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DJ Mag Top100 DJs

That 'tricky fifth album' (as no one calls it) didn't prove itself to be too tricky for Belgium's prolific producer of sturdy club music, Koen Bauweraerts. Well, he has been producing dance music since the age of 15. Dropping a taster with the single ‘ROBOTZ’ back in May, long-player 'Less Is More' dropped in July. “I took a step back so I could see the essence of the music,” he tells DJ Mag. “By that I mean, sometimes things get over-produced really quickly and easily, but I wanted to go back to the core — hence the name Less Is More.” 

It was quickly backed up by a tour which took him all across the US. He also followed a long line of hardstyle luminaries this year — the likes of Headhunterz, Brennan Heart and Psyko Punkz — in creating the annual 'anthem' for the Dutch festival Qlimax, the relentless face-melter ‘Deception’. “This is probably the biggest achievement in a hardstyle DJ’s career, so I was very honoured,” he says. And rightly so. 

“Next year I have a huge remix coming up, that’s all I can say about that!” he adds. “But it already looks like it will be another crazy summer.” BEN ARNOLD

What have been the new frontiers for you this year? “Releasing ‘Less Is More’, and then my US tour. At the end of 2016, I'll arrive in Asia and Australia.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form? “Absolutely. For years the electronic dance music scene has been a world on its own. And it’s getting more and more recognition from the non-electronic music industry each day.”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why? “As a DJ, the CDJs have been given a lot more functions to use and mess around with. Also, and this isn’t quite new, but I love how I can just travel with a few USB sticks now, instead of hauling around vinyls.”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be? “If there would be switching going on, it would be me pulling other artists into the hardstyle scene!”

As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ? “Well, I was willing to pay over $100 to see Eminem (I’m a big fan), so apparently that’s about the price dedicated fans would be willing to pay for their idol/favourite act.”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events? “Of course, I’m not promoting drug use, but at the end of the day, some people still choose to use. So, for this group of people, I think it would be wise to legalise drug use and provide stands where they can have their drugs tested. This way the visitors don’t have to OD themselves before entering the festivals, afraid of getting caught.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music? “Both artists and promoters should dare to innovate more. Artists shouldn’t be held back by ‘haters’ whenever they decide to experiment with new sounds. And the promoters should open up more to new acts/sounds instead of following the same line-up trend as their competitors.”