As we all know by now it’s that time of the year again to cast our votes for our favorite DJs for the DJ Mag Top 100 Poll. Even if you feel your favorite DJs didn’t get the spot they deserve, it shouldn’t change how you feel about them. I’m not saying this poll isn’t important, nor that you must vote, but if you’re adamant about dance music, you should. Who wouldn’t want to support the DJs they love? So here’s who my top five went to:
1. Carl Cox
Oh yes, oh yes! Carl Cox is a DJ who is still fighting to keep originality and skill incorporated into each and every set. Some DJs grow lazy over the years, others lose their ability to keep a crowd moving, but the three-deck wizard keeps all these qualities alive even over thirty years in the game.
Now this poll is for DJing and that is one of the strongest qualities of Carl Cox’s performances, hence “three-deck wizard”. He has the outstanding ability to take amazing remixes and tracks of his own, or by other great DJs, and integrate them in a way to keep you moving literally all night long.
From the famous Revolution intro of his sets, with his “Fantastic!” shout outs in between, he is by far one of the most enjoyable DJs to see work. To love techno is to love Carl Cox and all that he does for the entire dance music scene.
Whether it be because of his adorable two step, which we all know is a move no one can imitate, or for his diverse set filled with techno, tech-house and tribal… if he comes to a city near you, it is a must see performance.
2. Nicole Moudaber
There are many words that can be described when Nicole Moudaber’s name arises in a conversation. Her deep, dark, flawless and dirty techno has allowed her to climb her way to the top in the scene.
Continuing her 4th season this year as a resident of Carl Cox’s weekly parties at Space Ibiza, it is evident this is only the beginning for Nicole. This past March at the 27th Annual International Dance Music Awards, her remix of Carl Cox’s track “Chemistry” won for ‘Best Minimal/Techno Track’.
Her tracks have picked up support from DJs like Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer, Loco Dice and Danny Tenaglia. Nicole’s latest collaboration with Victor Calderone called “The Journey Begins” will be a huge track for 2012 which has many highly anticipating its release. Her remix of Mazu’s “Temple Transfer” has already reached number two in the Beatport techno chart after being released for only about two weeks! She made her first BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix debut on Pete Tong’s radio show in June, which is a masterpiece.
As one chapter ends, another one begins as she is almost near completing the launch of her own MOOD records. Watch out for her in the next year to come as her popularity is growing rapidly, and there are no doubts in my mind about major future success for Nicole.
3. Armin van Buuren
Most are aware of the kind of positive reaction any trance head gets when speaking of Armin van Buuren. He’s had a major influence in helping the trance and progressive scene grow over the years.
Whether you saw him at any of the ASOT 550 shows this year or at the unforgettable DC Armory 6-hour set, AVB never disappoints. Also in the last year he has taken the sound of trance to a new level that’s been grabbing the attention of people who wouldn’t even know they were listening to trance.
Being named the number one DJ in this poll for four consecutive years, it’s impossible to even describe in words all that he has done for dance music over the years. In 2010 he reached a huge milestone by releasing his fourth artist album, ‘Mirage’, along with his famous Armin Only Mirage world tour. His A State of Trance compilations are albums that people look forward to each and every year.
This past summer of 2011, he released his 5th edition of the ‘Universal Religion Series’ which received an overwhelming response. It is evident there will be no slowing down for AVB or the growth of the trance scene; each performance gets bigger and better.
4. Laidback Luke
Dutchman Laidback Luke is one who needs no introduction as he throws down a dirty filthy electro hard hitting bass filled set regardless of where he is. There’s no doubt about his ability to remix and produce, and his style of DJing is one that is greatly admired. He can mix almost anything from house, electro, moombahton and even a little bit of dubstep into a set. Stepping outside of the box is one thing DJs lack these days, but not Luke.
His remix of Sato Goldschlag & Wynter Gordon’s “Mr. Mister” continues to shake every dance floor it hits. His weekly Club FG radio shows are filled with diverse tracks you won’t find other DJs dropping. He also has a strong connection with his fans. If you have ever tweeted him, you know he replies to almost all of us, and fast too!
Laidback Luke’s Super You&Me shows have become popular all around the globe. Finally, this year he will make his return to perform at Electric Zoo Festival which will be a set to remember.
5. Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano
It is incredible how much these two have grown as DJs in the last year. In each set, we get a variety from deep housey beats to an abundance of mash ups played by the duo. One of the many qualities I admire about watching them DJ is how much fun they have while doing what they’re best at. There is not a moment you won’t catch one of them with a huge smile, or their hands in the air dropping a track hard.
Their release of “Tribeca” has been supported by many DJs globally and is only one of many tracks highlighted in their career thus far. If you’ve seen them recently you would certainly point out a new track they plan to release in the future; a track they collaborated with Chocolate Puma on, which for now is called “Stiffness”.
Aside from their own productions, it is always a refreshing feeling to hear old school vocals like Ultra Nate “Free” or Kristen W “Feel What You Want” just to name a few, incorporated into their sets. It is evident Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano are on the rise in the dance music scene just by the large leap of progress noticed in the last year. This is just the beginning for the two.