is the pacing. It starts off slow and deep. The low bass effects and soft hi-hats reel the listener in. These opening tracks are very minimal, but provide a solid foundation for the rest of the mix to build upon. Further in, he starts to introduce more elements. This middle section definitely maintains that minimalistic approach, but some more wild instrumentation, such as trumpets, distorted vocals and electronic trills, adds some much needed brightness. The bulk of the mix is in this style, balancing the rhythms of house with the melodies of techno to create a consistent groove. Towards the end of the mix, around the one hour mark, Serer starts to introduce some heavier tracks. The tempo subtly rises as the rhythm section intensifies. While this end section becomes heavier, it would be wrong to simply leave it at that. Sweeping violins are layered over rising electronic loops to diversify the sound. The effect of this heavier end section, which maintains the minimalist approach of the previous sections, is that it creates a catharsis and a finale.

This mix paints a picture of London as exciting and fun, but with a cold reservation. Too often house and techno enthusiasts rely on big sounds and heavy layering to create interesting music. However, Serer proves that sometimes, less is more, delivering a mixtape that is versatile enough to listened to at a club, house party or alone through some headphones.