With podcasts generally being the order of the day, generic photos of DJs plastered about all over the internet to accompany mixes have become the norm, which much of the time is rather uninspiring. Call us nostalgic and over the hill, but cover art was one of the key features that made, and still make, mix CDs such a quality - and economically viable - product. Sound and image go together like jam and donut and album cover art plays an important role in whetting the listeners audio appetite before they even press play.
In this feature we look at, in our opinion, some of the best imagery to ever grace the covers of mix compiltions both past and present and along the way realise that there's one series that has consistently come up trumps and continues to do so.
Sasha & John Digweed - Renaissance: The Mix Collection (1994)
In 1994 UK club Renaissance released what is considered to be the first ever commercial mix CD from Sasha & John Digweed with artwork that paired with their name - that of a 16th Century European painting.
Tony De Vit – Global Underground 005: Tokyo (1997)
The Global Underground series was known for changing the faceless DJ into a superstar by splashing his noggin across the covers of their mix compilations. In terms of iconic photos you would probably go for Sasha's San Francisco or Nick Warren's Reykjavik, however in terms of encaspulating the look and feel of a city and the DJ within it, the late, great Tony De Vit's Tokyo is the one.
Nick Warren - Back To Mine (1999)
DMC kicked off their Back To Mine series in 1999 with Nick Warren, and what better way to visualise the cruisey vibe of the music with Warren chilling on a sofa chair in a forest? Works for us.
Tiga - DJ Kicks (2002)
The cover art for the Montreal DJs' entry into the DJ-Kicks series was a perfect fit for the campy, electro-house that lay within.
Erlend Øye - DJ-Kicks (2004)
The DJ-Kicks series yet again got inventive with their covers on Erlend Oye's outing, capturing the quirkiness of the 'singing DJ's' mix.
James Holden - At The Controls (2006)
Simple, clever, and explains itself really. Cracker of a mix, too.
Efdemin - Carry On - Pretend We Are Not In The Room (2008)
What is this meant to be? How does it relate to the music? Does it matter? Not really. Looks pretty damn cool though, huh?
Wighnomy Brothers – Metawuffmischfelge (2008)
It's difficult to even explain how or why such a colourfully rich photo of kids playing outdoors perfectly matches the emotive techno of Metawuffmischfelge, but it does, and really well, too.
Agoria - Balance 016 (2010)
Despite their covers always looking clean, crisp and sharp, Balance haven't really been known for creating particularly eye-catching artwork. Though with Agoria's entry - probably by suggestion from the man himself - the label got inventive, had a little fun and came up with the best cover in their series.
Otpimo - Fabric 52 (2010)
Choosing just one of the plethora of iconic images that the London superclub has portrayed through their mix CDs is a toughie, especially considering the many different themes they've explored over the years, however it's one of their most recent, from Optimo in 2008, that's their most striking...and freaky.
Seth Troxler - Boogy Bytes Vol.05 (2010)
Step one: loosen up those cheeks, lips and face. Step two: shake your head from side to side as fast as you can. Step three: take photo. Step four: laugh your ass off. Kudos to Ellen Alien for injecitng some fun into proceedings for her Boogybytes series. Seth Troxler's photo is easily the best one so far.
Maya Jane Coles - DJ Kicks (2012)
This year iK7 have done it again with the up and coming London DJs' mix for...you guessed it: DJ Kicks. Colourful, sleek and cool...just like Coles' mix.