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Poll 2016: Markus Schulz

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24

From: “Miami, Florida.”
DJ style: “Melodies from across the board that touch the soul.”
Best known for: “Global DJ Broadcast and open to close solo sets
What’s the next new big track? “The new Way Out West album, or if it’s one that is recently out - Hilight Tribe ‘Free Tibet’ remixed.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Solid Stone.”

If, over the last three years, Markus has been consciously trying to outfox the pigeon-holers, 2016 may be his magnum opus. The German-born/US-based musician once again split the artistic deck and diversified, managing since last year’s Top 100 to put away not one, but two albums. ‘The City Series’ collection serviced his probably best-known-for trance end, while April’s ‘Watch The World’ was anything and everything but. “I rediscovered my affection for creative writing,” says Markus “and for the first time applied it to songwriting and creating personal stories for the music.” In terms of fan engagement, it’s a gamble that seems to have paid considerable dividends. It may also have left them wondering what other hitherto unknown aptitudes he has secreted up his sleeve.

‘Watch The World’ — the album — pre-empted its tour, which again saw Schulz display his inexorable desire to OTC his way around the globe. Sound Academy, Toronto, Avalon, LA, Ministry, London, Mandarine in Buenos Aires and most recently Melkweg, Amsterdam are just a few of the spots that’ve played host to his set-pieces. 

The summer also saw his Coldharbour label clock up its 250th outing (duly marked by his own ‘Sestertius’ release). Next up is ‘Watch The World’’s remixed edition, and relatively early next year an album return for Markus’ much-admired, techno-tipped alias, Dakota. 

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art form?
“No, and nor is the art of DJing and the ability to read a room. It must survive for future generations.”

As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“Depends on logistics — whether it’s a big festival or an arena show, an open to close solo set in a special venue and city, or a regular gig.”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Spread awareness, with an emphasis on personal responsibility. We should all be able to go out to enjoy a night, and live to tell the tale with family and friends the next day.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“Encouraging the generation that’s come into our world through EDM to explore the layers beyond the entry-level, to find something that captivates the imagination and broaden your palette.” 

WORDS: TIM STARK

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 14:25

Poll 2016: Vicetone

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From: The Netherlands
DJ style: Big room progressive house.
Best known for: xxx
What’s the next new big track? “Calvin Harris ‘My Way’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Seeb.”

Victor Pool and Ruben den Boer, aka Vicetone, are the latest in a series of Dutch acts to land in DJ Mag’s Top 100 poll thanks to their big room progressive house sound. The pair have a close relationship to Spinnin’ Records and this year put out the ‘Aurora’ single on the label. They also featured on a number of collaborations on Spinnin’, including work with Cosmos & Creature, Raja Kumari and Pia Toscano. Now based in LA, Vicetone cite the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, New City Gas in Montreal and Arenal Sound in Burriana, Spain as the best parties and clubs that they performed at this year. 

“It's a lot easier for us now to play weekend shows in North America and fly back to LA to spend the weekdays in the studio. It's a challenge to manage time with the touring lifestyle, but we wouldn't trade it for the world,” the pair tell DJ Mag.

Indeed, it seems that their hectic touring hasn’t put a dent in their studio work, and they add: “We have a lot of unfinished tracks in the works that we absolutely love. It's going to be a variety of new sounding singles and some big collaborations.”

The pair are also looking at the longer term, and while they say that “Putting out singles currently works very well for us”, they also add that putting out an album is also part of their plan. 

“Releasing an album definitely has been in the back of our heads, but it depends on what our fans want and how many songs we have ready. We have a lot of music to release that we're excited about.” 

What have been the new frontiers for you both this year?
“Releasing our first ever EP (‘Aurora EP’) was a big moment for us, and the first time we've released a bunch of tracks together.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form? “Of course.”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“The new CDJ-2000 Nexus 2 is really an amazing piece of tech. We've played shows with it a few times and it's hard to believe how far DJ technology has come in such a short amount of time.”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be? 
“It would probably be a combination of pop and disco. We've always been drawn to the four-to-the-floor beats.”

As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“Depends on the event and how big the venue and show is.”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Schools and parents should educate kids about drugs. It's an issue completely separated from music, in our opinion. 99.9% of all festival-goers are still alive after going to a festival, so is this really the huge global

problem that some people make it out to be?
"Drug education is important, but so is a bit of common sense.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“Making sure it's easy for new producers/artists to share their music in outlets online, and supporting other artists as a community.”

 

WORDS: RICHARD BROPHY

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 14:21

Poll 2016: Martin Jensen

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From: Denmark
DJ style: “Dance music.”
Best known for: “Sampling soundbites from videos on Facebook, and my single ‘All I Wanna Do’.”
What’s the next new big track? “Point Point ‘All This’.” 
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Kungs.”

Danish DJ/producer Martin Jensen’s meteoric rise could only have happened in this decade. He’s shot to fame thanks to his clever manipulation of YouTube videos — making small snippets into tracks. He started off doing this by sampling a shout of joy from footballer Cristiano Ronaldo at an awards ceremony, and then filming himself making a track out of it. The video went viral, with demand such that he made a full track out of it and ’Si’ became a global hit — 18 million streams on Spotify and counting.

He’s since made 35 videos with a sampled hook, and turned a few into tracks following feedback and input from subscribers to his channels. This very participatory way of working helped tracks like ‘Miracles’ — his first proper single — go gold in Denmark and rack up over 15 million streams, and his tropical cut (and biggest track to date) ‘All I Wanna Do’ has hit over four million streams on YouTube, and 45 million streams on Spotify. The track has gone double platinum in Sweden and triple platinum in Norway.

His new entry into the Top 100 is sure to fire him headlong out of Scandinavia and take him more global now. But how has he achieved this level of success so far? “I’ve been very lucky with my social media strategies, and my label disco:wax has put together a strong strategy for me since the beginning,” Martin tells DJ Mag. “I’m truly grateful for that fast growing success and the support I’m getting from my fans and team.” 
 
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“Yall, Izzy Bizu and Martin Garrix.”
 
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“Electronic music is dominating the world charts, now more than ever. I definitely think it is being taken seriously.”
 
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus 2 for DJing, Universal Audio and Izotope RX for production.”
 
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be? 
“I’m very comfortable in my current field.”
 
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“A gazillion dollars!”
 
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“People at dance music events have a responsibility to each other. Help where it is needed.”
 
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“Right now the scene reflects a lot of people, mainly young men, really into the music and DJ scene. If it is to change, it all has to do with making everything from the gear to the music more and more accessible to a broader audience.”

WORDS: KIM O’CONNOR

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 14:15

Poll 2016: Jauz

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From: San Francisco
DJ style: “Eclectic, diverse, random, anything with bass and energy.”
Best known for: “'Rock The Party', 'Feel The Volume', 'Deeper Love'.”
What’s the next new big track? “'Trouble' by Offaiah.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “The Chainsmokers.”

From on-stage shark motifs to hanging out in pools with No.1 DJ Martin Garrix, this year has gone swimmingly for the San Fran-born, LA-based DJ, JAUZ (pronounced “Jaws”).
An EDM upstart with a hip, punky-street edge, he takes as many cues from the likes of Skrillex and Diplo as he does from his aforementioned Dutch superstar bezzie. His noisy, hybrid take on bass/dubstep has captured the buzz of EDM's new breed, crossing over and scoring him arena slots, even across the Atlantic at festivals like Creamfields, Reading and Leeds this summer.

Bigging up kids making waves in his surrounding, infested waters, he's the face of a fresh, nascent movement rather than a fading old guard — “kids like Slushii, Crankdat, Illenium, Odd Mob, Sunday Service, etc...” — and optimistic about the future of EDM as a whole, too. “I think proof enough that electronic music is taken seriously is watching things like Skrillex, Diplo, DJ Snake and so on work with artists like Justin Bieber, producers like Burns writing songs for Britney Spears, and The Chainsmokers going from festival DJs to popstars overnight,” he says.

Judging by the company he keeps and his entry into this poll, JAUZ could be at the top of the dance music food-chain very soon too. 

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“I've always tried to break away from what feels 'comfortable' for me in my productions.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“The only people who don't take electronic music seriously enough are the ones who can't accept that it's become such a significant factor in popular culture worldwide.”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“These new Pioneer CDJ Tour 1s are pretty insane.”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“My style already is all about switching from genre to genre all the time, and that's just the way I like it.”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“I think the only thing so far that I'm convinced DOESN'T work is simply telling kids not to do it and reprimanding them.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I think the only answer really is time.”

WORDS: ADAM SAVILLE

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 14:08

Poll 2016: Carnage

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From: Central America
DJ style: “Lit.”
Known for: “Being the iciest DJ in the world.”
What’s the next new big track? “Skellism 'In The Pit’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “ASOC Boyz.”

The Carnage remix of Hardwell 'Spaceman' in 2012 not only ushered in a new dawn for the DJ (also known to the taxman as Diamante Blackmon) as his profile rocketed, it signalled a crossover moment in EDM as a whole. No longer was the hip-hop-inflected sound of trap a world apart from that of big-room club noise.

Since, trap/EDM has become a staple of mainstream clubland (across the States and beyond) and this guy, Carnage, has been at the heart of it. Last November saw him release his debut album ('Papi Gordo' on Ultra) on which he collaborated with everyone from hip-hop star Rick Ross to an underground Nordic techno name like Tomas Barfod, as well as Top 100 talent like KSHMR — it reached the top spot of the US Dance/Electronic Chart. He’s also developed his own festival RARE and dropped ‘Psy or Die’ onto Spinnin’ this summer, which is a banging trance collaboration with Timmy Trumpet.

And it’s not only musical dots that he's been joining. With dates all over South America, the States, Europe and the Far East in 2016, he's wreaking Carnage all over the place! 

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“Developing my festival RARE. We have done three events so far with 30,000 tickets sold in total. Including Flux Pavilion, Yellow Claw, KSHMR, Young Thug and Mac Miller. Look out for RARE in some new markets in 2017.”

As a fan, what’s the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“My first born child.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“Yes, I think it is taken seriously, but some of the DJs are not.”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Spreading awareness.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“Book more people like me!”

WORDS: ADAM SAVILLE

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 14:02

Poll 2016: Netsky

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HIGHEST DRUM & BASS 

From: Antwerp, Belgium
DJ style: “Multiple genres but mostly drum & bass, future bass and funky house.”
What’s the next new big track? “Knife Party feat. Tom Morello ‘Battle Sirens’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Mura Masa.”

In at No.85, ex-Hospital Records poster boy Netsky has dropped a few places since last year, but is still keeping the spirit of drum & bass alive as the genre’s only representative in this year’s Top 100 poll.
It’s been a huge year for the man otherwise known as Boris Daenen, working with some top pop acts such as Macklemore and Emeli Sandé (undoubtedly due to the power granted to him by being signed to Sony), and playing festivals such as Reading & Leeds and SW4. A veritable legend in his native Belgium, Netsky was also made the official ambassador for his country at this year’s Olympic Games in Brazil — not bad for a guy who started out sampling his dad’s old records! “Travelling to Rio for the Olympics was amazing,” he says. “I’m really happy I had the chance to take some time off and explore this amazing city.” 
Currently working hard to get his band on the road in the US next year, Netsky is as focused and dedicated as ever. Expect big things from the Belgian in 2017! BEN HINDLE

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“I had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists this year like Macklemore, Emeli Sandé and Digital Farm Animals. And being involved with the Belgian Olympics team and hanging out with all the athletes in Rio made my year.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“I think electronic music gets much more recognition than back when I started producing. I can tell electronic music is getting more and more involved with other platforms like fashion and games, and that is a great evolution!”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“I love Native Instruments products. I use Traktor for all my DJ sets, and they keep pushing the boundaries with each update.”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“House music, for sure! It’s the genre I started with as a young producer, and it’s a genre I want to start exploring more again.”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Education on drug use for ravers. Free drug-testing at festivals and clubs.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I respect promoters that take risks and book acts that aren’t part of the scene their company is known for. This seems to be happening more and more, and I love it. For me, the best crowds will always be 50 percent fans and 50 percent people you have to win over. That’s the only way forward, in my opinion.”

 

WORDS: BEN HINDLE

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 13:53

Poll 2016: Sam Feldt

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From: Boxtel, The Netherlands
DJ style: “Tropical house.”
Best known for: “My remix of Robin S’ ‘Show Me Love’ and my single ‘Summer On You’ with Lucas & Steve feat. Wulf.”
What’s the next new big track? “Don Diablo ‘Cutting Shapes’.”​
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Moksi.​”

Holland’s Sam Feldt takes his first dip into the Top 100 following a breakthrough year that’s seen him tour North America with countryman Bakermat, make his Ultra Miami debut, and play to a 20,000-strong crowd at Coachella festival. Hotly tipped by his fellow DJs, Sam has risen through the ranks quickly; the young Dutchman only launched his career in 2013, yet he’s already signed to Spinnin’ Records and charted across the globe with his rework of the Robin S classic, ‘Show Me Love’, including a peak No.4 placing in the UK. 

It was the original version of that track, in fact, that kicked off Sam’s passion for house music when he heard it in a shop at the tender age of 11. “I asked my dad what kind of music it was. He replied: ‘It's drum & bass’,” recalls Sam. “Later I found out what I was listening to was house music, and I fell in love.”

That love has endured and now pushes Sam towards even bigger goals. “A No.1 worldwide radio hit has always been something that's high up on my wish-list,” he says. “My new single with Deepend, ‘Runaways’, is doing really well so far, so who knows!”
 
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“I've started up something called Sam Feldt LIVE, which is a live performance including a trumpet player, a saxophone player and one or multiple live singers. We've done that show quite a few times now over the past year and I enjoy the new level of energy it brings to the stage.”​

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“More and more, I think. It's getting a lot of recognition right now all over the world and has built up quite a huge following over the past years, which is great.”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“I really enjoy playing with the new Pioneer CDJ series. They make finding the song you're looking for a lot easier, and also have cool new hot cue features!”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“Hardstyle or underground deep house​.”

As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“Three billion dollars​.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I think it's not something we really have to push hard on, it will happen by itself. People easily get bored when they hear too much of the same sounds and they move on to discover new artists with fresher sounds.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 13:47

Poll 2016: Carl Nunes

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From: Guatemala
DJ style: “Somewhere between progressive, future bass and techno.”
Best known for: “Never doing his homework at school.”
What’s the next new big track? “Shaun Frank 'Let You Get Away' feat. Ashe & Jenaux 'Get It On'.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Shaun Frank and Jenaux.”

He’s been steadily rising up the rankings for several years, but 2016 sees Guatemalan DJ Carl Nunes level up and break into the main Top 100 poll. After years of earning his DJ stripes across central America and delivering euphoric, trance-infused house that’s been supported by the likes of Avicii, Aoki and Hardwell, his dedication is finally being recognised.

The timing is perfect: this year he’s smashed out a series of festival-primed skin-tinglers on Armada’s Trice imprint with fellow rising talents Apek and Husman, and behind the scenes he’s also working on raising the profile of Central American electronic music at large with his own brand, We Are.

“I’ve been setting up pop-up events here in Central America and I’m also about to release the first EP on my label with many talented artists from the Latin America region,” he tells us.

In the meantime, Carl’s on something of a personal anti-genre mission. Like all artists in it for the long game, he refuses to be pigeonholed. “I’m taking influences from progressive house, techno and future bass, but I have been looking at music from a different perspective,” he explains. “I'm currently evolving my sound. Everyone needs to get out of the comfort zone, we learn so much every time we do!” 

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“Blending genres and working on my brand We Are.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“People like Laidback Luke, Richie Hawtin, James Zabiela and DJ Craze are perfect examples of seriously-skilled DJs and they really do get worshiped for that!”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“YouTube Banana DJ set now!”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“I make whatever music comes to me, and that's why I love making it.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I think artists really need to open up and make the music they want to make, rather than sticking to one genre and what fits.”

WORDS: DAVE JENKINS

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 13:43

Poll 2016: Miss K8

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From: Ukraine
DJ style: “Hardcore techno.”
Best known for: “‘Raiders Of Rampage (Masters Of Hardcore 2016 Anthem)’.”
What’s the next new big track? “N-Vitral ‘Bassface’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “D-Fence from Neophyte Records.”

One of the Top 100’s most consistent entrants, Miss K8 needs little introduction. The Ukrainian DJ/producer has had (yet another) epic year behind the decks, as well as in the studio — she released her debut album ‘Magnet’ to widespread acclaim back in March. She’s toured to far-flung destinations like Vietnam and India over the last twelve months, and “played at many amazing festivals as well, such as Dominator, Defqon. 1, Tomorrowland, Decibel and Syndicate”.

And she’s not stopping there. She cites more travelling as her No.1 ambition for next year: “South America, Australia and Europe will be definitely on my map in the upcoming 12 months,” she tells DJ Mag. We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store! 

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“That has to be my album tour — I’m showcasing my album sets in the countries like Ukraine, France, Scotland, Australia, Chile and the Netherlands.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“It is by the people who enjoy it. I don’t really care how outsiders look at it, as long as our scene enjoys it.”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“Lately I like to use the Spire VST a lot. Also the Melda plug-ins are of good quality and very useful.”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“That would be techno, for sure. I’m always listening to this style in my free time.” 

As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“I can’t put a price on my own set.”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Better security checks at the events. Lately there is a health trend worldwide that makes people want to live a healthier life. If properly marketed, something like this could be [applied to] the dance scene too. But in the end, it’s your own decision. You can’t stop someone who doesn’t want to stop.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“Thinking outside the box, and don’t be afraid to bring something different or new.”

 

WORDS: CHARLOTTE LUCY CIJFFERS

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 13:35

Poll 2016: Jay Hardway

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From: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
DJ style: “Progressive, big room, house.”
Best known for: “‘Electric Elephants’.”
What’s the next new big track? “’Steam Train' by Chocolate Puma & Hi-Lo.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: d.o.d.

One of the latest Dutch DJs to propel his way into the Top 100 (thanks, in part, to the backing of EDM hit factory Spinnin’ Records), Jay Hardway has had one hell of a year. 

After collaborating with Martin Garrix in 2013 with chart-topper 'Wizard' (the follow-up to the Dutchman’s 'Animals’), 2016 has seen Hardway produce more future anthems in the form of 'Stardust', 'El Mariachi' and 'Dinosaur'. He names his new track 'Somnia' as a personal highlight of the last 12 months, plus spinning at this year's Tomorrowland and Budapest's Sziget Festival.

And there's no sign of him slowing down. “My plan for the next year is to produce a lot of new music, not sticking to one style but keep experimenting and try to be original,” he tells DJ Mag. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next! 

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“The Chainsmokers. They have their own style, actually make their own music and they are really cool dudes.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“I think it is by everyone who is involved with it. And that's what matters. If anyone from the outside doesn't take it seriously, that's their loss.”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“I would probably start making music for movies.”

As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“I honestly have no idea… Maybe 50 euros?”

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“There should be more info on how to do drugs. How to use it responsibly. Also, special teams who check that the drugs are safe (which is already done at some Dutch festivals) could help.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I think we're doing great already in terms of diversity. The music is getting more and more diverse and so are the people attending the shows. Being open-minded and focusing on the music is what makes that happen.”

WORDS: CHARLOTTE LUCY CIJFFERS

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 13:29

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