2020 | Page 9 | DJMag.com Skip to main content

Poll 2020: Vintage Culture

30
Vintage Culture
Up
17
The chance to remix Moby's 'My Only Love' this year came as a dream come true for South American luminary Vintage Culture. “It was a real honour. Moby is committed to protecting the animals and the tropical forests that exist in Brazil,” he tells DJ Mag from his studio that, during quarantine, continued to be a hub of creativity. He laid his magic touches on Tiësto's 'Coffee (Give Me Something)', Alok's 'Party On My Own' as well as anthems 'Slow Down', 'Head & Heart' and 'The Power', and continued working on stacks of his own material. 
 
He was able to complete a summer tour of Brazil at the beginning of the year and since then has notched up over 100 hours of live sets, with an aim to keep his fans happy while isolated. “Everything will come back. We have to be patient, which is the most difficult thing, and take advantage of the time we have to be productive and efficient in our work,” Vintage Culture says. 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Studio time as much as possible. I am organising my career, planning for 2021. And family time.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“To manage and understand your copyrights, deals, royalties. To learn how to make your brand profitable even without performing live shows.”
 

What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“I believe that whatever is necessary. We must respect and love people. If we are all together, so that each one can do their part, we can end racism.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“At the beginning of the pandemic, I engaged with causes that raised the equivalent of $100k to NGOs that take care of homeless people in Brazil. Now the intention is to continue this project over the years regardless of the coronavirus.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“New Order 'Blue Monday'.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 12:40

Style: 
“I'm a mix of styles.”
Best known for: 
“Vintage Culture.”
Tune of the year: 
“Josement 'All Night Alone (Chris Lake Edit)'.”

Poll 2020: Danny Avila

38
Danny Avila
Up
3
“I spent so many hours in the studio, it’s crazy! And I think we have released some really nice tracks this year so far,” Danny Avila says about the positive spin he's been trying to put on the current situation. “Spain was hit very hard by the virus and all restrictions were extremely strict and tough.” A clutch of tracks coming on Don Diablo's innovative Hexagon imprint and working with Tiësto on his new music has been the perfect distraction. “I also have a collab coming with Sam Feldt that I'm super happy with,” he tells DJ Mag. 
 
He’s been working on his sets for streaming and prepping for a new live set-up with visuals, and the whole shebang paid off in September when Danny's Back To Live tour hit Taiwan. He got tested several times and had to quarantine for 14 days in Taipei. “Needless to say that everything was super safe and everyone followed all health instructions and safety regulations,” he says. Naturally, working on the follow-up tour is now very much on the cards, because if anyone can do it, Danny Avila can. 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“I have spent way more time in the studio than I normally do. Second, working out is a key thing for me — getting my mind free. Most importantly, my family and friends helped me a lot and I tried my best to be there for everyone too.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“I am very concerned about how the whole industry is treated in many countries. I think it would be good if the whole industry stands together more as one, so it becomes a more powerful overall network making its voice heard louder and better.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“Every step that is needed to get this just completely out of the scene. I mean, there shouldn't be any sort of racism in any scene. Racism is the worst and most stupid thing in the world. I have no idea how people can feel that way.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire 'Ghosts ’N’ Stuff”.”
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 12:37

Style: 
“Electronic Music.”
Best known for: 
“Highly energetic DJ sets and a diverse taste of all different kinds of genres in the electronic music world.”
Tune of the year: 
“HOSH & 1979 feat. Jalja 'Midnight (Hanging Tree)'.”

Poll 2020: Angerfist

36
Angerfist
Down
3
It seems as though nothing can stop Angerfist, so it’s no surprise that he’s found plenty of ways to keep the hardcore fire burning in 2020. Coming in at No.36 in this year’s poll, the Dutch DJ — real name Danny Masseling — kicked off 2020 with a typically stacked tour calendar, ringing it in in Seoul, before traversing across Europe between January and February. 
 
The COVID-19 pandemic quickly put a stop to tour plans, but it hasn’t stopped the masked producer from releasing a ton of music throughout the year. He teamed up with regular collaborator, and fellow Top 100 DJ Miss K8, for the ‘Immortality’ EP in May, as well as singles ‘Mighty Methods’, ‘Born To Rule’, ‘Virtual Disaster’ and ‘Reprogrammer’ over the summer. He even released some animated video game inspired visuals for recent single, ‘R3VOLUTION’. 
 
While he’s managed to play some special socially distanced shows in recent months, fans will be looking forward to catching Angerfist live again once it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, check out his set from DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Virtual Festival on YouTube.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
"Being father to a newborn, drinking beer and a lot of BBQ kept me sane. Oh yeah, and I've been making a ton of new music."
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
"Person, woman, man, camera, TV."
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
"Public Energy 'Three O’ Three’.”
 
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 12:33

Style: 
"Hardcore Techno"
Best known for: 
"Raise your fist for Angerfist.”
Tune of the year: 
"Nosferatu 'The Hood’.”

Poll 2020: Bassjackers

29
Bassjackers
Up
5
Rising five places to take the No.29 spot in this year’s Top 100 DJs poll, Dutch big room duo Bassjackers have done anything but rest on their laurels in 2020. Following the release of their debut album, ‘The Biggest’, in 2019, the duo’s primary producer Ralph van Hilst wasted no time in getting back in the studio to craft track after track to keep fans sated in this strange year. 
 
Collaborations with the likes of DJ Furex, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Wolfpack & Richie Loop, Jaxx & Vega and Futuristic Polar Bears have made for a prolific year in the pair’s catalogue, not to mention a string of remixes and solo singles — ‘Tricks’, ‘Motivation’ and ‘Want You (So Bad)’. Meanwhile, Bassjackers’ DJ Marlon Flohr has been busy with his Les Pays Bass Radio live stream series on YouTube, along with sets for Tomorrowland’s Around The World virtual festival and DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Virtual Festival. 
 
Keeping fans in high spirits while the dancefloors are empty, it’s no wonder Bassjackers’ profile continues to rise five years after they first appeared in the Top 100 DJs poll. 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Friends, family, and Call Of Duty Warzone.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“Don’t take anything for granted.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“We need to stop jumping to conclusions too quickly and listen to one another.” 
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“Promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. We all share one earth, let’s cherish it!”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Steve Aoki feat. Wynter Gordon ‘Ladi Dadi (Tommy Trash Remix)’.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 12:29

Style: 
“Big room.”
Best known for: 
“High-energy electronic tracks and sets.”
Tune of the year: 
“Tiesto ‘WOW’.”

Poll 2020: REZZ

57
REZZ
New Entry
0
For anyone that’s followed the trajectory of Rezz’s career, it’s not surprising she’s landed this year’s Highest New Entry award, rocketing into the Top 100 DJs poll at No.57. The Canadian prodigy has captivated electronic music’s new generation, and since being on the cover of DJ Mag North America in 2018 she’s delivered a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix made up entirely of her own productions and played the second iteration of her Rezz Rocks series at Red Rocks Park Amphitheatre. The third was due to go ahead in September but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Rezz tells DJ Mag that she’s used her time during lockdown to refocus. “It's been vital for me to find interest in new things and not only focus on music, as it's all I've done for six years,” she explains. “I've been doing a lot of science experiments with a microscope. Also, I have been looking at the stars and the moon with a telescope. In addition, I've been purchasing both personal and business properties. It has been fun going back and forth from Florida and Toronto. A change of scenery is refreshing.”
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 
 
“My girlfriend, buying a house in Florida, and finding new hobbies.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“A good lesson is to never put all your eggs into one basket. Have other hobbies, desires and goals.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“The responsibility is on all of us in the music industry to address racism. Festivals need to do a better job of making their line-ups more diverse. As artists, we need to push for diversity and representation in all spaces including festivals, production, touring and labels.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“I'm focused on including more female artists in my shows. I'd really like to see more female representation in the dance music scene throughout festivals, events and labels.”
 
 
What's the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Deadmau5 ‘Cthulhu Sleeps’.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:36

Best known for: 
“Mid-tempo ominous music.”
Tune of the year: 
“Melanie Martinez ‘The Bakery’.”

Poll 2020: Cat Dealers

52
Cat Dealers
Cat-Dealers-top100djs-2020
Cat-Dealers-top100djs-2020
Down
6
Combining the muscular drive of dark main stage progressive with elements of electro and EDM, Brazilian powerhouse siblings Lugui and Pedrão, aka Cat Dealers, never fail to make an impact, and the drive behind so much of their music reflects a determination at the heart of their attitude. So, the constant stream of cuts, remixes and ideas that have pockmarked a year in which so much of the dance scene has been written off, is no surprise. 
 
Productions like that version of Loud Luxury’s ‘Cold Feet’, a fresh take on Martin Jensen and MOLO’s hit single, ‘Carry On’, and a new edit of Ava Max’s ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ kept ears entertained. And the brothers worked hard to maintain strong connections with fans at a challenging time for contact, launching the ‘Dealing With Cats’ video web series following their own mini-documentary. Then there have been performances at global firsts like Tomorrowland Around The World, and ongoing involvement in fundraising events aimed at delivering urgently needed support to the dance music community. 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“The free time we had after all these years constantly touring. Being near our family and our lovely pets.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“Dedicate time for yourself and focus on your personal quality time. When we go through something like this you start to realise what is really important and how you have to balance your personal life with work without replacing one with the other.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene? 
 
“As caucasian men we are highly privileged individuals, so we always have to ask ourselves 'How do we use that privilege to give space so others can speak up and be appreciated in the scene too?' It’s not enough to just say ‘I’m not racist’, you have to take action, speak up, give space to people of colour. House music was birthed in Black culture so we have to honour the roots that made it possible for us to be where we are.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“Coming from Brazil, a country that has a lot of economical and social issues, we have to acknowledge the fact that not everyone has access to the means, information and technology to pursue a career in electronic music. We always try to keep in touch with new DJs, give feedback on live streams and give back in whichever ways we can.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“Eric Prydz ‘Power Drive’.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:29

Style: 
“Technically we’d say a mix of dance music and progressive house.”
Best known for: 
“Having a lot of cats.”
Tune of the year: 
“Elderbrook ‘Numb (Joris Voorn Remix)’.”

Poll 2020: Headhunterz

46
Headhunterz
Down
17
Willem Rebergen, aka Headhunterz, took a Coronavirus-imposed break from his usually hectic gig calendar through much of 2020, and focused on developing his musical abilities. The hardstyle DJ decided to dedicate his time “to becoming good at playing the piano”, in order to “broaden my horizons”.
 
In July, he released ‘The Hunter And The Prey’, featuring the vocals of Kosheen singer Sian Evans, via his co-run Art Of Creation label. More recently, Rebergen collaborated with Sound Rush and vocalist Eurielle for the self-released track ‘Rescue Me (Back To The Roots Edit)’, and just last month finally dropped the long-awaited third part of his fantasy-inspired ‘Dragonborn’ trilogy, ‘Oceans Apart’, again working with Sian Evans. All three tracks suggest that he’s fully dedicated to hardstyle again after a dalliance with more pop-leaning material a few years ago.

By the time this profile is published, and new restrictions permitting, Headhunterz will have played a huge sold-out Orange Heart show in Cologne’s Lanxess Arena alongside DJ Isaac and Wildstylez, as Germany has allowed some socially distanced gigs to start up again.

 

What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Learning to play the piano, making new music and spending time in the studio, and sports.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“That we should never ever take what we have for granted.”

 

What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“I am 100 per cent against racism of course, but I choose to not get involved in political discussions as an artist. In my eyes everyone is equal, and I trust there are numerous people out there who have great ideas on this topic.”

 

What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“I think right now, the goal is to get the music industry back on track in the first place, and get us through the crisis.”

 

What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Builder ‘Her Voice (Super Bass Mix)’.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:26

Style: 
“Hardstyle.”
Best known for: 
“The ‘Dragonborn’ trilogy.”
Tune of the year: 
“D-Block & S-Te-Fan ‘Feel Inside’.”

Poll 2020: Mariana Bo

44
Mariana Bo
Up
5

Mexican-born Sandra Borrego Mariana Robles, aka Mariana BO, has a unique set-up in her live performances, combining her skills on the violin with electronic music. Having learnt to play the instrument classically in her youth, she often brings this musicianship into her DJ sets — on stage she’s played alongside the likes of David Guetta, NERVO, Tiësto, and Paul Oakenfold to name a few.

The last few years have seen her take the stage worldwide playing at Tomorrowland, Ultra Europe, and various festivals in her native Mexico including EDC Festival, Electric Planet, Holi Festival, and Mayan Madness in Tulum. Her productions encompass various styles including big room, psytrance and dubstep to hardstyle and bass house. Notable releases this year include her singles ‘Feeling Good’, ‘Queen Of The Desert’ and ‘Mariachi’ — and there’s more to come. She’s also focusing more deeply on music that’s not just EDM — she’s been experimenting with new sounds and projects such as creating soundtracks for brands or short films. 

What are the three things that have helped you the most to overcome the coronavirus lockdown? 

"The music, the patience, the passion."

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?

"The industry has to be prepared for all challenges and look for alternatives to always maintain close contact with the public."

 

What steps must be taken to address racism in the dance music scene?

"Racism should not be a topic of discussion today in the 21st century, equality and people's rights should not be discussed."

 

What industry changes are you personally driving to make the dance music scene more inclusive?

"I want to do my part to reactivate the economy of the industry, being aware of the costs of my show so that promoters have the opportunity to do shows and thus win all."

 

What's the best dance music track of all time?

"'Adagio For Strings'"

 

What is your favourite cheese?

"Parmesan."

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:20

Style: 
EDM
Best known for: 
Playing live instruments along with her DJ sets
Tune of the year: 
"The Prayer - Timmy Trumpet & KSHMR Ft. Zafrir"

Poll 2020: MATTN

42
MATTN
Up
9
Belgium's MATTN is a real trailblazer — one of the very few women in the EDM scene at large. This year she has appreciated the imposed time off and its benefits for her own mental health. “I think this crisis was a wake-up call for everyone to evaluate their lives,” she tells DJ Mag.
 
As well as a honeymoon to the Maldives she has started singing on her own tracks, taking singing lessons. “I always really liked major club bangers with an amazing drop. But now that there are no festivals to play at, I also developed a love for chill house and deep house sounds,” she says.
 
As such, tune into one of her live streams to hear MATTN “experiment a bit with some other types of music” or hold tight for when parties return, when this Smash The House artist will unleash her new vocal tracks as well as a more considered and deeper sound.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“I started with vocal coaching, we bought a puppy named Malibu and this made our home feel so much more alive. I started working on my own make-up brand.” 
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“We should try to find other ways of entertaining people and try to keep people intrigued.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“Personally I think it's really weird to talk about racism in the music scene. A lot of masterpieces are made by Black people... and the dance scene loves to make edits or mashups from these tracks... We should all be very grateful that there is so much diversity in the music industry.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“I would love to see more respect and appreciation for female artists. We’re getting there but it’s still a long way to go.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“MATTN vs. Stavros Martina & Kevin D ‘Girlz Wanna Have Fun’.”
 
 
 

 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:17

Style: 
"EDM/bigroom"
Best known for: 
"“Children, and bringing female-friendly vibes to worldwide mainstages.”"
Tune of the year: 
"Joel Corry feat. MNEK ‘Head & Heart’.”

Poll 2020: VINAI

39
VINAI
Down
11
Italian brothers Alessandro and Andrea Vinai have become very much at home in our Top 100 DJs poll, with their 2020 appearance making it a seventh consecutive year. They are just as well regarded in the EDM community, where they're adored by fans for their widescreen take on the genre. As they have had to spend more time in the studio this year, the pair say they have perfected the art of “producing more ‘pop’ music”.
 
They did manage to get out a big new tune, ‘Rise Up’, which they say was the highlight of the last 12 months and it came in a year when the pair took the decision to not produce any club or festival songs. “Of course, nobody would ever have a chance of playing them, so because of this, we were focused more on stream-friendly music. It's very different because you don’t have a chance to test what you did,” they tell DJ Mag.
 
As such, standby for new home-listening-friendly tune 'Until The World Will Be Free Again’, as well as tour dates as soon as possible.
 
 
What things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 
 
“Being able to spend all the time that we want in the studio, then having some weights in-house for doing our workouts when gyms were closed, and playing PlayStation.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“That you never know what could happen in the future.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 
 
“To always vary the music selection during our shows, playing from hardstyle to trap, from EBM to hip-hop.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“Swedish House Mafia ‘One’."

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:14

Style: 
"EDM"
Best known for: 
“‘How We Party’, ‘Bounce Generation’, ‘Out Of This Town’.”
Tune of the year: 
“'Breakin Me' by Topic."

Pages