There’s nothing quite like a tune to trigger memories of summers past. From beats that bring you back to balmy nights, or a lyric that has you and your friends launching into song like a crazed chorus line, there’s no denying that music marks memories. As the summer solstice draws near, it’s time to take stock of the plethora of albums, gigs and festivals that our city has on offer. We’ve asked Melbourne’s top independent DJs and music enthusiasts for their summer selection. It’s their pick of the top summer albums and must-see gigs, to help you get your playlists in order, your record stack piled high and your 2012 diary well and truly broken in. In anticipation of those memorable moments to come, your summer soundtrack selection has begun…

Chris Gill, Northside Records and 3RRR presenter
We drop the needle on Northside Records for a chat with Chris Gill, 3RRR presenter of Get Down and general bringer-of-the-funk around town. “It’s a tough choice, but my album for summer has got to be Onra, Chinoisseries Pt.2,” Parisian-made and oriental flavoured hip-hop at its finest. While we’re taking a musical trip to the far East, “you’ve got to check out Japanese funk band extravaganza Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro on January 6.”

Pierre Baroni, DJ and PBS presenter
For all things funky soul and old school rhythm and blues, it’s hard to go past soul brother Pierre Baroni, DJ and PBS presenter of Soulgroove ’66. Baroni’s summer pick has got it all. “Great vocals, killer tunes, sass, attitude and a honkin’ baritone sax – it’s got to be Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Baby Caught the Bus.” Did I mention it comes on smokin’ white vinyl too? For a serious summer soul fix, Baroni recommends a good dose of Soul A Go-Go on New Years Eve to kick off a funky new year.

Monica Hanns, PBS presenter
Riding the waves of emerging modern music trends is Monica Hans, PBS presenter of Against the Tide. A summer premonition of “walking home in the middle of the night when the air is still warm” has Monica revelling in M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. “A perfect mix of slightly cheesy, happy pop and really chilled out sounds,” which should be carefully blended with the Sugar Mountain Festival happening on January 14. A one-day festival of visual art coupled with musical acts such as Deerhoof, Tune Yards and Sun Araw.

Ennio Styles, DJ and 3RRR presenter
Beat explorer Ennio Styles delivers “rare grooves, hi-tech jazz and other worldly fusions” as 3RRR presenter of Stylin each week. In search of a cool collection for the hotter months, Ennio Styles uncovers a free beat tape available for download: Billy Hoyle, Mind Travelling. A mixture of super soulful and relaxed tunes to “drive in a convertible to”. Keeping things chilled, it’s the double bill of Erykah Badu and Fat Freddy’s Drop on February 22 that Ennio Styles is looking forward to most.

Emma Peel, DJ and PBS presenter
Flip your wig and delve into to the jungle of psychedelic sounds with Melbourne’s first lady of Go-Go, Miss Emma Peel, DJ and PBS presenter of Switched On. “Brazilian music always evokes a summery vibe,” and has Peel bossa nova-bound during the warmer weather with the latest compilation released by Soul Jazz records, Bossa Jazz: The birth of hard bossa, samba jazz and the evolution of Brazilian fusion 1962–73. For those digging this Latin get-down, Puerto Rican pianist and father of Latin jazz, Eddie Palmieri, hits our shores on March 3.

Richie 1250, PBS presenter
We spy Richie 1250, PBS presenter of Stone Love, next to his mysterious milk crate filled with records. Richie’s knack for spinning tracks that you wouldn’t expect, when you least expect them, is renowned around Melbourne. He plucks a record from his crate: it’s an archival reissue of the Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio. “A collection of amazing soul, funk and gospel records put out in the 60s and 70s by a little hometown record company that never had the slightest amount of success.” This “lo-fi and kinda quirky” compilation makes for hours of musical exploration. While you’re on the road of discovery, Richie recommends Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti on March 4. “There’s something magical about this guy,” a must-see for those looking for music that “hangs in a weird way” this summer.