Get to know the Canadian DJs representing in this year’s Top 100 DJs poll. A diverse mix of artists, who reflect the thriving Canadian scene right now...
DVBBS (pronounced ‘dubs’) – like former Top 100 DJs winners Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike – are a brotherly duo. From diverse stock (their father is Dutch while their mother is Greek-Canadian), their background is every bit as colourful as their music. An eclectic pairing, they’re best known for their raucous, uptempo sound which incorporates strands of electro and bass.
The brothers first started making music together in 2012, with success coming soon after courtesy of their debut release, ‘Initio’. However, it was ‘Tsunami’ that really elevated them to pastures new. Spun by a host of the scene’s most popular players, it first gained prominence in 2013 after Pete Tong played it on his much-renowned BBC Radio 1 show. The track soon took on a life of its own and was officially released on Sander van Doorn’s Doorn Records, where it hit the coveted No.1 spot on the Beatport Chart. The lads have since had their work remixed by Tinie Tempah (who provided a slamming vocal mix of ‘Tsunami’) and have shared the stage with everyone from Tiesto to Steve Aoki to Martin Garrix and DJ Snake.
It’s been a balanced year of old and new for Canada’s oft-outspoken mouseman Joel Zimmerman. Tapping into his roots and legacy, Joel dedicated time to celebrating a decade of Mau5trap, reminding us of just how much talent has passed through his label’s doors from Chris Lake to Noisia via Rezz and Excision. He also dug deep into his own vaults and gave away an entire album of old projects called ‘Stuff I Used To Do’ that featured a host of unreleased and rare classics.
Never one to sit still or ever languish in the past, he’s been much more innovative than he has nostalgic. His eye-melting Cube stage show has been thoroughly updated and invigorated with a 2.1 reboot and remains up there with the likes of Eric Prydz as one of the most striking and technologically-advanced performance concepts in the game. Taking it around the world to a huge array of big festivals and solo on his Lots Of Shows In A Row tour, its sense of spectacle backs up the strong opinions he’s happy to share online.
Musically we’ve also seen a cool departure from the big anthemic tracks he’s known for as he develops his collaborative relationship with Manchester MC Shotty Horroh. Recent single ‘Legendary’ shows a much darker, grittier side to Deadmau5… And one that we’d like to hear a lot more of in the future.
Richie Hawtin’s legacy as one of electronic music’s most important artists cannot be overstated. If not for his rolling, textural and genre-defining techno releases and live shows, or for his influence and innovations as a technological maestro, then it’s his impact as a label owner and tastemaker that makes the man a living legend. Coming up across the border from Detroit, the city’s musical landscape influenced a young Hawtin to sonically shape and carve his sets, blending and twisting the music to create a captivating canvas of frequencies.
Since, along with label and investment partner John Acquaviva, he revolutionised the DJ booth forever by bringing timecode DVS to the mainstream and with it, the laptop became a staple DJ tool. He changed the game again as an early investor and champion of Beatport, which went on to define the success of so many DJs at the height of its popularity. Later, his CNTRL tour influenced thousands of young producers, encouraging sonic spontaneity in the studio and on stage.
Now, his new innovative live show ‘Close’ and his own performance mixer MODEL 1 continue to define a man who rarely sits still, 25 years into his career.
“This has easily been the busiest year of my career!” Richie tells DJ Mag. “I added 20 more gigs than last year, have been constantly on tour playing music, doing tastings and events for ENTER.Sake and in between continuing to develop my CLOSE Live show by spending more time in the studio than ever perfecting the best set-up to unlock an even better performance.”
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