2015 | Page 8 | DJMag.com Skip to main content

Poll 2015: Laidback Luke

64
Laidback Luke
Down
14

He’s been sliding around the Top 100 for some time now, but Laidback Luke wasn’t about to let himself be phased by last year’s results. “Funnily enough, after dropping to position 50 last year, this year seemed to be my busiest year ever,” recalls the big room house producer — Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen, as he’s known off stage. 

He’s been on more than one of those this summer — Tomorrowland, Ultra, EDC, to name a few — and produces incessantly for labels like Size, Fool's Gold as well as his own Mixmash. Having also just announced his first album in ten years, ‘Focus’, we’re questioning whether the first half of his name is really necessary. 

Despite his status as successful DJ and producer in his own right, the Philippines-born, Holland-raised artist doesn’t look down on those who use ghost producers. “DJing and producing are two totally separate entities,” he goes on to say. “Just because you're a good producer with big hits, doesn't mean you know how to work a crowd properly and that you're able to take the crowd on a musical journey. And vice versa, just because you're a great DJ, doesn't mean you'll be an amazing producer.”

You heard it here first.

FELICITY MARTIN

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:10

Style: 
“EDM and beyond.”
Best known for: 
“Lover of the art of DJing, fast producing, helping talents. Love for superheroes.”
Tune of the year: 
“Galantis 'U&I'.”
From: 
The Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“KANDY.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“To be able to adapt to the crowd and feel what a room needs.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Absolutely! EDM will just morph into something else, like it did with the coming of future house last year.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“It sure does! All the time, actually. It's been a real good practice to try and stay healthy both mentally as well as physically on tour.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“With Electric Family, we've done the 'Fuck Cancer' bracelets this year. It's very rare you come across someone who didn't lose someone to cancer. It's crazy we're still losing loved ones to cancer in 2015.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“The Arches in Glasgow. It's such a shame that closed down this year!”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“Why aren't there more technical DJs in the Top 100 DJs poll?”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I'm absolutely fine with that. The mailman might be able to deliver the most wonderful packages on time, but that doesn't mean he's responsible for the products in there.”

Poll 2015: Carl Cox

63
Carl Cox
Up
4

With even a periphery knowledge of dance music, you'd be strapped to find a keen clubber who'd never heard the name Carl Cox. Adored by loyal fans the globe over, Cox has been a guiding light in the underground for over two decades, headlining Space in Ibiza every year for as long as anyone would care to remember.

But all that's about to change. “Next year will be my last year at Space Ibiza, so please do not miss a single night if you can, very special line-ups for 15 weeks,” he tells us when we talk Top100. 
Ibiza gigs aside, Cox has spent much of 2015 running his successful INTEC imprint, alongside fellow techno don Jon Rundell, with releases from Christian Varela, Ramiro Lopez, Joe Brunning, Harvey McKay and many, many more.

“I have been working on collabs and remixes with some great artists,” he promises when we hint at his plans for next year. With new material scheduled for the start of 2016, Carl says: “Watch this space!”

CHARLOTTE LUCY CIJFFERS

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:08

Style: 
“Techno, tech house, electronic music.”
Best known for: 
“In the early days, three-deck turntable mixing.”
Tune of the year: 
“Format:B 'Gospel (Pleasurekraft & Jaceo Psalm 69 Remix)'.”
From: 
The UK
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Drumcomplex & Roel Salemink.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Any good DJ should be able to read a crowd.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Yes of course, but now, EDM should stand for concert events, because this is where it is at right now. It's a show.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“No, not really, if you can balance the lifestyle it will never take a toll, some DJs cannot handle it, it’s not for everyone.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Cancer research.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Twilo New York — that was one amazing club.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I really don't know, at my night at Space in Ibiza, I book at least eight to ten female DJs every year, because they play great music and kick dancefloor ass.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I believe, as a DJ, you should stand up for what you make and not hide behind anyone. It's been going on for years and it will continue to do so.”

Poll 2015: DJ Chetas

59
DJ Chetas
New Entry
0

It’s not only America that’s currently experiencing a dance music epiphany. India — and its population of 1.25 billion people — is beginning to demand the world’s biggest DJs, and Mumbai’s DJ Chetas has been riding this cultural explosion since 2012. 

What makes Indian dance music — and DJ Chetas’ music in particular — an interesting proposition is that it’s a cross-pollination of traditional Indian music with western club culture. And that’s where DJ Chetas has built his huge following — by incorporating the best of Bollywood vocals into big-room mash-ups that have been a huge hit in his native India. 

While it might not be to everybody’s taste, there’s no denying the popularity of DJ Chetas, and dance music in general in India. In addition, DJ Chetas is using his considerable influence, time and money to create a network of music schools in India to give studio time to those who might not be able to afford it.

With the likes of Diplo and Steve Aoki now regularly touring in India, and a growing middle class hungry for big-name DJs (and dance music in general), India represents a huge new market, ripe with potential for its own artists and touring DJs from around the world. DJ Chetas is merely a product of this explosion, and we fully expect to see more and more DJs from South Asia breaking into the Top 100 DJs poll in the coming years. “With a DJ Mag Top 100 tag, this opens up a whole new international market to bring Indian sounds too!” the man himself enthuses.

 ANDREW RAFTER

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 11:25

Style: 
“Big room with Indian vocals.”
Best known for: 
“Bollywood mash-ups.”
Tune of the year: 
“'Lean On'.”
From: 
Mumbai, India
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“KSHMR.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Any DJ has to know how to read his/her audience.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“The country where I come from, EDM is still on the rise. With pop stars and film stars willing to lend their brand to EDM, it definitely looks like EDM still has a LONG way to go!”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Mentally possibly not, but it definitely does take a toll on the health.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I've come across a lot of fans who due to their financial status can't pursue their love for music. To counter this, I’ve set up a music school in Mumbai where we give out a lot of scholarships to passionate students who find it difficult to pay their fees.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“None currently, I'm absolutely in love with all the venues I've played at in India and internationally.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I'm sure that a lot of artists from India — male and female — will participate now that we've managed to break the stereotype. I've come across some really talented women DJs out there.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“Everyone has their own personal choices, I'm not one to comment on them.”

Poll 2015: Diego Miranda

58
Diego Miranda
Up
12

“I wish I had more time to do everything I have in my mind. I wish the days had 48 hours,” Diego Miranda tells DJ Mag. It’s not surprising to hear that the Portuguese DJ is hard-pressed for time. He’s been much in-demand, not just in his home country but also in Brazil which he considers his “second home”, playing there — and across South America — several times a year.

What free time Miranda’s had in the past year, he’s spent in the studio. Aside from making it into the Beatport Top 20 with ‘Tequila’, Miranda’s biggest hit so far has been ’Turn The Lights Out’. The single, featuring singer Mikkel Solnado, has received heavy radio play in his home nation, no doubt down to its anthemic, sing-a-long hook.

Miranda’s popularity in South America is also beginning to spread over to North America, thanks in part to his recent remix of Tara McDonald and Snoop Dogg’s ‘VAY-K’, topping off what’s been a great year for the DJ.

ADAM BYCHAWSKI

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 11:21

Style: 
“If I have to define a style, I would say house music!”
Tune of the year: 
“'Turn The Lights Out' feat. Mikkel Solnado.”
From: 
Portugal
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Kygo.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“In addition to good technique, it’s essential that the artist knows how to communicate with his public and never lose his humility.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Honestly I don't think so, the songs have become very repetitive and I think people are getting bored of it!”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“The only toll it can take on me is the increase of responsibility to do my best not to disappoint the fans and the people who hire me.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I cannot stand cruelty to animals and people who cannot defend themselves.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Locomia brought the greatest DJs from around the world to Portugal. I played there with Carl Cox, it was one of the best parties of my life.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I think in the past being a DJ was seen as a profession of men. But nowadays the talent of women DJs such as Nervo, Magda and Maya Jane Coles is unquestionable.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
"It gives me much joy playing my own songs and seeing the reaction of the crowd. People who use ghost producers maybe will never know that feeling — and I feel sorry for them.”

Poll 2015: Eric Prydz

57
Eric Prydz
Up
3

Swedish producer Eric Prydz is a chameleon. Whether he's dipping his toes in the underground as Cirez D, or entertaining the main room masses with his Eric Prydz moniker, the Swede has captured the hearts of dance fans worldwide.

It's with his recent show EPIC that he's won the minds of the US market — the touring show featured the globe's biggest hologram, stunning stage production (including an impressive 32 lasers), plus a slew of big room tracks penned by Prydz himself.

Since he took over NYC’s Madison Square Garden with the show last September, the veteran DJ/producer hasn't stopped — next up he'll play LA's Escape festival and EDC in Orlando, before a headline set at Space in Miami.

Unlike other main room DJs, Prydz insists that he never 'plans' his sets (he spilled the beans in an interview with DJ Liquid Todd at EDC Las Vegas earlier this year), preferring to read the vibe of the room on the day.

Aside from his work as Eric Prydz, the Swede's other moniker (and imprint of the same name), Pryda, is still going strong, with his latest release 'PRYDA 10' smashing the Beatport charts with ease. It was so successful that it hit a new milestone for the influential label — 'PRYDA 10' is currently the highest selling release in the imprint's eleven-year history.

Then there's his all-new, exclusive and bi-monthly Beats 1 radio show that aired to acclaim earlier this month, and featured two hours of unreleased productions spanning his Prydz, Pryda, and Cirez D aliases. 

New tracks included 'Multo' and a private edit of Adventure’s 'Rio', with fans hypothesising that these might feature on Prydz's upcoming debut LP. The as-yet-unnamed record is tipped to drop sometime before the end of the year, as well as an upcoming Cirez D release 'Vol. D' that's also in the pipeline from the producer.

CHARLOTTE LUCY CIJFFERS

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 11:18

Style: 
Big room
Best known for: 
EPIC.
From: 
Sweden

Poll 2015: ATB

82
ATB
Down
24

Andre Tanneberger, aka ATB, has come a long way since his UK No.1, ‘9PM (Till I Come)’. In the almost 20 years since the smash hit, that additionally found fame after being featured in cult Ibiza rave flick Kevin & Perry Go Large, the German producer has repackaged himself as a big room killer, playing sets like Ultra USA and Europe, EDC and Tomorrowland.

His productions have undergone a similar metamorphosis, though he’s still staying true to the excellent studio standards that first helped garner him respect in the early noughties.

“I think I can't hide my influences from the past, but it's very important for me to get into today's culture with my sound. However, I also think that my experiences from the past have shaped my unique sound — so I am grateful for all of this,” he told Ministry Of Sound back in July.

No matter what style he's producing — ATB has also released multiple times on Armin van Buuren's A State Of Trance imprint thanks to his roots in prog and trance — the German shows no signs of slowing down. 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 16:17

Style: 
“Electronic music.”
Best known for: 
“'9PM' and 'Ecstasy'.”
From: 
Germany
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Zhu.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“They should be able to finally mix two records without a computer!”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Of course!”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“It's a part of my life! Since forever.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“My wife, family and friends!”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Tarm Center, Bochum, Germany.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I don't know the result yet!”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“That's a part of the business these days! I couldn't do it like this! My music is my identification.”

Poll 2015: Markus Schulz

56
Markus Schulz
Down
12

For Markus Schulz, life imitates art. Or rather, fantasy. The self-styled unicorn-slayer of trance has found his moniker has presented some surreal encounters in recent years. “Now it’s gotten so big, I don’t know where it’s going to end. I played a show at Avalon in Los Angeles a few years ago and they had a full life-size unicorn statue at the front of the club!”

In 2015 he’s focused on his City Series project, making a track a month dedicated to his favourite worldwide clubs or festivals. He’s also excited by the ongoing success of his New World Punx project with Ferry Corsten.

“We’ve made even more strides this year, highlighted by the first-ever performance at the legendary Coachella festival. We have a few dates together before the year rounds out — in Buenos Aires, Santiago, Moscow and of course the Top 100 DJs party for DJ Mag in Minsk on 29th November.”

BEN MURPHY

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 11:17

Style: 
“Unicorn-slaying trance.”
Best known for: 
“Music for the soul, life-changing marathon sets and being scandalous on Snapchat.”
Tune of the year: 
“Markus Schulz feat. Delacey ‘Destiny’ and Gouryella ‘Anahera’.”
From: 
Miami, Florida
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Nifra.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Understanding the art of DJing. DJs are taking this same festival formula into their traditional club sets, and I don’t think that’s right.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“The hard, aggressive sounds of modern-day EDM are slowly being phased out, and the more melodic deep house movement is becoming more prevalent.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Undoubtedly, the most difficult aspect of the job by far is the travel involved. The two most important things are being dedicated and disciplined.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I’m actually a big animal lover, and supporting them in everyday situations is very important to me.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Paradise Garage in New York City. When I was growing up, I would be inspired by reading all of the wild stories emanating from that venue.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“There should be, but there must be a change in attitude within the scene for that to happen. I’ve named Nifra from my Schulz Music Group artist agency as my pick for breakthrough this year.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think the fans can conclude fairly easily whether a track is from the genuine article simply by hearing what comes out of the speakers.”

Poll 2015: Wolfpack

52
Wolfpack
Up
32

2015 has been a big one for Steve and Ruben, aka the notorious Wolfpack. Not only did the Belgian duo tour Asia for the first time — an experience they describe as “very cool” — but also happened to score two massive hits. Firstly, back in August, Wolfpack teamed up with Funk D and the don dada of booming vocals, Fatman Scoop, for the huge 'Drop The Smiley'. 

Then the following month, 'Ocarina' — the pair's beloved Tomorrowland Anthem collaboration with fellow Antwerpians, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike — got the remix treatment from Klaas & Mazza. That track has already catapulted through the rankings to become Wolfpack's second most popular release on Beatport.

Speaking of Tomorrowland, Wolfpack also happened to play the first ever South American edition of the festival earlier this year, as São Paulo spent four days as the global epicentre of EDM. Still signed and releasing through Dimi and Mike's scene-shaping Smash The House imprint, and having now appeared in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll for two years running, Wolfpack can stride confidently into 2016.

BEN HINDLE

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 11:08

Style: 
“Electro progressive house.”
Best known for: 
“'Find Tomorrow'/'Ocarina'.”
Tune of the year: 
“'The Hum'.”
From: 
Belgium
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Lost Frequencies.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Having fun during a set. Bringing that fun over to the people.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“We definitely believe so.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Sometimes it does get to you being away so long and missing your family and friends. But we are extremely lucky to be able to do this, so we actually can't complain!”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Our families. Music.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Cherry Moon in Belgium.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“No idea, ha ha.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“Sometimes working together with others can accomplish great things, but having a track made by somebody and to sell it as your own is just not right."

Poll 2015: Ferry Corsten

85
Ferry Corsten
Up
6

From his early UK chart success with 'Out Of The Blue' under his System F alias to creating a raft of timeless trance anthems alongside Tiesto as Gouryella, Rotterdam's Ferry Corsten has been around in one guise or another for 26 years.

During his impressively long career Corsten has released four studio albums — including the excellent 'Fire' which saw the trance DJ experiment with more hard-edged electro influences including an excellent collaboration alongside Gangstarr's Guru, for 'Junk'.

But it will always be his work as Gouryella — alongside Tiesto — that many of us will remember the producer for, and in 2015 — some 16 years after they wrote the trance rule book — Corsten decided to bring back his Gouryella alias, albeit without the help of Tiesto, for 'Anahera'; a classic cut of uplifting trance that was pure fan-service. 

A permanent fixture in the Top 100 DJs poll since its inception, Corsten is the only Dutch trance heavyweight to have missed out on being crowned the world's No.1 DJ back in the day, just missing out in 2004 when he reached the No.4 spot. Since then he has been in the top ten six times, and despite slipping to No.91 in the poll last year he has rallied a bit in 2015. 

ANDREW RAFTER

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 16:23

Style: 
“Trance.”
Best known for: 
“Giving great interview answers.”
Tune of the year: 
“Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella 'Anahera'.”
From: 
The Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Dimension.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Just drink the champagne instead of spraying it.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Not sure about EDM but trance is looking great!”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“It can be exhausting but I can take it.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“My kids.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Fight Club... but I'm not supposed to talk about it.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“Yes. Why not? Tell me.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“Oh well... it has been creating a lot of work for me!”

Poll 2015: Vicetone

50
Vicetone
Down
14

The duo of Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool, aka Vicetone,inject a strong affinity with melody into their main stage EDM productions, and describe the past year as the “biggest in our short career so far”.

While they’ve been responsible for several polished hits on goliath stables like Spinnin’, Ultra and Dim Mak, their landmark achievement since they placed in last year’s Top 100 DJs poll was producing the rather epic and emotional soundtrack for the Ultra Music Festival 2014 after-movie, the rather epic and emotive 15-minute ‘United We Dance’.

“It was the biggest project of our lives,” they say of the after-movie that dropped last November. “We worked closely with the Ultra team, and it was a challenging project since the music had to evolve over time, and change from dance music into an orchestral soundtrack.

It was a big accomplishment for us and it really pushed our creativity. It’s gotten millions of plays by now and has become one of the most requested songs in our sets. It’s definitely been a highlight.”

Otherwise, it’s also been full speed ahead for Vicetone this year. They’ve toured a whole stack of new countries and territories, including a variety of spots throughout Asia where they point to a booming dance scene, as well as beginning their own Vicetone Records imprint, which they say has opened up the possibility of experimenting outside of their normal release schedule.

ANGUS PATERSON

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 11:03

Style: 
“Melodic house music.”
Best known for: 
“‘United We Dance’ (Ultra 2014 Aftermovie Soundtrack).”
Tune of the year: 
“Major Lazer & DJ Snake ‘Lean On’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Kygo.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“A feeling for what the crowd wants, and what you as a DJ want to play.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Of course! It’s always evolving but it’s still on the up.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Occasionally it does, but we don’t like to complain. It’s always been our dream and we’re very fortunate to do what we do.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Equal human rights for every person regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“The Guvernment in Toronto. We played there once, and the club had an amazing atmosphere. Such a shame they closed it down.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“There will be more and more, hopefully! Luckily there are talented girls like NERVO and Krewella who are setting a good example.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“In our opinion you’re always better off making your own music. We couldn’t fathom having somebody else making our music for us - it’s an art we pride ourselves in.”

Pages