“Thank you so much! It’s the fourth year in a row, so we would like to take this moment to thank our fans, all the people that voted for us and support us,” is the joyful response DJ Mag gets from Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf when we contact them about their Top 100 entry. Ever-positive and upbeat, Blasterjaxx have doubled up on their workload, with Thom spending 2016 touring solo while Idir has been focusing more on the studio work. “That was a somewhat daunting foresight but it's worked out really well,” Thom explains to DJ Mag. “And over the course of the past year, I've really come into my element here.”
They also launched their own label, Maxximize Records, and are hatching plans to release both established and new talents to coincide with some showcasing events penciled in for the new year. Blasterjaxx are looking to remain balanced between the vocal, radio kind of tracks and heavy club bangers so that there’s something to keep all their fans happy — including a bunch of free downloads. “We've got some really cool stuff coming up release-wise, we have a Krewella collab we're working on, and we've found some singers that nobody has heard of that will knock your socks off!” HELENE STOKES
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form? “Absolutely! Electronic music is a very large genre of music divided into loads of sub-genres. The underground music that is most experimental is getting the credit across the board and considered as art, and the commercial music is getting better and better because of it. But then again, it still needs be enjoyed by fans — and it is!”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“Honestly, to us it’s in the studio. The VSTs are getting bigger and better and the quality of sound coming from them has really improved.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“Honestly, our hearts are still very close to music with Latin influences, so maybe Latin-house again? But my heart is also still weak for tech-trance and tech-house. It could become an interesting combination blending all of those!”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“Depending on the kind of show, for a club show around 40 dollars, festivals probably more.”
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Information! Making sure that all ravers are well informed about the way drugs work. To not combine it with other chemicals (and/or alcohol), and how to become a ‘safe-user’. You’re never gonna get drugs out of the party scene, so the best we can do is educate about use and behaviour.”
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I think that’s already happening. DJs are more and more following their own sound and paths, there is less boxing of genres and sounds.”