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Poll 2018: Bobina


From: Moscow, Russia
DJ style: “All kinds of electronic music, but mostly progressive house and trance.”
Best known for: “Being highest-ever rated Russian DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Armin van Buuren vs. Shapov ‘The Last Dancer’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Vigel.”

Busting back into the Top 100 this year, Bobina has long been one or Russia’s main electronic music exports, and from the sounds of it things have only gotten better and busier for the trance and progressive powerhouse in recent years.

“For the last two years, I’ve had a massive experience in touring,” he tells DJ Mag. “I did around 150 shows, mostly in Russia, China and the United States.” A workhorse in the studio too, Bobina has no less than five artist albums to his name, releasing on acclaimed labels like Ministry Of Sound, Armada and Black Hole — it’s no wonder he was dubbed “one of the most talented music producers ever to come out of Russia” by Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten. But the Moscow-native says he’s got something brand new in store for the New Year.

“I’m working on a very experimental album for 2019 and I really hope my fans will accept this, ‘cause beside trance and dance music, I really feel it’s the right moment to do this experiment to keep musical production interest in myself.”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 13:08

Poll 2018: Paul Kalkbrenner

Paul Kalkbrenner

From: Berlin
DJ style: “No DJ, live.”
Best known for: “Live techno.”

Emerging on Ellen Allien’s BPitch label during the tail end of the ‘90s, Paul Kalbrenner has become one of techno’s biggest global artists. The Berlin producer has achieved this by focusing on album production and an unexpected career side-step: in 2004, the film director Hannes Stoehr commissioned him to provide the soundtrack for the movie Berlin Calling. This led to Kalkbrenner performing in the leading role. The film became a surprise hit, and drew audiences all around Europe. Crucially for Kalbrenner, the soundtrack went platinum and the single ‘Sky & Sand’ spent over 120 consecutive weeks in the German singles charts.

While a documentary about Kalkbrenner’s life on the road followed in 2010, he has exclusively focused on his own production work, releasing a total of eight studio albums to date.

Kalkbrenner’s energetic live shows have played a key part in his ascent, and in recent years he has shared festival stages with mainstream acts like Florence & The Machine, Iggy Pop and Blur.

This ability to rock a crowd even drew attention from the German government, and in 2014 they asked him to play a headline show in front of the Brandenburg Gate as part of the ceremony to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kalkbrenner performed to over 400,000 people at the event.

Last year, he celebrated his underground roots with his ‘Back To The Future’ mixtape series, a trilogy that chronicles his personal history of electronic music’s arrival to Germany. The series went viral, amassing over 1.5million downloads. A 10-date country tour sold out within minutes.

2018 saw him release his eighth studio album, ‘Parts Of Life’, a deeply personal work that embodies his entrancing techno sound.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 13:04

Poll 2018: Alison Wonderland

Alison Wonderland

From: Australia
DJ style: “Open format DJing leaning towards bass music.”
Best known for: “Being very open and honest in my music and on social media, crazy energy at all of my shows and my t-shirt collection.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Dance tune: ‘Losing It’ by Fisher. Other genre: ‘San Marcos’ by Brockhampton.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “I would have to say 1788L and also Fisher.”

Alison Wonderland’s versatile sound is as at home at festivals as it is on national radio — 2018 saw her play both Tomorrowland’s main stage as well as headline Coachella’s Sahara tent, while her second album ‘Awake’ hit the Billboard Dance Charts at an impressive No.1. By recently combining her first instrument, the cello, and her own singing voice with her energetic DJ sets, Wonderland is further carving out her own niche, one that’s seen her fans continue to grow worldwide and the awards continue to flow in.

“I sold out all of my dream venues during my American tour this year,” she says. “I’ve also started playing special free surprise DJ sets around the world. The last one I did in New Orleans had over 4,000 people show up to a 500-capacity room.”

Her combination of elements of trap, bass music and electro, and collaborations with leftfield artists like The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne may have been what brought her to the forefront, but her ear for melody and drive to switch things up is what’s likely to keep her there.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 13:00

Poll 2018: Nina Kraviz

Nina Kraviz
New Entry

From: Russia
DJ style: “Gabbabalalaika.”
Best known for: “Making the best dental filling in town.”
Fave tune of 2018: ”Dean Grenier ‘Individuate’ (Omnidisc).”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “PTU.”

Nina Kraviz is an inspirational DJ. Emerging from Russia in 2009 with releases on Rekids and Underground Quality, she has subsequently become one of the biggest names on the house/techno circuit. The fact that she has achieved this on her own terms and without any regard to fads and fashions — Kraviz is known for occasionally playing old trance records, for instance — is all the more staggering.

Having issued a series of no-nonsense records on Matt Edwards’ imprint, the former dentist took matters into her own hands and established her own imprint, трип (pronounced ‘Trip’), in 2014. She has used the label as a platform to promote new, emerging artists — take your pick from Bjarki, PTU or Roma Zukerman — as well as releasing material by more established underground names like The Mover, Terrence Dixon and the Aphex Twin alter ego, Universal Indicator on cryptically named compilations such as ‘Don’t Mess With Cupid, ‘Cause Cupid Ain’t Stupid’.

Like most of her colleagues in this poll, Nina says that she has been touring relentlessly. Aside from production, she explains that “the rest is my touring life, which has been a bit tough lately, but that’s not new”. Nina adds: “I’m making a lot of music at the moment. Especially remixes. I‘ve done so many this year. Some already came out and even more are coming. Talking about remixes, I am currently working on a very interesting remix album project for an incredibly talented American artist. Plus, there’s new releases on my Trip and Galaxiid labels — finding new talent is a constant agenda.”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 12:58

Poll 2018: Rave Republic

Rave Republic
New Entry

From: Singapore
DJ style: “EDM/open format.”
Best known for: “Our charting dance/ pop releases on Warner Music and our style of remixes for tracks like ‘Viva La Vida’ and ‘Happy Now’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Merk & Kremont ‘Fire’ and Bazzi ‘Mine’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Myrne from Singapore. He’s killing it and representing our home region at the top level.”

Since meeting after an impromptu back-to-back set some seven years ago, “Asia’s biggest DJ duo” Rave Republic have gone on to sign with Warner Music, rack up approximately two million streams on Spotify, score two No. 1 hits on iTunes, a No. 1 album, and play on the main stages of festivals like Ultra Singapore and EDC China, while rocking countless Top 100 Clubs alongside giants like Afrojack, DJ Snake, Skrillex, Marshmello, Nicky Romero, Alesso and more. And this year, Mathias Schell and Stas Madorski worked hard to take things even bigger in 2019.

“We’ve been touring a lot around Asia and recently did some shows in USA and Europe,” they say. “We’ve finished off a number of tracks, including a dance/pop hit with Luciana and Warner Music due for release very soon!”

They say they’ve also been working on some new EDM bombs that they’ve been roadtesting at shows. “They’re ready to take to labels — some we are still looking for the right vocalist.” We can’t wait.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 12:55

Poll 2018: SLANDER

New Entry

From: Los Angeles
DJ style: “Bass music.” 
Best known for: “Creating a euphoric trance-like bass music style.” 
Fave tune of 2018: “WAVEDASH ‘Deathwish’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “WAVEDASH.”

Derek Andersen and Scott Land became known for their very own sub-genre. It was called ‘heaven trap’ and was so named because the LA pair behind it always aim to make such an emotional impact on their audiences that they cry on the dancefloor. But this year they say they “definitely started leaning toward a more heavy dubstep style, and we are loving it!” Tracks like ‘Happy Now,’ ‘So Long’ and ‘Kneel Before Me’ all bare that out.

The pair also linked with pal NGHTMRE (who they initially met at Icon Collective, a music production school) to start their new label, and toured together around the world, including playing a string of sold out boat parties in the United States, and headlining Red Rocks for the first time. “We also are in the process of releasing our new EP entitled ‘The Headbangers Ball’, and we have a huge fall/winter North American tour to complement it.”



Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 12:49

Poll 2018: Carl Nunes

Carl Nunes

From: Guatemala City
DJ style: “In-between progressive vibes and Latin influenced music.”
Best known for: “Being from an exotic country, Guatemala!”
Fave tune of 2018: “‘Mi Gente’ by J Balvin is such a big track.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “My bros Jenaux and Tom Enzy.”

With the release of his single ‘Guatemala To Paris’, Carl Nunes says it all. One of Latin America’s finest exports, Carl enjoyed a full-throttle world tour in 2018; reaching destinations including China, Indonesia, India and Mexico. His collaboration with Courtland ‘Wild One’ has also provided a catchy sing-along anthem for plenty of his fans all summer, especially at intimate gigs in his hometown of Guatemala City.

This year he’s also been spending lots of quality time back in the studio. “Focusing a lot on the music that is finally about to start being released,” Nunes tells DJ Mag. “Also refreshing my career — there are really no rules for us anymore. We have all the tools to create and put our art out there, so I’m going to bring the most true and honest side of me. Expect many changes!”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 12:48