Top 100 DJs
These are the DJ Mag top 100 DJs of 2011 on Mixcloud, based on a poll of votes from DJ mag readers and subscribers.
Scroll down the list below from 100 all the way through to this year's number 1, to find more information, Cloudcasts and Artist stations from the some of the world's top DJs on Mixcloud.
DJ Mag Top 100 DJs: 50-1
100-51 / 50-1
50. Andy Moor
In last year's Top 100 issue, trance mainstay Andy Moor from the UK vowed to concentrate more on production this year. So did he manage to do this? “This year has been very productive for me,” he begins. “There have been so many highlights, with the festivals and club gigs being amazing, and although my tour schedule has been a little crazy there has still been enough time to be productive elsewhere.”
We interrupt Norwegian DJ Orjan Nilsen just as he's taking a well-deserved break from a punishing four months spent constantly on the road. “I've worked my ass off. I've been travelling all over the world and making music like there's no tomorrow,” he muses.
48. Tydi. Radio KUL 101 - tyDi by Simon Lee & Alvin
“I don't think age really matters as long as you're writing big songs and playing great DJ sets, ” says one of the youngest DJs in 2011's Top 100. tyDi (or Tyson Illingworth to give him his Sunday name) is a 24-year-old Australian sensation.
“I did experiment a lot this year, trying to evolve my sound in different directions,” says Italian hardstyle chief Zatox when asked why he thinks he made the poll this year. “For once, I am focusing on a harder, rawer variant of hardstyle while at the same time I am moving towards an international style of producing that is more melodic.”Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
46. Eric Prydz
Hosting an Ibiza residency isn't something to enter into lightly - you've got to know you can deliver the goods. Fortunately, for Eric Prydz that isn't a problem, proven when he launched Tonight at Amnesia (hosting names such as Tiga, Crookers and A-Trak), which proved a demanding-but-rewarding labour of love. “2011 has been the most hectic summer in my career,” he confirms.“Taking on my own night at Amnesia Ibiza every Tuesday has been super fun, but also A LOT of work and travel.”Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
45. Richie Hawtin. Resident Advisor Podcast: RA. 100 Richie Hawtin by Teme Adler
“When I think of what we've been able to pull off, taking Plastikman 1 to 1.5,” he reflects on the incredible new stand-alone live show that he launched this summer, “in-between my normal DJ schedule which was busier than ever this year.”
44. Bobina. Mike Shiver Presents Captured Radio Episode 238 with Guest Bobina by Captured Radio (Mike Shiver)
It's not just been a big year for Bobina, aka Russian producer Dmitry Almazov, it's been a big year for his homeland too. The nation has been celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of launching Yuri Gagarin into the cosmos, winning the space race against the United States. So caught up in the national fervour was Bobina that he even named his last album 'Rocket Ride'.
“For us it was a really big deal,” he says of the set. “And it got a great reaction from the trance family.”
43. Cosmic Gate
The last few years haven't exactly been quiet for veteran German trance duo Cosmic Gate, but 2011 saw them pick up the pace again. “Overall the year was super-busy but very inspiring,” they confirm. As well as extensive global touring, 2011 saw Cosmic Gate finish their fifth artist album, 'Wake Your Mind'. “We put a lot of soul and heart into it,” say the duo.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
42. Steve Aoki. Steve Aoki mix for Exit 2011 by Exit Festival
In December, Dim Mak Records boss Steve Aoki will release his debut album, the project he's been working on for the past three years. But he's not made it easy for himself, which probably explains why this set has taken so long to formulate. His list of collaborators are probably pretty tough to tie down; people like Black Eyed Peas main man will.i.am, Lil' Jon, Tiësto, Laidback Luke, Chiddy Bang, Travis Barker from Blink-182 and Rivers Cuomo from Weezer.
“Almost impossible, but we managed to do it with episodes on YouTube everyday!” he recalls of the process, where he was followed by a cameraman, recording one infectious, bouncing, hardstyle track after another every two days, collaborating with artists Zatox, Psyko Punkz, Deepack and Da Tweekaz along the way. It was indeed a 'Challenge' and he rose to it.
"It took Belgian Coone 30 days to make his second album, 'The Challenge'. "
Heading up the techy end of Dutch hard dance, D-Block & S-te-Fan kicked off 2011 in style, selling out the HMH stadium in Amsterdam as a prelude to their world tour, followed by a “full-on festival season”. Release-wise, the duo also enjoyed another prolific year. “Besides the shows, we had our most productive year in the studio, we made 25 songs,” D-Block says.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
“I'm really excited that hardcore techno finally gets the exposure it deserves,” Danny from Angerfist reveals, when DJmag Santa tells him that he is not on the naughty list, despite some of his colourful lyrics.
The Dutch master of hardcore has spent most of this year touring the US and Europe with MC Prozac, while working at the same time on his new album 'Retaliate', due for release this month.
38. Dada Life
Stefan and Olle have a bone to pick with their manager. “We have the hardest boss ever. We've been locked up in the studio for the last two or three weeks,” Olle says. It's just as well, though - they've got singles and remixes they're working on and stuff to be done, so he's clearly on the right track, cracking the whip over this hilarious duo.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
37. Pete Tha Zook
Pete Tha Zouk's going to give us a big head. Last year was the first that he scooped himself a place on the DJmag Top 100 chart, and he's been riding it ever since.
“Last year was my first time in the poll, and I couldn't believe it,” he says, clearly quite pleased about the whole thing. “When I heard, I dropped the phone. I don't quite have the words for what's happening.”
“DJ-wise, 2011 has been a crazy year,” they confirm. “We have been touring so much, and played a lot of great clubs and festivals.”
But the duo's main focus was their debut album, 'Impact', released to acclaim from the trance community and beyond - a mark of its musicality and wide-ranging influences. “The reactions were amazing,” say the duo, “so, we're very happy with that.”
“Last year was a dream come true,” say the Noisecontrollers on their shock inclusion in the Top 100 poll last year. Shock simply because of the under-representation - as they put it - of hard dance in the poll to date. This duo, though, are all about changing that, and the thousands of fans who have lost it to one of their hardstyle sets this year are much the same.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
34. Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris has been busy during 2011, but it's paid off dividends for him. Release-wise, Harris has put out several strong singles and EPs, including the downtempo disco riffing of 'Feel So Close' and collaborations with two of the most prominent US female soul/R&B artists - Kelis ('Bounce') and Rihanna ('We Found Love'), with both of the tracks enjoying considerable success in various charts around the globe.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
33. Bob Sinclar
Bob Sinclar will remember 2011 as the year that he went into the nightclub business. It's surely the logical progression for the flamboyant Frenchman to go into the hospitality trade and as such, by the time you read this, his new venture in Miami should be up and running. But why Miami and not his native territory? “Because in Miami, there's 365 days of partying in the year!” he explains. “It's just the best place to start a club.”Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
32. Chuckie. Chuckie - Electric Zoo Episode 1 by Electric Zoo Festival
The sometime BBC Radio 1 man has been on the road most of the year, playing gigs like Creamfields (Australia), Sensation and Identity festivals and his residencies at Pacha Ibiza, Lavo New York, Marquee Las Vegas and Liv Miami. As detailed below, he had no idea his music was doing so well in places like Mexico. “And to be honest, I felt like a little rock star that night!” Chuckie chuckles. “Ha ha ha!”
31. Carl Cox
For the ever-progressive Carl Cox, 2011 has been a rich mix of musical mediums, with the DJ and producer hitting up festivals, playing storming club sets and utilising technology to connect to fans. “2011 has been awesome,” says Cox, who names his Glastonbury appearance as a highlight. “Every festival I've done has been fantastic, but going back to Glastonbury was a mad one. I enjoyed it immensely, even with the mud!”
The innovative 'All Roads Lead To The Dancefloor' USB concept album (combining an eclectic track range with access to the DJ's radio shows, live sets and interviews) was also released after several years of work, marking a personal milestone.
“It's a pure Carl Cox journey,” he explains, “and I think people will get the full benefit of what I'm about from this album.”
30. Kaskade Music
For America, this is a very exciting time,” says Kaskade, aka San Francisco-born Ryan Raddon - croaky-voiced after a late-night gig - on the explosion of house music in his native country.
“It's always been an underground thing but now it's hitting the mass population it's wild to see, especially for guys who've been around for a while like me. We never thought it would happen!”
29. Martin Solveig. Martin Solveig - Essential Mix (16-07-2011) by theMixFeed.com
The most memorable achievement of the past 12 months for Martin Solveig? “I wouldn't know where to start,” he says. “The success of 'Hello' has obviously been incredible, the video shoot in the Stade De France [for the follow-up 'Ready To Go'] is something I'll never forget, and my first tour of the US was very special. I could go on forever, this year is a blur of me smiling!”
28. Daft Punk
Theirs is a respect that washes over you and turns reasonable law-abiding citizens into jibbering wrecks of their former selves, simply because they've seen one of the French duo's rare, beyond-spectacular live shows. All other live artists can bow down and kiss their ring! In fact, all other live acts have gone and taken a massive bite out of Daft Punk's baguette. They are the original force behind the now-blasé expectations of the quintessential live performance. Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Chemical Brothers and Orbital have all snacked on Daft Punk's genius.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
“It's an honour to be in this poll again,” says one third of the Swedish House Mafia. “Every achievement like this is an honour, but it's also important to respect a lot of the exceptional talents who are not featured.”Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
The Top 100 throws up many familiar faces but the supersonic rise of Russian artist Arty, who barely looks legal to be allowed in a club, let alone play to thousands around the world, demonstrates that fresh talent does make its way into the top echelons.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
Just 23-years-young, fresh-faced, Dutch born-and-bred, Hardwell is already at the top of his game.
Playing the main stage at this year's Creamfields and releasing Beatport top tenners 'Encoded', 'The World' and 'Cobra' through his own label Revealed have been lofty moments for him.
23. Steve Angello
Despite some internet snipery in 2011, Steve Angello has not been held back. Much of his time has been taken up as one-third of the now fully internationalised dance brand that is the Swedish House Mafia, but there were still 95 solo shows for the man this summer, as well as a chart-topping club banger with Alex Metric ('Open Your Eyes') back in May, plus other assorted edits.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
22. Aly & Fila. Don’t Stay In Mix of the Week Volume 049 - Aly & fila (Trance) by Don't Stay In
The last 12 months have been fantastic for Egyptian trance titans Aly & Fila, the latter tells DJmag.
“The support we have received wherever we have played has been amazing.”
Infected Mushroom, aka Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani, had something of an epiphanic show this year, among the most important of their careers.
The Israeli production duo were invited personally by the mayor of Jerusalem to play an unheard-of gig in the ancient city.
20. Laidback Luke. MYNC presents Cr2 Records Radio Show 023 [26/08/11] by Cr2 Records
“It started off as my own night in Amsterdam a few years ago,” says Luke, “with the superhero concept, as that was the epic feeling I want a night to have. This mixed with a big dose of fun and the idea that everyone should feel like a hero, not only the DJ.”
Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites' was the first dubstep track to top Beatport's main all-genre chart, and he has since made a massive impact with his DJ shows in the last year or so.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
18. Ferry Corsten
”I'm in the middle of the artist album, coming out in February, and we have a very big show coming up in Moscow next month,” Ferry tells DJmag.
From the sounds of it, his tour of eight Russian cities is going to be one of those gob-smacking visual experiences likely to stay imprinted in your memory box for some time.
“Dubstep is a lot about sound design, and so is hardstyle,” the Dutchman claims. “It gave me inspiration for my latest track 'Doomed' and you can expect more of that on my upcoming album.”Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
16. Sander Van Doorn. Sander van Doorn - Electric Zoo Episode 15 by Electric Zoo Festival
“2011 was very important for me,” Sander Van Doorn shares. “I kind-of changed my style and the album was an important platform. It's this year I started collaborating with songwriters and vocalists.”
Andre Tanneberger, known to the world as ATB, doesn't do things by halves. 2011 saw the release of his ninth artist album 'Distant Earth' which, including the remix disc, came in at well over 30 tracks. It scooped him his highest chart placing in the main German album chart ever, and featured collabs with Armin Van Buuren and Dash Berlin.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
14. Fedde Le Grand. Fedde Le Grand live at EXIT Festival 2011 by Exit Festival
“My main focus was to get that balance between making music and playing out and I think this year I've really got it down,” Fedde believes. “Right from the start, when I got my new studio in the New Year, I just had this feeling that everything was totally getting into the groove for me, musically and on the road.”
13. Gareth Emery. Don’t Stay In Mix of the week 082 - Gareth Emery (trance) by Don't Stay In
Given that Gareth Emery played to over two million people in 40 countries over the last year, you wouldn't think the Southampton-born trance DJ would sound so surprised that he sold out his debut seven-hour solo set in Manchester six weeks in advance. “The fact everyone was there just for me made it really special,” he beams.
Surely, after the successful explosion of DJ collective Swedish House Mafia in 2009 and solo achievements in 2010, Axel 'Axwell' Hedfors must have had a comedown in 2011? Guess again. “It's been crazy-good,” he says. “It's been like last year but better and bigger, more interesting and more great places!”Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
11. Paul Van Dyk. Don’t Stay In Mix of the Week Volume 017 - Paul van Dyk (Trance) by Don't Stay In
Aside from a touring schedule that's been as hectic as ever, 2011 has otherwise been an unusually quiet year for German icon Paul van Dyk. For good reason, though; he's had his head down in the Vandit labs, concocting both a new album as well as an innovative live show, both falling under the 'Evolution' label.
Sure, there have been stellar studio-bound collaborations between top producers and there are few things more electrifying than seeing two of your favourite DJs spin back-to-back, but the supergroup show embodied by the likes of Crosby, Stills and Nash in the 1970s is something dance music has so far not really seen.
Until the Swedish House Mafia came along, that is.
9. Markus Schulz. Markus Schulz 2 - Electric Zoo Episode 12 by Electric Zoo Festival
“It's always an honour and I always say it's the fans' chance to voice their opinion with their votes, and any time the fans speak, I'm very happy and humbled,” he tells DJmag on news of his Top 100 entry.
8. Dash Berlin
While the past few years have seen the polished productions of Dash Berlin take centre stage after the release of 'The New Daylight' album, the past 12 months have seen DJing become the focus. The 'United Destination' compilation saw release in April (set to become an annual concept), with DJ frontman Jeffrey Sutorius performing far and wide around the world.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
“Of course, it's been a fucking great year!” says Afrojack, aka Dutch producer Nick Van de Wall. “I think we can all agree on that! I mean, 'Take Over Control' started out as a dance track, and now it's still rising in the Billboard charts. It's at 41 now, so it's fun to see that part exploding.”Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
One of the big success stories of the last couple of years in dance music has been the unstoppable rise of Avicii. The Swedish house star may not be part of any mafia, but he is certainly well connected - David Guetta and Tiësto are just two of the big names he has already worked with.
He began producing at quite a young age, and soon adopted the name Avicii - but why?
“Avicii is kind of like Dante's Inferno… it's the lowest level of hell in Buddhism,” he has said. “A friend of mine told me about it, and it stuck in my head.”
For Paavo Siljamäki, Jono Grant and Tony McGuinness, 2011 has been all about 'Group Therapy'. Which, of course, was the name of their second album (or third if you count 'Sirens Of The Sea' as OceanLab), released in the summer. But oddly, there's also been an element of therapy that has come with it, both for the band and for their fans.
“It's good knowing what our music has done in people's lives,” adds Paavo. “People have gone through some proper, horribly difficult times, or really, really amazing times, and they let us know how the music has helped them through. That brings it home to us. That is what we do.”
Deadmau5 holds steady at No.4 in the poll this year, despite not campaigning whatsoever (and moaning on Twitter about others who did). But is it right that he appears at all? As he mentions below, “Ranking in the Top 100 of a DJ poll when I've never touched a CDJ in my life” does seem a bit of an anomaly on the face of it. But when you think of how most punters receive his music - they see a bloke (with a giant mouse's head on) behind a rack of equipment playing electronic music by twiddling some knobs - then it's not surprising that Joel Zimmerman is thought of as a DJ by many.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
He won DJmag's Top 100 DJs poll three times in the early noughties (2002-4), but if anything, Tijs Verwest aka Tiësto is bigger than ever now.
"The whole year has been one amazing highlight, everything has been going great," Tiësto tells DJmag when they finally catch up with him just before deadline. "Being able to end my College Invasion Tour in Los Angeles playing the largest single DJ show ever in the US was really something unbelievable for me, that's going to really be memorable for the rest of my career."
Dutch powerhouse DJ/producer and scene leader extraordinaire Armin van Buuren has historically been the highest performer in the Top 100 poll, holding onto the No.1 spot for an unprecedented four years in a row. And while there's been speculation over whether trance can maintain the massive peaks it's enjoyed the past few years, Armin's star has shone brighter than ever in 2011, with the size of the crowds he's played to only swelling.Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com
1. David Guetta
"I'm very happy of course, I was thinking it was going to be impossible for anybody to replace Armin Van Buuren as No.1," David Guetta chuckles. "I don't know how many years trance DJs have been No.1?" DJmag informs David that it's been almost a decade of trancers at the top, with Armin (four years), Paul van Dyk (twice) and Tiësto (three times) dominating in the noughties. So lots of people in house music and elsewhere may well be pleased, we suggest, that you've broken the trance…
Listen on Mixcloud / Read more on DJmag.com