DT Top 100 DJs 2013
Opinions are like assholes. We’ve all got one and think everybody else’s stinks. That’s why curating any sort of list can be an utterly thankless task and selecting the DJs we think have been the most impressive over the last 12 months has been a massive source of contention here in the office and on reflection perhaps picking 100 from across the wide smorgasboard of electronic music was a tad ambitious and we quickly realized we could have collated a top 1000. Now multiple fist fights and shouting matches later we’ve completed our list based upon the following DJs dexterity behind the decks in 2013 with our rundown of our favorite Producers & Live acts are set to follow.
100. No Artifical Colours 99. Jesse Rose 98. Fatboy Slim 97. Theo Parrish 96. Yousef 95. Martyn 94. ROD 93. Calibre 92. Paul van Dyk 91. H.O.S.H 90. Danny Tengalia 89. Miss Kittin 88. Optimo 87. Luke Abbott 86. Ed Rush 85. Dusky 84. The Martinez Brothers 83. Axwell 82. Geddes 81. Felix Da Housecat 80. Maxxi Soundsystem 79. Marcel Dettmann 78. Seth Troxler 77. Chris Liebing 76. Rockwell 75. George Fitzgerald 74. Dyed Soundrom 73. Louie Fresco 72. Jacques Lu Cont 71. Kyle Hall 70. Michael Woods 69. Carl Craig 68. Bicep 67. Laidback Luke 66. Madeon 65. The Magician 64. Flying Lotus 63. Break 62. Mark Knight 61. Thugfucker 60. James Holden 59. Steve Lawler 58. Sasha 57. Adam Shelton 56. Subb-an 55. Solomun 54. Tommy Four Seven 53. Hardwell 52. Adana Twins51. Aeroplane50. Heidi49. Krafty Kuts48. Jaguar Skills47. Move D46. Nick Hoppner45. Alex Metric44. Erol Alkan43. Laurent Garnier42. J.Phlip41. Sven Vath
40. Hot Since 82 39. Nina Kraviz 38. Claude VonStroke 37. Kasra 36. Tini 35. Tale of Us 34. Maya Jane Coles 33. Armin van Buuren 32. PBR Streetgang 31. Paul Woolford 30. Boys Noize 29. Nicky Romero 28. Ben Klock 27. Carl Cox 26. Joris Voorn 25. Nic Fanciulli 24. James Zabiela 23. Todd Terje 22. Huxley 21. Tiga
20 . Brodinski
Ever since we heard Brodinski’s remix of fellow producer and friend Gesaffelstein’s ‘Viol’ we knew that the talented Frenchman was firmly one to watch with his jagged synth lines, peculiar samples and a complete disregard for genre boundaries and he hasn’t disappointed as he and his Bromance imprint have gone from strength to strength.
However we’re even bigger fans of the Bromance boss outside of the studio and every time we’ve seen him DJ in 2013 he’s rocked the crowd in a way few others are capable of.
19. Fedde Le Grand
Since attracting global attention with his immensely popular electro homage to the Motor City ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’ back in 2006 Fedde Le Grand has been one of the biggest names in dance music with a string of follow up hits including ‘Let Me Think About It’, ‘Control Room’ and ‘Sparks’ alongside remixes for some of the pop worlds biggest names from Madonna to Coldplay. Perhaps most surprising is that despite his mainstream success, the Dutchman retains the ability to seamlessly switch between the big room house sounds that top the beatport and mainstream charts to a edgier, more underground sound for his DJ sets. Such artistic freedom to enjoy cross genre success is afforded to only an elite few and with that in mind we placed him in our top 20. There’s a lot more to him than that crossover hit.
Skream often takes the decks greeted by… screams. Skreamizm in it’s original incarnation was a 3 hour set: “old stuff.., into new stuff and then future-sounding stuff”. Now however, line with a this years announcements that Skream dubstep sets will from here on in be few and far between, we now forthe most part rarely see him eschew the bass heavy sound which made him a household name but that is no bad thing.
Just as at home dropping disco revelers as working his way through house and techno with the odd wobble brought in, Skream may well be the most versatile DJ on this list. His evolution into house DJ doesn’t feel like a fully completed transition just yet and in many ways we hope it never does as the maverick selections currently on offer only serve to further the repuatation of a man who made his name as a true pioneer. With his mixing ability always top notch, the man is a master of the crowd.
17. Jamie Jones
Everyone’s favourite valley-boy turned techno-prophet had to make his way onto our list. Followers of Jones will instantly recognise many of the signature sounds that have put the man – and the Crosstown Rebels tribe – firmly on the map throughout his sets. Warm, bouncy synths work alongside a tight kick whilst plenty of spangly sampled beeps and pings are brought to order by the ever-present pitched down male vocals, altogether putting the performances into firm hot-boat-party-sleaze territory. And that’s just the way we like it.
Wow. How time flies. Dancing without prejudice since 2008 we’ve delivered you some of best sets from a combination of the biggest names and most underground talent electronic music has to offer and to celebrate reaching podcast number 303 we had a very special treat for you indeed as Kink took the helm. As we’re sure your aware 303 is one of the most iconic numbers in electronic music due to its inextricable link with Roland’s revolutionary piece of kit with the same name and its contribution to the burgeoning acid house scene. So with that in mind we set about delivering an acid set that both paid homage to that classic squelching 303 laden sound of yesteryear whilst continuing to be innovative. Thus it is a testament to our respect and admiration for Bulgarian wizard KiNK that we invited him to helm this milestone for us. A DJ who always delivesr in spades at home on vinyl as he is on digital he takes crowds on journey through the pulsing genres of yesteryear all the way through to the cutting edge sounds he and his acid loving cohorts are putting out via their respective outlets today. Awesome stuff.
15. Axel Boman
Sweden, Land of safe, inoffensive cars, safe, inoffensive furniture and at-least-relatively-inoffensive vodka changes its game when it comes to music. Whether it’s the synthetic, embarrassingly catchy rhythms of Swedish House Mafia, the ‘less of a drop, more of an entire collapse’ nature of breakthrough acts like Cazzette or Kill FM or the sheer off-the-wall weirdness of acts like Lune, the Swedes drop the Scandinavian subtlety sharpish when it comes to music. Axel Boman, is a veteran name in Sweden and an international breakthrough of 2010’s Red Bull academy. Remixer on Hypercolour and producer of mellowed, pre-drinks or dawn-seeking music, Axel retains a perfect balance of Swedish Strange with his refusal to be categorised into house, nu-disco or electronica, yet remains straight up enough to charm even the most demanding of dancefloors sees him slot straight in to our top 20.
14. Markus Schulz
Not many DJ’s can pull off two nights in a row in an enormous venue and manage to sell out on both occasions. However, after attending the second night of Markus Schulz in Mandarine Club, we were able to see how this phenomenal Trance DJ draws in the crowds and keeps them entertained until the early hours of the morning. After completing a lengthy set on the Friday, Markus sprang back up onto the decks for another seven and a half hours the following night, a broad grin suggesting that he was more than ready for round two. eclectic mix of Trance, Progressive House, Tech House and even Dubstep at some moments, and Markus revealed what a talented DJ he was by continuing to please the crowd whatever he put on and firmly established himself as a name to go straight on our list for 2013.
Friction’s deck dexterity is well known. Comfortable on a multitude of turntables or CDJ’s he delivers an absolute aural onslaught from start to finish, packed with dubs, VIP’s, current crowd pleasers and upcoming beats. Putting a mix in the more than capable hands of the Shogun Audio boss man can only gonna have positive results. If you’ve ever managed to catch Friction live then you’ll have a fair idea of the goodness on offer whenever he steps up to the wheels of steel. With a varied track selection that still caters to the heads, bringing that proper D&B sound Friction remains one of that special breed of DJ that can blow you away time after time.
12. Above & Beyond
The UK’s biggest electronic music trio – Above & Beyond have long been breaking necks and cashing cheques with show stopping performances around the globe with us enjoying their performances on the decks countless times over 2013 on their extensive touring schedule. From London to Las Vegas the last year was no doubt a vintage one for Above & Beyond.
11. Daniel Avery
Daniel Avery, much like our the number DJ on our list is one of the few acts in recent years to come to prominence as a DJ before being recognized as a talented producer that he is known as today. Taking influences from the greatest risk takers on the decks such as Andrew Weatherall and Erol Alkan, the fabric resident fuses indie sensibilities with house, techno, post punk and new wave to create a sound that’s wholly his own, weaving together superb DJ sets wherever he plays.
You never know exactly what you’re going to hear with Jackmaster. The element of glorious surprise is crucial to his sets: from the lost Dance Mania gems he spends his time unearthing to the latest hip-hop & RnB tracks to straight-up house and techno sets, the Numbers co-founder has more options up his sleeve than just about any other DJ out there – and a rare knack for connecting seemingly disparate styles with each other. “I don’t do eclecticism just for eclecticism’s sake,” he states firmly. He’s also proven that populist tendencies can have longevity, if done right: unbelievably, it’s now 10 years since the Numbers club night was founded, forging a tight-knit and loyal scene in which Jackmaster and like-minded Glaswegian’s could hone their skills. This has developed in to parties across the globe and allowed Jackmaster to play from Glasgow to Berlin to New York, and from superclubs such as Berghain and Fabric to legendary underground warehouse raves. At the heart of Jackmaster’s wide-ranging sensibility is a fundamental honesty: he believes in neither following trends nor the concept of guilty pleasures which he has brought across to his superb Mastermix Series. His commitment to both honesty and energy encapsulates what can make dance culture life-changingly thrilling: it’s about the clubber on the dancefloor reacting instantaneously and truthfully to the music.
9. Loco Dice
Fresh off of the back of topping our compilation chart of 2013 and having taken Ibiza by storm in its inaugural season with his Used + Abused party Loco Dice now makes his way into our top 10 DJs of 2013.By combining Ibiza’s world renowned heritage of daytime parties with previous incarnations of Desolat events, this summer witnessed Used + Abused welcome thousands of clubbers to Playa D’en Bossa’s open air clubbing phenomenon Ushuaia, and saw Loco Dice cement his status further as one of the most exciting and in-demand DJs on the planet. Underpinned by his new Ibiza residency, 2013 has been his most successful year to date and things don’t look slowing down as we move into the New Year.
8. Maceo Plex
Prolific American producer and DJ Eric Estornel better known as Maceo Plex has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the last couple of years, with a string of popular releases and the formation of his own imprint Ellem Audio but enjoyed a particularly successful 2013 with releases on some of years hottest labels. It was however his performances as a DJ that really stood out for us with a series of blistering sets blazing a trail across the globe that we hope continue in 2014.
Stating that Cassy’s repute as a DJ is near unblemished is less sycophantic praise than fact. From her residencies at Panoramabar, Trouw or Rex Club, to her regular appearances at DC-10 or The Warehouse Project, it’s rare to hear of a set that has not been spectacularly received by the crowd from the Austrian-raised DJ.
6. Marco Carola
Marco Carola is a global ambassador of techno. From Napoli in the south of Italy, Marco was instrumental in the development of the electronic scene in the early 90s, where he gifted the flourishing techno Neapolitan scene to the rest of the world. Over two decades on and Marco is still one of the most respected producers and DJs within the techno scene, widely regarded as one of the key factors in driving the genre towards worldwide recognition within electronic music.Famed for his energetic and impressive three-deck style of mixing and long journey set, Marco has remained one of the most in demand DJs on the planet throughout 2013 and with his propensity towards delivering mammoth eight hour plus sets he was once again the cause of a many of our summer highlights at his legendary Music On parties in Ibiza.
5. Andy C
Sometimes one night can neatly summarise exactly how we feel every time we see a certain DJ take to the decks. Looking back at Ram Records London Warehouse party back in March we feel was this night was such a moment for Andy C, the man most of the maximum capacity crowd that nigh had been waiting to see. Stepping up behind the decks at just after 1am, Andy C then proceeded to do what he does better than any other DJ in the world and tore that warehouse a new one. Clocking in at just a little over 3 hours, he ran the gauntlet of tunes and lord knows how many he played in that time. From fresh dub Warrior by Loadstar, to more recent club bangers like the rowdy crunch of Audio’s Headroom. There was a brief step back in time to old Ram classics like Roll On and Turbulence alongside modern anthems Airplane by Sub Focus and Culture Shock’s future funker Troglodye and even a dip into his original hardcore roots. Andy C, with more than just a little help from GQ and IC3 on hosting duties, held down proceedings by twisting, teasing and generally doing 3 deck damage in a way that can’t really be described thus is something you have to see. His energy behind the decks infected the crowd and vice versa. It was a real lesson in technical ability and spot on tune selection as all bases were covered in this longer set. I can’t count how many times I lost it to some of the tracks he played. Flawless. As always.
4. Levon Vincent
Singular performance wise arguably the highlight set as far as we were concerned came from New York DJ and beatsmith Levon Vincent on the Black Atlantic Stage at EE when he delivered one of the best sets we can remember hearing in a long, long time. The are DJ’s who chase trends, there are DJ’s who like to experiment with the crowd and there are DJ’s who just want to sure the party is rocking until the wheels come off. Mr. Vincent likes to offer the latter two qualities thoughtout his performances as he skips though various genres of house with the occasional classic sounding piece of techno inspired fare to keep the crowd continually guessing as to where he will take them next within his inspired journeys. It’s not the first time we’ve been overly impressed with the former Fabric resident and we’d highly recommend anyone given the chance to check him out if he is booked to play a city near you.
3. Eats Everything
From a spectacle of eras and styles, regardless of specific taste and potential music snobbery, Eats has mastered a technique by which no matter who his crowd are or his selection in tracks, he manages to tear the place to absolute pieces. From commercial disco and house dirty underground techno the sky seems the limit for this man.
It takes a performer to perform, an entertainer to entertain but to do it with such enthusiasm and accomplishment it is undeniably impeccable. – Almost as though it takes a sixth sense to successfully feed a nation of hungry ravers. With an individual fashion and uniquely established brand any opportunity to see this guy should not go amiss. Eats is far more than a player in the game. It’s almost as if he is the game itself.
You won’t have been able to enterf nightclub or festival this year without someone mentioning the name Dixon. After spending years honing a unique set of skills that Liam Neeson’s lead character in Taken would have been proud of in the vibrant Berlin scene he finally came to get us in and in a big way. He’s been one of technos leading lights in the last 12 months and with the type of sets he’s been delivering it’s not hard to see why he’s so high up on our list. Long may it continue!
1. Ben UFO
Paradox lies at the heart of Ben UFO’s appeal. Whilst the music he plays, in every generic and sonic sense, is way ahead of the curve, his stature as a DJ is something of a throwback. In the age where DJs are expected to be part-time producers, Ben UFO’s very conscious decision not to make music separates him from his contemporaries. Whilst for others success means both club bookings and Beatport chart success, Ben’s decision to focus on the ‘art’ of djing is an open challenge to the compromise inherent within the forced joinery of this previously optional separation. Yet, the decision to focus on djing (as this mix amply highlights) is not a regressive or conservative purist positioning of the art, but a starting point for challenging the conventions and boundaries of what is possible from a DJ mix.
Simply put he’s an amazing DJ and this years winner!