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Poll 2018: MATTN

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MATTN
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DJ style: “Electronic music.”
Best known for: “Tomorrowland main stage.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Fisher ‘Losing it’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Hiddn.”

The last couple of years have seen Belgian DJ and producer MATTN achieve an impressive level of success. She’s released a clutch of banging releases on Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s Smash The House label, including the 2018 summer festival anthem ‘Throne’. She has also collaborated with artists like Magic Wand, Futuristic Polar Bears and Dutch mystery duo 2 Faced Funks, and began a creative partnership with rising star Hiddn, resulting in their tropical-esque vocal track ‘Late’, released in May of this year.

2018 has seen her profile continue to rise, with DJ gigs all over the world, from Creamfields to Tomorrowland, both solo and as a support act for Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. In 2017 she put her own unique twist on the massive Vegas & Mike vs Diplo banger ‘Hey Baby’, and at the time of writing is about to drop her latest single ‘Don’t Say A Word’. The 26-year-old Antwerp-based artist will be spending the Autumn on tour, bringing her particular blend of electro-house to the clubbers of Asia.

Words: HAROLD HEATH

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:09

Poll 2018: Carta

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From: Shanghai, China
DJ style: “Mainly house, but also a bit of everything really.”
Best known for: “Being the crazy Chinese DJ.” Fave tune of 2018: “Fisher ‘Losing It’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “SLVR.”

Hong Kong-dwelling, Shanghai-born 22-year-old Carta is on a mission to turn the world’s attention onto his Asian homeland, but also to “educate the people here that there are a lot more dope tunes than just the usual bangers”.

It comes in a year that the big room house man has done some “figuring out“ about what he wants for himself as an artist, and one in which he feels he has been more focused than previous years where he was “a bit all over the place, but in the booth I’m pretty much all over the place anyway depending on where I play and who I play for”.

Those gigs include main stages at Tomorrowland, EDC Japan, Ultra Miami and Creamfields, but in between them Carta has found himself wondering “what I wanted to do musically, and whether I should listen to what others are telling me to do or not”. Whatever he decided, it’s working.

Words: KRISTAN CARYL

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:00

Poll 2018: Aly & Fila

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From: Cairo, Egypt
DJ style: “Supporting and producing good quality music.”
Best known for: “Future Sound Of Egypt radio show, label group and events.”
Fave tune of 2018: “There are too many good tunes across different genres.”
Breakthrough DJ/ producer of 2018: “Paul Thomas, and also Arbat.”

Hats off to Aly & Fila, over the last 12 months they’ve expanded the size of their musical operating area considerably. Their Future Sound Of Egypt label now plays parent to five offshoots, with Fables, Excelsior, Parallels, UV and (the outstanding and experimental) Clandestine covering every conceivable corner of trance and beyond.

To incorporate all the imprints’ releases into their sets, A&F’s always-amiable Fadi says “open-to-close has become quite a big deal for us this year. Everything from deep to progressive, through to techno and — of course — trance. Outside of those,” he continues, “we’ve reached 25 countries on tour so far in 2018, playing many of the major festivals and events. Future Sound Of Egypt hosted its own stage at Tomorrowland and we have done FSOE events in Argentina, Holland, the UK and the USA.”

Their biggest 2018 landmark, however, took place the weekend before DJ Mag spoke with them. “We hosted Heracleion for the first time, which is our own multi-genre festival at Soma Bay in Egypt. The first day was trance, which we headlined alongside Cosmic Gate. The second was progressive house and techno, with Sasha and guys like Âme, John ‘00’ Fleming and Artbat playing”.

Words: TIM STARK

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:48

Poll 2018: Da Tweekaz

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From: Norway
DJ style: “Hardstyle.”
Best known for: “Craziest guys in the hardstyle scene!”
Fave tune of 2018: “Da Tweekaz ‘Jägermeister’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Forever Lost.”

You know when you’ve been travelling the world for 10 years and making a living from making and DJing your own brand of big-room beats that you’ve made it. Not that Norwegian duo Da Tweekaz, purveyors of seismic beats and blitzkrieg basslines, have rested on their laurels.

They celebrated their decade in dance music the way they know best — with nearly 130 shows across the globe, playing clubs, after-parties and festival main stages. And, keen brand builders as well, they added to their impressive array of merchandise, with new hoodies, caps, long-line t-shirts, bracelets, swim shorts and tequila and vodka shot glasses.

An ever-present in the Top 100 poll since debuting in 2012, the duo have managed to maintain their on-stage energy (think fist-bumping hardstyle workouts) and even found time to release dynamic floor-fillers like their tongue-in-cheek anthem ‘Jägermeister’ and its deliriously silly video. “We’ve also launched our very own happy hard label called Electric Fox together with Darren Styles,” they say.

Words: ANDY BUCHAN

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:37

Poll 2018: Breathe Carolina

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From: Bochum, Germany
DJ style: “House/big room house.”
Best known for: “Bringing the punk rock energy to the rave.”
Fave tune of 2018: Tommy: “MK ‘17’.” David: “Jauz ‘In The Zone feat. Example’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: Tommy: “Rezz.” David: “San Holo.”

Combining punk rock roots with dance music’s urgency and rhythm, Breathe Carolina have been a big deal in America since 2009 when their MySpace page racked up over 30 million plays. The Denver duo have been there, done that and got the tour T-shirt since then, having released four albums, six EPs and hitting mainstream success with their 2011 single ‘Blackout’ which charted in the UK, Canada and America.

More recently, they’ve upped the electronic ante, signing to Spinnin’ in 2015, collaborating with a string of EDM A-list names, including Bassjackers, Streex and Dropgun, and even reworking the timeless SNAP! classic ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’ into a prime-time festival banger.

And while most DJs can rely on a cavalcade of CO2 cannons, big tunes and the occasional mic shout-out to amp up their show, Breathe Carolina’s live music background mean their sets are a riot of vocals and frontman theatrics, making them one of the must-see EDM live acts this year.

Words: ANDY BUCHAN

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:32

Poll 2018: Deniz Koyu // KO:YU

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Deniz Koyu // KO:YU
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From: Bochum, Germany
DJ style: “Progressive house, electro, house.”
Best known for: “‘Tung!’, ‘Bong’, ‘I Wanna Know (Alesso & Deniz Koyu Remix)’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Axwell & Ingrosso ‘Dancing Alone’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Fisher.”

While he’s known as a producer’s producer, counting Axwell & Ingrosso, Alesso, David Guetta and Nicky Romero amongst his biggest fans, KO:YU — otherwise known as Deniz Koyu — is also one of dance music’s most in-demand DJs. And this year saw him once again packing in the gigs, playing the likes of Tomorrowland, Ultra and Creamfields. Though he also spent a tonne of time in Asia, hitting many countries in the region.

“One highlight for me definitely was Sensation in Bangkok, loved that one!” he says. He also returned to his progressive house roots with the pitch-perfect single ‘Atlantis’ on Spinnin’ Records. Seems like the right move — in the few weeks since its September release, it’s already amassed half a million views. Fans are happy, and so is Koyu, commenting “Feels great to go back to my roots!” on the video.

“I’ve worked on lots of music and released singles on Spinnin’, Musical Freedom and Sony, a collab with Nicky Romero and remixes for Alesso and Galantis,” he continues. It seems Koyu’s reputation remains very well-deserved.

Words: CHANDLER SHORTLIDGE

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:27

Poll 2018: Daddy's Groove

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From: Napoli
DJ style: “House/groovy.”
Best known for: “‘Stellar’!” Fave tune of 2018: “Fisher ‘I’m Losing It’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Ferdy.”

The behind-the-scenes work that Daddy’s Groove have put in almost defies dancefloor logic. Producers and DJs Carlo Grieco and Peppe Folliero have long been a part of David Guetta’s much-vaunted production team, they’ve co-produced for big names like Axwell and worked alongside properly huge names like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars. That the Napoli-based duo have the musical Midas touch is beyond doubt, but there’s a lot more to them than just creating perfect dance-pop for others.

As a duo that cross boundaries between house and electro, Daddy’s Groove are an increasingly in-demand DJ duo with several hands-in-the-air moments at their Pacha Ibiza gigs this summer, and further afield at clubs and festivals across Europe and Asia. And their own releases, notably their early 2018 hit ‘Latido’ with Ferdy, powered many a festival moment this summer thanks to their unrelenting carnival grooves.

With friends in high places and some of the best musical know-how in the business, Daddy’s Groove look to be setting the dance music template for a long time to come.

Words: ANDY BUCHAN

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:20

Poll 2018: Mosimann

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From: France
DJ style: “Jackin’ house.”
Best known for: “Live performances.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Antoine Delvig ‘Disciples’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Tony Romera.”

Hailing from Switzerland and now settled in Paris, Mosimann — formerly known as Quentin Mosimann — has been a regular in the Top 100 since 2012. This year has seen his groovin’ brand of jackin’ house take him around the world, and into the studio for Warner Music, where he’s been working on an “electro-pop mainstream EP”.

Fuelled by some hilarious Facebook videos — including playing the CDJ cue button with his feet — and his love of McDonald’s, Mosimann began DJing at the age of 14 before winning the French TV talent show Star Academy at the age of 20. Since then he’s had a string of hit albums and records both in the mainstream and for independent labels like Zouk Recordings and Nicky Romero’s Protocol.

His energetic live performances and DJ sets, along with his time in the public eye, mean Mosimann has amassed a huge, dedicated fanbase, but he’s never afraid of taking things a bit deeper. Either way, with plenty more studio-time penciled in for 2019, expect a lot more from the prolific Parisian.

Words: DECLAN MCGLYNN

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:17

Poll 2018: tchami

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tchami
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From: Paris, France
DJ style: Future house

By now it is well known that Tchami was a key player in developing the future house sound. This year he continued to develop the genre, with an extra focus on heavy basslines. His ‘No Redemption’ EP with Malaa included blockbuster tracks ‘Summer 99’, ‘Kurupt’ and ‘The Sermon’, as well as a new track, ‘Deus’, and a cinematic ‘No Redemption Intro’.

It was a standout release and the pair also played back-to-back at places like Tomorrowland this year. There has been some discussion about who Malaa actually is, with people even suggesting it was a hologram or Tchami himself in disguise, but he has said on camera that’s certainly not the case.

“I try to be myself,” he said earlier this year. “As corny as that may sound. I think the whole point of this is to be authentic and to be true to who you are. From Malaa’s perspective, he’s completely true to himself. Even though he wears a mask, he is still true to his personality.”

Tchami is currently on his Confession tour around the United States and played huge events like Ultra during Miami Music Week in March and EDC Mexico in February.

Words: KRISTAN CARYL

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:14

Poll 2018: NGHTMRE

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NGHTMRE
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From: Los Angeles, USA
DJ style: “Bass music.”
Best known for: “My first big single, ‘Street’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “My favourite track for live sets is Excision & Space Laces ‘Rumble’, my favourite to listen to is ZHU & Tame Impala ‘Live My Life’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “WAVEDASH! These boys are next level!”

Like all the acts in our poll, NGHTMRE is a workaholic who plays at least 10 shows a month. He’s also released ‘Save Yourself’ with The Chainsmokers and remixed Flosstradamus & Smokepurpp in the last 12 months.

“Also, I’m known for my hair... sort of,” says the well-coiffed American, who uses Ableton for his dizzying live shows and has released on Mad Decent and Skrillex’s OWSLA before now. Despite those associations, this year he also stepped out and launched his own label with SLANDER. Called Gud Vibrations, it “will be releasing music from some of our favourite upcoming artists as well as our own new music”.

Next to his big room progressive and electro sounds, NGHTMRE also branched out into hip-hop this year with a new EP in collaboration with Pell, a rapper from New Orleans who he’s always loved listening to. “The songs we wrote are heavily influenced by the style of hip-hop that I grew up listening to,” he says, before admitting one low point of the year. “Getting food poisoning before my show in Argentina is probably my worst memory.”

Words: KRISTAN CARYL

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 14:08

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