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Poll 2017: Radical Redemption

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You know it’s been a good year when you have to charter a helicopter to take you across three gigs in six hours spanning festivals in Belgium and Holland. Then again, if you play 51 shows across three months as hardstyle DJ Radical Redemption (aka Joey Van Ingen) did, then you’re going to need all the help you can get. 

The summer’s festivities were just the warm-up for his Road To Redemption show. “After doing two sold-out shows in the Heineken Music Hall for 5500 people over the past two years, we will now do my new show in 'The Radical Dome' that can hold 12,000 souls,” says the Dutch DJ, proudly.

With a new album to celebrate — with the on-brand title of 'The Road To Redemption' – he’ll be bringing his live show to the party alongside support from Minus Militia, Warface, Digital Punk and more, a celebration of the best in hardstyle headlined by one of the scene’s true stars. 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2017-10-17 10:17

Poll 2015: Da Tweekaz

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Da Tweekaz have had quite a year. The Norwegian duo, made up of Kenth Kvien and Marcus Nordli, have long wanted to DJ in the US and, after many years on the hardstyle circuit in Europe, they finally got their wish in June, playing at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. 

Back home, the size and stature of their bookings have also been growing. In the past year, the pair have appeared at Kings Of Hardstyle and Defqon.1 Festival. The latter was a dream come true for Kvien and Nordli, who tell us

After a prolific 2014, in which the pair released a song every month, Da Tweekaz have focused on honing and developing their sound. ‘Wodka’, released in August, comes after a period of bunkering down in their studio and has been Kvien and Nordli’s most successful single to date.

Back in 2008, the two were releasing music on internet forums for a small but dedicated following. In the years since, they’ve cemented their place as one of Europe’s most loved hardstyle acts. 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:59

Style: 
Hardstyle
Best known for: 
“'Frozen', 'Tweekay14', 'Bad Habit'.”
Tune of the year: 
“'Wodka'!”
From: 
Norway
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Cyber — watch out for this kid, because he's hitting the hardstyle scene by storm!”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Interaction with the crowd. The worst thing is to see DJs who are just staring down at the decks for an hour straight.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Seeing as how EDM has gone back to a more melodic era now (as opposed to the whole big room thing), it seems that it's more ‘likeable’ to the common man.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Flying and driving for many hours every weekend definitely does something to a person, no matter how comfortable it might be at times.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Not being able to hear anything must be one of the worst things that can happen to a person. We are in contact with an organisation which is working hard at spreading the word for use of ear protection at festivals and clubs.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“If there's one club we truly miss, it’s Le Spirit in France. The connection we had with that club, its owners and the crowd was beyond anything we've ever experienced elsewhere.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“Let's be honest, 90% of all DJs are geeks. There are a lot more guy-geeks than girl-geeks in the world, which makes this calculation rather easy.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“As long as they are open about it and don't deny it, it's not hurting anyone at all.”

Poll 2015: Coone

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Koen Bauweraerts, better known as Belgian producer Coone, is one of the elder statesmen of hardstyle. It’s been over a decade since Bauweraerts put out his first single, ‘Protect The Innocent’ on Hardball Records, making him one of the longest-running DJs in the scene.

In 2006, Bauweraerts launched label Dirty Workz, which has since become one of the foremost outlets for jumpstyle and hardstyle in Europe. By the age of 24, he was already commanding a devoted following in his home country, drawing a crowd of several thousand fans to his Coone & The Gang events.

He’s since become an evangelist for hardstyle, helping to spread the genre around the globe — his last album, released in 2013, was aptly titled ‘Global Dedication’.

“Every year I’m trying to convince more people of my style. And it’s working, I’m playing at the world’s best clubs and festivals this year,” he tells DJ Mag. Recent collaborations with Steve Aoki and remixes of Linkin Park have no doubt exposed new audiences to hardstyle and won him new fans in the US and further abroad.

ADAM BYCHAWSKI

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 10:58

Style: 
“Euphoric hardstyle with catchy vocals.”
Best known for: 
“Globalizing hardstyle.”
Tune of the year: 
“Coone ‘Love For The Game’.”
From: 
Belgium
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Cesqeaux.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“I gotta feel the crowd, every country is different. So pre-recorded sets are never gonna do the trick.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“I hear lots of evolution and fresh talents in each style. Yes, the future is still bright.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“I must say, if you don’t take a break now and then, it can definitely affect your private life.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“My girlfriend, my daughter, my passion for music, my family, my friends, my fans.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“’Club Bizarre (Headhunterz & Noisecontrollers Remix)’ - Brooklyn Bounce, ha ha (hardstyle in-joke – Ed).
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I’m getting the idea that a lot of girls are not in it for the love of the music. That does not work.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“If you’re a good businessman, a good entertainer, up to date with the latest trends in music and most of all a good DJ, then I don’t have a problem with it, although it would not work for me.”

Poll 2015: Brennan Heart

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 Dutch hardstyle producer Brennan Heart has had one of those years. “I thought 2014 was madness, but 2015 topped it… crazy”, he sighs. “At the beginning of the year I took one and a half months break in Bali... to recharge myself, regarding my future, plans and ambitions.”

That rest was warranted, surely. In between broadcasting his radio show on SlamFM (‘WE R Hardstyle’) and manning stages at EDC and Defqon.1, the producer’s been heading up his own WE R Music label, and is revered by his fans for arena smashers such as ‘Follow The Light’ and ‘FIFO’ (standing for “fit in or fuck off”).

To get away from the madness of the jetsetting lifestyle of an international DJ, he’s just treated himself to a new crib: a “beautiful cottage in the countryside, enjoying life with my girlfriend. But no worries for the fans: there will also be a new studio next to the house!” he assures DJ Mag.

“My passion for music is the thing that keeps me going, but I need to make sure that any spare time I have is spent with family and friends.” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 11:12

Style: 
“Hardstyle.”
Best known for: 
“Tracks like 'Lose My Mind' and 'Imaginary'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Blademasterz 'Still Here'.”
From: 
Holland
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Sub Sonik.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“To analyse how people react to a variety of tracks. In some places hardstyle is pretty new to the audience, so I play different tracks and remixes than when I’m playing Benelux.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Electronic music still is a very young genre and constantly evolving. That's what I like about music: it's dynamic and renewing itself, and I'm still stoked when I hear a great sound or a catchy melody.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Sure thing. Travelling is demanding for everyone, but it's part of a great job. You can make a fuss about each delay, but it won’t change anything.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“The refugee situation is tearing me apart. It's really hard to find good and permanent solutions for people that are forced to leave their homes.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I'd like to bring back some smaller clubs from when I started, as I find it important that there are clubs that offer opportunities for new talent to play.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“That’s a question for the DJ Mag readers. They are the voters! I think it's just a matter of numbers. If you calculate the total number of female DJs compared to male, it's only a few percent...”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“It's a kick when you create something new, and you can't wait to play it for other people. It can create the same goosebumps as going out on the main stage of Defqon.1 or EDC with 60,000 fans in front of you.”

Poll 2015: Angerfist

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Angerfist makes music that matches his name. Known for crafting fast, brutal and, well, angry beats, Angerfist's music sits somewhere between hardcore, raw-edged techno and old school gabba.

He released his fourth LP 'The Deadfaced Dimension' at the close of 2014, and has spent much of this year working on his upcoming world tour for his popular event Raise & Revolt, where he'll debut a bunch of new slammers and collabs, plus some new visuals.

He's also dropped full-throttle mixes for Defqon.1 and Masters Of Hardcore, plus spun at mega-fests including Dominator, Partyraiser and Las Vegas's EDC over the last 12 months. A big fan of Jaegermeister and “his morning omelette”, it seems Angerfist's sonic (if slightly aggressive) boom is here to stay. 

From: The Netherlands

Style: “Hardcore techno.”

Best known for: “'Raise Your Fist For Angerfist'.”

Tune of 2015: “Furyan 'For What?!'”

Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: “Furyan.”

What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?
“The ability to adapt to the atmosphere.”

Is the future still bright for EDM?
“Sure, it might shift shapes a bit but it’s definitely here to stay.”

Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?
“I can feel that the weekends sometimes take longer to recover from. Maybe I should cut down on the Jaegermeister a bit, who knows?”

What cause is closest to your heart?
“Well, I take my morning omelette quite seriously.”

Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?
“I can’t really think of any club that has died that didn’t have it coming, and the clubs that I really like are still there.”

Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?
“I’m not sure. The amount of female DJs is definitely growing. It’s probably a matter of time.”

What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?
“It’s so integrated in the music business. Who cares?”

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-13 15:55

Style: 
“Hardcore techno.”
Best known for: 
“'Raise Your Fist For Angerfist'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Furyan 'For What?!'”
From: 
The Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Furyan.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“The ability to adapt to the atmosphere.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Sure, it might shift shapes a bit but it’s definitely here to stay.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“I can feel that the weekends sometimes take longer to recover from. Maybe I should cut down on the Jaegermeister a bit, who knows?”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Well, I take my morning omelette quite seriously.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I can’t really think of any club that has died that didn’t have it coming, and the clubs that I really like are still there.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I’m not sure. The amount of female DJs is definitely growing. It’s probably a matter of time.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“It’s so integrated in the music business. Who cares?”

Poll 2015: Radical Redemption

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Hardstyle has never been more popular than it is right now. One man who’s helped bring the genre to unforeseen heights is the inventively named Radical Redemption.

Still only 25 years old, 2015 is the second year in a row the burgeoning Dutchman has made the Top 100. With his own show coming up in November at Amsterdam’s infamous Heineken Music Hall, it seems the only way is up for the “Prostitute” producer…

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:34

Style: 
Hardstyle
Best known for: 
The Spell of Sin/The Brutal saga.
Tune of the year: 
Piece of Shit
From: 
The Netherlands
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
The ability to feel the crowd.
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
I don't know about EDM, but the future is bright for hardstyle. The market is really growing right now, and in 2015 I had way more bookings abroad than 2014. It's also up to the producers to keep producing awesome stuff and keep the scene alive!
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
Personally I never suffer from things like jetlag or whatever. Sometimes you're tired after travelling, but nothing I can't handle, that's for sure.
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
That's a difficult one. The only thing I can say is that I live for the music and everything around it.
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
Well, I really miss the parties in The Matrixx in Nijmegen, that's for sure. Those nights were always awesome, packed, and the crowd went totally mental.
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
I really don't know.
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
Sometimes a producer is just a producer. That's when you will search for a face, to do the performances. There's nothing wrong with that. Besides, I don't think Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Madonna or Katy Perry write all their songs themselves. Nobody cares about that. So basically, I've got no problem with the whole ghost producer thing.

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