I’ve always been confused about the difference between a DJ mix and just any regular type of compilation album.

The newest DJ Kicks got me even more confused though: DJ Koze "DJ Kicks (50th Anniversary)"

The idea is more to create the appearance of a radio show, in the vein of John Peel for example.

Is a DJ mix just a personally curated compilation album?

What’s the difference between a DJ mix and a regular compilation album?

2 Answers 2


A DJ mix generally means it was created live, in one sitting and the tracks are usually blended together to mix together seamlessly. A compilation album on the other hand, keeps the tracks separate and they are generally not mixed together. Both are meant to be experienced as a whole, although the later is meant to be picked apart as individual tracks with varying degrees of success as an entire production.


A compilation is a more global term that covers all kinds of albums that include various tracks according to a theme ("best-of", original soundtrack of a movie, christmas songs, 2017 super hits, etc.).

A DJ mix is a particular type of compilation.
The tracks are not necessarily blended together as you can notice in your example. In addition to what a standard compilation could be, a DJ mix may feature unreleased versions of the tracks, remixed by this DJ or another one.
It is also a way to attract fans of the DJ by saying: "these tracks are selected by the DJ you like, so you will like them".

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