NEg.ae I L ma ONw.dj
Tech Awards The best of the last yearâ€™s DJ kit
+ The Top revealed
Armin Van Buuren Armin takes the top spot for the fourth year running
PLUS: Interviews with: David Guetta, Tiesto, Deadmau5, Paul Van Dyk and more. Over 300 choice cuts rated and reviewed phenomenon + his October 15 date with Nasimi
Editor Andy Buchan email@example.com Contributing Editor Mike Ross firstname.lastname@example.org Sales and Marketing Lisa Chauhan email@example.com, 055 934 6646 Online Vassiliy Anatoli firstname.lastname@example.org Design Jmax Lolo email@example.com
May the fourth be with you Controversial. Surprising. Mercurial. The Top 100 DJs poll returns in 2010 and it’s as divisive and enigmatic as ever. For one thing, Armin Van Buuren has clinched the top spot again — a record-breaking, unprecedented fourth consecutive victory. Many thought that David Guetta — who edged ever closer to the top spot this year — would clinch the No.1 crown, but they reckoned without the fervent, feverish devotion of Armin’s trance army, who once again awarded their hero the highest accolade with their votes.
Contributors Oliver Adams, Martin Beck, Xan Blacker, David Craig, Rukshan Jayasekara, Lloyd, MaDJam, Martin Metcalf, Georgina Wilson-Powell, Lisa Sant, Zahra Soar, DJ Solo, Danilo Venegas. Paul Emous/Moustrap Media, Marie Sorensen, Olly Wood.
But there’s evidence that the tide is turning. Tiësto - a firm trance favourite for many years, and a DJ who has stayed within the top five for yonks — has switched his allegiance to house music, and entirely excised the euphoric, arpeggiated sound from his sets. Swedish House Mafia, both solo and as a collective, rocketed up the chart, while new blood like Afrojack and Avicii have had very strong showings indeed. House is having a comeback, big time. Perhaps more surprising are the many hard dance acts entering the poll for the first time. Noisecontrollers, Showtek and D Block & S-te-Fan blasted into the poll with their hardcore, roughneck and frenetic beats. Clearly, the hard massive out there are instigating a revival. And on the other end of the scale, drum & bass master Andy C is the highest climber this year, demonstrating the rabid devotion of the deebee hordes. Hate it or love it, you can’t deny the Top 100’s sphere of influence. And, as a public vote, it remains the most democratic means of gauging a DJ’s popularity.
Andy Buchan Editor
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ANOTHER RECORD-BREAKING YEAR! Who are the movers and shakers in this year’s Top 100 DJs poll? And how have your favourites fared? Words: Carl Loben
he results are in, the votes have been counted and verified, and Armin Van Buuren is in the top spot for a record-breaking fourth consecutive year. Huge congratulations are in order to Armin, who has now overtaken Tiësto’s run of three consecutive victories in the mid-noughties. Ubiquitous Gallic house stalwart David Guetta ran him close this year though, in what has been another record-smashing Top 100 DJs poll. Nearly half a million votes were cast this year in what is the world’s biggest snapshot of a DJ’s international popularity and visibility. The amount of frenzied ‘Vote for me!’ online activity, Twitter chatter and viral videos are testimony to the continuing importance the poll has for the international dance scene. All campaigning is perfectly legal providing inducements aren’t being offered, but this year DJmag launched an investigation into cheating in the poll after a sizeable number of fraudulent votes were received. These votes were immediately discounted and a number of DJs questioned over whether they knew anything about the irregularities. The final scores were then subjected to a number of further verification processes, and you can be sure that this is the definitive list of the most popular DJs in the world — as voted for by clubbers from practically every country on earth. This year we received votes from 235 different countries, with the most coming from the US (17.5%), followed by the UK (10%), Mexico, Germany, Russia, The Netherlands, Spain and France. We even received votes from territories such as Malawi, Burundi, the Congo, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea, evidence of the global reach that electronic music now has.
GIVE TRANCE A CHANCE The poll’s detractors moan about the number of trance DJs who appear in the poll - and this year is again a bumper year for fans of arpeggiated synth patterns and spacey pads. Yet trance is a big room sound, the top trance DJs play to thousands every weekend, and trance fans are often the youngest and most enthusiastic voters in the poll. Trance DJs accordingly make up more than half the Top 20, and nearly half of the Top 100, and there have been some notable breakthroughs this year. As some older trancers have slid out of the 100, the next generation have been busy making their mark. Dash Berlin, who’s actually from Holland, is the highest new entry, crashing in at No.15, while there are also significant new entries for young Russian hotshot Arty, Dutch duo W&W, London-based Mat Zo and CanadianBosnian Arnej. The way that the trance scene pulls together internationally, helping to bring new talent through and connecting via things like #trancefamily on Twitter, should mean that trance will continue to stay strong for the foreseeable future. However, with Tiësto effectively abandoning the trance sound (see his profile on page 36), we shall have to see what knock-on effect this has on euphoric EDM. The poll isn’t all about the new generation this year. Judge Jules, the BBC Radio 1 jock well into his 40s who continues to champion the trance tribes, is one of the highest climbers this year - up 26 to No.18 - while his Radio 1 colleague Pete Tong maintains his position in the lower part of the 100. Fatboy Slim is up 12 positions this year too, and continuing strong placings for Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, John Digweed, Sven Väth and Roger Sanchez show that you can still deliver the
goods as a cutting-edge DJ even when you pass your 40th birthday.
EVERYBODY IN THE HOUSE Apart from trance, house music is still omnipresent in the poll. From Guetta downwards, there’s a strong showing for purveyors of house grooves, with the Swedish House Mafia leading the charge up the chart. Steve Angello (up 6) and Sebastian Ingrosso (up 9) join their SHM comrade Axwell in the Top 20, with the latter (up 4) being the first Swede to ever crack the Top 10. These friendly rivals also burst in at No.23 collectively as the Swedish House Mafia, their worldwide arena shows and chart smash ‘One’ with Pharrell providing the springboard for one of the biggest new brands in dance music to cement its impact. Fellow Swede Eric Prydz climbs a few more places, while another Swedish house dude — Avicii — is also one of the highest new entries at No.39. Avicii’s ‘mentor’ Laidback Luke from Holland also jumps 10 places into the Top 20. Meanwhile, the Dirty Dutch house sound has impacted significantly on the chart as well this year. Afrojack is the second highest new entry at No.19, while friendly rival Chuckie is up 35 places to No.37. Fedde Le Grand is also up eight places to No.21. House dudes Erick Morillo, Mark Knight and Kaskade are also up, while Deadmau5 continues his seemingly unstoppable rise — the raving rodent is up to No.4.
ELECTRO, TECHNO In electro, Italian duo the Bloody Beetroots burst into the chart at No.86. Boys Noize holds steady, and Calvin Harris — having ditched the live shows — is a new entry
Armin Van Buuren
Swedish House Mafia
at No. 94. Dim Mak boss Steve Aoki just misses out, but Justice are still hanging around the lower reaches of the chart, despite not getting up to anything of note in 2010. It’s not been such a good year for techno with cats like Richie Hawtin and Luciano down, although ex-BPitch stalwart Paul Kalkbrenner is a surprise new entry at No.84, perhaps off the back of his summer shows at Space in Ibiza and plenty of international festival slots.
HARD AS YOU LKE With Lisa Lashes sliding out of the charts, you could be forgiven for thinking that the fortunes of the hard dance scene have disappeared with her, but some of the new generation have broken through this year. Headhunterz is the Dutchman responsible for giving hard dance — or hardstyle — a melodic trancey twist, while fellow countrymen Noisecontrollers and the Showtek duo are also new entries into the poll. Testimony to the scene’s enduring popularity internationally, drum & bass ambassador Andy C is the highest climber in the chart this year, up 39 places, and the Ram Records main man is also collecting the award for the Highest Drum & bass DJ. Electro junglist John B, meanwhile, is also up 16 places. Perhaps the biggest shock of the poll, though, is the reappearance of a musical legend this year. No, not Jimmy Savile — the world’s first twin-deck DJ, who after a Facebook campaign came in at No.126 — but
the enigma that is Boy George. After his Culture Club success, George reinvented himself as a DJ in the early ‘90s, appearing in some of the early Top 100 charts, and he’s recently been back behind the decks to reignite his DJ career. His reappearance at No.80 is sure to be one of the main mainstream media talking points, especially in the British tabloids. So there we have it. How have your favourites fared? Cast your eyes over the interviews and profiles on the next pages to get the definitive feel of where the dance scene is truly at in 2010 in terms of the international popularity of DJs.
Armin Van Buuren STYLE: “Trance and progressive, with a slight touch of house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “A State Of Trance radio show.” GIG OF 2010: “Cacao beach in Bulgaria, or the Electric Daisy Carnival in LA in July for 70,000 people.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’. I played it in Museum Square in Amsterdam as the Dutch football team — defeated finalists — arrived home from the World Cup. It was live on national TV, 250,000 people.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “EDX.” “Unbelievable, man,” says Armin as we break the news to him on the
phone that he’s scooped the Top 100 winner’s trophy for a record-breaking fourth year running. “I don’t know what to say — I think you’re talking to the happiest man on earth.” Nice guy Armin began releasing tracks in the late ’90s, and his rise to the top of the poll was steady throughout the noughties. He debuted in 2001 at No.27 before leaping up to No.5 in 2002. He then rose to No.3 for the next three years, then was up to No.2 in 2006 behind Paul van Dyk — but since claiming the crown in 2007 he’s truly been unstoppable. Armin was, though, fairly convinced that he was going to be pipped at the post this year. “It’s pretty obvious when you’ve been voted top for three years that at some point you have to come down,” he says, sagely. “Last year at the celebrations, I said to David Guetta that next year it is definitely going to be his. I have huge respect for Guetta and everything he does, he helped me a lot in trance with my career — he’s a great guy and deserves everything he gets. “But obviously it’s a people’s vote, and I’m not going to lie and say I wouldn’t like to win it again,” Armin continues. “If you asked Steven Spielberg if he’d like to win another Oscar, I’m sure he’d say yes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect Guetta for everything he’s done.” The Dutchman says he’s humbled by the fact that there are so many DJs in the poll that he admires, and begins to list some of them. “Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold… I bought tickets to go to see these DJs back in the day, and I’d never be happy for anyone to say that I’m bigger than those DJs — I’m not. They’ve done so much for the scene in their own way.” Armin then tells us that he’s a prolific CD buyer, and probably has every CD of every DJ in the DJmag Top 20. “I buy all the albums, you name it, from Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten, Gareth Emery, Paul Oakenfold… Don’t I get them free? Sometimes, but I’m not really the type of person who calls up the record label to say ‘Can you send me such and such?’ I just have to have it, I’m a fan of this music first and foremost. “My fans are so important to me because I’m a fan myself, I guess,” he continues. “When I used to ride to school on my bicycle, taping Dutch radio shows with electronic dance music, I always promised myself that if I was ever in a position to do anything like that, then I would start my own radio show, to share the music to people who don’t have the money or time to buy their own records. So that’s what I did, in 2001 started a radio show just as the internet was booming, and thanks to downloads, my music got everywhere around the world.” Armin’s A State Of Trance (ASOT) radio show has become big now — huge, in fact. The show has 15 million listeners weekly in 26 different countries, including his own day on Sirius XM in the US — 24 hours of ASOT. As well as the enormous gigs, this perhaps explains a lot of his career-growth and popularity, but at first he did sometimes wonder what he was doing. “Everyone thought I was crazy at the time, only Pete Tong and Judge Jules were doing weekly radio shows,” he recalls. “I remember colleagues saying, ‘What are you doing?’ I didn’t make any money out of it and it caused me a lot of work, but it meant I was completely up-to-date with all the latest music.” As more and more stations started to license the show, Armin believes that ASOT has been crucial to his enduring popularity. “It really helped my career, and trance fans are really loyal,” he says. “In some
cases David Guetta might sell more tickets than me in some countries, where house music is more popular, but in a way, the trance fans are perhaps more devoted. The intensity I feel sometimes is so enormous, people treat trance music as more like a religion maybe, even though house music has its fans, of course.” Armin then cites ‘chair-ravers’ as being an important part of his fan-base. “There are a lot of people ‘chair-raving’ behind their desks, at their computers listening to A State Of Trance, rather than actually going clubbing,” he believes. “I call them ‘chair-ravers’. They may be graphic designers working in an office listening to music with headphones on, or whatever.” Armin talks intelligently about the importance of the internet for the dance scene, and how technological advances have all happened really quickly. He wants to send out a huge thank you to the #trancefamily on Twitter, and talks about doing things back for the scene, such as the track he did earlier this year as DJs United with Paul van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold — a fundraising track for victims of the Love Parade tragedy in July when 21 dance fans died in a crowd crush at Germany’s annual Love Parade. “We’re trying to use our position to do something positive,” Armin declares. “This was very tragic, and people keep saying bad things about the dance scene — that it’s all about drugs, that we shouldn’t do big events any more. This summer in Spain the Mayor of Barcelona cancelled a big event on me just because of what happened at Love Parade. Hysteria still surrounds the dance industry, hysteria which is not true.” Armin took the first part of 2010 off to complete his fourth artist album, ‘Mirage’. “It’s had amazing reactions, it got to No.11 in the iTunes chart in America, people have been saying it’s my best album yet,” he beams. “It’s my biggestever project — financially, in terms of hours, I built a completely new studio for it, it was ambitious working with people like Guy Chambers and Adam Young from Owl City and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, a whole classical orchestra, a whole rock band… In many aspects, it’s the biggest album I’ve ever done. That’s why I released it in September, to thank all the people who supported me for all those years. That it would be the final thing as the No.1 DJ in the world, and then I would be off.” But obviously things have turned out differently. So when Armin does his next round of Armin Only shows, it will still be as the No.1 DJ in the world. “We’re doing 15 shows around the world over the next 18 months involving theatre and live actors, choreographed dancers, full LED production, videos… more like theatre, like an opera or something,” he reveals. “I’m going to be working on it the whole year. We’re doing New Year’s Eve in Melbourne, Australia with 60,000 people, I’m going to play for nine hours… It’s going to be epic, with a big production team.” Does he have a quick final word before we let him return to his family holiday in Berlin? “If you do what you love, and you get so much back from the crowd — there is absolutely nothing bigger than that, y’know? I love my job, and getting so much back is really unbelievable. “I’m going to drink a huge beer now!” he chortles. “I can’t believe it.” CARL LOBEN
Best new club visited this year? “Lima, Washington DC.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard ‘Inception’ soundtrack.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “USB sticks, charger, laptop.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Jim Carrey.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Everything except airports.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “My track with Owl City, ‘Youtopia’, from my new album.”
david guetta STYLE: “House.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “F*ck Me I’m Famous.” GIG OF 2010: “Main Square festival, France, Ultra festival in Miami, my own show in Zagreb. Sorry, I can’t choose only one!” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Afrojack.”
David Guetta has recently tipped over the 10 million friends mark on Facebook. In the past two months alone, he’s been racking up a million more fans per week. It pretty much says all that needs to be said about how chart-smashingly enormous he has become in the past 12 months. And to think, we thought he was getting big last year. This year, he’s won a Grammy, sold an eyepopping 20 million tracks and become the first-ever DJ to get himself on the cover of Billboard magazine. It’s an astonishing roll call of achievements. “This last year has been the most incredible journey, but my life is the same; I spend every day making music and most nights playing it,” says the ever-genial Frenchman. “What’s different is that I sold more records and played to bigger crowds. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, not just for me, but for dance music. I always believed that our music wasn’t regarded in the same way as other genres, like hip-hop or rock. Now it’s the ‘new’ sound across the world. “I’ve been a DJ for over 20 years, and it’s funny to say “new”, but to the young generation, it is — and they are discovering it before they are even old enough to go to clubs, which I hope will keep the scene strong for decades to come.”
It’s no surprise that he’s achieved so much. His collaboration with Kelly Rowland, ‘When Love Takes Over’ somehow didn’t seem to be such a life-changing event at the time, undisputedly great as it was. But what it did seem to do was fling open doors for him. Soon, the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna (who features on his next single), Kelis, Akon, Kid Cudi, Madonna and Flo Rida were all on board his hyped disco sound, and these are acts with undisputed global appeal. Aligning himself with the world of hip-hop
seems to have been a particularly shrewd move. When we spoke to Guetta this time last year, the effects of his album ‘One Love’ were just starting to take hold. Now the dIe is pretty much cast and he’s leapfrogged the opposition into becoming the go-to guy for dance music, whoever you are, a position once held firm by Paul Oakenfold. But how does getting a Grammy change your life? “I won one Grammy, but I was nominated for five, not only as a dance artist, but as an artist producer, period,” he says. “This is really important for all of us, as it meant the Academy didn’t see us anymore only as a sub-genre. I’ve certainly seen how the heads of all the labels in America are chasing our sound, and if me winning has helped make that happen, then I hope it changes more than just my life.” As he prepares to lock himself in the lab for three months to record his new album, it’s a certainty that some of the biggest stars in pop music will be dropping by to spend an afternoon in the vocal booth. But what’s nicest about Guetta’s success is that the comparatively small achievements, considering his current superstar status, still matter. “Getting a Beatport No.1 with ‘Louder Than Words’, with Afrojack, the same day as I was No.1 in the UK charts with ‘Gettin’ Over You’ meant a lot. As much as pop success is great, it’s so important to me that my music still speaks to clubbers. I still make music for fun. As much as I love to collaborate with the biggest talents in the world, making tracks with and discovering new producers makes me tick.” Good man. BEN ARNOLD
Best new club visited this year? “I played lots of festivals for the first time, but return to those clubs who have supported me for a long time; Club Glow in Washington DC rocks.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Lil Wayne ‘I Am Not A Human Being’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “A microphone, my brand-new pumped up MacBook Pro and my little Apogee.“ Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Pass.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Everything!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “I’m closing my sets with the FMIF remix of ‘I Gotta Feeling’. It’s such a happy vibe.”
STYLE: “House.” BEST KNOWN FOR: Playing the Olympics. GIG OF 2010: “Red Square, Moscow.” TUNE OF 2010: “Henrik B ‘Now And Forever’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Avicii.”
Tiësto, less better-known as Tijs Verwest,
is a hard man to pin down. It takes DJmag three attempts to get hold of him, thanks to a series of delayed flights, extended stopovers and overrunning meetings. Finally, we track him down in Glasgow where he’s playing the Braehead Arena as part of his Kaleidoscope World Tour, which has so far spanned a whole year and dates all across the US, Canada, central and south America, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt and Europe more or less in its entirety. But it is, of course, entirely understandable. His record for consecutive gigs this year has been 21. That’s 21 gigs in 21 days. It is, astonishingly, not his personal best. Once he managed 27 gigs in 25 days, a superhuman effort whichever way you slice it. Next time a rock star checks in to rehab citing exhaustion, have a think about what Tiësto has to deal with. “It just gets me into a special zone,” he says, when asked how he prepares himself for the almost constant rigours of touring. “I like to go fast.” Fast is right. A throwaway gag about how fast his BPMs tend to be might have been appropriate at this point, but not this year. Of all the Top 100, Tiësto has put the most on the line. Since we spoke to him last year, much has changed, notably the fact that he has turned his back on the music that has made him one of the most successful, in-demand DJs on the planet. Those heading for a Tiësto gig expecting a night of frisky euphoric trance will now be exposed to something quite, quite different. “The biggest thing to happen for me this year is my change in style. I play more eclectic, much more house-driven, and like, indie pop music. The whole trance part is deleted from my set now. It is completely gone. It was a revolutionary thing for me.”
When you’re used to commanding crowds of anywhere up to 50,000 people (and occasionally more), such a volte-face could have posed a colossal risk. The impetus for change came with the release of his fourth album, ‘Kaleidoscope’, in late 2009, a departure from anything he had made before, setting up the label Musical Freedom on which to release it, as if to compound the fact that things had changed. Luckily, the risk has proven to be calculated. “The crowd loves it. But you lose some, you win some. Some people love it, some people hate it. Now I have a whole new fanbase. But it’s been great for myself, because I can still play what I believe in, and I’m really happy about it. It’s a process, you can’t change overnight, but it’s exciting. “I just didn’t like the old trancey sounds anymore,” he continues. “It just all started to sound the same to me. Already in Ibiza last year, I had started to play like that, and I saw that the people were up for everything, and it felt great. I’m still learning, experimenting with where to drop which tracks. But everyone’s very supportive.” That it’s out with the old, in with the new doesn’t seem to have affected his ability to draw mammoth crowds, which is surely an indication that his change in style is working. He recently played an outdoor party at Red Square in Moscow to 25,000 people at the foot of the Kremlin, a gig broadcast live on MTV. “For me it was a legendary gig, for a western European DJ growing up with the Berlin Wall. To go to Russia and play Red Square was pretty intense.” It was doubtless equally intense playing house music and electro indie-pop to 25,000 Russian fans, a fair percentage of whom would have been expecting trance, and pulling it off. Nice skills. BEN ARNOLD
Best new club visited this year? “SaSaZu in Prague.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Robyn ‘Body Talk’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, earplugs, Paco Rabanne Millionaire.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Adrian Grenier from Entourage.” Best thing about being a DJ? “You have the best life in the world.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “Tiësto ‘Feel It In My Bones’.”
STYLE: “House and electro house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “His marine millinery.” GIG OF 2010: “Every single one, each is always a privilege for me.” TUNE OF 2010: “Reset Robot ‘Pass the Dutchie’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Reset Robot.”
The event that most might recall involving Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, this year happened on 30th July, in Washington DC’s 9:30 Club. About 50 minutes into his set, the music stopped without warning, leaving a packed club cheering for more, but slightly baffled. What they couldn’t see was that Zimmerman had collapsed on stage behind his equipment. He was taken to hospital where he was reportedly treated for exhaustion and vomiting. It was all over YouTube in no time. His next nine shows, taking in places like Osaka, Budapest, Tokyo, Barcelona and Ibiza, were all cancelled, while he recuperated. It said much of his meteoric rise and the kind of heavy schedule that must go with it. Or maybe it just gets a bit hot under that giant mouse head.
And it’s the mouse head, though obviously the most dominant aspect of his contrived image, that perhaps holds the brightest light up to his guarded persona. Communicating with DJmag through a third party, and only by email — he has become profoundly media shy, it’s claimed — he says only this of the incident. “I had an epiphany... Cthulhu called. Nobody was home, completely flayed my mind... couldn’t take it. Passed out.” The ‘Cthulhu’ he mentions is a fictional creation of horror legend HP Lovecraft, a cosmic entity capable of evoking abject terror. As well as acting as a fine gimmick, marketing tool, source of logo etc., the headgear also hides Zimmerman, for the varying length he decides to wear it, from his audience. That he has become so resistant to media attention too would compound the notion that behind the veneer of being a huge show-off, maybe he’s actually rather shy. (Though odd, arguably, that such a shrinking violet should choose a profession which demands such a level of flamboyance.) It’s contradictory. But still, the head is the perfect cover.
Of the few other things he does say, he mentions that he had a great show at the Metro in Sydney this year, and that he visited Puerto Rico. When asked if he’s still getting used to dealing with his notoriety, he simply says: “No, not really. I’ll never get used to that... especially when I’m completely surrounded by so many of my ultra-talented peers.” He also bemoans not spending as much time as he would have liked this year in the studio. “Haven’t had much time for that this year. Boo,” he says. It has been a big year for him, however, of that there’s little ambiguity. He’s held a residency in Ibiza for Cream at Amnesia for the latter part of the summer, and was named ‘best house artist’ at the MTV Video Music Awards, which saw him serving as a kind of ‘musical director’ for the stage show — a huge profile boost. He also won himself two gongs at the Ibiza Club Awards, for Best Electro House DJ and Best International DJ. And though he didn’t have as much time behind the mixing desk as he might have liked, he recently scored a big fat hit with Austin, Texas producer Wolfgang Gartner, crafting the wobbly dancefloor destroyer ‘Animal Rights’. Looking forward, his biggest UK tour to date will find him hitting six cities in December: Bournemouth, Leeds, Manchester, Coventry, Glasgow and London. He will headline a show at London’s Earl’s Court, while support will come courtesy of Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, dubstep trio Magnetic Man, Stanton Warriors and Calvin Harris. The tour is in support of a new compilation album, ‘4x4=12’, also due in December. But best of all, perhaps, he’s doing a Tron. That is, he’s set to enter the world of the video game, as a playable character in the second instalment of DJ Hero, with his track ‘Ghosts N’ Stuff’ from last album ‘For Lack Of A Better Name’, featuring on the soundtrack. Surely for a self-confessed techno geek, that is a little slice of heaven. BEN ARNOLD
Best new club visited this year? “Club Seals in Nunavut.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Noisia ‘Split the Atom’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “A framed picture of [his cat] Meowingtons, nag champa and Beechams All-In-One.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Matthew Lillard.” Best thing about being a DJ? “You get to play music.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “The last one!”
ABOVE & BEYOND Style: “Uplifting electronic dance music is our politically correct term.” Best known for: “Our songs.” Gig of 2010: “Electric Daisy Carnival, US.” Tune of 2010: “Above & Beyond & Gareth Emery pres Ocean Lab ‘On A Good Day’.” Breakthrough DJ/ Producer of 2010: “Arty.”
When DJmag catches up with Above & Beyond they’re in a hotel in Singapore, bags packed and ready to fly off to Bali. The trance trio, comprising Tony McGuinness, Jono Grant and Paavo Olavi Siljamäki, had also just played four shows in India, a country that in recent years has embraced Above & Beyond’s mixture of sleek dancefloor rhythms, epic hooks and songwriting sensibilities. “India’s now a big place for our music,” says Paavo, “we were known for a while, but once more people got high-speed internet, our following went to the next level.” While the world has shrunk thanks to new technology, there are still some places that switched on to Above & Beyond in 2010. “One of the best gigs we did this year was in Moldova, which I’m ashamed to admit I had barely heard of,” Paavo adds. “It has a lot to do with our radio show — we play a song on the radio and at the weekend, wherever we are, people come up and request that song,” Jono explains. “Music used to be localised, but now you can go anywhere in the world and people will request a song. When we started off, it used to be all about Radio 1, but the internet has widened the audience. Sometimes we go to a place and we didn’t know we had an audience there.” With an increasingly busy diary, it’s no idle claim that the world has become smaller and more familiar. Above & Beyond are also refreshingly honest when it comes to discussing the financial imperative of touring. “Sales are down, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” says Jono. “We were one of the first acts to have a digital store, but we have to go on the road to earn a living.” They also readily admit that they have noticed signs of the global recession’s impact on clubland and that some events have lost sponsorship, but that “people still want to go out and have a good time”. Thankfully, the trio’s Anjunabeats label and attendant support structure has helped them confront falling sales and the worldwide financial crisis. “We are very lucky in that our label is like a family of fantastic people working together,” says Paavo. “We have access to great music and we try to break our acts in the live circuit.” It also helps that Above & Beyond don’t take things too seriously, despite the fact that they are self-confessed perfectionists, making sure that every element at every show clicks — no
small order when they have to perform to stadium-sized crowds. “It has gone from having a house party to performing to 75,000 people at events like the Electric Daisy Carnival in the US this year, which was one of the most spectacular shows we have done, but no matter where we’re performing, we try to give people a great show, to make sure that the venue looks and sounds as good as possible,” says Paavo. With all of this focus on touring and performing across the globe, how do they find the time to make music? Jono admits that “tiredness really, really messes with your brain” and that consequently, getting anything done in the studio is difficult. For that reason, the trio took two months off at the start of the year, which they felt made a considerable difference. “It’s really important that we have time to make music,” says Jono. “It is an art and there is a danger for some DJs that they treat their names as brands and then just add some music to that brand like an afterthought,” he adds. Indeed, with remix credits for Madonna, Britney Spears and Dido, Above & Beyond see themselves more as a song-writing group than DJs — Paavo says they “feel lucky to be a group” — and as such need to spend time in a studio instead of churning out tracks on a laptop. They also believe that 2010 saw trance influences infiltrate house music. “It’s amazing how much the core trance sound has fed into house,” says Jono. “We played with Steve Angello this year and he sounded more commercial than we did.” However, they also point out that trance itself is slowing down. “Two years ago, most of the stuff we were playing was between 136bpm and 138bpm,” says Paavo. “Nowadays, we’re finishing our sets slower and funkier, but they still have that energy.” While 2010 only yielded one Above & Beyond single, ‘Anphonic’ (they also released ‘If I Could Fly’ as Ocean Lab), they are working on a new single for their Tranquility Base alter ego and are preparing for the release of an artist album next year, although Jono says, “we said the same last year — but we are further down the road now”. The untitled album will feature a mixture of club tracks and more chilled out music. “We’re just trying things out and hopefully it’ll sound good,” says Jono. Richard Brophy
Best new club visited this year? “The newest great club has to be Beta in Denver, Colorado, US.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Steve Reich ‘Music For 18 Musicians’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, reading material, travel pillow.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? Jono: “Jude Law.” Paavo: “Jack Nicholson.” Tony: “Ben Kingsley.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Making people happy and meeting people who are into the same music.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “A downtempo track from our new album.”
Paul Van Dyk
STYLE: “Electronic music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being enthusiastic and authentic.” GIG OF 2010: “The Two World Arena in Berlin which I did together with Armin Van Buuren and Underworld. It was definitely one of those magical moments.” TUNE OF 2010: “It has to be ‘Remember Love’, a collaboration between Paul Oakenfold, Armin Van Buuren and myself. All the proceeds were donated to victims of the Love Parade disaster.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Someone like Eddie Halliwell really stood his ground.”
“2010 started kind of rough,” says Paul Van Dyk, surprisingly, when we call to
congratulate him on yet another top 10 placing. “We restructured our company and we have a complete new team now. I have to say I’m really happy with the changes that have happened so all in all, it has been a really positive year.” Such upheaval no doubt reflects that it was also the year that Paul’s label Vandit celebrated its 10th anniversary, with the DJ embarking on a huge round of touring that began back in March at the Winter Music Conference. “We took over Space for the whole weekend,” he recalls. “It was great. And we started a joint venture together with Armin, so Vandit and Armada are basically working together, which is something that will enable us to release more electronic music.” The collaboration creates an unstoppable trance juggernaut, utilising economies of scale for their marketing advantage and hooking Paul up with the Top 100’s most popular winner ever to create the kind of label leverage most DJ can only dream of. “At the same time, we don’t have anything to do with any Armada artists and Armada doesn’t have anything to do with our artists,” Paul adds, pointing out that both labels will retain their unique character. A dark shadow over the year, however, was the death of 21 people at the Love Parade, an event which Paul regularly played at when it was still an expression of international peace and understanding through dance music. “I don’t know if people are aware, but over the last five or six years, the Love Parade was handled by people who didn’t come from the scene,” he tells us sadly. “Basically,
the brand was sold to a fitness chain who used it as a marketing tool to target people who go out and party. These people were obviously not capable of putting on such a big event.” The tragedy inspired ‘Remember Love’, Paul’s collaboration with Paul Oakenfold and Armin Van Buuren. “A lot of the credit goes to Paul Oakenfold. He made the initial phone calls. We’ve all been there together, so we all thought, ‘let’s do something’. We were really happy with the tune and obviously released it. It’s really in the spirit of the old Love Parade, of electronic music and coming together, having a great time and being there for each other.” Despite this, and mixing the hugely successful triple CD ‘Gatecrasher Anthems’, it’s been a relatively quiet year for Paul’s output. “But I’m in the middle of writing, composing and producing music for my next artist album, which will be out next year. I’m really proud of every track so far, and from a personal standing, I believe this is going to be the best album that I’ve ever done.” And what is the secret to his continued success? “The secret is not trying,” he tells DJmag calmly. “We love what we do, we love the music we release, every bit of it, and this comes across. This is how we keep fresh. We have our antennas on high alert all the time.” So expect to hear plenty more from Mr PVD over the next coming decade, too. JOE ROBERTS
Best new club visited this year? “It’s the Gatecrasher club in Birmingham. It was the first time this year I played there.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Fyfe Dangerfield ‘Fly Yellow Moon’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My toothbrush, spare underwear and a charger for my iPhone. I’m always looking for the nearest power point.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Some people say Nicolas Cage has some similarity in his looks, but I hope not!” Best thing about being a DJ? “I get to listen to my favourites really loud and nobody argues with me.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “‘Time Of Our Lives’ by myself. It became a festival anthem, so people always ask me to play it. It sums things up — you had a great time, you danced your ass off!”
GARETH EMERY STYLE: “Trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “My label Garuda.” GIG OF 2010: “Nature One in Germany or my 100th podcast party at Sankey’s, Manchester.” TUNE OF 2010: “Pendulum ‘The Island Part 1’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Ben Gold.” To borrow from football parlance,
2010 has been a year of two halves for Gareth Emery. Crucially, it was the year that he finally pulled his finger out, knuckled down and got cracking on his very first artist album, ‘Northern Lights’, after producing tracks and remixes for some of the leading imprints in trance for the past eight or so years. About time, you might say. But the reason it’s been such a long time in the inception is, oddly, testament to both his dedication and rapid rise to prominence. “I first said that I was going to finish it in the next year during my first interview with DJmag,” he says. “And that was back in 2006. Every year since then, I’ve said the same and never managed to do it. But somehow this year, in spite of having the busiest year or two I’ve ever had, I managed to do it in the first six months. From January to July, I finished it. I got so fed up with trying to do it and failing.” Emery’s idea of failing is clearly at odds with that of many artists. Because trance moves so quickly — both in terms of beats-per-minute and sonic development — he feels that music can date rapidly, something he is acutely aware of and desperately keen to avoid. And it’s his desire to keep this all-important debut super-fresh that he decided to get it done, once and for all, and as quickly as possible. No mean feat considering he also found the time to tour (much of the album was written on the road), as well as maintaining his fledgling Garuda label and its corresponding club night at Sankey’s in Manchester. “For the first half of the year, I didn’t have much of a life. Anything I could do on the road I did, and the rest was spent in the studio. Doing an artist
album is always going to be one of the most difficult things to do. Before, I’d have four or five tracks and be working on them for five months. Then all of a sudden the tracks from the beginning of the project start to sound less current. I’d end up releasing them, but realised that if I was going to do it, I was going to have to work massively hard and make it in a short, intense period of time. “There’s always this pressure to constantly be doing stuff, to constantly have music out there. The reason you do that is you want to keep your gig diary busy. This was the first time I had the freedom to do it. And I’m so glad I did.” None of the vocalists he’s used on the album had ever done dance music before. Emery even recruited his sister Roxanne, a folk singer with her own burgeoning career in the music business, as well as sometime model and singer Lucy Saunders. His plans post the album are hardly pedestrian, either. He wants to take it properly live, on the road and see how it pans out. By the time you read this, he’ll have done his first show at the O2 Academy in Leeds. The classically-trained pianist will be picking up a synth (and possibly the guitar too) bringing all the vocalists in to sing their tracks live, as well as co-ordinating live strings and live drums. It’s ambitious, but nothing he can’t handle. “It’s a complete shot in the dark. If it’s a success, we may take it on the road,” he says. A ‘Northern Lights’ remix album will follow in time for Miami next year, and also another mix, ‘The Sound Of Garuda II’. No rest for the wicked, then. BEN ARNOLD
Best new club visited this year? “Beta in Denver, USA.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Paramore ‘Brand New Eyes’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Custom earplugs, blindfold, MacBook.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “George Clooney, but I sound like a bit of a cock saying that!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Not having to do a regular job, and not having to get up in the mornings.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Delirium ‘Silence’.”
MARKUS SCHULZ Style: “Trance.” Best known for: “Being the hardest working man in trance.” Gig of 2010: “My solo gig at Ministry of Sound in June.” Tune of 2010: “Mr Pit ‘Sky Traffic’. We held it back so it could be one of my secret weapons going into the summer. It went on to be a monster!” Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2010: “Michael Woods. I know he’s not new, but every one of his tracks destroyed the dancefloor.” in an industry where egos are liberally polished each and every day, Markus Schulz is one of the most downto-earth and level-headed DJs it’s possible to imagine. So while received wisdom has it that nice guys don’t finish first, this isn’t the case with the German ex-pat who now calls America his home. And while Schulz might not like to countenance the suggestion that he deserves the sobriquet ‘the nicest man in dance music’, he readily admits that he’s one of the hardest working DJs on the circuit: one glance back at his punishing schedule for 2010 attests to that fact. “It’s been brutal,” he laughs, “absolutely brutal. This summer I was regularly playing three times in 24 hours. When you’re planning these gigs it’s very easy to say yes, but when it gets to it, there are so many unforeseen problems: missed flights, jet lag…”
As 2010 comes to a close, Schulz is determined to be smarter next year. For one, he wants a proper holiday (“I haven’t had one for five or six years,” he concedes). However, be under no illusions, he isn’t moaning. He recognizes what a fortunate position he’s in. As such, he really does sound humble when he reels off a list of highlights for this year. “Coldharbour [his label] getting to 100 releases was a particular high point; that kept me fuelled over the summer madness, as was the release of my new
album ‘Do You Dream?’.” He’s also optimistic about the state of his beloved trance music, pointing to the bravado of countless young DJs entering the scene as helping to keep him on his toes (“They all have so many ideas”), but also the continued versatility of producers such as Michael Woods as proof that trance can constantly reinvent itself. So while 2011 will doubtless be more of the same — despite his avowals when it comes to planning — Schulz is in a very happy place. He’s finally come to terms with the fact that his life is exactly as it should be. “When I look back on my life, I’ve begun to realise that everything points to this. This is what I was put on the planet to do. I used to wonder what it would have been like had I gone to university and studied law. No more, I don’t second-guess anything anymore. A lot of questions have been answered this year.” So, 2011 — his next instalment of his city mix series is about to be announced and he plans on releasing a new album under his alter ego Dakota. “I’m really excited to go back underground,” he concludes. “When everyone else is zigging, I want to zag.” JIM BUTLER
Best new club visited this year? “I haven’t really been to a lot of new clubs this year, so can I say the Electric Zoo festival in New York? That was the most important new event in clubland.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010: “Gorillaz ‘Plastic Beach’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My passport, credit card, laptop and toothbrush. I know that’s four things… Everything else I can buy.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Tom Cruise. People say I look like him. But without being arrogant, we’ve both had our moments of insanity and breakdown. I think he could relate to the demons in my head.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Getting to hear all this amazing music every night. There’s always something to get energized by. Sometimes all it takes is one track.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “The Tenishia remix of Jan Johnson ‘Flesh’. I just love those lyrics, ‘Kiss me one last time before I take my flesh away’.”
ferry corsten STYLE: “Trance, house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Up-tempo big-room trance vibes.” GIG OF 2010: “Hollywood Palladium.” TUNE OF 2010: “Bart Claessen ‘Hartseer’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ: “Rafael Frost.” When DJmag catches up with Ferry
Corsten, he is in the middle of yet another epic US tour. Since hitting San Francisco and LA, he is fresh from last night’s show in Phoenix and just about to hop on a plane to Boston, so it’s no wonder he is feeling a bit puffed out. But, as always, he is polite and cheerful: a delight to chat to. “It can be a bit exhausting. Always at airports and waiting, checking in baggage and security. But it’s cool,” he grins over his mobile phone on the way to the airport. This, of course, is by no means a complaint (more an observation). Ferry is clearly in high spirits (even if a bit rough round the edges). Now on his second US tour of the year, he has also played the Creamfields tour and across Asia and South America. Even at this stage in his career, he’s discovering new things, stepping into uncharted territory and enjoying every minute of it. “One of the unexpected highlights was when I played in Syria,” he explains. “I didn’t really know what to expect. They rarely have DJs play over there, so it was on a tennis court with a clubhouse next to it in the middle of the desert. It was great. The crowd was chaotic — in a good way.” Playing to music lovers where the number of club events fall drastically short of somewhere like Europe or the UK, for example, is always destined to garner a rapturous response, but this one made Ferry’s year, he says. “People are clearly very aware of what is going on in dance music there,” he says. “They know it, but nobody ever goes to their country to play it, so when someone does…”
a recent engagement with the deeper, more melodic side of house music has lead him to slot the odd 128/130BPM record into his sets. “House music can be warmer, groovier and still have a party feel,” says Ferry. “Trance is much more melodic, so it is great that those two genres are really meeting each other at the moment. It creates a lot of space for everybody.” With acts such as Swedish House Mafia and Deadmau5 mashing up electro and techno with trance and house, designed for no other purpose than to please gargantuan crowds in stadiums and superclubs, Ferry feels this is the perfect time to play about with different styles, blur genre barriers while keeping his DJ sets fresh, as well as bringing the fans what they want. “I have always been a supporter of mixing genres or not having any boundaries in the first place,” he explains. “Just as long as you give people what they want in the end.” A greater willingness to feed more gradual, slow-burning vibes into the mix has been spurred by the recent production of part two of his ‘Once Upon A Night’ mix series; a release that, as the title suggests, sets out to take the listener on a musical journey. “What I used to play was uptempo stuff. I never used to listen to tracks at a slower speed, but once you learn to tell the story on CD, you start looking at it strategically,” he says. “There are always people that want to hear the old story, the big hits of the moment, the old classics and the well-known Ferry Corsten tracks, so it is a case of playing all of it without stepping away from what people expect.” Adam Saville
While Ferry is still very much willing to lay down the sort of up-tempo bigroom trance vibes he is best known for,
Best new club visited this year? “The tennis court in Syria.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “None.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My laptop, my toiletries, the photo of my daughter.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “I know my wife would want Matt Damon or Brad Pitt, haha!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Being able to play the music that you produce and see people’s reactions to it worldwide!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Giuseppe Ottaviani’s remix of my track ‘Out of the Blue’.”
AXWELL STYLE: “House.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Speaking English with a Swedish accent and being one-third of the Swedish House Mafia.” GIG OF 2010: “Club Papaya, Pag Island, Croatia.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Thomas Gold.” Axwell — Axel Hedfors — does not mince
his words when it comes to summing up what has been an obscenely successful year for him: “I have been travelling the globe, enjoying life to the fullest!” And who can blame the charismatic and sought-after Swede? With the Swedish House Mafia (consisting of himself and fellow Swede DJs Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso) taking off everywhere and anywhere and a number of his own tracks released separately throughout 2010, the past 12 months have been “a great rollercoaster ride”, as Hedfors himself puts it. Perhaps even more than his SHM counterparts, Hedfors enjoyed considerable solo success throughout the year, particularly through ‘Nothing But Love’, an energetic club ballad featuring vocals from Errol Reid and the first single from an upcoming Axwell album. However, despite this it is still SHM’s track ‘One’ that sums up 2010 for the producer. Enjoying simultaneous success in mainstream arenas (thanks to an edit featuring Pharrell guesting on vocals) and on the club circuit (via the original instrumental mix), the track propelled SHM into the big-time, even further and faster than their 2009 hit ‘Leave The World Behind’. Full of huge hooks, epic synth breakdowns and infectious rhythms, the irresistible melody of ‘One’ could be found blasting out from countless clubs, radios, TV stations and numerous other sources throughout the summer of 2010. An undeniable accolade, but how did it feel to be the centre of attention in the dance sphere (largely) off the back of one tune and with such immediate effect? “Incredible,” says Axwell. “It’s been scary to see how big that tune has grown, and it’s been scary to play it and watch the club turn into mayhem. Scary in a good way!” Such parallel success leads Hedfors to the inevitable dilemma of splitting his time and
life between solo productions and SHM work. He offers an impressively calm, zen-like rumination on what is no doubt a thoroughly maddening situation: “It’s 50/50 — fish one day, meat one day. You gotta have both!” One way of combining the two areas — or at least giving airplay to both bodies of work — has been through the Masquerade Motel/ Mondays at Pacha, Ibiza, club nights that the trio continue to host. Unsurprisingly, the nights have been going off pretty well throughout 2010, to put it mildly. “This summer it’s been nothing but amazing, every Monday,” says Hedfors. “So many party people each and every Monday night, creating the exact same electric vibe on every Monday!” The past year has also given SHM some fine material for their next big release. It’s not quite an album, as Hedfors explains, but an intriguing project nonetheless — a DVD documentary, which the trio are also soundtracking. “It’s more of a compilation of what we have done over the last two years, as well as some exclusive mash-ups that we always play but which have never been available for release before.” Looking further ahead, Hedfors confirms that there will be “more of everything — more tracks as SHM and more solo stuff.” In the more immediate future, SHM’s penchant for working with big-draw names looks set to continue during 2011, as Hedfors gladly confirms: “Our next single, ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’, features Tinie Tempah on the mic.” Thankfully, it seems like no degree of success, star collaborations, mayhem or partying can displace this down-to-earth DJ’s grounded outlook and sly sense of humour, as proven when discussing the dreaded ‘superstar DJ collective’ tag that SHM have been lumbered with over the past year. Is this label something he’s comfortable with? “Yeah, sounds like a good thing, and something I’d love to be a part of!” Keep on keeping on, Axwell. TRISTAN PARKER
Best new club visited this year? “A first visit to Discoteque, Moscow.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings ‘I Learned The Hard Way’. New music made in the good old way!” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, money, earplugs.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Will Ferrell would be funny, wouldn’t it?” Best thing about being a DJ? “Making people happy.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Anything with Kings Of Tomorrow ‘Finally’ a cappella over it.”
ATB STYLE: “Trance, house, electro.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “My first-ever UK No.1 — ‘9pm’.” GIG OF 2010: “Nocturnal festival, San Bernardino, USA.” TUNE OF 2010: “Anton Firtich presents AF Project ‘Something Wrong’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Josh Gallahan.” True to form, ATB — aka André Tanneberger
— has been plugging away, making tunes, touring across the world and, as he puts it, “trying something new”. “I like to surprise people with my music,” he tells DJmag. “It is important to deliver what people do not expect from the music I make.” Since landing the UK’s first-ever trance No.1 — the ubiquitous ‘9pm (Till I Come)’ — in 1998, André has sealed nine artist albums and is currently working on his 10th. He kicked off 2010 with compilation ‘ATB the DJ 5’ including a rewired version of ‘9pm’ (‘9pm Reloaded’) which slams a jackin’ house beat, swelling bassline and filthy electro breakdown behind the original hypnodrome-laser hook of the original. The accompanying tour took
him to clubs all over the world, including Zouk Club in Singapore, Awakening in Los Angeles and The Circus in Helsinki. He also reached No.8 in the Billboard Charts in the US with the single ‘Could You Believe’. This year’s highlight, however, has been a summer residence in Las Vegas, where he exclusively headlined Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto Night every Saturday in August at Rain Club, Palms Hotel. “It doesn’t happen too often that you get a chance to headline such a worldwide famous event series in a great city like Las Vegas,” he says. “It really was an honour.” Adam Saville
Best new club visited this year? “Zouk Singapore.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Bat For Lashes ‘Two Suns’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Midi keyboard, cellphone, laptop.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “George Clooney.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Testing your own tracks.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Arnej ‘Rendezvous’.”
SANDER VAN DOORN STYLE: “Driving, melodic, techy and a bit euphoric.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Productions and for being genre-crossing.” GIG OF 2010: “Dusk Till Doorn at Avalon, LA.” TUNE OF 2010: “Francesco Diaz & Young Rebels ‘Damascus (Dada Life Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Nicky Romero.” They don’t come much harder-working than
Sander Van Doorn. This year, by his own admission, he has raised the bar just a little bit higher, testing himself and his infinite capabilities in the process. “This has been my biggest year ever. I’ve had a fantastic time breaking new territories, an incredible response to my music and the growth of my Dusk Till Doorn series,” he gushes. Tapping into North and South America at the beginning of 2010, later releasing the first compilation mix album in the Dusk Till Doorn concept, performing to gargantuan crowds at Electric Zoo and Beyond Wonderland, and popping the question to his girlfriend are all personal bests for the Dutch don. “My career goes from strength-to-strength and I’m grateful for all of the things that have
happened over the last couple of years. I am amazed with the fans’ support once again this year,” Sander explains. But in the crazy, hazy world of tech house and trance, sometimes it’s the smaller, less obvious parties that really stick in the mind. “One of the most funny and spontaneous things happened this year when I ended up at the Sensation after-party in Belgium, being invited by Sebastian Ingrosso to do a back-to-back using the music from his CD wallet. I wasn’t expecting that!” Sander laughs. Next year sees the release of another album, continued touring of the Dusk Till Doorn show and well, more of the above. HELENE STOKES
Best new club visited this year? “Sankeys, Manchester.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “The xx.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Headphones, music and the latest Donald Duck issue.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Edward Norton.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Looking at a crowd going crazy on a new production.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Sander van Doorn ‘Daddyrock’.”
INFECTED MUSHROOM STYLE: “Psy-trance rock fusion.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Eating mushrooms.” GIG OF 2010: “Global Dance festival at Red Rocks, Denver.” TUNE OF 2010: “Deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner ‘Animal Rights’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Gunslinger.” Still celebrating last year’s food-inspired
up listening to, the addition of heavy guitars has strayed from their past trance sound, ingratiating them to a country built on rock music. “In America when you have distortion and you have vocals, then you have people that recognise it like rock and metal. Certainly, Infected Mushroom got accepted in places that we’ve never been accepted before,” says Duvdev. “Some of our old fans said, ‘This is enough for us’, as they’re the hardcore Having worked with vocalists Jonathan Davis psychedelic trance people, but every year you of Korn (on ‘Smashing The Opponent’) and gain some fans and you lose some others,” he Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction (on ‘Killing adds philosophically. “Our goal is to gain more Time’), two artists that Duvdev says he grew fans than we lose!” JOE ROBERTS ‘Legend of The Black Shawarma’, Infected Mushroom, aka Amit ‘Duvdev’ Duvedevani and Erez Eisen, have been pretty busily making inroads into the good ol’ US of A in 2010, as well as recording a new EP, featuring a number of American collaborators, and working on Paul Oakenfold’s new album. “We toured the whole of the States,” Duvdev tells us between gigs around Northern Europe.
Best new club visited this year? “The amphitheatre at Red Rocks, Denver.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “The new Muse album.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, my iPad is also a new essential, as I play games on it, and my eye cover for sleeping.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Edward Norton, and he is good as a baldy in American History X, so I’ll go with him.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Not waking up every day at the same time.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “For me it’s ‘Heavyweight’ by Infected Mushroom, as it’s such a different tune to everything that came before.”
highest psy-trance entry
STEVE ANGELLO STYLE: “Uplifting Swedish house music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being Steve Angello.” GIG OF 2010: “There’s so many... Creamfields, Electric Daisy, Closing of Masquerade Motel, SIZE Matters Pool party at WMC and the free SIZE party at Ibiza Rocks.” TUNE OF 2010: “For me as a solo artist, ‘Knas’. As Swedish House Mafia, ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “My brother AN21 had an amazing year! First big one for him since his career kicked off.” If 2009 was hailed by many as the year of
the Swedish House Mafia, then what the hell was 2010, with the monster SHM hit ‘One’? Steve Angello clarifies. “It’s been everything I wished for and a little more. 2010 has been a much bigger year for us than ’09. And that includes gigs, singles, love, fun and amazingness.” But despite the runaway commercial success of ‘One’, Angello is still very much a solo artist as well as an SHM member (“SHM affected my solo stuff for the better and I’m super happy about that! And solo work is definitely
equally important to all of us,” he says), as proven by some of his 2010 singles, including the fidget-house groove of ‘Knas’, the chunky synth-stab techno of ‘Rave ‘n’ Roll’ and a Magnetic Man remix. So, can 2011 possibly top 2010 for Angello? Probably. “There’s A LOT happening,” he confirms. “I’m ghost producing and writing a lot, so loads of huge pop acts will have an SA stamp this coming year.” An uber-hip seal of approval, if ever there was one. Tristan Parker
Best new club visited this year? “I played a club in Montenegro that was unbelievable. Open-air, 5,000 people, an amazing vibe and great crowd.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Jay-Z ‘The Blueprint 3’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “SD cards, headphones and laptop. I couldn’t do without them. I’d rather go naked than music-less.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Russell Brand!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Being able to bring joy to people’s lives. It’s an unbelievable feeling.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “The Paradise ‘In Love With You’. Classic!”
Dash Berlin STYLE: “Trance and progressive.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Tracks like ‘Till The Sky Falls Down’, ‘Man On The Run’ and ‘Waiting’.” GIG OF 2010: “My solo concert in Mexico City.” TUNE OF 2010: “First State feat Sarah Howells ‘Reverie’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Hoyaa.” For Dash Berlin — born in the Netherlands
with the fantastic name of Jeff X Sutorius — 2010 can be summed up through the nickname he acquired: The Flying Dutchman, so-called because of a monster world tour to promote ‘The New Daylight’, his debut released at the tail-end of 2009. A very warm reception to the album allowed Dash to take his brand of uplifting, vocal-led trance around the globe, and then some. This hectic schedule also quickly ingrained the touring mentality within Dash — always a good sign for a DJ on the rise. “It has been crazy in terms of travelling, but to experience all these different cultures so far from home, with everybody dancing and
HIGHEST NEW ENTRY
STYLE: “Dance music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Fucking clubs in the pussy.” GIG OF 2010: “Foam Fest in Belgrade and EDC with Swedish House Mafia.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “AN21 and Max Vangeli.”
stomping twitch-house rework of alt-pop act Miike Snow’s ‘Silvia’, receiving considerable club airtime throughout the year. Live sets have, of course, also been a staple of Ingrosso’s year. Performances at Miami WMC, Creamfields and Australia’s Stereosonic — to name a few of many — have kept the Swede busy, as have the ramifications of SHM’s mammoth track ‘One’, the aftermath of which has been captured in their final 2010 project, ‘Take One’ – a documentary of the trio’s past year, filmed at a time when the world and his wife wanted a piece of them. Guaranteed entertaining viewing, and sure to set up Ingrosso and co. for a similarly spectacular 2011. TRISTAN PARKER
Best new club visited this year? “Trägården, Gothenburg.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Ruben Haze ‘One Way Ticket’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My laptop bag, my SD cards case and my earplug case.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Pass.” Best thing about being a DJ? “You make people happy with your own music and other people’s music that you love. It’s a feeling that is hard to break!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’ (works every time).”
As well as cutting his social media teeth by releasing his own iPhone app and a massively-viewed 40-minute YouTube mix, Dash also debuted his first mix compilation, ‘United Destination’, in 2010, ushering him yet further into the trance spotlight. “It was received very well globally and really helped to establish me as a DJ,” says Dash. “I’m looking forward to compiling and mixing part two in 2011, to make ‘United Destination’ an annual concept.” TRISTAN PARKER
Best new club visited this year? “Club Moscow. It’s actually all the way in Kemerovo, Siberia.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “‘Living It Up’ by Level 42 (30th anniversary box). I used to play drums to Level 42 tracks when I grew up, so it’s nostalgic hearing all these classics again.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Passport, phone and USB stick.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Zach Galifianakis, man that would be the biggest honour!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Seeing people smile on the dancefloor.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “‘Not Going Home (AvB Remix)’ by Faithless.”
Firstly: Ingrosso has not released his solo album during 2010. Why? Because the DJ family of which he makes up one third — Swedish House Mafia — had an obscenely successful year, which led to the trio cavorting around the globe on numerous DJ missions and returning to Pacha Ibiza every Monday for their Masquerade Motel nights (offering the classy-but-debauched house party vibe, which seemed to go down very well indeed with punters). Thus, we’ll forgive Ingrosso for not getting around to the solo record he began sketching out last year. But that’s not to say his career outside of SHM has been kept under wraps. 2010 has seen the continuation of Ingrosso’s collaborative remix series with Dirty South, including the pair’s
singing along with the tracks, is an amazing phenomenon. The touring has become part of my lifestyle now.”
Laidback Luke Style: “Electro house.” Best Known For: “Getting the party started.” GIG OF 2010: “Ultra Music Festival at WMC. It had an unseen energy going on. As if the world just won the World Cup.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One (Congorock Remix)’. I didn’t think it was possible to top the original, but Congorock made it even more of a proper floor track to play out.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “I’m such a Congorock fan at the moment. Their style is the future of Dutch stuff.” For someone who estimates they take 200
flights a year jetting around the globe, it’s no surprise to learn that Laidback Luke is shattered come the end of 2010. Not that he’s complaining, mind. This year has been another stellar 12 months in the life of one of dance music’s most popular DJs and producers. “It’s been amazing,” he says. “Ibiza was my best season to date: it was a DJ dream coming true having my own billboards for the first time this year (for his Super You&Me nights). And the reaction to both ‘Till
Tonight’ and ‘Turbulence’ was pleasing.” Having managed to keep up his kung fu (“it’s a way of life”) and complete an artist album (“we’re just working out if it’s a good idea to release it in the current environment”), his one dream for 2011 is to remix Nelly Furtado or Madonna. “I’d love to get my hands on them,” he laughs. “Their music, I mean! Justin Timberlake too. I’m concentrating a lot on remixes right now.” Oh yes, 2010 has been a good year for Laidback Luke. JIM BUTLER
Best new club visited this year? “That would probably be Space in Miami. Can you believe I’ve never played there before?” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Alicia Keys’ ‘The Element Of Freedom’. It meant a lot this year, as I went through some very heavy personal changes.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My MacBook (aka studio on the road), clean underwear and my SD cards to spin with.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Either Keanu Reeves or Justin Long.” Best thing about being a DJ? “To test out my fresh new productions! And it’s amazing to see people enjoy what I enjoy doing.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “‘Leave the World Behind’ or my ‘You Used To Hold Me’ remix for Calvin Harris.”
JUDGE JULES STYLE: “Tough yet percussive big room trance, and also house sets on occasion.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being Radio 1’s leader of the trance tribes.” GIG OF 2010: “Judgement Sundays or Eastern Europe Global Gathering.” TUNE OF 2010: “Mike Shiver ‘Sique (Ronski Speed Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Marcus Schossow.” It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice. That’s the motto we’re going to stamp on the Judge. It’s a rule of thumb that’s kept him on the scene for the past 25 years, and has helped him shoot up the poll this year. “It will be my Silver Jubilee anniversary of DJing next year, so I’m going to purchase a big silver crown and wear it to all my gigs. Maybe!” he jokes. His crowd-pleasing sets, good humour and boyish charms are testament to the secret of his longevity. Of course, his Judgement Sundays in Ibiza and playing festivals and gigs across the world also help to notch up the love he
receives from his fanbase. “I was told that I’m the only DJ to have played all 10 Global Gathering festivals, which was a great landmark,” he suggests. So, tell us Jules, how is life panning out for you? “I’ve got no complaints. My Radio 1 show has growing listening figures, as does the syndicated worldwide radio show (Global Warm Up),” he says. “I’ve also been ramping up the studio work.” It’s something he feels he may have neglected for the past 18 months or so, but chipper as ever, he reveals, “it’s good to be back twiddling the knobs.” HELENE STOKES
Best new club visited this year? “Music Box in Los Angeles.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Gorillaz ‘Plastic Beach’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Eye mask, so I can keep to UK time, a translator app for iPhone so I can assimilate myself to any culture, and a wallet full of frequent flyer cards.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Brian Blessed, so I could finally have the big, booming voice I’ve always dreamed of.” Best thing about being a DJ? “It’s an easy profession to spell.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Marcus Schossow ‘Strings’.”
AFROJACK STYLE: “Basically all styles of music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “My acting career? Or my bleepy electro-like music.” GIG OF 2010: “Creamfields and Electric Daisy.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “I’ve really loved Congorock, Apster and Avicii.”
“This year was crazy first of all,” Afrojack, aka Nick van de Wall, informs us when we catch up with him during a year in which he declared — to DJMag TV at the Winter Music Conference — that the Dutch are taking over. “I played in so many great clubs and at some of the world’s biggest festivals, and production-wise I was able to go into the studio with some of my favorite artists.” This includes having spent time working with Estelle, Madonna and the upcoming single for The Black Eyed Peas, as well as remixing the inescapable media manipulator Lady Gaga. Unsurprisingly, this was helped by the fact that 2010 saw him forming a strong working relationship with man of the moment David Guetta, whom Afrojack describes as like an ‘older
Best new club visited this year? “Beta (Denver, USA) has the best soundsystem and cool owners!” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “There isn’t one!” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My laptop, headphones and apple juice.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Bruce Willis.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Listening to your favorite music really loud every night!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Stimming ‘Melodica’.”
Aly & Fila STYLE: “Melodic banging trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Our Future Sound Of Egypt label and radio show.” GIG OF 2010: “The gig with Submerged at the Blue Frog in Mumbia, India – unbelievable club, crowd and vibe.” TUNE OF 2010: “Our remix of Max Graham’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Arty from Russia. He’s brilliant.” Fila credits Paul van Dyk mix comps and a PvD DJ set in Germany — when he was on holiday, aged 18 — as switching him onto dance music in 1999. Coming back to Egypt, he started DJing and producing with childhood friend Aly and they’ve steadily risen to become Egypt’s premier dance act, and this has been the best year the duo have ever had. “We did many more gigs and tours than ever before, especially after releasing our debut album ‘Rising Sun’,” says Fila on the phone from Egypt. The guys did a launch for their album at Pacha in the Sinai resort of Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt this year, followed by another launch party in Holland the following night. Both went off, and Fila says he’s happy at the rate the dance
scene is growing in Egypt. “It’s growing fast. We have a population of over 80 million, so there is a lot of youth who want to go out and enjoy themselves at clubs,” he says. Every three months, they do their Future Sound Of Egypt nights on home soil. “It’s our country, so we have to build something here,” reckons Fila. “The main clubbing destination is Sharm, and with a new Space opening there soon, it might even be the new Ibiza, who knows?” A ‘Future Sound Of Egypt’ comp is landing before the end of the year, and next year the guys will release a remix album and host three nights to celebrate 200 editions of their weekly radio show. carl loben
Best new club visited this year? “Zouk in Singapore — amazing.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Eminem ‘Recovery’ is a brilliant album.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook, BlackBerry, and I can’t travel without my passport!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “I love Russell Crowe’s acting.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Meeting so many great people worldwide.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “We’ve been playing one track from our album, ‘Breeze’ featuring Jass, as our last tune a lot.”
brother’. “We’re playing gigs together and trying to make as much new music as possible. We try to keep it fresh rather than making the same old sounds. “Right now I have a lot of unreleased music ready for my label,” he adds tantalizingly, having also collaborated with Bobby Burns and TV Rock in recent months, as well as Dutch vocalist Eva Simons on new single ‘Take Over Control’. “This year for me was the first year of international touring and sort of getting in touch with my fans who I didn’t know I had last year,” he says proudly. “This year was for me the greatest start I can think of!” Joe Roberts
Fedde Le Grand STYLE: “Energetic.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being myself and for my individuality.” GIG OF 2010: “Green Valley in Brazil — everything is right about this place.” TUNE OF 2010: “My ‘Back ‘n’ Forth’ remix or the Nicky Romero remix of ‘Rockin’ High’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “Nicky Romero. He’s my discovery of 2010.” When ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’ went to No.1 in the UK singles chart in late 2006, Fedde Le Grand went from being a well-known DJ in his home country of The Netherlands to achieving worldwide recognition. The subsequent years saw continued international chart success and consistently heavy touring, resulting in him crashing into the DJmag Top 100 poll and following this recognition up with the release of his debut album ‘Output’.
With over 100 DJ dates around the world under his belt so far in 2010, Fedde is not one to rest on his laurels. “I think that you have to look at each year as it passes like a learning experience,” he says regarding his ongoing hectic work schedule. “You can take things that happened and see what you’ve achieved, how you can improve on things, how you can push yourself to do even better the next year.” DAVID MCCARTHY
Best new club visited this year? “Top Hill near Kotor in Montenegro. I was there this summer and loved it.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Aloe Blacc ‘Good Times’ — there’s a great track on there called ‘I Need A Dollar’, which I love.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My laptop so I can watch DVDs and do some studio work when I’m on the road, my iPod so I can tune out, and my USB memory stick.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Matt Damon. I think he is a real good actor and he looks a little bit like me.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Being in the booth, dropping a massive tune, and then watching the crowd blow up. There isn’t really another feeling like it.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “I’ll go for either a nice old school classic or an epic record — I have a lot.”
Carl cox Style: “Funky techno, the harder edge of house/tech-house — with a Carl Cox edge.” Best known for: “Techno. Even if I’m playing rave or trance, it’ll have a techno element.” Gig of 2010: “Quite a few — Kazantip Festival, Ukraine; Space, Ibiza; Discoteca @ Riva, Split, Croatia.” Tune of 2010: “Joe Brunning ‘Let It Roll (Trevor Rockcliffe Remix)’.” Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2010: “Tim Green - he played for us at Space in Ibiza and was great.” “2010 has gone by really quickly,” says Carl Cox,
“but that always happens when you’re enjoying yourself so much.” The irrepressible ‘DJ of the people’ has every reason to be cheerful. Space at Ibiza recorded record numbers for his residency, and big events he appeared at, like Global Gathering and SW4, were also well attended. However, one of the main reasons why Cox was so pleased about the past year was it saw the re-launch of his long dormant techno label, Intec. Those with long memories will remember the label as the flagbearer for the ‘party’ techno sound until it took a break a few years ago. Re-branded Intec Digital
to reflect its new environment, it is now home to producers like Marco Bailey and Jon Rundell. “It’s great to have an outlet again for tracks that I really believe in and to showcase the kind of music I play,” he explains. “But it’s also important for me to build up a roster of talented artists. I’m pleased with how it is going so far.” Cox is also gearing up for the release of his longawaited debut album, which is due for release in 2011. Containing drum & bass, downtempo and house and techno influences “in a Carl Cox style”, he is in the process of finalising remixes for the first single. He’s also piecing together the elements of his live show... Richard Brophy
Best new club visited this year? “Nic Fanciulli’s Saved night in Maidstone — it’s the biggest small club in the world!” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Plan B’s album.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “The iPad (it lets you play chess, read a book or make music), a good set of headphones and a spare pair of pants because you never know!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Samuel L. Jackson — he already has a cheeky smile and a gap in his teeth, so he’s halfway there.” Best thing about being a DJ? “You are able to connect with people and that’s important.” End-of-night tune? “Gregor Tresher ‘Awakening Life Inside’.”
SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA STYLE: “Swedish House Mafia style!” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Having a LOT of production at our shows.” GIG OF 2010: “Electric Daisy, LA.” TUNE OF 2010: “‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano.” Start to type Swedish into Google and
immediately House Mafia pops up. It’s no real surprise. They are, after all, Sweden’s biggest export and these past few years they have made an enormous impact on, well, the world. 2010, however, belongs entirely to them and their popularity is hard not to get drawn into, such is the excitement and energy that surrounds the jovial threesome. Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello once again smashed Ibiza this summer with their cunning Masquerade Motel parties at Pacha. They also blew up festivals and London’s Brixton Academy, and have upped the ante, taking DJing onto another level with the whole glam and shebang of their bespoke live shows. And then there’s the small matter of their Top 40 explosive hit ‘One’.
Individually or combined, their force is to be reckoned with, although pinpointing one highlight of the year was hard to do. They did tell us that “we have had such great support from our fans and followers and it really strengthens you as a group. So, we’re going to continue what we do and we are going to learn from that and apply that to our solo music, so that everything grows fast.” HELENE STOKES
Best new club visited this year? Sebastian Ingrosso: “I played Noxx for the first time this year and I loved it.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? Axwell: “It’s still The xx from 2009.” Sebastian Ingrosso: “Ruben Haze ‘Untitled’.” Steve Angello: “Any Frank Sinatra. Not 2010, but never dates for me!” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, iPhone and earplugs.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? All three: “Will Ferrell.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “‘One’.”
Cosmic Gate STYLE: “Energetic, melodic and driving beats.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Partying with the crowd!” GIG OF 2010: “Electric Zoo, NYC.” TUNE OF 2010: “Mat Zo ‘24 Hours (Rank 1 Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Arty.” German trance duo Nic Chagall and DJ
Bossi have been around for more than a decade, first coming to international prominence with trance behemoth ‘Fire Wire’ — a top 10 record in the UK in 2001. They’ve since notched up seven Top 40 singles in their native Germany, and a fistful of albums and hundreds of rocking gigs have ensured that they’re Germany’s biggest trance export behind Paul van Dyk. “Looking back on the past 12 months, the biggest highlight was definitely remixing James Horner’s ‘I See You (Theme from Avatar)’,” the guys tell us. “It was the title song of the very impressive Avatar film,
the best-selling film of all time.” They also cite the release of their remix album ‘Back 2 Back 4’, including the accompanying single ‘Barra’, and the re-release of their last artist album ‘Sign Of the Times’ as a deluxe edition — with loads of new remixes — as highlights of the year. They were nominated by Beatport in the Best Selling Trance Artist category, received two IDMA nominations for their ‘Not Enough Time’ single, and also a nomination for Best Remixer. Their next artist album is slated for release in early 2011. CARL LOBEN
Best new club visited this year? “Luxy’s Taipei, Taiwan.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? Nic: “The xx ‘xx’.” Bossi: “Hurts ‘Happiness’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Scarf, iPad, Advil (ibuprofen).” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Let’s make a comedy — take Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and call the movie The Party Crashers.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Is there one bad side to it?” Best end-of-the-night tune? “We most of the time finish with one of our classic tunes.”
“It’s been an unbelievable year so far,” Sebastian puts it lightly, “and we are gonna continue what we do and just bring more music to everyone that we can.”
Bobina STYLE: “In the middle of progressive and electro trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “First Russian DJ ever in your Top 20.” GIG OF 2010: “Two sets at Global Gathering, St. Petersburg, Russia.” TUNE OF 2010: “SHM vs Dark Matter ‘Absolute One (Bobina Extended Mashup)’ BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “As a producer — Arty (Russia).” Once he begins to reel off his many different
projects, you start to understand why top Russian trancer Bobina, aka Dimitry Almazov, speaks quite so fast: he has a lot to say. Having stormed into the highest Top 100 ranking of any Russian DJ in 2009, Bobina has stuck to the promises he made last year by focusing on gigs outside of his homeland in 2010. He’s more than half-finished a new album, and continued with his weekly radio show. And started his own TV channel! “This has been a year of work. I haven’t done many 12-inch productions because I’ve been focusing on my album,” states Bobina. “I don’t like working on the road, in hotels or on trains, I love to produce in my home studio in Moscow, so I’ve had many gigs in Europe, closer to home.
“I think people will be surprised by my album,” he posits, “there are some interesting collaborations on it and, because I started as a musician and not a DJ, I think that will also shine through.” Wherever he is in the world, though, Bobina religiously records a two-hour radio show that goes out across Russia every Wednesday evening. “It takes me about one day out of every week to record/prepare it if I don’t do it live from the Moscow studio, but I love doing it,” he asserts. Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “Zouk, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? Linkin Park ‘A Thousand Suns’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Earplugs, MacBook, CDs (for everything else there is Mastercard).” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Ian Somerhalder.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Free minibars all over the world.” Best end-of-the-night tune? PPK ‘ResuRection’.”
BENNY BENASSI Style: “Electro house.” Best known for: “Giving clubbers satisfaction.” Gig of 2010: “Coachella festival. I wish I’d spent the whole weekend there. The crowd just exploded with every tune I played.” Tune of 2010: “Felix Da Housecat ‘Thee Anthem (Eric Prydz Mix)’. I love what Eric Prydz does, but with Felix, the combination is just amazing.” Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2010: “Congorock.” Benny Benassi is known for his cheery
demeanour, but as we reach the fag-end of 2010, the great man is in particularly fine fettle. That’s because his new album is almost in the bag (completed with his producer cousin Alle) and the fact that he can look back on the last 12 months with some degree of pride: in particular, his smash 12-inch, ‘Spaceship’ recorded with futuristic r&b icon Kelis. “The video in particular was great fun,” he laughs. “That’s when I met Kelis. She’s gorgeous. A real pro and a lovely mum.” And although he was hoping for more plays of
‘Spaceship’ on Radio 1 (“Pete Tong did support me, however, and that’s always a big honour”), nothing can dampen his mood. So is there anyone else he’d like to work with? “Yeah!” he responds enthusiastically. “Some old school rockers: singers like Brian Johnson (AC/DC) or Ian Gillan (Deep Purple). That kind of voice sounds amazing over a compressed electro beat.” JIM BUTLER
Best new club visited this year? “Pass.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Plan B ‘The Defamation Of Strickland Banks’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “A good book, pyjamas, and a folding bicycle.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Robert Downey Jr. A lot of people say we look alike. In New York, a restaurant owner didn’t let me pay the bill and I kept very quiet in case he sussed I was Italian.” Best thing about being a DJ? “The chance to organise your time. Having a lot of free time — at least once upon a time!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “The Velvet Underground & Nico ‘Sunday Morning’.”
STYLE: “Melodic electronic.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Allegedly being the son of God.” GIG OF 2010: “Never Say Never at Ushuaia.” TUNE OF 2010: “Guy Gerber ‘Hate Love’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Midland. I’ve just got onto him, but he’s blown my mind.” “It’s been a year of changes,” says Sasha reflectively when we ask him to look back over 2010. “At the beginning I didn’t really have any Ibiza dates planned, so we decided to do the free party at Ushuaia.” The result was his Thursday residency which swelled from 500 when it opened to around 1,400 for the closing, leading to a number of Friday night appearances at Pacha following up a prime spot at the IMS closing party on top of Dalt Villa, which overlooks Ibiza Town, “another contender for gig of the year. “I was able to play the kind of music I don’t normally get to DJ, what you might hear if you heard me at an after-hours,” he adds excitedly on his season at Ushuaia. “It was really soul-fulfilling for me as a DJ, and I got some amazing guests to come down like Matthew Bushwacka and Damian Lazarus.”
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Best new club visited this year? “Shine at Ulster Hall. They’ve done an incredible job with the refurb.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Beach House ‘Teen Dream’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, socks and toothbrush. Very boring.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Probably Gonzo from The Muppets. It doesn’t need explaining.” Best thing about being a DJ? “The occasional private jet action.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “My bootleg of The xx. No-one’s got it except for me.”
Simon Patterson Style: “Driving tech-trance.” Best known For: “‘Smack’.” Gig of 2010: “BAT 2 in Argentina.” Tune of 2010: “Nick Sentience ‘Nocturnal’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ Producer of 2010: “Neelix.”
“I’ve been travelling a ridiculous amount
in the past year and I’m totally loving it!” says Simon Patterson in his lilting Northern Irish accent, in spite of already admitting his sleep patterns are jet-lagged to fuck and he’s run out of valium. “It can be hard with the lack of sleep, but I’m used to that now — it’s completely amazing seeing all these other cultures all the time.” Which is a big part of why he’s so happy to be part of a dance genre with such a far global reach. “Trance is so popular, especially in areas like South America, China and all over Europe. It’s pretty overwhelming.” Not only that, but Patterson feels like the trance crowds just keep getting more and more passionate.
“The trance thing has really erupted and the crowds are more enthusiastic. I’ve played at loads of big events to bigger and bigger numbers of people and been constantly on the road travelling to the next gig.” Simon’s top live gigs for the past year have included playing at Global Gathering, God’s Kitchen, EGC and Nocturnal in LA, but his highlight was Trance Energy. “I’ve got loads of tracks ready to be released on my new label, Night Vision, and I’m building up a big collection of tracks ready to put out there,” he says. “Looking back, every weekend is kind of a blur, but I’m going to keep going!” BIANCA MITCHELL
Best new club visited this year? “Billboards.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “No time to listen to anything other than dance!” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Valium, laptop, laptop charger.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Liam Neeson (his role in Taken was very cool).” Best thing about being a DJ? “The chance to travel and experience other cultures.” Best endof-the-night tune? “‘Us’ by me!”
This summer also saw Sasha hit the festival trail, performing an audio-visual show in The Glade at Glastonbury, before flying to LA the next day to play the Electric Daisy Carnival. “There was an amazing amount of people there. About 80,000 in the main auditorium and 30,000 on the stage where we were playing.” This was just one of many highlights, including playing on the beach in Tokyo with The Chemical Brothers and joining Australia’s Big Day Out in January. “I’ve also been doing loads of production and collaborations — Yousef, Thomas Gandey and King Unique — so I’m getting ready to release all that stuff,” he adds. “It’s been an action-packed year, to be honest.” JOE ROBERTS
Style: Progressive house. Best known for: Making his Bedrock and raving in it. Gig of 2010: “The Vagabond, WMC, Miami.” Tune of 2010: “Avus ‘Poppy’.” Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2010: Maetrik & Sistema have been doing it for Diggers all year.
No stranger to the higher echelons of this poll, John Digweed still remains the undisputed don of progressive house. With his Bedrock imprint near-on 12-years-old and his weekly radio show on Kiss FM in its 10th year, Digweed’s name is sincerely etched into dance music’s all-time wall of fame. And it is unlikely to stop here. 2010 has witnessed Digweed release compilation after compilation (including August’s ‘Structures’ and ‘Bedrock 12’, due to land this month) and the further development of his label, adding new producers to the mix and releasing records that stretch the breadth of the ‘progressive’ umbrella even wider. “It has been good to introduce new sounds
onto the label and go further down different routes,” he says. “The label has proved to be a decent springboard for lesser-known artists that we feel deserve some exposure. It’s about forward-thinking music.” New additions to the Bedrock family include Maetrik, Sistema and Vincenzo. “I’ve been playing a lot of those tracks in my sets and have been impressed with these guys,” Diggers explains. “They bring a sound to the label that I’m very much influenced by.” Other highlights include praise for Bedrock from Sven Väth, getting soaked at Global Gathering in Belarus and programming a whole arena at SW4, just reward for year-onyear at the festival. Adam Saville
Best new club visited this year? “BO18 in Beirut — a 500-capacity, pitch-black room with a roof that opens up for an outdoor party!” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Delphic ‘Acolyte’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, clean underpants, toothbrush.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Paul Scholes (he’s not an actor yet, but look at Vinnie Jones now!)” Best thing about being a DJ? “Playing amazing parties all over the world, week-in, week-out, to fantastic crowds looking to hear new music.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Chemical Brothers ‘Swoon (Boys Noize Remix)’ has been massive for me.”
ERIC PRYDZ STYLE: Electro/techno. BEST KNOWN FOR: “Pryda, Cirez D and the big singles as Eric Prydz.” GIG OF 2010: “Playing in Stockholm, Sweden for almost 100,000 people, celebrating the wedding of the Swedish princess.” TUNE OF 2010: “Clay Stone ‘We Are The World’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Godash Gerayeli.“
On a day in London that reminds us all just how far gone the summer is, Eric Prydz is happy to recount, in the fondest possible terms, experiences of his. If six appearances as a resident at Cream Ibiza, plus a set at the closing party aren’t enough to make for a summer to remember, one party will always hold a very special place in his heart. “The highlight of the summer for me was a private party we held for my birthday on a beach in Ibiza,” recalls Eric. “It was originally only meant to be for about 100 friends or family, but eventually more and more people turned up. I DJed, and so did some of my friends. It was a really special party.” Prydz has certainly got about this year. As well as repeat trips to the White Isle, he
managed to make it to Miami (albeit after flying to New York and traveling by train the rest of the journey) to play at his Pryda party as part of the Winter Music Conference. He also put a number of these parties on in London. All the traveling has paid off, however, given the amount of time it has provided Pryda to sit at his laptop with his headphones on and take in the moving scenery from numerous settings around the world. “I like traveling on trains,” he says. “The visual movement outside the window often inspires the music that I make.” Adam Saville
Best new club visited this year? “Cream’s new terrace at Amnesia Ibiza is amazing.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Kent ‘En Plats I Solen’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Swedish snus, CDRs, midi keyboard.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Macaulay Culkin.” Best thing about being a DJ? “To be able to do what you love for a living.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “I’m still looking for it…”
RICHIE HAWTIN STYLE: “Forward-thinking electronic music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Plastikman, Plus 8, Minus, Contakt and the convergence of music and technology.” GIG OF 2010: “Weekend Club in Berlin.” TUNE OF 2010: “Plastikman ‘Slinky’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Seth Troxler.”
When times are trying, people turn to
superheroes for hope. Hence the reappearance of Plastikman, who returned in 2010 on a selfproclaimed mission to “bring the weirdness back to techno”. “I’ve watched a lot of live electronic shows recently and was really uninspired,” explains Richie Hawtin, the Peter Parker behind Plastikman’s mysterious facade. “Like any genre, techno has become quite commercial now that it’s got so huge. I felt it needed something heavier, darker and more intense.” And just as Plastikman’s ‘Sheet One’ album from 1993 infamously came packaged in ‘blotter acid’ artwork, so the new live shows have delivered a blitzkrieg of beats and visuals as head-spinning as the hardest hallucinogenic. But whilst plenty of the tunes are now over 15-years-old,
Plastikman live, as befits an avowed technophile like Hawtin, wasn’t an exercise in nostalgia, not just because of the live iPhone synchs during concerts, but because tunes like ‘Spastik’ and ‘Helikopter’ still sound far ahead of today’s mire of minimal techno. “I think I occupy this weird position between being popular and underground,” Richie continues. “I didn’t want this to be just some underground thing because what I want to achieve needs to work on a larger scale.” Which is why he’s had what he calls a “schizophrenic year”, alternating between the two personae of Plastikman and DJing as Richie Hawtin. Yet whichever mask Richie’s been wearing, his superpowers have been evident for all to hear. PAUL CLARKE
Best new club visited this year? “Clorofilla in Italy.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Lesley Flanagin ‘Amplifications’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Skipping rope (health), favourite ripped blue jeans (comfortable), pyjamas for long-haul flights (SLEEP!)” Best thing about being a DJ? “Travelling, meeting old friends, and making new ones, all because of good music.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “A young Mark Hamill.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “Marc Kinchen/4th Measure Man ‘4 You’.”
Andy Moor STYLE: “Melodic progressive trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Introducing other elements into trance.” GIG OF 2010: “A State Of Trance 450, Poland.” TUNE OF 2010: “Arty ‘Hope’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Ashley Wallbridge.”
Grammy-nominated Andy Moor has been
a fixture in the Top 100 poll for a few years now. A child musical prodigy, he played his first record at 13 and by the age of 21, he was playing a slew of international gigs. Now one of the most respected trance people from the UK, he’s established his label, AVA Recordings, and accomplished a number of notable remixes and mix comps. “I’ve had an amazing time on tour this year,” Andy tells us down the phone from Australia. “The crowds have been bigger and more vibrant than ever.” For Andy, one key development has been the time and money spent on production at some of the bigger international gigs. “A lot of venues are taking the audio/visual
experience more seriously now, which for me has made it more complete,” he says. “The production of some shows has been mindblowing and the industry is really taking it to the next level.” Andy’s mammoth year of touring has meant
that he hasn’t been able to spend as much time in the studio as he’d have liked, but this is something he intends to remedy in 2011. “I haven’t been able to produce as much as I would have liked this year,” he says, “but that will be tackled next year with the emphasis more on production.” CARL LOBEN
Best new club visited this year? “M2, Shanghai.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Caribou ‘Swim’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Three rounds of bacon, cheese and tomato sandwiches with brown sauce.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Rowan Atkinson.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Being fortunate enough to look into a crowd of people and see smiling faces looking back.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “’Don’t Stop Me Now’.”
John O’Callaghan STYLE: “Trance and tech-trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Subculture label and radio show.” GIG OF 2010: “Our own event in Dublin at the Tripod was a big milestone.” TUNE OF 2010: “John O’Bir feat Fisher ‘Sound A Way’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Tom Colontonio from America.”
Irish trance A-lister John O’Callaghan
describes his 2010 as one featuring “a lot of new adventures”. With his Subculture label thriving, John’s crew took to staging Subculture nights, with the homecoming gig at the Tripod in Dublin a particular highlight. John also describes Argentina and South America in general as “immense, with really welcoming crowds in really special places”.
keys in the studio. “He loves it!” he beams. John considers the state of trance as still very strong. “I could play out different tunes every week, and there’s a new breed coming through who will smash it in the next five years — Ummet Ozcan from Holland and Ben Gold, especially.” carl loben
His tracks ‘Striker’ and ‘Desert Orchid’ were big in trance this year, and his Subculture double-CD mix album has just hit the stores. John also has a new studio partner of sorts — his one-year-old son Jack, who he lovingly describes banging the
Best new club visited this year? “The new Lush in Northern Ireland after its refurb.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Jaren ‘Fixing It Upright’ — acoustic folk.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook, eyedrops for the early morning, and my head-shaver.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Will Ferrell.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Knowing that your music connects, and giving people good memories with their friends of good times.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Motorcycle ‘As the Rush Comes’.”
ROGER SHAH STYLE: “Balearic trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Magic Island music for Balearic people.” GIG OF 2010: “Eurofest Mexico City.” TUNE OF 2010: “Tim Berg ‘Bromance (Avicii’s Arena Mix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Nuera.”
Life is one long, roller-coasting, Magic Island-induced experience for Roger Shah. He’s constantly on a mission, be it a veritable Balearic mission, to take his intoxicating trance sounds across the world, to far-flung or near, to boldly go… well, you get the picture. “I’m happy about my life. I have the chance to live my dream and passion — even I have to say that my whole life changed within the past two years, but I’m very happy about the development,” says Roger. Releasing a wave of hedonistic tunes through his Magic Island imprint, 2010 has been even more spanking than last year, when he made
his second appearance in the Top 100. “It’s a vote from the fans and music lovers from all over the world, it shows me that I’m not that wrong with what I’m doing,” Roger tells us. The tone and pace are set with the imminent release of his next Sunlounger album, tying in nicely with intense tour action between now and March 2011. “It’s going to be the biggest project in my career so far, working with many different artists from all over the world,” he explains. HELENE STOKES
Best new club visited this year? “Club Obama in Shanghai.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “I don’t know if it’s from this or last year, but I’m a big fan of Kings Of Leon and play their album ‘Only By the Night’ on full rotation.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Iberogast and Imodium Medizin, because I have a sensitive stomach and can’t eat spicy. Another important item is my iPhone and of course my small wireless keyboard.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Nicolas Cage.” Best thing about being a DJ? “To make the people around the world happy with my music.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “I played my remix of Andain ‘Beautiful Things’ as a perfect ending on all my shows this year.”
KASKADE STYLE: “Trance, house, pop.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Six artist albums and massive world tours.” GIG OF 2010: “Lollapalooza 2010 in Chicago.” TUNE OF 2010: “Kaskade feat Dragonette ‘Fire In Your New Shoes’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ: “Max Vangeli & AN21.”
Things have been really taking off for Kaskade (and we don’t just mean the many jets he has set foot in this year). Despite embarking on a career in what he calls “melodic electronic music” almost 10 years ago, it is only now that the climate is right for things to really… err… Kaskade (ahem). And it is not only collaborations with dance music uber-stars such as Armin Van Buuren and Tiësto that have propelled him to (even) dizzier heights this year (despite raising his profile across Europe, of course). It is the climate for electronic music in North America that makes times so exciting, he tells DJmag. “Here, electronic dance music is getting bigger than ever, which is cool for many of us who have been at it for a while,” he says. “One of
the biggest factors is Lady Gaga, she has really pushed things forward. Also people like Guetta and Deadmau5 have helped people in the US really understand the role of the producer within mainstream music.” An ignited interest in dance producers within the US pop industry has led to requests for Kaskade’s hand in production from all over the music shop, including a collaboration with indieelectro outfit Dragonette on his recent sixth album ‘Dynasty’, which reached number five in the US album charts. So it’s been quite a year then, Kaskade? “Chaos, man…” he laughs. “Controlled chaos!” Which, of course, is DJmag’s favourite type of chaos. Adam Saville
Best new club visited this year? “The Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Brandon Flowers ‘Flamingo’. I’m a huge Killers fan. It’s a bit different to The Killers stuff, a little more stripped down.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “iPhone G4, MacBook laptop and a pair of Levis.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Robert DeNiro”. The best thing about being a DJ? “I am able to do what I love, make music, and see the world while doing it.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “The one I did with DeadMau5, ‘I Remember’.”
Headhunterz style: Hard dance. BEST KNOWN FOR: “Bringing the melody in hardstyle.” GIG OF 2010: “X-Qlusive Headhunterz, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam in January.” TUNE OF 2010: “Brennan Heart ‘Just As Easy (Wildstylez & SMD Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER 2010: “Psyko Punkz.” Headhunterz is yet another DJ from
Holland, although he has developed his sound outside the realm of trance. Willem Rebergen was somewhat of a child prodigy — singing and acting — before getting his hands on some decks, aged 12. Starting to produce his adopted sound of hardstyle a few years later, he was offered a record deal by hardstyle icon The Prophet with Scantraxx Records, and has now released nearly 20 EPs. The melodies of trance, that ubiquitous Dutch sound, have influenced his productions in the way that he’s brought melody into the hardstyle scene. “Hardstyle used to be darker and more techno-ish a few years ago,” Willem tells
DJmag. “I was one of the first to give it a trancey twist, and nowadays this melodic hardstyle is the most popular type.” 2010 has been his most successful year so far. “A year where my international bookings overtook my national ones,” he says. “This year I also realized some things. I know where I’m heading, I know what I’m doing it for, and I know what it takes.” His 2010 highlight was his own sold-out party at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. “It was an amazing night — a milestone in my career and personal life. I could have never imagined getting so far.” CARL LOBEN
Best new club visited this year? “Funpark in Hannover, Germany.” Best non-dance album of 2010? “Sticks & A.R.T ‘Alledaagse Waanzin’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “iPad stuffed with Lost episodes, phone with Twitter/Facebook, a good book or magazine.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Wentworth Miller.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Getting to share with people what you love the most.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Noisecontrollers ‘The Yellow Minute (Alpha2 Remix)’.”
highest HARD DANCE ENTRY 31
CHUCKIe STYLE: “Mixing up the old and the new.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Obscure mixes, I sometimes like to sneak in a bit of pop.” GIG OF 2010: “My first outdoor Dirty Dutch festival to 20,000 fans.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Avicii.” Anyone who went to this year’s Winter Music Conference and saw the hordes of tanned girls wearing pretty much nothing except for the essential ‘I’m in Miami Bitch’ t-shirt will know the monumental bunk-up that Chuckie has had onto the world stage. “From one year to the other, suddenly you’re a big deal,” he laughs, admitting it surprised even him. “It’s really cool to give that kind of love to a DJ who is new in house music. It felt like a massive step up not just for me, but for Dutch music in general.”
A self-styled ambassador for Holland’s dance scene with his Dirty Dutch event, which this year held its first outdoor event with a line-up that included David Guetta and NERD, he’s taken his hip-hop skilled DJ
sets everywhere from “Azerbaijan to Brazil”, learning which nations lap up which sound and even dropping a dubstep set at Notting Hill Carnival. “I’m working on two albums, a dance album and a pop album,” he says with typically relentless energy and vision. “It’s been so hard to get into the studio this year, though, that their release has been put back to early next year.” In the meantime, though, he’s keeping on keeping on, with imminent tours around Eastern Europe. “If you want to know everything I do,” he adds, ever the promoter, “then follow me on Twitter.” JOE ROBERTS
Best new club visited this year? “Air in Amsterdam. They built it from scratch and thought of everything.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Rick Ross ‘Teflon Don’, it’s just raw hip-hop.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My laptop, my iPad, my SD cards.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Jamie Foxx is a versatile actor in a similar way that I’m a versatile DJ.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Being able to make your hobby your job and get paid for it.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “Dustin Zahn ‘Stranger To Stability (Len Faki Podium Mix)’.”
BOB SINCLAR STYLE: “House music lover.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Style.” GIG OF 2010: “Paradise in Mykonos.” TUNE OF 2010: “Bob Sinclar feat Sean Paul ‘Tik Tok’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “Avicii.” “No I don’t live the playboy lifestyle,” purrs Christophe Le Friant, obviously best known as Bob Sinclar. “I want the people to imagine that I am living the playboy lifestyle, but I am not really.” An international man of mystery, full-time playboy, occasional spy, former arms smuggler and parttime porn star, Bob Sinclar may have been born as a mystery fictional character to release under back in the mid-‘90s, but he has been hard to contain in recent years. Responsible for some of house music’s biggest crossover hits, Sinclar’s summer DJ calendar has taken him across 37 gigs in 43 days, with Defected’s party at Pacha in Ibiza among the highlights. Much like the fictional character that informs Sinclar’s identity, there is much more than meets the eye. Swapping club for dub, Sinclar’s biggest release this year was the authentic, one-drop
reggae album that he recorded with the legendary production team Sly and Robbie; inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s 1979 release ‘Aux Armes Etcetera’. “I spent 15 days in Jamaica in October last year and did 12 tracks including covers of my classics like ‘Love Generation’ and ‘World Hold On’, as well as two unreleased tracks — one with Shaggy called ‘I Wanna’, and one with Ben Onono called ‘Rainbow Of Love’.” As for his next album proper, Bob says “it will be a block party album for sure — plenty of party sounds from house to hip-hop to ragga to soul.” If the 2Unlimited-sampling single ‘Tik Tok’ with Sean Paul is anything to go by, it’ll be suitably massive. “It’s a smash for sure — very obvious, very efficient,” says the playboy on said single. Allan McGrath
Best new club visited this year? “Ibiza in Ukraine.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Wayne Beckford ‘Alpha Omega’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My washbag, my laptop, my private jet.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Roger Moore.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Enjoying life to its full.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Bob Marley ‘Is This Love’. ”End-of-night tune? “Gregor Tresher ‘Awakening Life Inside’.”
Avicii STYLE: “House.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Eating babies. And possibly my tracks ‘Bromance’ and ‘My Feelings For You’ with Sebastien Drums.” GIG OF 2010: “Sensation White in St. Petersburg and Surfcomber Pool Party in Miami.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER 2010: “No doubt it’ll be my lovely Nervo girls!” It’s been a super-busy 12 months for Avicii. And considering he only started touring this year, it’s not hard to see why. “My management finally let me out!” he grins. And what a year of living the dream it has proven to be for the young Swede. “I’ve fulfilled so many aspirations — headlined for Sensation, played main stages at festivals, been doing great studio work for solo stuff still to come out,” says Avicii, aka Tim Bergling. “I’ve remixed so many big artists and collaborated with Tiësto and Sebastian Ingrosso to name a couple, plus had worldwide hits with two different tracks.”
Since he’s been set free to trot the globe, he’s been able to bounce creativity off some of his most admired producers. “I’ve exchanged ideas and experiences with so many talented artists to whom I’m so grateful.” His next big plans are for the release of his solo work. “All I can say is, this year is not over and we have great dreams still to realise!” BIANCA MITCHELL
Best new club visited this year? “Either Pacha or Amnesia in Ibiza, or Space in Miami.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Robyn ‘Body Talk pt1’. I’m a huge Robyn fan and I think she really delivered in this album.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My CDs, my iPad and my phone.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Arnold Schwarzenegger, or someone of equal strength.” Best thing about being a DJ? “The feeling you get when the club goes off to your own tune.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “For me, probably my own track ‘Bromance’.”
Kyau & Albert STYLE: “Neo trance/progressive.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Running Euphonic Records.” GIG OF 2010: “Euphonic & Friends at Kesselhaus, Berlin.” TUNE OF 2010: “Stoneface & Terminal ‘Don’ Give A F**k’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Arty.” German engineering is renowned all over
the world for its endurance and efficiency. No surprise, then, that Ralph Kyau and Steven Albert are still turning out hit after hit some 15 years since their creative paths first crossed. Celebrated as one of the most accomplished and musical partnerships within the trance community for many years, Kyau & Albert have taken their biggest steps yet towards mainstream acceptance this year. Commissioned to remix the bittersweet orchestral bliss of ‘As You Fall’ by British chill-out icons Bent, Kyau & Albert turned out a classy, richly textured reinterpretation that picked up fans far and wide. “That remix opened a lot of doors,” admits Ralph. “Off the back of that we got the remix request from Faithless. Sister Bliss liked our
remix for Bent ‘As You Fall’, and requested us specifically.” Their remix of Faithless featuring Dido ‘Feeling Good’ took on a more hypnotic, clubby vibe, while their collaboration with Above & Beyond ‘Anphonic’ was a perfect blend of ripping grooves and slow-release euphoria. Meanwhile, their solo material has become increasingly song-based, stadium-sized and musical. While coming backed with more pumping club mixes, this year’s main singles ‘Painkillers’ and ‘Once In A Life’ both had more in common with bands like Coldplay, Keane or Carolina Liar than anything normally associated with trance. “Like in the past, we always want to try to deliver a fresh sound and develop ourselves,” adds Ralph.
Best new club visited this year? “Rain Nightclub, Las Vegas.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Hurts ‘Happiness’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, microphone, ear protection.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “No idea, we would play ourselves.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Travelling the world and meeting nice people.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Kyau & Albert ‘Made Of Sun (Special Outro Mix)’.”
DJ FEEL STYLE: “Trance, progressive.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Bringing arms-in-the-air trance to massive crowds in Russia and Eastern Europe.” GIG OF 2010: “Warming up for Tiësto, Red Square, Moscow.” TUNE OF 2010: “Juri Lane ‘Right Back’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ: “Arty.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Godash Gerayeli.”
“Sun in the sky, you know how I feel,” is how the old Nina Simone record goes, right? Could that be what Philip Belikov aka DJ Feel was listening to when he decided on a DJ name? Perhaps. Though it’s more likely he was vibing out to the sort of hands-in-the-air trance that attracts 100,000 Russians wearing florescent glasses, crammed like sardines into football stadiums… because that’s what he’s all about. 2010 has proved this, more so than any other year. “My main project has been the launch of Trancemission, the biggest trance festival in Russia,” Philip explains. “So far we have booked Armin, Paul van Dyk and Ferry Corsten to play in the major Russian cities. At each event, I will play too.”
As well as playing as part of Tiësto’s Russian tour, which brought the first-ever dance music event to Red Square in Moscow, he has also set up Trancemission as a label for up-and-coming progressive and trance producers in Russia. As it happens, things are looking up for DJ Feel and Russian trance, for that matter. “I launched the label this summer and it is for artists who are little known outside of Russia,” he says. “It is a really exciting time at the moment. We have got many talented artists and DJs in trance from Russia.” Adam Saville
Best new club visited this year? “Avalon, Hollywood, LA.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “All I think about is dance music.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook Pro, PSP and a white shirt with a collar.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Til Schwieger.” Best thing about being a DJ? “It is that I enjoy my life. I don’t wake up and think, ‘Shit! I have to go on the radio…’” Best end-of-thenight tune? “Prodigy ‘Invaders Must Die’.”
Moonbeam STYLE: “Techno, trance, progressive, deep minimal and tech.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Mixing and merging of different styles.” GIG OF 2010: “Russian launch of the album ‘Around The World’ at Club Aura in Moscow.” TUNE OF 2010: “Xenia Beliayeva ‘Know Me’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Spartaque.” “2010 has been a very successful year,”
admit Russian brothers Moonbeam, who — contrary to moniker and oft-tie-dyed appearance — specialise not in psy-trance but things of a more progressive nature (albeit often with a solid trance backbone). It’s an asset aptly showcased on latest album ‘Around The World’, a genre-splicing affair with considerable crossover appeal that has dominated the duo’s focus throughout 2010. “We collected together all the sounds we represent for the album,” they say. “We’d like our album to be interesting to different listeners of all styles of electronic dance music. We are not limited to any one style — not only electronic. For this reason we invited many different vocalists from other styles such as Daniel Mimra and Ali.bi — rock
musicians.” As well as collaborating with Russian rockers, releasing a handful of singles and beavering away on the album, Moonbeam also found some time to remix Tiësto (also joining him on the Kaleidoscope tour), The Crystal Method, Markus Schulz and David Vendetta, as well as compiling an upcoming debut mix album, ‘Space Odyssey: Venus’. “The album was a great way of us showcasing all our styles,” say the duo. “It includes tracks combined on the edge of techno, progressive, minimal and trance.” Busy lads, for sure, and with a new album planned for 2011 — which they are currently “working hard on” — the experimental trance-based fun looks set to continue. Tristan Parker
Best new club visited this year? “Turbijon, Ukraine.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Four Tet ‘There Is Love In You’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Headphones, laptop, iPad – something we’re using a lot, both in and out of the studio.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Jared Leto.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Travelling and visiting new places.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “Chromeo ‘Don’t Turn The Lights On (Christian Martin Remix)’”
Joachim Garraud STYLE: “Live, 100% dancefloor tech-electro that comes straight from space!” BEST KNOWN FOR: “The best act with a keytar live on stage.” GIG OF 2010: “A close call between Electric Zoo Festival in NYC and Lollapalooza in Chicago.” TUNE OF 2010: “Autoerotique ‘Bubonic’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Deadmau5.” The French DJ/producer Joachim Garraud has
a career which spans more than two decades, from his pioneering DJ sets at Boy Club in Paris in 1989, through to performing with French icon Jean-Michel Jarre in front of an unimaginable 2.4 billion television watchers on New Year’s Eve 1999 in Cairo, up to more recently becoming the first French DJ to play at Berlin’s Love Parade in front of over a million people. Garraud’s studio pedigree is equally impressive, having remixed and produced artists such as the aforementioned Jean-Michel Jarre, David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, Cassius, Moby and many more. Perhaps most relevant here is his work on David Guetta’s albums, producing and writing songs. Having developed his concepts into the current ‘Space Invaders’-themed show, which fuses a DJ approach with live musician improvisation,
DJmag asked if Garraud has concerns about the mix of style and substance. “A balance is always necessary,” he says, “but the music must speak for itself.” Continuing the flow of ideas, Garraud created his own ‘Space Invaders’ community for first solo album ‘Invasion’, which allowed each fan to create their own CD and artwork making a unique, personal collector’s item. Garraud tells us that his most interesting discovery this year has been “the iPad and Serato video. “A brand-new ‘Invasion 2011’ album will be coming next year,” he continues, “along with my exciting new live audio-video show.” As he has recently signed a deal with Unlimited Productions, his future ideas should come to fruition spectacularly. DAVID MCCARTHY
Best new club visited this year? “Root Society at Black Rock City, Nevada, USA.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Sade ‘Soldier of Love’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Keytar, Space Invader masks and my laptop!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “E.T.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Sharing good music everyday of my life with my Space Invader audience.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Josh Wink ‘Higher State of Consciousness’.”
DAFT PUNK Can you remember the last time you saw Daft Punk’s name advertised for a DJ set? We certainly can’t. You can probably count their DJ sets this century on one hand. In the last 12 months alone, even their notable live performances tot up to a mega great whopping none. But somehow it makes sense. For the mystical influence of the two French dudes in robot suits is something that never seems to be held back. Just last issue, Dutch house hero Afrojack was citing Daft Punk’s definitive 1997 Essential Mix — one of the rare recorded relics of their enigmatic DJ sets — as fundamental in bringing together house’s sleek 4/4 funk with hip-hop’s streetwise attitude.
Drum & bass alchemist Sub Focus, grime godfather Wiley, Kanye West, Mancunian postpunk icons The Fall and even Janet Jackson are among the many acts that have sampled Daft Punk’s robotic funk hooks. And while they are more enigmatic, elusive and aloof than ever before, the gallant Gallic duo is still making their own major moves.
Their score of the remade ‘80s sci-fi film Tron (Tron Legacy) has been the most hyped movie soundtrack in their own living memory. Their recent production for avant-garde hippopper’s N.E.R.D. — ‘Hypnotize’ — has been sending blogs crazy with its languorous cosmic throb. Sounding like Timbaland doped up on Tangerine Dream’s aural hallucinogenics, Without Daft Punk, you also wonder whether it’s probably the best work yet on the we would have had Justice, Ed Banger and all ever-multiplying axis of megastar dance/ manner of other sleazy, rock-riddled electronic commercially viable hip-hop. disco delights. You wonder if LCD Soundsystem But then what do you expect? For if there were would have sounded so riotously visceral if they a poll for the most influential dance act of all never dreamed of Daft Punk playing at their time, we’d fully expect these two to be right at house. the top every time. We just can’t understand why Without Daft Punk’s theatrical, illuminated robot you keep voting for them on the basis of their headgear, you wonder if Joel Zimmerman would notably absent turntable performances. At least still be a fragile-framed Canadian Beatport we’ve got next year’s arena tour to look forward sensation rather than the stadium-slaying, mega to… ALLAN MCGRATH mau5 stage phenomenon that he is today.
LANGE STYLE: “Various forms of trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Pioneering and shaping trance.” GIG OF 2010: “Cream, Amnesia, ASOT450 in New York or Balaton Sound in Hungary. I can’t pick between them.” TUNE OF 2010: “Andy Moor ‘She Moves’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Arty.” While so many enduring producers —
particularly in the trance scene — tend to run out of creative steam or get stuck in a rut, Lange is one old school name that continues to push the boundaries. While his glistening 1998 anthem ‘Happiness Happening’ is unlikely to lose its status as a timeless trance classic anytime soon, the UK producer has never basked in former glories and his second artist album ‘Harmonic Motion’ — released this year — was another timely reminder of this fact. Showcasing his skills in a diverse array of forms, the album traversed deeper gems, uplifting anthems and vocal efforts, as well as club-ready, groove-fuelled monsters like the standout title track itself. “I’m still very much a trance producer,” he tells us. “But I think trance has widened a lot in the last few years, there’s a bit of house in there, a
bit of electro. I would say I am a trance producer willing to try different sounds — from melodic stuff to the groove stuff as well.” With a DJ diary that reads like the departures board at Heathrow, Lange has also enjoyed one of his busiest years behind the decks, with sets across the USA, Europe, Canada and beyond, as well as a long-overdue debut at Ibiza’s trance stronghold Cream at Amnesia. “There’s a mix CD on the cards, but I can’t say too much about it right now,” he teases on future projects. “I’ll do another ‘Inter City’ CD too, and the next single from the album will be ‘All Around Me’ with Betsie Larkin.” ALLAN MCGRATH
Best new club visited this year? “Livewire at Pipeline Café in Hawaii.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Justin Bieber’s latest… played 800% slower.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, a copy of New Scientist mag, headphones.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Russell Crowe.” Best thing about being a DJ? “The free drinks.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Lange feat Sarah Howells ‘Out Of the Sky’.”
Sean Tyas STYLE: “Progressive and driving trance/tech trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “‘Lift’.” GIG OF 2010: “Trance Energy Mainstage and ASOT 450.” TUNE OF 2010: “Myk Bee ‘Blue Harmony (Corderoy Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER: “Pass.” This year Sean Tyas has been busying himself
with the artform he was originally recognised for, and been tucking into some serious remixing projects. “It’s been HEAVY!” he says. “I’ve done a ton of new remixes, and also new reworks for my DJ sets.” In addition to this, he’s remixed some of the top heavyweights, such as Tiësto, 4 Strings and Gareth Emery. He’s also been hard at work in the studio perfecting his renowned ‘Tyas Sound’, and produced several new tracks, including ‘Solo’, ‘Banshee’ and ‘Diverted’.
podcast have now become weekly, so it’s more hectic than ever for the Switzerlanddwelling New Yorker. “Now the episodes are flying by, and I’m trying to make sure it’s always as great as it can possibly be.” But he’s not just been behind his studio desk, as he’s brought his unique driving grooves to stages all over the globe, including in the States (Guvernment, Electric Daisy Carnival, Webster Hall, Ruby Skye, Rain), Australia (five city Tytanium Sessions Tour), several trips to Russia, as well as performing in the main arena at huge favourites like Trance Energy 2010. BIANCA MITCHELL
With his ever-growing popularity around the world, Sean’s Tytanium Sessions show and
Best new club visited this year? “Guvernment (not new, but was to me!)” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Wouldn’t even know.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “iPhone, MacBook Pro, Aspirin.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Keanu.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Meeting new people and being able to visit my friends and family back in NY quite often.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Any real classic. Lately, a nice closer has been Ian Betts’ rework of Iio ‘Rapture’.”
Eddie Halliwell STYLE: “Energetic, uplifting, good dance music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Scratching.” GIG OF 2010: “Green Valley, Winter Music Festival 2010.” TUNE OF 2010: “Joris Voorn ‘The Secret’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Joris Voorn or Steve Mulder.”
One of the few big-room DJs to master the craft without even dipping a toe into production, Eddie Halliwell has instead spent the last year pushing the boundaries of DJing capabilities. Working with visual artists and some production gurus, he has developed the “exclusive” live DJ spectacle ‘Ed-it’ — a multi-faceted visual/audio stage show which he brought to the main stage at Creamfields this summer. “We have been working together to ensure that everything is all integrated into one,” Eddie tells DJmag. “With controls these days, you can sync up the audio with the visuals and then you have guys off stage who are setting off special effects. Over time, hopefully it will all be synced up for me to control.”
Legendary for producing remix edits on stage as part of his sets, Eddie has always tried to keep an open mind when it comes to tune selection. He’ll play pretty much anything, he says, as long as it has energy. “It’s not like I have ever gone in one direction and my taste in music is evolving week by week. But what I play still mainly spans house, trance and techno, really.” This year alone he has played Summerdayz festival in Australia, Brazil’s Green Valley, toured South America and the US, and held down a residency in the main room at Cream, Amnesia in Ibiza. The usual then, eh, Eddie? Adam Saville
Best new club visited in 2010? “Pacha, New York.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Gorillaz ‘Plastic Beach’.” Three essential suitcase items? “Laptop, clothes and earplugs.” What actor would play you in a film of your life? “Carlos the puppet from the Dolmio advert!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Giving a crowd pleasure from what you are doing.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “It varies, depending on the moment.”
ERICK MORILLO STYLE: “House.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Great energy.” GIG OF 2010: “WMC show, LIV in Miami.” TUNE OF 2010: “Eddie Thoneick & Erick Morillo feat Shawnee Taylor ‘Live Your Life’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Antranig, Lee Kalt and Rony Seikaly are doing great things on Subliminal right now.” With his A-list celebrity chums, astronomical bank balance and palatial homes in Miami, Ibiza and soon Los Angeles, few people epitomise the ‘superstar DJ’ like Erick Morillo. The organisers of the IMS music conference in Ibiza certainly thought so, inviting Erick to give a talk entitled ‘Big Dog DJs: Fuck You I’m Famous’ earlier this year. “People definitely know my name, but I’ve worked hard to get here,” Erick says. “It’s not like I think people should bow before me because I’m some big star.” Although, with his Subliminal Sessions nights at Pacha having enjoyed their 13th year (making Morillo the White Isle’s longest-serving resident DJ in 2010) Ibiza is already conquered. With a resurgent
Subliminal Records churning out floorfillers by the month, two new albums — one solo and one with Jose Nunez and Harry ‘Choo Choo’ Romero as The Dronez — in production and a live show in the works, Morillo is now redoubling his campaign to take America. The next shot in which will be DJing at the opening of the exclusive Marquee club in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve, appearing alongside Jay-Z and Coldplay. “It’s a really exciting time in America right now,” he enthuses. “Dance music has replaced hip-hop as the mainstream musical culture, and I’m really happy to be part of that.” Odds on, this is one Vegas gamble that’s bound to pay off. PAUL CLARKE
Best new club visited this year? “Arkadia in Miami and Marquee in Vegas — definitely one to watch when it opens later this year!” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Sade ‘Soldier of Love’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “ iPod speakers, headphones, international adaptor.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Will Smith.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Connecting with the people and bringing happiness with music.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Edward’s World ‘Soul Roots’.”
JAMES ZABIELA STYLE: “Techno, breakbeats and various other genres in-between.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Having fun with lots of gizmos in the DJ booth.” GIG OF 2010: “Lebanon in August for my birthday. Amazing.” TUNE OF 2010: “Claude Von Stroke ‘Aundy (DJ Marky & S.P.Y. Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Ramadanman.” It’s been another good year in Space for James Zabiela, as the Southampton boy notched up his eighth season at the iconic Ibiza venue. “I’ve learned the hard way, but I really know how to work that room now,” he enthuses. But it’s space of a different kind that provided James with his own personal highlight of 2010, his third Essential Mix which was based upon sci-fi flick ‘Moon’. “I completely ripped the film apart for samples,” he explains. “I was really proud of it and the best thing was that the guys who made the film were tweeting about it whilst it was on-air — which for a sci-fi geek like me was just fantastic.”
On a more earthly level, the perennial globetrotter singles out gigs in Peru, Argentina and his birthday party with Sasha in Lebanon for special praise. He also released his second ‘Life’ mix compilation and has a new label in the pipeline, although his own debut album seems no closer to materialising. “I’m going to try and cut down on gigs to spend longer in the studio,” he says. “The trouble is that I love DJing so much that I never want to turn things down.” Space he might have mastered, but James Zabiela has yet to bend time to his will. PAUL CLARKE
Best new club visited this year? “Beehive in Brazil.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Ólafur Arnalds ‘...And They Have Escaped the Weight Of Darkness’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “SD card (now my record box), iPad (which doubles up as a midi controller), laptop (of course).” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “I’d like to say Owen Wilson but more likely it’d be Chesney Hawkes.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Performing and sharing a love of music.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “Phonique feat Ian Whitelaw ‘Our Time Our Chance’.”
Umek Style: “Techno.” Best Known For: “Putting Slovenia on the dancefloor.” GIG OF 2010: “The series of gigs I did with Carl Cox this summer at his residency, The Revolution Continues at Space Ibiza.” TUNE OF 2010: “Da Fresh ‘Right On Time’ — I still play this firecracker.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Jay Lumen: he’s made a big step forward, I like his tech house sound and catchy melodies.”
Despite being at the top of the techno tree for
a decade now, Umek (Uros Umek to his nearest and dearest) firmly believes 2010 to have been his best year to date. He was named Beatport’s best techno artist, his second artist album, ‘Responding To Dynamics’, was critically acclaimed, his recent release ‘OMGWTF’ topped the Beatport download chart — the first time a release of his has achieved this honour — and, And, AND, he finally fell in love with Ibiza. “I did a lot of great music and remixes that have been accepted among my colleagues and
music professionals, as well as the audience,” he affirms. “And this year’s experience in Space with Carl really changed my perspective on the White Isle.” He also believes his darling techno to be in particularly rude health. “The scene has become more versatile in sounds and sub-genres than it used to be in the last couple of years and I believe we’ll see the progress of this trend in the next year.” More of the same for Umek, then. JIM BUTLER
Best new club visited this year? “AgeHa in Tokyo, Japan.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Sadly I haven’t bought or really listened to any this year, not even an IDM one, as I was totally focused on DJing and producing my own music.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Earplugs, a fresh t-shirt in my hand luggage if the suitcase gets lost and a laptop.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “I really like the acting of Javier Bardem, but I’d like to be played by Will Ferrell as a movie about me would have to be a comedy.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Creating my own music and playing it to people who honestly enjoy it kicks ass!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Rodriguez Jr ‘Pandora’.”
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Paul Oakenfold STYLE: “Melodic.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Cooking a great sunday roast.” GIG OF 2010: “The two year anniversary of my residency in Las Vegas — Paul Oakenfold presents Perfecto.” TUNE OF 2010: “Ryan Merchant & Torin Schmitt ‘Follow (Kenneth Thomas Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Robert Vadney.”
This year has been a turning point for Paul
Oakenfold and his music-making, as he takes things in a new direction. “I’ve been focusing on producing great songs with amazing urban singers for a new sound that I’ve come to brand as ‘urban house’.” Not only does Paul have the ability to showcase his new productions to thousands of clubbers each week at his Las Vegas residency, but he sets off for some touring in the coming weeks. “It’s set to be a massive tour of North America which will last two months.” No doubt the perfect road-test for his urban vibes. After the success of Perfecto at Rain Nightclub, Paul has decided to continue his residency.
“I’m proud to say that I’ve extended my term for a third year.” He’s also been putting the wheels in motion for his next big project. “My new radio show, Planet Perfecto has just launched and will be reaching out to various territories around the globe.” BIANCA MITCHELL
Best new club visited this year? “Kiss and Tell in Sao Paulo for a models and bottles vibe. Also,State in Buenos Aires, which is a unique building with an amazing crowd.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Linkin Park ‘A Thousand Suns’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “iPad, a good book, Curb Your Enthusiasm DVD box set.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “I doubt there will be a film about my life!” Best thing about being a DJ? “The best thing about being a DJ is playing and sharing great music with people.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “The Killers ‘Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont’s Thin White Duke Remix)’. This is the track that I usually close my set with at my residency in Las Vegas.”
MATT DAREY STYLE: “Progressive house and a little bit of everything.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “I’ve been around for years making club tracks. This year, it’s tracks like ‘See the Sun’ and my Nocturnal Radio show.” GIG OF 2010: “Denver, Colorado, USA. I love that city!” TUNE OF 2010: “Crookers feat Roisin Murphy ‘Royal T (Foamo Remix)’. It’s a banger!” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Aeron Aether is my fave new producer.” Clever clogs Matt Darey has tapped into the Indian dance scene. Though there aren’t many DJs that would even consider venturing there. “I did a Nocturnal show out there in Bangalore, thought we’d get maybe a few hundred people cos it was unexplored territory. Ended up filling the Bangalore palace grounds. The police let us stay open till 2am, pretty much unheard of in a country where you’re lucky to be spinning past 11.30 pm before the police crash the party,” he explains.
However, despite his tanned complexion, Matt isn’t just chasing the sun. In fact, he’s hoping to find a residency near the Rockies
this year, “so I can spend all winter out there on the slopes. I like snowboarding, skydiving and hanging out with peeps I meet on the road,” he beams. This year, he has notched up four months touring the US (“I have a great connection with the clubbers out there”), and he has released euphoric anthems ‘See the Sun’, ‘Black Flowers’, ‘Lost At Sea’ and ‘Canyon’ as well as a double album. Which begs the question, has he achieved everything he set out to do this year? To which his reply reveals, “I didn’t really set any goals, just cruising along doing my own thing and enjoying the ride.” HELENE STOKES
Best new club visited this year? “That flying saucer club, Area 51 in Pune, India.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? I made my own playlist of classic chillout.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “CDs, laptop and cans.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Johnny Depp.” Best thing about being a DJ? “You get to party all the time.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Lazy Jay ‘Float My Boat (Moguai Remix)’.”
MARK KNIGHT STYLE: “Tech house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Toolroom Records and Toolroom Knights.” GIG OF 2010: “Toolroom Knights, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. Playing on four CDJs and two mixers with Martijn ten Velden.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Michael Woods coming from nowhere, this year he’s owned Beatport. It’s also been a great year for Mendo, Uner & Coyu, Gabriel Rocha and Filthy Rich.” When Mark Knight describes 2010 as a “year of
two halves”, he’s not being disingenuous or just stating the obvious. The Toolroom boss says that he spent the first six months ensconced in the studio and the second half touring heavily. “I managed to stockpile tracks that would afford me the opportunity to go all out with shows and touring throughout the summer and still maintain a consistent level of musical output. The back-end of the year will see me focus very much on my first artist album and continue with the hectic tour schedule,” he explains. Mark’s labels have had good years — “our biggest and best to date” — and even enjoyed modest chart success with their 200th release, ‘Bright Lights’ by DJ Die. This release wasn’t
Knight’s only brush with pop music this year: the UK DJ picked up a Grammy nomination for his production work on the Black Eyed Peas album ‘The E.N.D’, produced a track for Faithless’ new album and, in collaboration with D.Ramirez, produced tracks for Underworld’s ‘Barking’. But Knight remains rooted in DJ culture and has big plans for Toolroom over the coming months, including a collaboration between himself and Tiësto. “We hooked up to write a monster, which I’ve been road testing throughout the summer,” he says. “Also, look out for releases from Toolroom Knights heavy hitters Michael Woods, D.Ramirez and EDX. There’s also loads of underground gems on the horizon from Gabriella Rocha, Uner and Loko.” RICHARD BROPHY
Best new club visited this year? “Playing Eden for the first time for Pete Tong’s night.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Foals, I’’d love to work with them.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My MacBook so I can continually work, Commes des Garcons because it makes you smell nice, and Twitter — the online version of crack.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Maybe Barry from East Enders or Mickey Rourke.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Everything, it’s without doubt the best job in the world.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “U2’s ‘With Or Without You’, a piece of Balearic magic.”
RICHARD DURAND STYLE: “Tech trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “‘Always The Sun’ artist album, ‘In Search Of Sunrise 8’ CD and remixes for Tiësto and Armin van Buuren.” GIG OF 2010: “NYE Sensation in Australia.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Alex O’ Rion.” “I’m fortunate enough to travel the world,
meet all kinds of great new people and can still just about balance this with a good private life with friends and family. What more do I need?” says Dutch trance sovereign Richard Durand, revealing the classic tales of a Top 100 DJ. Press shots of Durand portray a serious man intent on lavishing the dance community with his positive energy and his warm, sunrisekissed anthems. It’s all true, of course, but in reality he smiles a lot more and his enthusiasm for the scene is infectious and therapeutic.
series — a massive project handed down to him by his mentor, Tiësto. The pressure to live up to the great man’s bounty has paid off and a world tour took him to new territories. “I’ve played at many beautiful locations across the USA and Canada, which has been a great experience.” He’s currently working on his second artist album, penciled in for release in the early part of next year, plus of course the next ‘Sunrise’ installment and more touring. “There are still some countries that I could not get to this year, so I hope to catch up next year and get to some of those destinations,” continues Richard. HELENE STOKES
This year, he took on the Black Hole Recordings ‘In Search Of Sunrise’ compilation
Best new club visited this year? “Ruby Skye, San Francisco.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Kings Of Leon ‘Only By the Night’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook, phone and toothbrush.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Johnny Depp.” Best thing about being a DJ? “You have the chance to entertain people and give them a great night out.” Best end-ofthe-night tune? “A rework I made of Paul van Dyk ‘For An Angel’.”
MARTIN SOLVEIG STYLE: “Anything funky that kicks ass.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Living a ‘citizen of the world’ life.” GIG OF 2010: “Tomorrowland festival, Belgium.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Sidney Samson.” “It’s very time consuming, it’s a crazy life
right now,” says French producer Martin Solveig, having just got back from the best part of two week’s filming in Japan. It’s an all-too-familiar yarn for a DJ to spin, but in Solveig’s case you can just about stomach it. Not content with DJing week-by-week and producing his fourth artist album, the French producer has decided to help produce, direct and star in his own video series to accompany it. Typically tongue-in-cheek, elegant, fun and humorous all at once, the first episode of Smash — featuring a nail-biting tennis showdown between Solveig and Bob Sinclar at the famous Roland Garros courts — fitted perfectly with the backing single ‘Hello’; a
sweet, sleek summertime slab of electronic pop bliss. “It’s a natural evolution of my style, because my last album was in that direction as well,” he tells us. “The highlights this year have been the big festivals — things like ZoukOut, Sensation White, Tomorrowland in Belgium and the United party in France with David (Guetta),” he continues. “I really had fun with the big capacity places. You don’t have to change your style but I try to play a little more aggressively and have a bit more rhythm in the switches; almost in the hip-hop heritage rather than playing it like a straight house set.” aLlan mcgrath
Best new club visited this year? “Green Valley (Camboriu, Brazil).” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “In the Club ‘Seduce & Destroy’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Sweatband, Canon 5D, Tiger Enfnoufa hand palm balm from Marrakech.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Mark Wahlberg.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Living a ‘citizen of the world’ life.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Rage Against the Machine ‘Killing In the Name Of (Sebastian Remix)’.”
TYDI STYLE: “Progressive house and trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being the young guy who has to take the longest flights in the industry to get to all the big shows… Australia is very down under!” GIG OF 2010: “420 Festival in LA.” TUNE OF 2010: “BT feat JES ‘Every Other Way’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Chuck Norris, he certainly has the skills.” When Australian-born tyDi was in high school
going well,” he laughs.His Global Soundsystem radio show is nearly a year old, he’s produced many new tunes and remixes and he’s currently working on a new artist album for release early/ mid 2011. “I’ve composed and recorded music for full orchestral string sections, guitars and piano, which all mix in perfectly with the electronic parts of the album. It’s a total hybrid of styles It’s no real surprise to us, considering he and ideas,” he explains. stormed the Top 100 for the first time last year And then there’s the chill-out album he’s been and has pretty much spent every waking moment composing between flights and shows. What a since in his pursuit of international greatness. guy. HELENE STOKES “I’ve had more time this year in hotel rooms than at home, so that’s always a good sign things are doing his musical education, he would study the work of BT, considering him to be one of the most talented producers in the world. And this year they are working together on a collaboration. “This is probably the biggest personal highlight in my career to date,” tyDi explains.
Best new club visited this year? “Gossip in Vancouver.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “I can’t decide.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook Pro, Rhode NT2A Microphone, Mbox — all essential for my radio show.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Do I get to spend a few ‘personal’ weeks with the actor so that they can ‘get to know’ me? If so, then I’d have to choose Scarlett Johansson!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Travelling to new countries and watching crowds react to my studio creations.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “At the moment, it’s a re-edit that I made of ‘Glosoli’ by Sigur Ros.”
Hernan Cattaneo STYLE: “All the sounds around house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “What I do every weekend — DJing.” GIG OF 2010: “Moonpark in Buenos Aires, along with Danny Howells.” TUNE OF 2010: “Hakimonu & Lonya ‘Seasaw‘.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Liubo Ursiny.”
There are many things that keep Argentina’s
greatest prog export on his toes, despite over 14 years in the business… “The best thing about electronic music is that it changes all the time,” excites Cattaneo. “Every few weeks there are so many new records to play and every few months the whole scene changes — that really keeps me interested.” So too, it seems, do his frequent gigs in Japan. “I can play whatever music I want. The clubs are purely for dancing; big black boxes with great soundsystems, and I love that as a DJ.” As well as gigs in Asia, Australia, Europe and both Americas, 2010 has also seen Cattaneo push himself as a DJ. On the second disc of his most recent mix for Renaissance back in June, he stepped outside of his usual operational framework and pleasantly surprised everyone in the process…
“I thought, ‘OK, this is my fifth compilation for Renaissance and, even though the others have always sold well, it’s time to do something different.’ I wasn’t sure how my followers would find it, because it’s very similar to what I do normally — house or progressive house with lots of emotion and feeling — but in a completely different tempo, like 105bpm! People loved it, and it’s given me different options.” Although said slo-mo sounds are not something Cattaneo has tried in the clubs just yet, their warm reception has given the Argentine motivation to work on a studio album. “I always wanted to do a full-length but to make it strictly full of dancefloor tracks wasn’t attractive to me. Now I know people love this slower, more downtempo sound I tried on the Renaissance mix, it’s great news!” Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “Obsession, Cluj, Romania.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Four Tet ‘There Is Love In You’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Passport, MacBook, iPhone.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Ask Martin Scorsese (as he will direct it).” Best thing about being a DJ? “Giving people a good time.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Any Underworld classic!”
SVEN VÄTH STYLE: “Electronic dance music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Long sets and magic moments.” GIG OF 2010: “Too many to mention.” TUNE OF 2010: “Die Vögel ‘Die Blaue Moschee’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Daniel Stefanik.” Germany’s Sven Väth (rhymes with fate) is one
of a dying breed. He’s someone who is, for the most part, known across the world because of his expressive DJ sets, his eccentric parties and his all-encompassing brand, Cocoon, rather than his own productions. Once again in 2010, thousands have flocked to Sven’s infamous Monday carry on, Party Animals at Amnesia out in Ibiza, where handpick acts including Hawtin, Villalobos, Troxler and Pantha du Prince have supplied a mixture of the contemporary sounds the boss is known for. With the popularity of those parties, and the number of other techno gatherings there are on the White Isle, it’s easy to forget that it was Sven and Cocoon who started it all. Before them, back at the turn of the millennium, ‘techno’ and ‘Ibiza’ were words not often associated with each other.
“I always like to try out new things. This year I‘ve played from house to disco-tech to tech house to techno,“ says Sven. “It was a great year for me and my company, and Cocoon in Ibiza this year was simply the bomb!“ In amongst those sessions, there have been gigs everywhere from TimeWarp to Tornio, Bulgaria to Peru, plus the release of ‘Cocoon Compilation J’, a double CD ‘Party Animals’ mix and two open-air festivals to curate for Sven. But 2010 has also been about something else for the techno titan … “First of all, I’m proud of the birth of my son, Tiga! Besides that, my world tour at the beginning of the year, then of course the great Ibiza season, the second edition of our festival Cocoon In The Park in Leeds and Cocoon’s Green & Blue Open Air in Frankfurt.“ KRISTAN J CARYL
Best new club visited this year? “Lux, Lisbon, Portugal.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “The Black Dog ‘Music For Real Airports’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Fresh Ortofon systems and needles, Freefloats (air pillows for decks), Umckaloabo drops.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Sean Penn.” Best thing about being a DJ? “I can dance every weekend.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “A Plaid 10-inch on Warp.”
Astrix STYLE: “Trance/psy.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being a trance addict.” GIG OF 2010: “New Year’s Eve party in Belgrade.” TUNE OF 2010: “Infected Mushroom & Matisyahu ‘One Day’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia.”
2010 has been the year in which full-on psy trance DJ/producer Astrix nee Avi Shmailov decided to give something back to his fans. As well as finishing up his long-awaited third artist album, Astrix has started to record irregular mix compilations. ‘Trance 4 Nation’ is given away for free through his website, and is something Avi hopes will eventually turn into an online radio show. Connecting yet further with the fans that have seen him DJ across the world this last year, Avi has also spent a lot of time on Facebook throughout 2010. “I wanted to interact with my fan base and even with fans in territories I haven’t visited yet,” he says. “I’m very personal on my page. I share everything with people from moving house to how I hurt myself lifting things. Maybe that’s why people voted for me this year!” Of course, what the people really want is more music from the man — something he’s also taken
care of this year, despite it proving to be a rather drawn-out process. “The album was in the works a long time; lots of tracks have been added and taken away because of changes in my style. It’s now made up of all new productions from 2010 [despite it having been started last year].” In amongst a hectic production and gigging schedule, a recent move from rural countryside into one of Israel’s busier cities has also occupied Avi this year. So, too, has setting up the brandnew studio in which he is keen to start working… “As well as touring the record, I’m looking forward to working on some special projects, including some remixes I’ve wanted to do all my life. They will be of some of my all-time favourite tracks from the psy trance genre — I want to give them a more commercial interpretation.” Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “Club Volume, Seoul, Korea.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Linkin Park ‘A Thousand Suns’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook Pro, iPhone, HD video camera.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “John Turturro.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Being witness to your creations making thousands of people smile and dance.” Best endof-the-night tune? “NDSA feat Emok ‘Harbour Candy (Astrix Remix)’.”
SUPER8 & TAB STYLE: “Trance, progressive trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “‘Helsinki Scorchin´’.” GIG OF 2010: “‘Empire’ album launch at The Gallery, Ministry Of Sound, London.” TUNE OF 2010: “Super8 & Tab ‘Black Is the New Yellow’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Arty.” It’s been a hectic 365 for Finland’s foremost
trance purveyors. When DJmag spoke to them for their ’09 interview, they were in the thick of it, working on the production of their debut album. This year, just three days ahead of our second Top 100 DJs catch-up, and it’s arrived on the shelves. “In the end, it took two years to get ‘Empire’ there,” says Janne ‘Tab’ Mansnerus. “They were well spent, though; it was a really fulfilling thing to do.” “It was incredibly exciting to have the launch party for it at one of the most legendary clubs in the world, too,” adds Miika. “To hear the Ministry Of Sound crowd singing your tracks back to you as you’re playing them gave us the kind of thrill I don’t think we’ll ever forget!”
Album launches aside, the pair have been hitting the gig trail harder than ever this year. “We’ve spent more time on the road in 2010 than any other year. The events keep getting bigger and the clubs keep getting better — we’ve got nothing to complain about!” So which ones in particular stood out for them? “Well, Future Music festival in Australia was again, amazing. The second year in a row we’ve done it, and every bit as good as 2009’s,” says Miika. “1015 in San Fran was wicked,” Tab continues. “A great club that, and Trance Energy and ASOT450 were proper experiences, too. Having both those events fall so close to the start of summer really fired us up for the season!” TIM STARK
Best new club visited this year? “1015, Folsom, San Francisco, USA.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Keane ‘Night Train’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Universal power adaptor, iPad, extra CDRs.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber).” Best thing about being a DJ? “You get to hear all your favorite tunes and no-one’s complaining!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Planet Funk ‘Chase the Sun’.”
Andy C STYLE: “360 degrees of drum & bass.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Hopefully for the label, and of course the mixing and that!” GIG OF 2010: “Spirit of Burgas festival, Bulgaria.” TUNE OF 2010: “Loadstar ‘Link To the Past’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “Xample & Lomax, aka Loadstar.” Andy C was and still is the all-conquering, all-powerful Sauron/Gandalf of d&b. With a well-documented history shaping the scene both before and during its inception, he is the genre’s longest standing and most innovative pioneer, still packing out venues by the thousand and seeing the tree that he planted in Ram Records back in the early ’90s bear much juicy and tasteful fruit right to this day — a label that recently brought such artists as Subfocus and Chase & Status to the fore. Not to mention the fact that he is one of the only DJs to be featured in the taste barometer that is the DJmag Top 100 DJs poll year-in, year-out since its beginnings.
Taking a brief break from his hectic schedule, as he has just become a proud father to a little girl, Andy was a little hard to track down, but our persistence has paid off. “It’s been absolutely nutty this year,” he explains, “Especially now, what with the [‘Nightlife 5’] album being out, and it’s just nice to kick back and have a chat for a few minutes.” Add to this a diary where he has been playing at “multi-genre parties, festivals, d&b parties, small and big clubs, the lot!” pretty much every other night constantly this year, and you have one busy individual. ALEX C
Best new club visited this year? “I haven’t really seen any new clubs, so I’ll just have to say Ram at Fabric!” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? The xx ‘xx’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook, headphones and er, let me think, earplugs!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “I really don’t know, not something I’ve really thought about. Meryl Streep!” Best thing about being a DJ? “When you get caught up in the vibe, I can’t explain it, it’s such a beautiful thing.” Best end-of-thenight tune? “It’s always changing, but this year it has to have been Loadstar’s ‘Link To the Past’ again, as every single party that I play, people are like, ‘what the fuck’s that?’”
Myon & Shane 54 STYLE: “Trance, progressive, tech house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Mash-ups, radio and TV show.” GIG OF 2010: “ASOT450.” TUNE OF 2010: “Above & Beyond & Gareth Emery pres Oceanlab ‘On A Good Day (Myon & Shane 54 Mash-up)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “Alexander Popov.” Having proudly been the first-ever Hungarians to break into our Top 100 poll last year, trance duo and mash-up protagonists Myon & Shane 54 are back once again in 2010. “Everything’s been great this year. You have no idea how happy we are to be in the Top 100 — no-one from Hungary has remotely done anything like this before — for us it’s a big thing,” enthuses Shane. That said, there are consequences to becoming an ever-more indemand DJing duo. “Our biggest challenge this year has been trying to find a balance between gigs and making music. We’ve been away for so long, it’s been hard to get anything done.” Add into their touring, producing, remixing and mash-up commitments the weekly recording of the Myon & Shane 54 radio show, as well as the
filming of their TV show (a DJ dispatches diary of sorts) and you have an even bigger challenge. “We can write on the road, but it doesn’t really work. It’s a myth you can work on a laptop... you can never actually finish something while travelling.” So whilst to some fans it may seem Myon & Shane 54 have disappeared this year, Shane attributes that to the duo having focused more on their own productions, rather than on a proliferation of remixes. Impatient fans need not wait too much longer, however, as the pair are currently in the studio working on an album of all-new material. Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “Pacha in Buenos Aires, Argentina.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Hurts ‘Happiness’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “iPod dock, USB mic (to do the radio show with), laptop.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Matt Damon, Billy Crudup.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Entertaining people and, through our music, being part of their lives… you can’t really ask for more!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Nirvana ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit (Myon & Shane 54 Remix)’.”
MARCEL WOODS STYLE: “Musical Madness.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Making big tunes that can’t be pigeonholed!” GIG OF 2010: “I Love New Year in Poland was an amazing start to 2010.” TUNE OF 2010: “Cirez D ‘On Off’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Jonas Stenberg.” When DJmag tracks Marcel Woods down, long-
events in Amsterdam, London, Helsinki, Jakarta, Vancouver and other cities. “All of which came together really well — great nights, each one of them!” beams Marcel. “My label feels like it’s going from strength-tostrength, too — it’s about to hit its 50th release and we’re going to do something special for that, I think”. He’s also had a strong run of single releases over the last few months: ‘Everything’, ‘The Bottle’ and ‘Tomorrow’, all of which have picked up the kind of support Marcel says he hopes for, and a Things seem to have been equally hectic in other remix of Tiësto ‘Escape Me’, which he describes areas of Woods’ professional life, too — the as “a bit of a golden moment! I see these as second ‘Musical Madness’ compilation went on stepping-stones towards my debut artist album, the shelves at the beginning of the summer, which I’m working furiously on.” TIM STARK which was followed by a series of supporting distance to his Melbourne hotel room, “a very busy time” is how the Musical Madness exponent summarizes his 2010 to date. “I’m currently over here on a national tour promoting my new ‘Godskitchen 3D’ album, and that’s been a great experience. Once I leave, it’s home for a few days, probably spent in the studio, and then off for shows in India, Europe, North and South America, all before the end of the year.”
Best new club visited this year? “Circus Afterhours in Montreal.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “‘The Best Of Ray Charles’!” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My Mac, CD case and deodorant.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “It would have to be a diverse actor. Maybe Christian Bale.” Best thing about being a DJ? “In two hours I’m about to do what I love the most, playing music.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Any Marcel Woods tune will do!”
Roger Sanchez STYLE: “House music in all its forms, always sexy.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Long sets, sexy crowds and hands in the air.” GIG OF 2010: “When my 3D show debuted at Mansion, WMC.” TUNE OF 2010: “My track ‘2Gether’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “DJ Chuckie had a really good breakthrough this year.” 2010 has been a year of new horizons
for Sanchez: a complete overhaul of his management team, a revolutionary set up switch to CDJ-2000s (“it’s really changed the way I play, so now I’m doing a lot more on-the-spot remixing”) and a host of new high-profile collaborations with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Maroon 5, Natalia Kills, and… Danny from McFly, obviously. The Release Yourself Ibiza club night at Amnesia (after moving from Pacha late last year) also celebrates 10 slick, successful years, signalling an island resurgence for Sanchez. “We’re really seeing Ibiza come back this season,” he says. Live shows (featuring
numerous spins of his chunky, B-52ssampling single ‘2Gether’) have been a staple part of the last 12 months, be they his own mammoth Release Yourself sets or performances from his Stealth label roster. “This summer we did three Stealth beach parties at La Plage which were very, very sexy. That was one of my high points of the year,” he purrs. And what of the future for a DJ with as big a sense of ambition as Sanchez? “I’m really looking forward to 2011. I’ve got a lot of big things coming with a lot of major artists.” Tristan Parker
Best new club visited this year? “The Wright Venue in Dublin. Amazing venue.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “I really like Drake’s album, ‘Thank Me Later’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Toothpaste, deodorant and clean underwear. Basic but necessary.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Javier Bardem, a Spanish actor married to Penelope Cruz.” Best thing about being a DJ? “I get to do what I love, that’s ‘cause I love what I do.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “‘Another Chance’. I’m bigging myself up this year!”
WALLY LOPEZ STYLE: “House.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Representing Spain around the globe for more than 10 years.” GIG OF 2010: “All my sets with Radio Slave at Space Ibiza were mindblowing!” TUNE OF 2010: “Pedro Mercado vs Karada ‘Hallelujaahhh’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Carlo Lio, Jay Lumen or NDKJ.” In a year when his footballing countrymen
pulled off heroics in South Africa to claim the nation’s first World Cup trophy, Wally Lopez has continued to his own personal bests as Spain’s primary global ambassador of quality, technoinfused house. Not least by securing his first appearance on the hallowed Global Underground series — still a marquee moment for any self-respecting prog/ house/tech jock. “I tried to put together tracks that inspired me at the moment and that are proven to work on the dancefloor,” he explains. “The tracks represent the style that I’m actually playing currently — a mix between deep house, techno and tech house.”
Passport stamps this year have been collected in Miami, Colombia, Bulgaria, Holland and England to name just a few, but it’s his Ibiza season that’s perhaps the best indicator of Wally’s success this year. Manning the decks at Ibiza’s famous Space for his summer residency Be, Wally played a sizeable role in building one of the success stories of the summer — playing to packed crowds alongside DJs like François K, Mathew Jonson, Steve Bug, Joey Beltram and Radio Slave. “I reckon this year has been much better than the last two years,” he adds. “We didn’t know how the move to Friday would go, but the party has grown year by year and this season has been better than ever with excellent line-ups.” ALLAN
Best new club visited this year? “Progressive Daddy in Moscow.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “I think it’s older, but I found it this year — ‘Walking On A Dream’ by Empire Of the Sun.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My Pioneer headphones, a couple of different coloured Oakley glasses and some Tremenda Wear t-shirts.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Bill Murray.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Travelling all around the world.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Depeche Mode ‘Everything Counts’.”
Mat Zo STYLE: “Melodic dance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Remixing Tiësto’s ‘Driving To Heaven’ and producing both trance and drum & bass.” GIG OF 2010: “White party in Taipei.” TUNE OF 2010: “Bart Claessen ‘Hartseer’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Arty.” “I feel a bit like I’m leading a double life,” confesses Mat Zo, although it’s not exactly like he’s got a split personality. For whether he’s producing trance under his own name or drum & bass as MRSA, all Mat’s tracks have a similar euphoric edge and wideranging appeal, something demonstrated when his MRSA track ‘Chemicals’ and trance anthem ‘Live Forever’ topped the Beatport drum & bass and trance charts respectively in the same week. “Some drum & bass fans are a bit surprised when they find out I make trance, but the trance fans don’t care,” he believes. “Both have an equal place in my heart, although I tend to devote more time to trance in the studio.”
Having said that, Mat can be as harsh about trance as any dyed-in-the-wool drum & bass head,
decrying much of it as ”cheesy crap”, before saying, “there’s still really good people making interesting music out there.” Amongst whom he numbers Tiësto and Above & Beyond, having remixed and supported the former and being handpicked by the latter to mix the ‘Anjunabeats Worldwide 02’ compilation alongside Super8 & Tab, which Mat says represented “my groovy, proggy and techy take on trance”. There was also the small matter of his remix of Kylie’s ‘Get Outta My Way’ to add to the achievements he’s already racked up by the tender age of 20. “I never planned to have a career in music, so I can’t believe how things have skyrocketed in the past three years,” he admits, an ascent which official membership of the Top 100 can only further fuel. PAUL CLARKE
Best new club visited this year? “Womb in Japan.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Noisia’s ‘Splitting the Atom’ is the closest thing to a non-dance album I’ve heard this year.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Sunglasses, audiobooks, peanut M&Ms.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Al Pacino.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Free holidays.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Faithless ‘Not Going Home’.”
MARCO V STYLE: “Tech trance/tech house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Energetic sets.” GIG OF 2010: “TAO release party Holland.” TUNE OF 2010: “Michael Woods ‘Oyster’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Nicky Romero.” “It has been a very exciting year for me,” says trance king Marco V. “I started a new platform called T.A.O. This stands for The Art Of. It is a multi-purpose platform that allows me to communicate with my fans on a deeper and more elaborate level, pushing myself to give the people, the fans and house music aficionados the best I have to offer.” This innovation is only the latest in a litany of unpredictable and astute moves by the shape-shifting, diverse Dutch DJ, who in 2010 further sharpened his taut take on tech house-marinated trance beats. Moving closer to the mid ground between genres so successfully occupied by acts like Swedish House Mafia, he’s seen his productions played by DJs from outside of trance for the first time. His new track ‘Reaver’, the debut release on
his T.A.O Recordings, was leapt upon by all the biggest wigs in the business, and he hopes that 2011 will only capitalise upon the strong foundations it’s wrought. “We are putting together a bespoke T.A.O. night, where we offer a full energy-packed event with a well-coordinated all night show, to promoters across the globe. I will be travelling with my own production team. We are developing a great cutting-edge show, both musically and technically. This will give the fans and party crowd the best value for money and completely allows me to do my thing. I will play an all-night set where possible, and look forward to visiting the clubs, festivals and other venues with my T.A.O. night. Keep an eye out, peeps!” BEN MURPHY
Best new club visited this year? “Not new, but new for me: Exit Lithuania.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “‘Sleep Mountain’ from The Kissaway Trail.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, blank CDs and last but not least, a... Snickers bar!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Terry O’Quinn.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Doing the thing you like most, meeting lots of new people and the chance to see the world.” Best end-ofthe-night tune? “Fonzerelli ‘Moonlight Party’.”
Leon BolIer STYLE: “Techy, proggy, driving, but still melodic trance — trance with a twist.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “This year for my new album ‘Phantasma’.” GIG OF 2010: “Tiësto Kaleidoscope world tour, Gdansk, Poland.” TUNE OF 2010: “Mike Foyle ‘Silver Lake (DNS Project Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “W&W, Arty.” 2010 has been the year of the supposedly difficult second album for Dutchman Leon Bolier, except it didn’t turn out that way. Instead, he’s recently served up his double disc effort, ‘Phantasma’, an album that built on his classically trained trance roots whilst taking on new influences and inspirations in the process. “It’s taken up most of the year and has been inspired by people like Joris Voorn and Gui Borratto, as well as old rock like Radiohead and even a little classical music!” excites Leon. Although that may sound like quite the melange, he quickly adds: “the reactions have been great, so I can’t complain.” Whilst the deeper and more downtempo ‘Phantasma’ was something consciously designed to sound best at home on a Sunday, the same thing
cannot be said of the DJ sets that Leon has been busy laying down in the last 12 months… “My DJ sets are always aimed purely at the crowd and the dancefloor.” As for the year ahead, Bolier has plans to release another of his own label compilations sometime in the future. “I’m looking for exclusive tracks to sign to my label and put on the new compilation. I want original melodies and ideas, not just copies of other tracks. At the same time the tracks need to be fit to play out in my prime time DJ sets.” In the coming months, fans in Europe, India and Asia can all expect visits from Boiler, while he also says: “I’m talking to a big Dutch trance party organiser who can take care of the programming, as well as help us to expand abroad in the next year.” Watch this space. Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “Sasazu, Prague” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Apart from dance music, I don’t really listen to albums so I really wouldn’t know.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “A clean t-shirt and underwear, iPhone charger and hair wax.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “George Clooney, since he played a part in Up In The Air.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Having the opportunity to visit places you probably wouldn’t go on holiday and meet amazing new people.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “The Prodigy ‘Smack my Bitch Up’.”
Ronski Speed STYLE: “Trance and progressive.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Having the right track at the right time.” GIG OF 2010: “Euphonic Night, Berlin.” TUNE OF 2010: “Stoneface & Terminal ‘Moment’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Michael Woods/Stoneface & Terminal.” Another year in the life of Dresden-based trance man Ronski Speed means another combined “distance travelled/places visited” total which would make even the US President blush. “It was a very good and busy year. After visiting over 50 countries in the world, it is hard to find new places, but this year, I think visits to Guatemala and Israel were my first!” he smiles. Despite such a punishing schedule, the man known to his mother as Ronny Schneider has still found time to make some more of the music which has made him his name, as well as to release a consistent string of remixes throughout the year. “I wanted to be busier in the studio [in 2010], so I released my tracks ‘Lasting Light’ with singer Emma Hewitt and also a more techy tune called ‘Denva’, as well as a bunch of remixes.” The first of said tunes became one of the East
German’s biggest yet, picking up plays on Above & Beyond’s super-influential trance show, as well as being made Tune of the Week by Armin van Buuren on a different radio show in the same week. (Talking of radio, did we mention Ronski’s own shows Euphonic Sessions and True To Trance are broadcasted on over 50 radio stations all over the planet?) Despite gigs at all points on the globe, it’s a party in his home country which has given this globe-trotting DJ most gratification this year. “Our Euphonic label night in Berlin was my favourite gig of the year — we promoted it more and more this year, so it ended up being totally amazing.” Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “N/A.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “The Mary Onettes ‘Islands’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, headphones, DVDs.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Seth Rogen, hopefully...” Best thing about being a DJ? “The music and the people in the clubs.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Oceanlab ‘On A Good Day’.”
Wolfgang Gartner STYLE: “House and electro.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being one of a small number of American DJs in recent times to successfully branch out beyond America into the international club and festival world.” GIG OF 2010: “Electric Daisy Carnival, Los Angeles.” TUNE OF 2010: “Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ‘Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Congorock.” Joey Youngman adopted the name Wolfgang Gartner in late 2007 to mark a move away from the deep house productions with which he had previously been associated. Under his new guise, he began producing electro/tech house, and within a year had gained three top 10 singles on Beatport and an “essential new tune of the week” on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 show. Now three years into his new career, Gartner has become something of a Beatport phenomenon, with eight No.1 tracks on the influential site, including their best-selling track of 2009, causing his remix talents to be called upon by USA mainstream superstars
including Black Eyed Peas, Timbaland and Britney Spears. Gartner’s meteoric rise is in no small part due to the recent explosion of popularity for dance music in the States. “This was the year dance music blew up in the USA, bigger than ever before,” says Wolfgang of his home-grown scene. “There was festival after festival, all drawing huge crowds and the kids were young and excited about the music. Being an American, this is such an exciting time, to feel that excitement again and play these amazing shows in my home country after it had been slow for so many years.” David McCarthy
Best new club visited this year? “Beta, Denver (it’s been around for a bit, but I only just played there this year).” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Calvin Harris ‘Ready For the Weekend’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Listerine, extra socks, international power adaptors.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “The guy who played Finch in American Pie. Because apparently I look like him.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Getting to see the world doing what you love, sharing the music you love with people of all cultures, and making a living off it. It’s a dream job.” Best end-ofthe-night tune? “Ou Est Le Swimming Pool ‘Dance the Way I Feel (Armand Van Helden Remix)’.”
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W&W Style: “Trance.” Best known for: “Mainstage Radioshow, tunes like ‘Arena’, ‘Mainstage’ and ‘Alpha’, and energetic DJ sets.” Gig of 2010: “A State Of Trance 450 in Bratislava, Slovakia.” Tune of 2010: “Ben Gold ‘Sapphire (Main Mix)’.” Breakthrough DJ/ producer of 2010: “Wezz Devall.” Tech-trance duo W&W — aka Wardt van der
Harst and Willem van Hanegem from Holland — had a busy 12 months, but although they mainly perform abroad, they are quick to praise their indigenous scene. “We mostly play abroad, but we did play in Holland a couple of times this year, for example at Trance Energy. Of course Holland has a great scene, mainly because we have so many good trance DJs hailing from here,” the duo say. Despite feeling proud about their home country’s achievements, W&W feel that trance continues to expand its reach globally and feel that nowadays, “every country has its scene”. It’s no idle claim: 2010 saw the duo perform in
Best new club visited this year? “Amnesia, Ibiza. It has an amazing atmosphere and it was our first appearance on the magical island.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Lady Gaga ‘The Fame Monster’. It is a very original album and from a producer’s point of view, is incredibly well-produced.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Toothbrush, clean underwear and a Blackberry charger.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Wardt has to be played by Will Ferrell. For Willem, Sean William Scott.” Best thing about being a DJ? “To travel around the world, visit places that you normally would never visit.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Way Out West ‘Mind Circus (Gabriel & Dresden Remix)’.”
BOYS NOIZE STYLE: “Fresh jack.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Unique sound and fucking good records.” GIG OF 2010: “Berlin Festival at Tempelhof Airport. Main stage, 20,000 people — the craziest show I ever played.” TUNE OF 2010: “Bart B More ‘Brap’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Djedjotronic! He makes modern jackin’ techno/house music and he’s got great DJ skills, too!” Alex Ridha is a perfect example of the multi-tasking modern DJ, combining a hectic international touring schedule with running a successful record label whilst also building up his own considerable catalogue of productions. Previous brushes with the music industry led to Ridha founding his own Boys Noize Records label in 2005 to enable him to release his own music whilst maintaining full artistic control. The Berlin-based collective is now up to 50 releases, including output from other artists such as Siriusmo, Djedjotronic and D.I.M, as well as the two Boys Noize albums ‘Oi Oi Oi’ and ‘POWER’. Under the name Boys Noize, he also has releases on Kitsuné, Tiga’s Turbo Recordings label and
DJ Hell’s International Deejay Gigolos, as well as his ongoing collaborations with Erol Alkan coming out on the latter’s Phantasy Sound imprint. About to embark on a set of Boys Noize DJ dates that will see him extend his reach to China, DJmag asked Ridha whether he thought CD DJing was going the way of vinyl? “I don’t think so,” he tells us, “I see more and more laptop DJs switching to CDs because they realize laptop DJing is kinda shit.” Ridha keeps moving forward. Having produced the forthcoming Gonzales album ‘Ivory Tower’, he says he has “too many” plans for 2011 and based on his track record so far, we can be sure that he’ll be true to his word. David McCarthy
Best new club visited this year? “XOYO, London.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Chilly Gonzales ‘Ivory Tower’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Aspirin, Haribo gums, long paper.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Eddie Murphy before the ‘90s, or Peter Sellers.” Best thing about being a DJ? “I make a living out of my hobby.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Depends where I play. I’ve got two CDs with ‘last songs’. Something for the girls like New Order ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’. ”
South Korea for the first time, which they admit was a real eye-opener. “South Korea was pretty new to trance, but it was an amazing experience playing there, because the crowd was really open for this kind of music,” they feel. Running parallel to this increasing global popularity for trance is a tendency for trance producers to mix and match from a variety of sources, which W&W view as a positive development. “We’ve noticed the return of melodies and all genres growing closer to each other. It’s good because it creates new and original stuff and combines the best of all genres.” RICHARD BROPHY
D-Block & S-te-Fan Style: “Hardstyle/hard dance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Melody and bass and our artist album ‘Music Made Addictz’.” Gig of 2010: “Closing the Q-dance stage of Mysteryland.” TUNE OF 2010: “D-Block & S-te-Fan featuring Villain & DV8 ‘Decade Of Dedication’.” Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2010: “Dash Berlin.” For the past four years, every weekend has
seen Dutch hard dance duo Diederik Bakker and Stefan den Daas perform all over Europe, but 2010 hinted that things are about to change. “Although we don’t have a lot of extra gigs during the week, or in summer, we had a very good year and our scene is growing more and more,” they say. Bakker and den Daas say that their energetic, melodic brand of hard dance has established audiences all over Europe and “there is a crowd for our music in every single country”. However, they feel that in the past year, the scene has developed in Australia, America
and Asia. “2011 is going to be an interesting year for us, as we are planning a world tour to visit all the other continents that deserve a proper scene in their countries,” they say, adding that, “To see our scene grow really fast outside Europe is the most interesting trend for us”. They believe that the hard dance scene and sound is in a healthy state, mainly due to an influx of new DJs and producers. And it is this creative surge that will help to “spread the hard dance virus worldwide.” RICHARD BROPHY
Best new club visited this year? “We cannot choose.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “We have to go for the Lady Gaga album.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Toothbrush/toothpaste, clean underwear and the DBSTF vibe.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “We would be happy with George Clooney and Brad Pitt.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Getting the love back from the fans! No feeling can compete with that.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “D-Block & S-te-Fan featuring High Voltage ‘Shiverz’.”
Dubfire STYLE: “House/techno.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “I’m the wrong guy to ask.” GIG OF 2010: “Timewarp in Mannheim, Germany.” TUNE OF 2010: “MMM, Errorsmith & Fiedel ‘Nous Sommes’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Daniel Stefanik.” There are disadvantages to being one of the most in-demand techno DJs of the moment, as Sci+Tec boss Dubfire well knows. “It’s been a pretty crazy year. I think I took on way too many gigs,” says Ali. “Things look a certain way on paper or by email during the decision-making process, but when you’re actually out on the road, then you realise just how little time you have for everything else.” “Everything else” includes running his label, studio work and a continued relationship with Native Instruments. “I managed to work on the Underworld stuff [Ali contributed on a track for the band’s new album, ‘Barking’], I did a remix of another classic Plastikman song [as yet unreleased], and continued my close working relationship with
Native, helping to road-test their new Traktor Kontrol S4 before it even goes into production.” This year, Ali has also started to expand his label into the events arena. “Right now, I’m in the process of forming a collective of exclusive artists that I can regularly tour with, so we can really push the Sci+Tec brand to the forefront and push some up-and-coming guys.” Amongst all this work, it would be easy to forget to have fun, but not for Ali. He enthusiastically cites Timewarp festival as an inspiration, describing it as, “the ultimate club experience for its great lineup and attention to production detail.” Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “Harry Klein (Munich).” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Arcade Fire ‘The Suburbs’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Tim (my tour manager), my iPad and the latest issue of Monocle.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Al Pacino — people always say I look like him.” Best thing about being a DJ? “The travel.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Orbital ‘Chime’.”
DIRTY SOUTH STYLE: “House.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Touring my ass off, making lots of bootlegs/edits for my DJ sets.” GIG OF 2010: “Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella and Ultra Music Festival were all amazing.” TUNE OF 2010: “Swedish House Mafia ‘One’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “AN21 & Max Vangeli.” Born in Croatia before relocating to Australia, Dragan Roganovic aka Dirty South has become a highly sought-out remixer for big hitters including U2, Depeche Mode, Snoop Dogg and David Guetta. Now, though, it seems he’s on the move once again. “It was my first time playing at Avalon in Los Angeles. I loved it so much I’m going to start a residency there and also move to LA,” excites Dragan who, also this year, has played to his biggest crowd yet — no less than 80, 000 people at Coachella, California, back in April.
ups and signature edits) to all corners of the globe, has been nominated for a Grammy and has continued his good work in the studio. Said work has included a remix (alongside his good friend Sebastian Ingrosso) of a track ‘Silvia’ by the hotly-tipped Miike Snow, as well as plenty more. “This year has been amazing for me. Lots of touring, some studio work in-between the hectic travels and I got to finally launch my record label, Phazing, with a new single I have recently managed to finish.” Always keen to evolve and improve, Dirty South 2010 has also been a year in which Dirty South has big plans for 2011 including an album, some has taken his on-the-fly live and improvisational top-secret collaborations and the continued gigs (which include all manner of house mashdevelopment of his label. Kristan J Caryl
Best new club visited this year? “Avalon, Los Angeles.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Ruben Haze ‘One Way Ticket’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacbookPro, Blackberry, SD cards.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Johnny Depp.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Putting smiles on people’s faces.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Stardust ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. Still such a classic and the reason why I fell in love with house music.”
John B sTYLE: “Electro and trance-influenced drum & bass.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Sexy eye shadow and monstrous electrostep d&b.” GIG OF 2010: “Urban Art Forms festival, Austria.” TUNE OF 2010: “John B ‘Numbers (Camo & Krooked Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “High Rankin.” Reflecting the diversity of a scene that’s now
well-and-truly entrenched worldwide, John B personifies the more left-field, zany side of d&b. Sporting crazy hairdos and ’80s electronicainspired eye-make up (water/sweat-proof we hope!), his gigs have become a favourite on the trans-European and worldwide DJing circuit, not least this year, where his bookings list has skyrocketed as a result of wildfire word-ofmouth recommendations on the hedonistic circuit, as well as straight d&b nights. John’s d&b roots hearken back to the mid-’90s, with a slew of releases like the seminal ‘Up All Night’, that still rocks a party. A consistent shower of singles have followed since through his own labels Nu-Electro and Beta, where he
and fellow artistes promote a jaw-clenching, stomping sound. John is, as always, ecstatic, and even more so hearing that he’s made the Top 100 roll call again. Having recently taken up running, John has had a great year and reflects on some of its high points. What about the funniest thing that’s happened while out on the proverbial circuit to him this year? His response perfectly encapsulates exactly where John’s coming from. “Seeing a naked old dude being walked around on a rope by a hot latex babe at a fetish party I played in Miami!” With a healthy, happy outlook and great ear for bass crushers, it looks like we’ll be able to see John’s kraft-at-werk at venues/festivals throughout the world for some time yet. ALEX C
Best new club visited this year? “Not really a club as such, but P. Diddy’s back garden in Miami during WMC.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Foals ‘Total Life Forever’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “M&S disposable filter coffee pot things, laptop charger and vitamin pills!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Alex Winter (Bill out of Bill & Ted), or Yahoo Serious.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Getting to travel the world, connect with so many cool people, and make them happy with my music...” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Starship’s ‘We Built This City’.”
DANIEL KANDI Style: “Uplifting trance.” Best known for: “His remixes and productions, plus being five-time Danish snooker champion. Fact!” Gig of 2010: “Pacha in Argentina. 2,000 people going absolutely crazy!” Tune of 2010: “My own ‘Symphonica’. I took a slightly different approach — it was more clubby — and it paid off. The reaction was fantastic.” Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2010: “Juventa — he has a really bright future.” Daniel Kandi has had a fantastic 2010, and,
refreshingly for someone in his profession, he’s refusing to take all the plaudits. “I have to give great thanks to my new manager Phillip Alpha,” he says immediately when asked about the last 12 months. “This year has been so prolific; I’ve completed something like 16 remixes and five originals. That is down to Phillip kicking me up the backside. I’m generally lazy and he has got the job done. He has helped me get the job done!” This increased productivity has in turn provided the affable Kandi with an upsurge
in inspiration. “It’s been very pleasurable,” he admits. So has been playing all over the world — debut gigs in Asia and Hawaii were highlights. As for next year, well, that much talked-about debut artist album is in the offing. “It’ll be different from what you know me for,” he says. “I want to do a double album. One chilled out and one a lot more clubby.” JIM BUTLER
Best new club visited this year? “Gallery at Ministry Of Sound — it’s the best new soundsystem in London. Crispy clear.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “To be honest, I don’t really listen to that many albums. Maybe something chilled out — music that will relax me.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My cell-phone, my CD case and a good packet of crisps. What flavour? Naturally salted. The UK does better crisps than Denmark.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Jim Carrey — he’s just as crazy as me. He can give off that crazy vibe!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Getting to see the world and trying lots of new food. You get a new appreciation for food. I’ve gained 25lbs recently, but it doesn’t matter!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Darren Tate & Jono Grant ‘Let the Light Shine (Corderoy Remix)’. It worked at every gig.”
ARTY STYLE: “Progressive house, trance and all other kinds of EDM.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “My productions and my other alias Alpha 9.” GIG OF 2010: “Global Gathering Russia, Saint Petersburg.” TUNE OF 2010: “Adrian Lux ‘Teenage Crime (Axwell & Henrik B Remode)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Avicii.” Artem Stolyarov, or Arty for short, is one of a rising breed of Russian trance producers now starting to make their mark on the scene. The Moscow-based producer’s tracks pop up all over the place, although it’s probably with the succession of vinyl he’s delivered on the Anjunabeats label that he’s most closely associated. This year, his clean, uplifting sound has made him new friends in both the pure trance and house fanbases, no small part of which was down to another fan, one Ferry Corsten, picking up on a track he made under another of his alter egos, Alpha 9. He gave ‘Come Home’ prominent billing close to the start of the first CD of his ‘Once Upon A Night’ collection back in spring 2010, and that, along with his tireless recording and touring
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schedule, has certainly helped him leapfrog into the chart.The next 12 months don‘t look like being any more relaxed, either. “I’ve confirmed remixes for Paul van Dyk, Filo & Peri and Gareth Emery,” he tells us. “There will be a lot of new singles and I will also be releasing my cover version of Moby’s track ‘New York New York’ on Spinnin’ Records. Quite what his communist era forefathers would have made of such Western decadence we can only imagine, but we know it will go down a storm with clubbers from the Great Wall of China to the Golden Gate Bridge. BEN WILLMOTT
Best new club visited this year? “Gaudi, Moscow.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Linkin Park ‘A Thousand Suns’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Mobile phone charger, earphones and toothbrush.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Anton Elchin... but I would try to play myself in this film.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Euphoria and energy from the music and crowd.” Best end-of-the-night tune? ”ABBA ‘Thank You For the Music’.”
BT STYLE: Progressive, trance and electronica. BEST KNOWN FOR: Classics like ‘Flaming June’. The best thing to come out of Maryland since
those waist-busting cookies, Brian Wayne Transeau may be approaching his 40th birthday but shows no sign of slowing down. Would you expect anything less than frenetic activity from the man who made it into the Guinness Book Of Records for the track featuring the most vocal edits ever? 6,178, to be precise. He even recently ended his five-year remix hiatus — fair enough when you’ve already re-jigged Madonna, Tom Jones, Diana Ross, Depeche Mode, Britney Spears, Tori Amos, The Doors and Deep Dish — not for a high profile (and highly bankable) pop mix but for relatively unknown American indie act Shiny New Toys, probably better known as the house band on kids’ TV show Yo Gabba Gabba. Last year Brian also launched a software company, Sonik Architects, designing technology for the iPhone, but also somehow found time to put together his sixth studio album, and a double CD affair, at that. ‘These Hopeful Machines’ was released in February 2010, and with vocal contributions from
Iron Maiden front-man Bruce Dickinson and veteran Opus 3 singer Kirsty Hawkshaw, plus a cover of an obscure track by ’80s alternative rockers Psychedelic Furs (recorded on cassette!), no-one could ever accuse it of being dance music by numbers. Its release was equally controversial, as he offered it via online retailers only and formatted it as two long tracks rather than the 12 individual tunes. Having spawned several dancefloor monsters — ‘The Rose Of Jericho’, ‘Every Other Way’ and the download-only ‘Suddenly’ — before it dropped, Transeau notched up another two hits from the LP later this year in the shape of ‘Forget Me’ in June and the just-released fifth single ‘The Emergency’. Who, indeed, aside from possibly Dizzee Rascal, could get away with confessing his new album was inspired by maths — not usually the most rock ‘n’ roll of subjects — or declare that he hopes his music “makes people feel that they have consumed something that completes a void” and get away with it? Brian, we salute you! BEN WILLMOTT
Boy George RE-ENTRY
DJ STYLE: “I play house, a good tune is a good tune. Screw genres. It’s all house!” BEST KNOWN FOR: “All the wrong things recently, but elevator going up!” GIG OF 2010: “Cafe Ole at Space and Venus in Manchester.” TUNE OF 2010: “Temper Trap ‘Sweet Disposition (Axwell Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Marc Vedo as breakthrough DJ, Nocturne The Blonde as producers, they will be huge!” After an absence of a dozen years or so, Boy George is back in the Top 100 DJs chart with a bang. The celebrated style icon took up DJing in the early ‘90s after suffering burnout from being one of the biggest pop stars in the ‘80s (first with Culture Club, then solo or as Jesus Loves You), and his Ministry comps regularly used to shift 100,000 units. In the last decade, George has undertaken a number of different projects, from the Taboo musical about performance artist Leigh Bowery to singing on all manner of different tracks with his inimitable great white soul voice. He’s just released ‘Pentonville Blues’, a reggae-lite single about his time in prison, and his ‘Ordinary Alien’ album should be out soon. “I’ve been off the radar for a while but I’m back
playing all over the globe,” George tells DJmag. “I’m enjoying it much more now I’m sober. Bloody loving it in fact! “I never stopped DJing really, but I was in a chemical haze and not thinking about my career properly,” he continues. “I have my mojo back now and I’m focused and ready to put out some wicked tunes.” George reveals that he’s starting another label, that he’ll be putting through UK house imprint Milk N’ 2 Sugars, with ‘Sunshine Into My Life’ featuring Sharlene Hector on lead vocals. He’s also been working with everyone from Mark Ronson to Harry ‘Choo Choo’ Romero, and says 2010 has been a brilliant year for him. “I’ve been working flat out and putting myself back on the map.” CARL LOBEN
Best new club visited this year? “Venus in Manchester.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “‘Happiness’ by Hurts.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My hat, a smart jacket and clean underwear!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Tilda Swinton.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Dropping a new tune and hearing a roar, and cute boys!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Prok & Fitch feat Max C ‘The Heat (John Dalhbäck Remix)’.”
PETE THE ZOUK STYLE: “Happy house music.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Live mixing and bootlegging with acapellas and effects.” GIG OF 2010: “Falesia Beach in Portugal.” TUNE OF 2010: “Temper Trap ‘Sweet Disposition (Axwell & Dirty South Remix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Dirty South.” Pete Tha Zouk’s name might not ring any bells
for some of you, but then ‘estrela maior’ might not much, either. Yet ask any Portuguese speaker and they’ll tell you that Pete is certainly an ‘estrela maior’ — or superstar — as Portugal’s biggest DJ, with his star now rising in Brazil as well. Yet it seems slightly strange that, given that dance music is supposedly a ‘universal’ language, his fame is apparently so linguistically limited to countries with a Portuguese tongue. “It can’t be anything to do with language,” he muses. “I’ve played in Portugal for 15 years, and now when I go to Brazil they treat me like a superstar. It’s an amazing country.” Brazil also provided the backdrop for the video to his ‘I’m Back Again’ single with Abigail Bailey, which has catapulted him into both the Top 100 and international fame.
Best new club visited this year? “Lique Club in Brazil.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Beyonce ‘I Am Sasha Fierce’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Blackberry, MacBook Pro and Mike my road manager!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Travelling and making friends around the world.” Best endof-the-night tune? “Paul & Fritz Kalkbrenner ‘Sky & Sand’.”
FATBOY SLIM DJ STYLE: “Bouncy acid house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Good attitude, bad shirts.” GIG OF 2010: “Open-air festival, Gdansk, Poland.” TUNE OF 2010: “Afrojack ‘Pacha On Acid’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Tom Starr.”
Original acid house showman Norman Cook
remains one of the biggest draws in dance music, as his continual appearance in the Top 100 is testament to. With no ‘Vote for me!’ campaign whatsoever, Norm remains a favourite entertainer of many and it’s been quite a transition year for him in 2010. Since giving up alcohol, he’s been DJing sober for the first time in 20 years and has been relishing the switch back to playing some sweaty club gigs alongside his festival headlining appearances. Fatboy played in places as far-flung as Poland, South Africa, Taiwan and Korea, as well as headlining UK fests such as Rockness, SW4 and Snowbombing.
As well as all the gigs, Norm still managed to find time to release an album with Talking Heads main man David Byrne called ‘Here Lies Love’; collaborate with ghetto bass young gun Hervé on a number of productions; released his own iPhone app; and headline the Big Beat Reunion in Brighton alongside old muckers like Jon Carter, Midfield General and Cut La Roc – all in the name of charidee. Perhaps most incredibly of all, he also managed to complete the inaugural Brighton Marathon in a very respectable time of four hours and 53 minutes. How many other Top 100 DJs could top that? Carl Loben
Best new club visited this year? “Cubano. Port Elizabeth, South Africa.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Ashley Beedle ‘Mavis’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Birkenstocks, phone charger, redoxin.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Bruce Willis.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Living a life set to music...” Best endof-the-night tune? “Stealers Wheel ‘Stuck In the Middle With You’.”
Taking a more commercial direction from the tribal house of earlier productions like 2003’s ‘Solid Textures’ with DJ Vibe, Pete says ‘I’m Back Again’ was written “for a new generation who give more importance to melodies and vocals.” As for the future, Pete’s got releases on Subliminal Records’ sister imprint Sondos ready to drop, and is also hoping to realise a lifelong ambition. “I’ve played all over Europe and America, but never in the UK,” he says. “I’m hoping that getting into the Top 100 will finally make that happen.” Pete Tha Zouk’s name will soon be on everyone’s lips, Portuguese or not. PAUL CLARKE
SKAZI STYLE: Psy trance. BEST KNOWN FOR: Mixing rock guitar riffs with psy trance. Despite a massive collection of studio tracks
stretching back nearly 15 years — more than 100 of which have been licensed to compilations —these days Israeli trance producer Asher Swissa is best known for his explosive live sets. Together with Assaf B-Bass, band mate and chief A&R of his Chemical Crew label and another Tel Aviv trance producer of some pedigree, Skazi live fuses electro and trance with metal (at one time even incorporating Igor Cavalera of Sepultura), as well as reflecting Swissa’s roots in Israeli hardcore punk bands. Which certainly explains song titles like ‘Anarchy’ and ‘F-king My Brain’. He’s released a plethora of artist albums and compilations, like the three volumes of ‘Zoo’, and performed in far-flung corners of the globe. As well as Israel, he’s performed in Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Greece, South Africa, Switzerland, Holland, Portugal, Australia, Russia, India, Spain, the UK, Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden… we could go on. They’ve even kicked anarchic trance-metal ass at the foot of Mount Fuji at
the Fuji Rock festival. As well as being asked to remix house classics like Benny Benassi’s ‘Satisfaction’, his highlights of 2010 included a trip to play by the Mayan pyramids as part of a tour of Mexico. “I felt that the energy there was heavenly,” he says. “It felt special, I had the Maya energy!”
But don’t feel left out if you checked him out elsewhere. Ever positive, he declares: “I enjoy a good moment in every part of the world I visit. I’ve been working on a lot of projects at the same time and travelling a lot. I learn and progress while working. And that not only keeps me updated and informed, but that knowledge elevates me professionally every year.” Unrepentant about his recent conversion to producing vocal tracks on his last album, he says his next LP offering, due in February, is “likely to host big vocalists, such as MC Fishy, and also some unconventional and not so mainstream instruments.” The mind boggles, but we’re all ears. BEN WILLMOTT
Paul Kalkbrenner STYLE: “Techno.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Golden shoes.” GIG OF 2010: “Concert in Berlin Arena, Treptow.” TUNE OF 2010: “EES & Mama Afrika ‘Salutation - The Vuvuzela Song’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Fritz Kalkbrenner.” Choosing to part company with Ellen Allien’s Berlin-based BPitch Control label at the end of 2009, veteran techno producer Kalkbrenner has been going it alone in 2010 and doing a pretty good job, concentrating on live shows rather than releases at present. But for all his technical prowess and production skills, Kalkbrenner prefers to keep it painfully simple when it comes to, well, speaking, offering only this lone nugget of wisdom when reflecting on the past 365 days. “It has been a year full of surprises and new dimensions in every aspect.... mostly good ones.” What those surprises were will remain shrouded in ambiguity, but it seems fair to assume that they could include his sold-out European tour and the upcoming release of his live documentary, scheduled for the end of the year, which will
feature footage from 10 live shows of said tour. Kalkbrenner is no stranger to things of a filmic nature, having soundtracked and starred in the cult 2008 flick ‘Berlin Calling’, depicting a DJ in the thick of the city’s clubbing debauchery. But Kalkbrenner remains a musician at heart, with 15 years of experience helping him to nail his own sound, built around big, lush melodies and subtle click-house beats, reminiscent of a clubbier Gui Boratto. As well as a new studio album planned, 2011 will see Kalkbrenner attempting to recreate the solid success of his 2010 live performances, with a second European tour. As for specifics, well, Kalkbrenner is again keeping schtum, the scoundrel, but it’ll no doubt be worth investigating. TRISTAN PARKER
Best new club visited this year? “Pasaje Americas, Mexico City.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “World Cup 2010 National Anthems.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Beard trimmer, 11 Freunde magazine, my girlfriend’s panties.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “I already did.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Not being a DJ and playing live.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “The silence after all.”
PETE TONG Style: “Sexy house (tech) and all the trimmings.” Best known for: “Friday night radio shows on BBC Radio 1. Host and co-producer of Essential Mix.” Gig of 2010: “Il Muretto in Jesolo, Italy, closing party, and Wonderland with Fatboy Slim on 27th August was insane.” Tune of 2010: “Taras Van De Voorde ‘1998’.” Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2010: “Marco Carola’s comeback at Cocoon Ibiza, 2000 and One, and Tom Flynn.” Despite being involved with dance music for over 20 years, Pete Tong has lost none of his enthusiasm. Indeed, when DJmag speaks to the Radio 1 presenter, he’s especially upbeat about two of the birthplaces of electronic music — Ibiza and the US. “Wonderland really established itself in Ibiza this year. Everything clicked in year three and we have built an excellent team,” Tong says of his summer residency on the White Isle. “I had some amazing shows in the US as well, in NYC, LA and Las Vegas. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the dance boom evolves in North America.”
in Ibiza have remained a priority for the Radio 1 DJ. Apart from the ‘Wonderland’ mix CD, Tong also released a single on Toolroom this year as well as remixing Phoenix, Underworld, Rasmus Faber feat Candi Staton and Bryan Ferry — does he find producing a challenge, as opposed to presenting a radio show or DJing? “I’m not sure challenge is the right word. It’s a lot of fun and very therapeutic,” he says. “For one reason or another, I was a slow starter, but it’s a big priority now and is really helping shape and enhance my DJing. The soundtrack work is something I especially enjoy. I’ve invested in a great studio and Paul Rogers has been working with me full time. The only challenge is sorting out my life to spend more time in there!”
Tong has also been busy in a ‘behind the scenes’ capacity, and his agency, WME, a collaboration with the William Morris Agency, as well as his Richard Brophy involvement with the International Music Summit
Best new club visited this year? “Room 26, Rome; Provocateur, New York; and Discotheque, Moscow.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Gorillaz ‘Plastic Beach’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “MacBook Pro, Moleskine notebook and a good book.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Mark Wahlberg.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Making people smile.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Reboot ‘Caminando’.”
BLOODY BEETROOTS STYLE: “I have no clue.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Disrespect ... ha ha.“ GIG OF 2010: “Manchester, 200 people.” TUNE OF 2010: “Herbie Hancock ‘Chameleon’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Congorock.” Bob Rifo (aka Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo) and Tommy Tea were both well-known on the Italian music scene as an indie producer and DJ respectively before they joined forces to become the Bloody Beetroots in late 2006. Since then, their ‘take no prisoners’ sonic style has unleashed tracks such as ‘Cornelius’ and ‘Warp 1.9’, the latter in collaboration with Steve Aoki, who has also championed them Stateside on his Dim Mak imprint. Despite the intensity of many of their releases so far, it would be a mistake to pigeonhole the duo as one-dimensional ear-bleed specialists. This is acutely demonstrated by their current remix of The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Dissolve’, which is possibly their most accessible and accomplished production to date.
Indeed, unpredictability is a large part of the Bloody Beetroots’ appeal. They play their double-handed DJ sets wearing Mexican wrestler-style facemasks and declare, “CDs are dead and vinyls are having a new life”. They are about to embark on a 20-date North American tour as a live three-piece (augmented by drummer Edward Grinch) and going under the similarly expanded name of The Bloody Beetroots — Death Crew 77. A man of few words, Bob Rifo tells DJmag that the most interesting place he visited in 2010 was “the oldest bookshop in Venice” and that his plans for next year are “to make a conspiracy”. But then who needs to rely on words when you make music with as much power and passion as the Bloody Beetroots do? David McCarthy
Best new club visited this year? “Haven’t been there yet.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “AC4 ‘AC4’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “House keys, cigarettes and a book.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Ben Foster.” Best thing about being a DJ? “If there’s no electricity, you can’t play.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “John Murphy ‘No More Films’.”
Arnej STYLE: “Progressive trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “The dramatic and emotional element to my music.” GIG OF 2010: “Damascus, Syria. Being the first trance DJ to perform there was an overwhelming honour.” TUNE OF 2010: “Faithless ‘Not Going Home (Armin Van Buuren Mix)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Jonas Stenberg, he’s just a production machine, really loving the diversity in sound he brings.” A new name in the Top 100 list, Bosnian-
helped cement the overwhelming feeling of joy and respect,” he enthuses. The other big momentous event for Arnej this year was being the first international DJ to play in Syria. “We all remember the incident with Marco V two years ago [he cancelled a gig after death threats], which put everyone off for quite a while,” Arnej says. “I am glad that all that has been shattered and put aside, and the floodgates have been opened for the rest of Arnej has been playing bigger and bigger parties the DJ elite. I am quite honoured to have been in 2010; perhaps the biggest was being booked the first. There is no feeling quite like it, to be behind, in every sense of the word, a musical to play at Trance Energy in Utrecht, Holland. revolution in a country.” CARL LOBEN “Once I got onto that stage and saw people stood there to hear my performance, that just Canadian DJ/producer Arnej Secerkadic has steadily grown amongst the trance family since being tipped by Armin Van Buuren as Best New Producer in 2008. Now signed to Armada, his slew of well-received productions — and being the Canadian link for a lot of top trance jocks — has helped propel Arnej into the chart for the first time this year.
Best new club visited this year? “The famed Guvernment in Toronto, first time playing in front of my home crowd to a sold-out venue.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Hans Zimmer ‘Inception Soundtrack’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Deodorant, cologne, toothbrush!” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Matt Damon.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Sharing your passion for music with other music lovers.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “It would have to be Arnej ‘Free Of You’, ever since I premiered the record at the kick-off party for A State Of Trance 450.”
Joris Voorn Style: “Tech house.” Best known for: “‘Sweep the Floor’.” Gig of 2010: “My Ibiza We Love Space residency.” Tune of 2010: “Uffie ‘Add Suv (Armand van Helden Remix Joris Voorn Edit)’.” Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2010: “Mendo has been making some amazing remixes this year.” Performing everywhere worldwide, 2010
saw Dutch producer Joris Voorn make the transition from techno’s underground into dance music’s mainstream. While he had originally gained his reputation as a purveyor of deep techno, Voorn’s big release this year was ‘The Secret’ on Sven Väth’s Cocoon, which owed more to the electronic disco of Patrick Cowley than Detroit melodies. “Sven’s asked me for a release many times, and with ‘The Secret’ I had something I thought would really fit. I’m sure it won’t be the last one on Cocoon, although I don’t have a follow up yet,” says Voorn, who has just returned from a tour of Singapore and Japan. Despite the direction that his own output has taken, Voorn feels that from a DJing perspective, house music offered the most
interesting sounds this year. “2010 has seen, even more than 2009, the return of pure house music to the mainstream —it’s nothing really new or interesting, but good for the dancefloor,” he says. Speaking of house music, Voorn’s Green and Rejected labels focused on this sound and had a successful year, bucking the ongoing trend of falling sales. “We’ve had a great year music-wise. Edwin Oosterwal released his debut EP ‘Dusty House Room 4’ on Rejected, which got played a lot by everyone. We also released Ripperton’s fantastic debut album on Green, which was an honour and a success,” Joris says. RICHARD BROPHY
Best new club visited this year? “Trouw in Amsterdam, the freshest club in the Netherlands.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Coco Rosie ‘Grey Oceans’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Book, passport, toothbrush.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Someone new, unknown to the public, like the actor playing Ian Curtis in Anton Corbijn’s Control.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Seeing the world.” Best end-ofthe-night tune? “My new remix of Bodzin & Romboy.”
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DADA LIFE STYLE: “Electro-house-pop.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “All the champagne-drinking and banana-munching gives these pranksters a little bit more energy than the rest.” GIG OF 2010: “Nocturnal festival in Los Angeles.” TUNE OF 2010: “Technotronic vs Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike ‘Pump Up the Jam (Refune)’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “Angger Dimas.” “If 2010 was a pizza with all different kinds
of yummy stuff, 2011 will be the year when it explodes and hits people in the face. We’re more than ready for that,” say Dada Life. Hopefully the news that they’ve been included in the Top 100 will be like the little black olive slap-bang in the middle, surrounded by all the other yummy stuff they’ve been enjoying this year, namely touring with Tiësto, playing show-stealing sets at Nocturnal festival and Electric Daisy Carnival and giving their trademark sound to remixes of artists as diverse as Martin Solveig, Dan Black, Alex Gopher and Kylie Minogue. These self-styled purveyors of electro-housepop and fans of bananas and champagne
have brought a bit of childish glee to the sometimes po-faced world of electro this year. Who else, for instance, would ignore some of the more illicit pleasures offered them backstage in favour of bigging up the free chocolate bars available? It‘s an attitude personified as much in the cheeky vibe of their massively successful single ‘Just Bleep Me’ as the funny faces they pull in their publicity shots. Stefan and Olle were ensconced in the studio in Sweden when we caught up with them, and although they seem delighted about what 2010 has brought them, they’re promising us 2011 will be even better — “the year of the Dada”, they reckon. BEN WILLMOTT
Best new club visited this year? “Voyeur in San Diego has a great vibe and sound and the nicest people — both backstage and in the crowd.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Beach House ‘Teen Dream’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Inflatable stuff for the stage, extra pair of sneakers, sleeping bag (you never know).” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? Stefan: “A young Mickey Rourke.” Olle: “An old Joaquin Phoenix.” Best thing about being a DJ? “The free chocolate bars backstage?” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Dada Life ‘Just Bleep Me’. Gives everybody (including us) that little extra energy needed for the ending.”
NOISECONTROLLERS DJ STYLE: “Hardstyle.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Noisecontrollers ‘Attack Again’.” GIG OF 2010: “Thrillogy.” TUNE OF 2010: “Noisecontrollers & Toneshifterz ‘Jaydee’/ Noisecontrollers ‘Faster N Further’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Toneshifterz.” Dutch duo Noisecontrollers, Arjan Terpstra and decision to move into the live arena. They
Bas Oskam, must be chuffed to bits with how the last few years have gone for them. The pair got together at the end of 2005, when hip-hoploving Terpstra and trance producer Oskam found a common passion in the uniquely Dutch musical genre, hardstyle. Their backgrounds melded perfectly, and in next to no time, they were taking hardstyle — an advance on hardcore, rave and gabba — to the next level. Their first release, ‘Wanna Freak You’ certainly did that, and this was quickly followed by ‘Creatures’. That was released on Fusion Records, and began a relationship that continues to this day. In 2007, Noisecontrollers took the natural
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recruited MC Renegade, and their career has gone from strength-to-strength since —they have played all over the world at events like Qontrol, Qrime Time, Reverze and HardBass. Their DJ sets are the stuff of legend and they are real poster boys for the uncompromising and dynamic hardstyle sound. In the last few years their singles, ‘Shreek’, ‘Venom’ and “Rushroom’ have seen them gain even more column inches. So onto this year: their collaboration with Australian kindred spirits Toneshifterz brought the elephantine releases ‘Jaydee’ and ‘Empire Of the Sun’. More power to them. JIM BUTLER
Best new club visited this year? “There are way too many to mention.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “B.O.B ‘The Adventures Of Bobby Ray’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Records case, MacBook Pro, toothbrush.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Gremlins!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Playing your own tunes and touring around the whole world with your own music.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Pass.”
Showtek Style: “Showtek style.” Best Known For: “FTS, which stands for Fuck The System. Always breaking down the barricades and going against the stream, knocking down the doors.” Gig of 2010: “Showtek Fuck The System at the O2 Academy in Glasgow.” Tune of 2010: “Marcel Woods ‘The Bottle (Showtek Remix)’.” BreakthRough DJ/Producer of 2010: “Dutch Master.” “Busy, hectic, phenomenal, like a rollercoaster, so amazing!” These are just some of the words that high-flying Dutch hardstyle duo Showtek aka brothers Wouter and Sjoerd Janssen use to describe 2010. Performing in the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia as well as their usual dates across Europe, they also cite Asia and particularly South Korea as the place that got switched onto the Showtek sound this year. “On New Year’s, we played at Seoul, which was awesome. We’re going to go back there by the end of this year,” they say. Despite all the globetrotting, it is surprising that they also managed to release a string
Best new club visited this year? “Club Volume, Seoul.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Caro Emerald ‘Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Rodger our tour manager, some JD to boost the adrenaline level and a box of zure matjes.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Bert and Ernie — we have the same eyebrows!” Best thing about being a DJ? “Sharing the same passion for music with our fans all over the world.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Our bootleg of ‘One’ by the Swedish House Mafia.”
LAURENT WOLF Style: “House.” Best known for: “Keeping the French Touch alive.” Gig of 2010: “The Landstreffet dance music festival in Stavanger, Norway in May. Tiësto, Pitbull and Benny Benassi all played. The crowd were fantastic: they were crazy. It was such a good atmosphere and really well organised.” Tune of 2010: “My own track ‘Suzie’. It’s the second song on my new album.” Breakthrough DJ/ Producer of 2010: “Wolfgang Gartner. He’s very good. Very methodical; very different.” When DJmag finally catches up with French
DJ heartthrob Laurent Wolf, it’s no surprise to learn that he’s in a train station. Wolf, you see, is permanently on the move — a lover of all the good things in life that success continues to bring him. This year has been no different — gigs in Brazil and Colombia are two particular highlights. “The people were so up for the music. It’s great to see,” he says, his enthusiasm undimmed by countless years at the top of the DJ game.
It’s unlikely that 2011 will be any different, either. His new album is in the bag — listening to him extol the virtues of his ‘Suzie’ track is quite an experience — and he’s got a number of tour dates pencilled in already. “I’ve got a big tour of Asia coming up,” he affirms. “Promotion is the name of the game for next year. It’s tough but fun. I really want to go to some new countries…” He proceeds to reel off a list of countries he wants to play: “China, Kazakhstan…” Promoters, are you listening? JIM BUTLER
Best new club visited this year? “I didn’t really go to any great new clubs this year.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “John Legend & The Roots ‘Wake Up’. I’ve been listening to it for the last three months. It’s really good. I really like John Legend.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My phone, my music and my headset.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Robert De Niro. He’s the best actor.” Best thing about being a DJ? “My life. The good hotels, good food, good clubs — all the best things in life.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “A track Da Fresh gave me. I’m not sure what it’s called. He gave it to me on a CD when he was playing before me.”
of singles on their own Dutch Master Works label. So how did they manage to balance touring and producing? “Luckily, we made time to spend some quality hours in our studio. Producing is like breathing, producing your own music gives you the international exposure you need as an artist. It also brings us all over the world and we try not to miss a single day. This summer, we even took extra time to produce instead of touring,” they admit. Apart from releases on their own label, Showtek also have tracks on a new compilation, ‘Fuck the System’, released this month on Ministry Of Sound.
Claudia Cazacu STYLE: “Tech trance/tech house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Claudia Cazacu feat Audrey Gallagher ‘Freefalling’.” GIG OF 2010: “Judgement Sunday, Ibiza.” TUNE OF 2010: “Cirez D ‘Glow’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Tristan Ingram/Ben Gold.” We’ve all heard countless stories of the DJ
child prodigies, spinning in clubs since they were pre-pubescent sprogs, but there’s also a lot to be said for late-bloomers of the scene. Just ask the feisty Claudia Cazacu, who has climbed the ranks obscenely fast in the four short years since launching her professional career as a producer and DJ of hard, clubby trance, a la van Doorn and van Dyk. How has she done it? Certainly not by slacking off in 2010. “Eight original releases, three remixes and two compilation albums have kept me busy in 2010,” says Cazacu, and there is of course more planned. “I’m already working on next year’s releases with some vocal projects.”
If 2010 was the year of Cazacu cementing her sound and reputation as an established DJ — exploiting the deserved success of her nu-euphoric 2009 anthem ‘Freefalling’ — it looks like 2011 will be the year of finding out what musical boundaries this status will allow her to cross. “[I’m working on] a couple of big vocal projects, as well as taking my sound in a slightly new direction. I really want to experiment a bit more and take some risks musically.” Risky business that risk-taking, but if there’s anyone that can pull it off with a bit of zing, my money’s on Cazacu. TRISTAN PARKER
Best new club visited this year? “Perfecto at Rain, Las Vegas. Now that’s what I call a light show!” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Lady Gaga ‘The Fame Monster’. She is the new Madonna.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “My own pillow, sleeping pills and eye mask. I like sleep.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Megan Fox. I hear she can be quite demanding, too.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Doing what I love for a living, there isn’t anything I’d rather do.”Best end-of-the-night tune? “Pryda ‘The End’, obviously!”
CALVIN HARRIS STYLE: “Melodic, accessible, going off, some bleepy noises — hard to say in one word!” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Being the third tallest man in dance music.” GIG OF 2010: “Cream, Amnesia, Ibiza.” TUNE OF 2010: “Mr Blink ‘Gecko’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Bart B More.” “DJing has been a revelation,” admits Calvin Harris, clearly buzzing from a year that has seen him morph efficiently from a slightly questionable popstar-turned-DJ novelty into another commercial-but-credible party starter in the mould of Laidback Luke, Swedish House Mafia, Steve Aoki et al. Having first broken into the charts and the clubs with his insanely catchy electro-pop ditty ‘Acceptable In the ’80s’ back in 2007, the Scottish producer is finding his DJ talents are earning him similarly populist acclaim. With diverse producers like Afrojack, Swedish House Mafia, Michael Woods, Bart B More, Hot City and Burns filling his CD wallet, Calvin’s ram jammed DJ calendar has an equally eclectic make up, with excursions in faraway lands like Singapore, Japan and China sitting side-by-side with headlining
HIGHEST FEMALE DJ
festival sets at the likes of V, LED and Ireland’s Oxegen. One month he’ll be rousing the WKDswilling masses at a ritzy in Chelmsford, the next he’ll be rocking Ibiza’s glitzy Pacha. “Ibiza was amazing this year,” he adds. “There was a real fresh feeling and energy to the island. Maybe it’s the David Guetta effect — it feels like a lot of people are getting into dance music right now.” In true Guetta style, Calvin’s autumn DJ calendar will be dominated by a US tour alongside Paul Oakenfold, Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki. But what of his own productions? “I haven’t been in the studio for a while and I don’t see myself singing when I do get back in there,” he admits. “I don’t see myself as a pop star – I don’t see that really going on. I’m just not cut out for it.” ALLAN MCGRATH
Best new club visited this year? “No idea!” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “Hurts ‘Happiness’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Mac charger, socks, iLok”. Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Brian Blessed.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Watching people going off.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Pryda ‘Niton’ is an emotional one!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Reboot ‘Caminando’.”
Luciano It’s been a busy if not polarising year for one of minimal’s earliest proponents. Ask some, and he’s taken the brave step of improving the musical outlook of one of Ibiza’s most commercial venues, Pacha, but ask others and they’ll tell you he’s sold out. Whatever your position, there’s no denying that the decision Luciano took to have a weekly residency at the home of the hanging cherries certainly paid off in summer 2010. Packed out each week, guests ranged from dOP to DJ Koze to Ryan Crosson, on top of all the usual suspects like Michel Cleis, Cesar Merveille and Lee van Dowski. Aside from that, the Swiss Chilean’s oft-pioneering label, Cadenza, has had another strong year. Back in March, it was announced that the label was spawning a younger sibling, Cadenza Lab — a digital-only outlet which kicked off with EPs by the boss himself, close label associate Mirko Loko and lesser-known names Yakine, Francisco Allendes and Marcelo Rosselot. On top of that, June saw Cadenza release the masterfully-woven minimal soundtrack that was Reboot’s debut album, ‘Shunyata’, whilst label parties have happened everywhere from Belgium to Brazil. Live shows, too, have dominated
MARCUS SCHOSSOW STYLE: “Schossow style. Swedish techno grooves mixed with big room trance and house.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “My sound that sticks out.” GIG OF 2010: “Together As One in Los Angeles for 90,000 people.” TUNE OF 2010: “Marcus Schossow ‘Alright’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Producers: Nifra, Sebastian Brandt, Mike Hawkins and Paul Ercossa.” Sweden’s Marcus Schossow has had a
rollercoaster last couple of years, with highlights that saw him release his debut album ‘Outside the Box’, win the title of the official Most Popular Nordic DJ and enter the DJmag Top 100 poll for the first time last year. After creating some initial notoriety involving a Deadmau5 send-up, Schossow’s selfdeclared mission “to reinvent dance music” saw him mix up techno, house and trance elements. His breakthrough releases, such as ‘Hypnotizer’ and ‘Crepusculo’ in tandem with fellow producer Thomas Sagstad caused the likes of Axwell, Steve Lawler and, perhaps most importantly, Tiësto to become strong supporters. The latter went on to include Schossow’s ‘Chase My Rabbit’ on his mix album ‘In Search of Sunrise 6’.
Still only 25-years-old, Schossow already has some impressive DJ appearances under his belt, including Dance Valley, Godskitchen, Sunrise Festival, Escape Into the Park and Zurich’s Street Parade. He also has a realistically modern view of the relationship between making music and DJing. “It goes hand-in-hand,” he says, “you can’t be a superstar DJ without producing these days, unless your name is Halliwell.” When asked if there is a distinctive ‘Nordic’ style, Schossow’s opinion of the impact his part of the world is having on the international dance scene is nothing short of bullish: “Well, we pretty much own the producing market these days,” he reckons. David McCarthy
Best new club visited this year? “Can’t even remember! But I loved playing at Privilege (Ibiza), such an amazing club.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “The two Jonsi albums were amazing!” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Passport, boxers and headphones.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Rocco Siffredi. ”Best thing about being a DJ? “All the amazing moments you get the chance to experience.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Marcus Schossow ‘Strings’.”
Luciano’s year, with a landmark set on an Ibiza beach (side-by-side with fellow techno legend Carl Craig) being one of his season’s highlights. 2010 was also the year in which Luciano revived one of his older live monikers, Lucien-n-Luciano. It’s a pseudonym which, during the early ‘00s, had the DJ whipping up blistering collages of minimal loops and Latin vocal samples and one which was as well received as ever when unleashed at Pacha this summer. Whilst his own productions may have seemed few and far between, then, Luciano has been busy in other ways during 2010, pushing both his label and himself as a DJ. Only set to cement both things further are the upcoming release of Ernesto Ferreyra’s debut full-length on the imprint, ‘La Paraiso De Las Tortugas’, and Luciano’s own busy tour schedule which, amongst other places, takes him down under in the coming months. Kristan J Caryl
Sied Van Riel STYLE: “Trance, progressive trance, tech-trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Always doing my own thing.” GIG OF 2010: “A State Of Trance 450, Wroclaw, Poland and Bal en Blanc, Montreal.” TUNE OF 2010: Anton Firtich ‘Hello World’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “W&W.”
Tipped by Tiësto as Best New Producer in
a shit-load of others. My singles ‘Radiator’, 2008, Sied is yet another Dutch trancer with ‘Crossroads’ and ‘Serendipity’ went through the middle name ‘Van’. It was his ‘Rush’ the roof in the charts — I am a happy and release on Black Hole in 2008 that really put lucky man.” CARL LOBEN his name on the map, and after his ‘In Riel Time Vol.1’ CD mix in 2009 he crashed into the Top 100 DJs list at No.85 last year. “This year was insane, compared to last,” Sied tells us. “I literally flew all over the globe doing events such as Sensation in Melbourne on New Year’s Eve, Trance Energy, the WMC, Bal en Blanc (Canada), ASOT 450, Privilege Ibiza, Buenos Aires and
Best new club visited this year? “Zouk, Singapore.” Favourite nondance album of 2010? “Seal ‘6: Commitment’.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Shaving equipment,painkillers for hangover headaches, laptop.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Christopher Walken.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Sharing my thing with a lot of people, and of course the life that comes with it!” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Andre Hazes ‘The Highest Time’.”
THE THRILLSEEKERS STYLE: “Trance.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “The track that started it all: ‘Synaesthesia’.” GIG OF 2010: “Boracay Beach festival, Philippines.” TUNE OF 2010: “Rafaël Frost ‘Flashback’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/PRODUCER OF 2010: “Arty.” “His production is as solid as a rock, and his melodies are breathtaking. The man should get a medal for all the crowds that have gone crazy on the floor listening to his music.” Not our words, but those of one Armin van Buuren, talking about trance wizard Steve Helstrip. Under the name The Thrillseekers, he’s not only penned scores of world-beating anthems like ‘Savanna’, ‘City Of Angels’, ‘Open Our Eyes’, ‘By Your Side’, ‘The Last Time’ and ‘Synaesthesia’, but is now also set about conquering the world of live performance. Having previously gone out on the road alone, taking his show to Moscow, San
Francisco and, er, Elephant and Castle — well, it was The Gallery’s 15th birthday party at the Ministry Of Sound — earlier this year, Helstrip has a new vision for next year. He’s assembled a five-piece band for the new Thrillseekers live show set to launch in 2011, alongside the arrival of a new album, due out in February. “We’re proposing the evolution of this project by expanding the performance aspect of the show,” he says, “growing from a solo instrumental show to a full five-piece showcase, designed to meet the requirements of large scale events.” BEN WILLMOTT
Best new club visited this year? “Zirca, Singapore. As much for the crowd as the club itself.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “LCD Soundsystem’s ‘This Is Happening’ has clocked up the most plays on my iPod. Killer album.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Something decent to read, some heavyweight sleeping pills to re-align the body clock, and some American dollars, should I need to buy my way out of a tricky situation in some dodgy part of the world.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “He’s getting on a bit now, but Rhys Ifans cracks me up.” Best thing about being a DJ? “As well as being centre of attention for a few hours every weekend, you get invited to all the best after parties.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “This year it’s been my ‘Live Xtreme Mix’ of ‘Synaesthesia’.”
STYLE: Electro BEST KNOWN FOR: Justice vs Simian ‘We Are Your Friends’, their neon cross.
The inclusion of Gaspard Augé and
Xavier de Rosnay in the poll again is of course a testament to their popularity, even more so considering the relative lack of public domain activity in the past year — their DJing so far in 2010 has been limited to the ‘Club 75’ project alongside Busy P, Cassius and DJ Mehdi, and there’s been a total absence of new material releases. In spite of this, the continuing massive support for Justice should come as no surprise. Their meteoric rise — from the ‘failed competition entry to genuine international hit’ of ‘We Are Your Friends’ through to establishing themselves as a true massive worldwide touring/DVD/ live album outfit — has seen them consolidate the constituency of the
DJ Vibe STYLE: “Free at last, free at last.” BEST KNOWN FOR: “Putting Portugal into the world of electronica and dance music.” GIG OF 2010: “Industria Club opening night was truly special.” TUNE OF 2010: “Pablo Cahn ‘Elle’.” BREAKTHROUGH DJ/ PRODUCER OF 2010: “Alex Niggemann.” DJ Vibe, or António “Tó” Pereira to his
friends, became a DJ aged 15 when he played at Lisbon Bataclan way back in 1983. He now occupies a unique position in Portugal’s musical landscape; responsible for introducing the sound of acid house to his country, Vibe moved on to achieve international success with Underground Sound of Lisbon in collaboration with Rui Da Silva, and now hosts Portugal’s most popular long-running dance-based radio show on the national network Antena 3. Portugal’s strict laws have seen a unique situation develop regarding the “is vinyl dead debate?” as DJ Vibe tells DJmag. “Unfortunately, due to legislation in Portugal, CDs have been a tool almost
impossible for DJs to use,” he explains. “You are only safe with the police if you play vinyl or MP3s in your laptop, but even then, you should also have invoices proving files were bought legally and paid for.” Having at one time or another been resident at most of the important clubs in Portugal’s history, including the likes of Lux Fragile and the Kremlin in Lisbon, this year has seen Vibe open his own venue. “My new club Industria is in Oporto,” he says. “We’ve made a unique intimate room for DJs to enjoy playing to a crowd that really wants to have it! I’m very proud of what has been done,” he continues, “and to be able to invite DJs and friends from around the world to come over and enjoy it.” David McCarthy
Best new club visited this year? “Industria Club, Oporto, Portugal.” Favourite non-dance album of 2010? “None.” Essential three suitcase tour items? “Laptop, Traktor Box, controllers.” Which actor would play you in a film of your life? “Robert Downey Jnr.” Best thing about being a DJ? “Life is a party, the party is life.” Best end-of-the-night tune? “Tensnake ‘Coma Cat’.”
noughties’ dance/rock crossover movement by appealing as much to European clubbers, bedroom cool-kid bloggers and international stadium rock fans alike. One important part of one aspect of their image — be it carefully cultivated or classically stumbled upon — is that of the tried-andtested rock-god ‘us and them’ artist/ audience divide. The cross motif they use is obviously tongue-in-cheek and hasn’t stopped them getting big in America, and it’s certain that we haven’t heard the last of this Gallic duo. David McCarthy
the next 50
Which DJs just missed out on a Top 100 DJs placing this year? Who’s fallen out, and who could be set to creep into the all-important 100 next year? These are the cats bubbling under this year… Dennis Ferrer
Steve Lawler Lisa Lashes
101 Astral Projection 102 Gui Boratto 103 Steve Aoki 104 Ricardo Villalobos 105 Giuseppe Ottaviani 106 Rusko 107 Francis Davila 108 Serge Devant 109 Simon Posford 110 Menno De Jong 111 Juanjo Martin 112 Antoine Clamaran 113 Marco Carola 114 Funkerman 115 Stoneface & Terminal 116 Matt Hardwick 117 Tritonal
118 Steve Lawler 119 Christopher Lawrence
120 Jerome Isma-Ae 121 Tocadisco 122 David Vendetta 123 Blank & Jones 124 Kutski 125 Lisa Lashes 126 Jimmy Savile 127 Alex MORPH 128 Antoine 129 Rank 1 130 Crookers 131 Sharam 132 DJ Hype 133 Greg Downey www.djmag.ae
134 Nitrous Oxide 135 Tiga 136 Felguk 137 Loco Dice 138 Mike Koglin 139 Bad Boy Bill 140 Edward Maya 141 Noisia 142 Brennan Heart 143 Dennis Ferrer 144 Funkagenda 145 Solar Stone 146 Yahel 147 Morten Breum 148 Wildstylez 149 Sebastien Leger 150 Max Vangeli 67
In the bag....
Somehow, Lifelike has never quite got the props he deserves within the grand canon of French house masters, but a new track featuring Yota and Namebrand, dropping on his own new label Computer Science, promises to change all that. “Right now I’m building up my record label, we just released a new record called ‘Love Emulator’. It’s a full vocal track, and we’ve got great DJ support right now, which surprises me because for the first time I’ve changed some stuff in my music, with rap vocals and female vocals in the chorus. It’s a pop song, but a little bit like Grandmaster Flash featuring Janet Jackson, something like Since bursting onto the scene in that!” 2002 with his debut single ‘The Meanwhile, his DJ gigs continue to Cult’ on 2000st, he’s mastered the tricky art of crafting credible clock up, with a tour of the States promised in September, taking dancefloor beasts. It was 2005’s ‘Discopolis’, a collaboration with in Hidden Valley Park in Irvine, Kris Menace, that truly announced California, among others. With a DJ style pitched somewhere his silky skills to the world — a between disco, electro and brazen recalibration of electrofunk that populist crowd-pleasing vocal bombed clubs like a particularly vibes, Laurent is working with deadly remote-controlled drone — and since then, he’s continued a winning formula. Here are his latest club juggernauts… to fashion ever more potent distillations of his unique sound for labels like PIAS, Vulture and Work It Baby, and remixes of La Roux, Chromeo and Moby. Trying to pin down the style of French DJ/producer Laurent Heinrich, or Lifelike, isn’t easy. Imagine filtrated shards of classique French touch house, stirred into the throbbing machine bass of Giorgio Moroder, with an acerbic electro edge and a lil’ pop sugar to sweeten the pudding, and you’re only half way there. Indeed, Laurent’s not even sure himself how to describe his music. “My sound? I don’t know exactly! It’s still French house, because there is a Daft Punk vibe, but my background is more pop than a straight up electro sound.”
Visitor ‘Los Feeling (Alan Braxe Remix)’
Vitalic ‘Poison Lips’
Bloody Beetroots feat Steve Aoki ‘Warp 1.9’
“First of all, the track is really amazing! I hope this track is going to go all the way, because to me it’s one of the hits of the summer. It’s like a pop song, but with dance beats behind it. I was surprised the remix wasn’t more dancefloor.”
“I love this track. The break in the middle is a little bit like my track with Kris Menace, ‘Discopolis’. It’s the first time I’ve heard a track from Vitalic that is softer, normally his tunes are very hard. I think he wanted to show he could do something that’s not only for the techno dancefloor.”
“You have to play it! When I heard it the first time, I was like, ‘Waah?’ It sounds like old hardcore from the ’90s, but the arrangement is so good you can hear that it will work, instantly. It’s very different from other things I’d play. I normally play a few old ’90s tracks, things like D-Shake ‘Techno Trance’, and Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, and then this.”
DJ Hell feat Bryan Ferry ‘U Can Dance’ Gigolo
“This is not normally the kind of record I play, because it’s very techno, but I can mix it into the middle of my set and people are surprised. It takes a long time to take off, but when it explodes, it’s really brilliant. I love Bryan Ferry too, I have lots of Roxy Music records.”
In Flagranti ‘XXX’ Codek
“This is brilliant. It’s not at all the sound of the moment. I think it’s really sick, in the middle you hear a chicken crowing! It works well. “The kind of records I play are somewhere between pop, disco and more dancefloor. They have a big pop influence because there are vocals, and I think they have a nice vibe, you can play them anywhere.”
Hecher & Ward ‘Lamborghini’ Tonite Records
“It’s on a very small label. I’m not sure if they’re German, but it sounds like it. This is brilliant, it’s like a Giorgio Moroder track. It’s very pumping, I love to play it!”
REVIEWS Killers The cutting-edge releases you need in your life
‘Angel Brain/Pineapple Crush’
Indulging their My Bloody Valentine/Ride/Slowdive shoegaze fantasies to the hilt, ‘Swoon’ is the clear highlight of the Bros’ new opus ‘Further’. It’s the remixes, though, which rocket the track into the stratosphere, each offering radical reinterpretations which function independently from the source material. Boys Noize dispenses with the latter half of his name for once, and crafts a loved-up
confection of Justice-esque electrofunk and blissful rave melodies, keeping the mellifluous vocal slivers. Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, meanwhile, take it into Daniele Baldelli Cosmic territory in a very accessible, irresistible and downright fonky version.
Rising producer Lone, previously known for his Boards Of Canada-do-electro-boogie albums ‘Lemurian’ and ‘Ecstasy & Friends’, flips the script on this first single for his new label. Mutated upper echelon techno futurism with embedded shards of classic hardcore, ‘Angel Brain’ is the crossroads at which Metroplex and early proto-jungle label Reinforced Records meet, with a dash of skipped up UK funky beat clatter to
Boom Jinx & Andrew Bayer
‘Hole In My Head feat SirReal’
So that’s what Barry Ashworth gets up to when he’s not in Dub Pistols mode! Dogtown Clash is normally an outlet for Bazza and Billy Borez’s ska-tinged breaks stuff, but this is something a little bit different. A simply gigantic electro monster that comes across like a far more depraved version of Wiley’s ‘Wearing My Rolex’, ‘Hole In My Head’ is designed to blow festival crowds and main rooms to smithereens.
It’s rare that a trance cut reaches the Killers pages — but this is no ordinary trance cut. Far from the prosaic propensities of much of the genre, this comes from two artists with rare pedigree. Boom Jinx makes breaks on Distinctive when not tinkering with trance, while Andrew Bayer makes immaculate glitchtronica for Ghostly International in his spare time. But what’s the tune like? Well, picture a pro-
Over a throbbing, indecent electro bassline (did someone mention trance?), MC SirReal spits lyrics touched by madness, as the whole affair rapidly builds into an acid-singed, debauched dancefloor anthem. Cool mixes too. Very big.
pulsive, progressive builder with tinkling eargasm keys, a funky wiggle in the bottom end, and a truly leviathan riff that could take out cities with one zap, and you have an immaculately crafted summer epic. Ignore at your own risk…
Who is behind it? Manuel Tur, Langenberg (Max Heesen) and Dplay (Dirk Gottwald).
What does it sound like? Warm-sounding house and techno with a sensitive touch. “We don’t
complete the picture. ‘Pineapple Crush’ is even better, adding Chicago house beats, fat stabs and a fragment of the ‘Think!’ break to create a club demolisher for the more forward-thinking floors and DJs.
REVIEWS Killers The cutting-edge releases you need in your life
‘U Got Me’
“Never judge a track by its title” is what my mother used to say, wasn’t it? Obviously, she never heard ‘Angel Echoes’, the opener from Mr Hebden’s astonishing ‘There Is Love In You’ LP released earlier this year. A soft, padded 4/4 and twinkling cymbals cushion the rising vocal loop that actually sounds like the echoed voice of an angel. Not something you would drop in peak time but DJmag can vouch for its
use as a heartfelt dancefloor hiatus. The flip is a strippeddown techno affair from Caribou with offbeat bumps and squelchy synapse rushes. Topped by a vocal breakdown that drops back into — and wades through — the murky swamp that preceded it. Atmospheric stuff.
LA maverick Lee Foss has cherry-picked the ingredients needed to work the summer dancefloor with this little package. ‘U Got Me’ opens with rhythmic, dark, distorted stabs, but lifts off on a soulful Omar-esque vocal loop. Add some filter to a rising vocal breakdown, throw in an irresistible discoboogie bassline and bursts of twinkling synth arpeggios, and you can see why Jamie Jones is all over this like a
Soul Motive 007
Over the last 18 months, pretty much everything touched by young Bashmore has turned to gold and ‘Soul Motive 007’ is no exception. ‘Batak Groove’ is haunted by bongos, tribal clicks and wooden percussion; deep, brooding and incredibly intricate, it steadily writhes and twists its way into every cerebral orifice. Sharp lasers add some menace, there’s a pause, and then, BOOM! Cue the thick, seething bassline.
Pete Herbert and Tim Paris bring a ticking electro-disco stomper that chugs along over swirling loops of percussion. Pops, clicks and chimes portray the unhinged mindset of a schizophrenic convict on death row, while a punching beat, swarming electronic bass and the introduction of bass strings build to make a distinctive tune, to say the least. The real gem, though, is the ‘Genius Of Time’ remix. Smoothed out into a warm,
want to limit ourselves to one sound, though, so expect the unexpected!“ says Max. Who releases on it? “Founded as a platform for our own projects, the label’s early releases were from Ribn, which
dog on heat. ‘Happen For A Reason’ is a stripped-back boogie tune — laced by a female garage vocal loop — that coils and breaks out into a piano melody that’s a bit too jazzy to be called Balearic, while ‘Chic Sheik’ is a moody stomper built around a killer drop. Timeless.
On the flip, the stepped out 4/4, airy rave synths and soulful Afro vocal sample of ‘Around’ are met with yet another, you guessed it, teasing, bumper of a bassline. Its charm is its restraint.
is Manuel Tur and Langenberg, their solo projects, and Dplay,” Max says. “We’ve had some great Steve Bug remixes and our latest single is by Blakkat, an exiled Blackpooler now based in LA, who featured on Manuel Tur’s debut album last summer.”
Who’s playing it? “Steve Bug, Jimpster, Dixon, Ralph Lawson and Brendon Moeller. But of course we hope that our music also finds a wider audience among the lesserknown DJs who are keeping this scene alive.”
bouncy house tune complete with intermittent female vocal sample and plucked string hook, it breaks down into a soft keyboard melody and globular acid bassline, dropping into a kicking snare and driving forward like a right groovy bastard. Nice.
What’s next? “Our most recent release is Blakkat’s ‘In This World’ featuring a Langenberg remix. It’s our first release to come from outside of Essen and we are very proud to have Blakkat provide this sweet summer anthem.”
QUICKIES Fausto Messina
Lust Und Freu.de
Komplex De Deep
An intense series of tracks from Milanese Messina, each balancing substance with style. Check the Swing Version of ‘Jesa’, a ragtime dancefloor devastator, no less.
Lofty and ambitious stuff here from Master-H, ably assisted by Voom:Voom man Christian Prommer who provides three mixes of this building saxhouse groove. Fabulous.
8.0 Jim Rivers dons his Seulo guise for Bristol’s Four:Twenty, delivering tech anthem ‘What Not’ and head-spinning ‘Cabin Fever’, with ace mixes from Cadenza’s Andomat 3000 and Wollion.
8.0 Confounding dancefloors across the globe, ‘Lorelei’ from Denmark’s Rune Riley Kolsch smashes together off-kilter beats with equally off-kilter synths. Over, ‘Silberpfeil’ is epic.
Russ Yallop 9.0 Whenyourname’salreadyRustyJames,you’dthinka nom-de-plumewouldbeunnecessary.Whatever,he’s extending CTR’s hot streak by nearly 20 minutes with this slick two-tracker. ‘I Can’t Wait’ hinges on snippets of The Mary Jane Girls’ classic ‘All Night Long’, but astonishingly manages to use the sample with ne’er a whiff of cheese, layering it thickly with delay over a rather rude bassline. Over, George McCrae’s ‘Rock Me Baby’ gets a royal seeing-to with another filthy bassline in the driving seat. Yallop packs a wallop, then.
2AM/FM 9.0 AroyDee’sMOSDeeplabel,affiliatedtoAmsterdam’s eminent Delsin, goes mos’ vintage here with two arresting acid house anthems utterly laden with Chitown soul. Firstly, James T. Cotton and D’Marc Cantu (aka 2AM/FM) serve up ‘Give This World’, a joyous, spine-tingling Mr Fingers-esque anthem, all sparse percussion, gorgeous pads and twinkling bells. Title track‘DesolateCities’isfirmer,acidic,darkanddirty, more akin to the classic Phuture sound. Both are stunning.
Rick Wade Minimood Extra
The greatest house music is all about the simplicity. The latest from the unstoppable Rick Wade, for some reason or other one of Detroit’s less heralded producers, finds him stripped to the bone, a hypnotic, vaguely jazzy, slightly spooky refrain lulling you into a glorious trance. It’s so simple, it’s ridiculous. And therein lies the beauty. Frankfurt’s Sascha Dive goes in deep, loading the bass, dropping chopped vocals and stabs to devastating effect, while Erich Bogatzky & Volt.Mar stay true to the original, using that haunting hook to their advantage. Finally, Treplec dices it into a million pieces and splices it all back together again, but it’s Wade’s heavenly original that endures.
Martin Dawson & Andre Crom 8.0 AndreCrom’sOFFRecordingsisbehindthisgenerous four-tracker from Crom himself and Two Armadillos man (with Secretsundaze’s Giles Smith) Martin Dawson, recently seen pumping dancefloors with Glimpse on Sven Väth’s Cocoon imprint. Hard to pick a highlight, as this is all solid party gear, from the Quincy Jones sampling ‘In The City’, via the subtly jazzual‘AboutYou’totherolling‘Ballistics’.But‘That Ain’t Right’, with its blues vocals and electric pianos, takes it by a nose.
Marc Romboy Systematic 01. MARC ROMBOY VS STEPHAN BODZIN ‘Triton (Gaiser’s Trial Tone
Jay Haze feat Ricardo Villalobos 9.0
05. DAPAYK SOLO ‘FUTU 2’ Herzblut
Luscious, pulsing deepness here from the Fuckpony mastermind on his very own Contexterrior label. Title track ‘I Wait For You’ features evocative Spanish vocals from Laila Tov (who also featured on the last Fuckpony single), draped over a throbbing, stuttering groove. Long-time cohort Villalobos turns up on the flip, ‘The Darkest Disco’, which — as the title might hint at — is a trance-inducing, epic, building, dubbed-out 12-minute percussive groove. Evidence ofbothproducers’luminarystatuscanbediscovered right here, should it still be required.
06. H.O.S.H. ‘Cash the Chord (360 Remix)’ Diynamic
Ian Pooley & Spencer Parker
Remix)’ Systematic Recordings
“Jon Gaiser is my favourite Minus producer.”
02. SPIRIT CATCHER ‘Partners In Crime’ Systematic Recordings
“I cannot express with words how proud and happy I am to release this long-player!”
03. STEPHAN BODZIN VS MARC ROMBOY ‘Phobos (Moritz von Oswald Remix)’ Systematic Recordings
“After Kraftwerk, there is no-one else who influenced me more than Basic Channel.”
04. L.B. DUB CORP ‘Take It Down (In Dub)’ Ostgut Ton
“This piece of music blows the dust out of your head. Nothing for the handbag houser!”
“A biggie for me.”
“Not the next Beatport No.1, but one of my top tracks of the autumn, for sure.”
07. JIMPSTER ‘Alsace & Lorraine’ Freerange
“There is no better deep house producer than Jimpster.”
08. GREGOR TRESHER ‘Sidewinder’ Drumcode
“His debut release on Drumcode. Totally convincing once again.”
09. LEE FOSS ‘Run Around’ Hot Creations
“When I close my eyes, I am on Washington Ave in Miami Beach in 1988!”
10. MARC ROMBOY ‘616 Seconds’ Herzblut
“My next single on buddy Bodzin’s imprint. If you are not into bad bass monster sounds, forget this record!”
8.0 If ‘Kinderteller’ from veteran house-meister Ian Pooley and Rekids/Buzzin’ Fly man Spencer Parker doesn’t raise even the faintest glimmer of a smile, then seek help — you are dead inside. One of those building grooves that Pooley has done so well since, well, forever, he and Parker craft an irrepressible jazz piano bombshell for Josh Wink’s Ovum stable. ‘Jolesch’ maintains the vibe, a collection of simple electric piano riffs and a chugging bassline.
Michael J Collins My Favourite Robot
7.0 Slinky slo-mo house music from Michael J Collins here, erstwhile cohort of the visionary Wolf + Lamb lot in New York and now on the payroll of Toronto’s My Favourite Robot. ‘All Alone (Even By Your Side)’ is replete with analogue synths and plonking pianos, coupled with a laconic groove and a ghostly vocal. Paul Loraine provides a deep interpretation, while Transistor continues in the same vein, all space disco beats and bleeps. James Teej gees it up for the dancefloor, completing an undeniably classy package.
8.0 At just 24, New Yorker Manik is making serious headway, with releases on Ovum, Poker Flat, Four:Twenty, Fresh Meat and now Culprit, who celebrate their tenth release with four tracks of deep joy. Trite film references aside, ‘Sex Panther’ (christ) is seven minutes of heaven, firm yet yielding with a distant vocal loop and squelching synth stabs, while ‘McLovin You’ belies his relative youth, soaked as it is in vintage sounds. ‘Crooklyn’, too, is brilliant, as is the shimmering ‘Jazzabella’.Proof, if it were needed, that New York City is rapidly restoring its reputation as a vital dance music hub.
jonathan buRnip email@example.com
Heavy Deviance Day To Day (Remixes) Stop/Start
7.0 A bit of something for everyone here with this release on Stop/Start — whether it be the chunky dubstep of Orbatak or the sprightly electropop of the original — it’s the two accompanying remixes that are the highlight. Old school Weatherall fans take note of the languid, Balearicstyle breakbeat of Yesking’s remix and finally, a modern disco/techno hybrid from Michael Morph, stripping the vocal to a Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley-style stutter.
Real Love Tastes Like This
I’ve Done It Now
Always Twirling Delusions Of Grandeur
Munk Mondo Vagabondo Gomma
8.5 Camp, theatrical disco-noir from Mathias Modica, that, if produced 30 years prior, could have contended for a place in the Ze Records catalogue. Considering Munk’s natural ability to turn his hand to producing authentic, disco-not-disco records, this EP does sound like a lost outtake from a lost Kid Creole session — and the better for it. All tracks have enough throwback appeal for the austere disco-purists amongst you, but enough modern polish to be ballsy enough on the floors of the modern discotheque.
8.0 More luxurious ‘beatdown’ house music with a slick of syrupy-boogie and ever-so-subtle disco touches, following the awesome ‘Paddlin’’ early this year (the one with that killer Linkwood remix), also for Delusions Of Grandeur. Similar turf again — dark, Detroit keys set the tone as Moog basslines ripple beneath sparse guitar licks and tastefully filtering disco loops. Three consistently good tracks and another three reasons to keep an eye on this producer.
6.0 Recently-revived UK house stalwart, Paper Recordings, releases this fourtrack EP from this rather prodigious youngster. Mixing up disco and techno with a touch of mid-’80s Lee Ritenour-style jazz funk.
7.0 Comeback release from Spektrum, showing that none of that spiky newwave energy has been lost, thankfully to Lola’s slightly intimidating vocal presence. No need for the Layo & Bushwacka and Vinja remixes, however...
7.0 Cosmic disco single that takes cues from exotic Persian modes and haunting Anatolian scales. Both tracks feature new mixes of two tracks from the forthcoming Cos/Mes album.
Trujillo Baby You’re Still the Same (Mark E Remix) Apersonal Music
8.0 More slo-mo disco magic from Mark E who lends a hand to this melodic single from Trujillo. First release on the promising Apersonal Music label.
May68 The Prisoner Kitsune
Justine & the Victorian Punks Beautiful Dreamer/Still You DFA
8.0 Previously only available as an obscure privately-pressed single, this original, ostentatious new-wave/ decadent disco 12” gets a rather attractive, facsimile reissue on DFA. Saxophonist Peter Jackson and his Love Life Orchestra (who have also recorded with the likes of Arthur Russell; Weather Report’s Jaco Pastouris and released a 12” prior to this on DFA) produce and perform the glossy, deluxe arrangements for Justine to purr a deadpan, trans-gender vocal that brims with icy, ‘downtown NYC’ attitude.
The Hundred In the Hands Commotion (Tiger & Woods/Capracara Remixes) Warp
8.5 Second single taken from the Brooklyn-based duo’s self-titled album; and another ideal single choice that follows their pulsatingpop/new wave fave, ‘Pigeons’. On remix duties, Tiger & Woods flay strips
from Eleanore Everdell’s stoic vocal delivery, and simmer the energy down to a loose, stuttering, slo-mo house/ boogie that sounds like Soundstream remixing a Leeroy Burgess production. Capracara’s dub mix (using less of a primitive, heathen rhythm that you may expect) nods back to Morales’ classic ‘Red Zone’ era — with Pal Joey-esque stabs, flecks of acid squelch, Carl Craig-style drums and giddying, modulated vocal effects.
7.0 Glossy, neo-Italo tune from Mancunian five-piece, May68, arrives with sassy female vocals and rasping, fluorescent basslines. A little too much at times, but there is a tune in there and it’s helped along by a couple of remixes; firstly from Cecile who offers a more industrial-style mix a la Chris & Cosey, and secondly, a dark, sophisticated remix from Vicarious Bliss that is the highlight. 01. Jocke & Elliot ‘Regenbagen’ Spine-tingling synth-pop from 14-year-
Mock & Toof
8.0 At the time of writing, there’s not much information to disclose on this one, other than this enigma was produced and recorded in the second spiritual home of ‘Balearic’ music — the nouveau-bohemian beach commune of Punta Del Este, Uruguay. I can say that it won’t disappoint fans of the label’s output. A tense, euphoric piece of drama that unfolds at a heartbeat’s tempo over eight minutes, galvanised by vivid, cascading synth melodies and spiralling guitar licks. Absorbing.
7.0 A giddy disco-not-disco groove from Mock & Toof with another charming, kooky vocal delivery from Pollyester. ‘Norman’s Eyes’ is spring-loaded with rubbery analogue effects (that you might hear on a wacky Cajmere, Derrick Carter or Freaks record) and chugging drums for all you trippy disco nuts. Two very competent mixes are delivered by Balihu’s Massimilliano Pagliara and the superb Prosumer, who both fashion their versions squarely for the dancefloor.
old Gothenburg star Elliot. Yup, 14.
02. Villa Nah ‘Origin’ LP Wall-to-wall dream-pop hits on one of the year’s best albums by this Helsinki duo.
03. Mika Vainio ‘It’s A Muthang’ Pan Sonic guy heads to the disco — and doesn’t like what he finds. Ouch.
04. Automatic Tasty ‘An Cnoc Rua’ “Irish newcomer’s curdled analogue bliss. More like this, please.”
05. Ray Massara ‘DJ For Money’ “Italo gent Massara tells it like it is. How much you want, Ray? I’ll pay.”
06. Jodey Kendrick ‘Rubber Disco’ “Mangled bad-boy boogie from this new-school Rephlex recruit.”
07. Evil Madness ‘Café Cicago’ LP “The avant-disco apocalypse never sounded better, thanks to this.”
08. Andy Romano ‘Every Time Feel Allright’ “Another irresistible highenergy grinder.”
09. Aleksi Perala ‘Teardrops’ “Delirious sci-fi cover of Ashford & Simpson’s funk standard.”
10. Zacky Force Funk & Kutmah ‘Fukk’ “Nutso rap stooge does what he does. Surprisingly moving.”
electronic/deep house REVIEWS
Elef Be My Friend Consistent
No. 19 Music
A classy four-tracker from Diynamic, courtesy of David August who drops ‘Instant Harmony’ (orchestral), ‘Music Is The Place To Be’ (wobbly), ‘Moving Day’ (building) and ‘Rebound’ (firm).
Canadian producer Teeloo drops this hypnotic selection for No. 19 Music, the title track of which gets a serious remixing from Swiss don Ripperton. Deep darkness.
Martin Dawson & Glimpse
Funk D’Void & Sian Soma
The Flying Scotsman Cocoon
7.0 Dawson, aka King Roc, and Glimpse drop this chugging, filtered builder, chug being the operative word, boasting as it does a ‘choo-chooing’ motif and a rolling bassline. Anthemic.
Sprawling, slightly menacing house music from the peerless Funk D’Void and Sian, their third collaborative release for Soma. Over, ‘Veins’ is equally uncompromising. From the dark side.
9.0 The third release on Liebe*Detail boss Christoph Eix’s new imprint Consistent comes from Elef, from Essen, Germany, who already boasts tracks on the excellent Hypercolour label. We shall assume that everyone will want to be his friend after dropping this three-tracker, loaded as it is with subtle soulfulness. Title track ‘Be My Friend’ is ‘the one’, mind, a slick slab of dancefloor madness, complete with chopped vocals and a firm loop. More please.
Gerd For 12 Minutes She Danced With An Alien Rejected
9.0 More lovely, lush house music from the fabulous Joris Voorn and his unstoppable Rejected stable, this time championing a track from deep in the vaults. Originally released in 1995 on Speedy J’s Beam Me Up! label, this classic space-house anthem from fellow Dutchman Gerd was to be found tucked away on a b-side. Reinvigorated, Gerd himself turns in an epic, gorgeous new version, while Mr Voorn goes to work with his own driving interpretation. Ace.
Mugwump Raping The World We Left Behind Kompakt
Soul Clap Wolf + Lamb 01. Wolf + Lamb ‘Love Someone LP’ Wolf + Lamb “Words can’t describe how much we ‘Love Someone’.”
02. Greg Paulus ‘What’s Mine Is Yours EP’ Double Standard Records “The second release on Gadi’s vinyl-only label.”
03. Soul Clap ‘Break 4 Life’ Crosstown Rebels
“Such a dancefloor bomb that D-Laz cleared it for official release.”
04. SECT ‘Hi-Fi All Around’ Culprit
“First release from SECT, our Boston supergroup!”
05. Zev ‘Don’t Break It’ Wolf + Lamb “Sometimes Zev goes BAM, hot fire!”
06. Soul Clap ‘Dreams Of Tomorrow’ Wolf + Lamb Black “Written by Charlie on a couch in Bogota.”
07. Claude Von Stroke ‘Aundy (Tanner Ross & Sergio Santos Remix)’ Dirtybird
“We thought this one was already perfect but Tanner and Sergio did it big-time justice!”
08. Night Plane ‘Str8 2 Ur Heart’ ThisIsNotAnExit “Big up to William Rauscher, what a bomb!”
09. Untitled ‘Turmerica/Jacobite Fool’ International Feel “Both sides are party slayers.”
10. Mau Edits ‘Rimini #1’ Rimini
“Randomly found at Oye Records in Berlin.”
Its title aside, this slice of haunted house will leave you most unsettled. Mugwump masterminds Geoffroy and Kolombo return to Kompakt after various sonic explorations on R&S, Cocoon and Gigolo, and the result is a pair of brilliantly peculiar house tracks, the title all eerie strings, satellite bleeps and cacophonous noise, pinned down by a gently grooving loop. Over, ‘E40 Blues’ is an old school trancer in the vein of some of those classic R&S moments from days gone by.
The Two Bears Follow The Bears Remix EP Southern Fried
8.0 The side project of Joe Goddard from Hot Chip and London-based DJ and rapscallion Raf Daddy, this ursine dancefloor excursion gets a series of throbbing rerubs from the inimitable baron of boompty Derrick Carter (tweaked, acidic), fellow Classic founder Luke Solomon (languid, Oriental), Southern Fried regular Panton (sliced, diced) and Superbeatz (old school). However, it’s Brooks who wins by a nose, turning in a dark, atmospheric, Germanic rave up of colossal stature. Bare skills.
Zev Don’t Break It Wolf + Lamb
9.0 ‘Don’t Break It’ represents a stroke of utter, utter genius from Zev Eisenberg, the wolf to Gadi Mizrahi’s lamb, New York’s leading 6-star hoteliers and previous DJmag cover models, among other things. A bare, acidic groove, its simplicity is everything - just the beats, a filthy, undulating 303-style bassline which threatens to go mental at any point, but never does, and a spine-tingling vocal sample which shoots a silver bullet through the soul. It’s dark, it’s deep, it’s pretty much as devastating a piece of electronic dancefloor music as we’ve heard in quite some time. Grasp it with both hands.
Gorge Freaky Flies EP
9.0 8Bit Records boss Pit Waldmann, aka Gorge, continues to branch out from his own concern to craft doubly deep house music for the likes of Plastic City, Objektivity, and in this case Marc Romboy’s Systematic. ‘Houseflies’ is a firm groove, all rattling hi-hats and a nagging bassline. ‘Humming Fireflies’ has more of a skip in its step, but it’s the slightly wonky ‘Time Flies’ which comes out on top, an odd, unsettling groove that builds and builds and builds.
Lopazz, Betoko & Zarook feat Imagination New Dimension Get Physical
8.0 With more staff on hand than Selfridges, Lopazz is joined by various knob-twiddlers in reworking ‘New Dimension’ by ’80s soul legends Imagination. Mexican producer Betoko
gets involved for three versions of their classic track, each deeper and wonkier than the last. Meanwhile, Zarook joins him to get percussive on ‘Kabum’, while ‘Mafaldinha’, with Miguel Rondeiro, is a throbbing dancefloor bombshell, quite possibly the highlight of this well-executed package, all twisted vocal samples and stabbing synths.
Rio Padice Sleepless Nights Bass Culture
8.0 A blistering, bouncing four-tracker from D’Julz’s thus-far unstoppable Bass Culture imprint. With Italian producer Rio Padice at the helm, things get disco-fied with the dreamy Azimuth, all skippy with Ghus, soulfully deep with the appropriately entitled (and brilliant) Deepstation, and old school with Ravestation. Showing a tendency towards impressive consistency, D’Julz is proving himself to be as good an A&R as he is a DJ and producer, if this solid release is anything to go by.
Richard Brophy PO Box 8174, Dublin 1, Ireland
7.0 Berlin producer Mike Dehnert’s muscular techno tracks don’t reinvent the wheel, but they never fail to bring a sense of drama, thanks to his layered, dense chords. ‘Biface’ mines this brooding path, but also carves out its own identity thanks to a subtle vocal sample and distorted beats. ‘Chardon’ sees Dehnert depart further from the script, with nightmarish riffs swooping in over a raging, filtered rhythm track.
Planetary Assault Systems
GT (Remixes) Mote Evolver
8.5 The remix by Function & Sydenham effortlessly captures the sound of contemporary techno with its heavy kicks, doubled-up reverberating claps and niggling acid, but it’s Slater who, having spent years in the wilderness, impresses most. The contained menace on the UK producer’s ‘Drone’ retake means it sounds similar to his ‘Surface Noise’ release, while the two ‘Rhythm & Beats’ are just that, brutal industrial techno tools programmed to destroy. Techno’s comeback kid comes good once again.
STL Mistakes Are Made For Everyone Something
6.5 In the same way that Herbert used to wilfully include errors to enhance the end package, Stefan Laubner has a passion for including elements that don’t quite gel. It explains why noisy offbeats rub up against a snaking funk bass on ‘Fast Forward’, or why a live double bass dominates the otherwise rigid ‘Easy Morning’. The highlight of this chalk’n’cheese approach is ‘The Something Like’, where eerie synths add a sense of mystery.
Horizontal Ground 6
7.5 Did they put something in the water at HG headquarters? The sixth instalment features much of the same ingredients as its predecessors — pile-driving metallic percussion,
doubled-up drums, unflinching repetition — but the A-side sounds like the author has beefed up the tempo and transposed himself to the early ‘90s to do a DBX impersonation. Normal service (of sorts) resumes on the B-side, but when the powerful subs kick in, it’s at a higher pace than usual. Time to work the pitches.
Derek Plaslaiko XO XO NYC Perc Trax
7.0 ‘Xo’ is one of the first releases by New York DJ Derek Plaslaiko, and it shows promise. ‘Raw Jam’ is the standout cut, its cowbells and dubbed-out claps underpinning a surging industrial bassline. Despite its heavy nature, the track grooves along, but Jonas Kopp delivers a more clubby, drum-heavy take. ‘The Glass Bead’ is less impressive, a decent if unremarkable rolling techno track, but Perc had the foresight to commission Samuli Kemppi for a remix, and the affable Finn delivers a deeper, acidflecked version.
7.5 It’s been years since Juan Atkins released anything worthwhile, but this release finds him showing flashes of his former brilliance. On ‘OFI’, Atkins revisits his electro roots: moody synths accompany an android vocal before a stark bassline kicks in. Mad Mike delivers an excellent remix, stripping the track back, using ‘No UFOs’-style heavy, doubled-up 808s and weaving some of his distinctive jazzy nuances into the arrangement.
Hour House is Your Rush
8.0 Like the recent Terrence MacDonald record, Gene Hunt recorded ‘Throwback’ with the late, great Ron Hardy when he was just a kid, but it too has stood the test of time. The vintage synths of ‘US Studio’ lay bare the roots of deep house, while the yelping analogue riffs of ‘216 & Indiana’ does the same for minimal techno. However, it’s the title track’s doubled-up snares and lunging acid line that really impress.
7.0 Andreas Tilliander from Raster-Noton hooks up with Stefan Thor for two cuts that veer from lurching dubstep bass into reflective languid breakbeats. The real killer, however, is Norman Nodge’s remix, with its swirling chords and hissing percussion.
6.0 The original versions of ‘Kalachakra’ are pleasant but too polite to convince. The DVS1 remixes are a different matter: the US producer’s remakes centre on menacing filters, clipped beats and razor-sharp percussive licks.
Hadamard Studio Gangster
The Soul is Back (Remixes)
6.0 Dutch electro producer Hadamard delivers tales about life on the dark side. Inhabiting a different world to bling and Kristal, his stories are accompanied by bleak synths, dense bass licks and abrasive yet strangely DJ-friendly 808 patterns.
6.0 Some of techno’s biggest names remix ‘Soul’. Fluxion delivers a decent acid-soaked dubby version; UR’s reshape is all jazzy keys and fluttering strings, but Luke Slater’s remix impresses most, its cacophony of chiming bells getting gradually more intense.
Mighty Robot Recordings
Soul Designer Third Ear
8.0 Swedish duo Skudge have won acclaim after just a handful of releases. Like much contemporary techno, they do not offer a new narrative, but refine existing styles. The title track sees deep chord sequences and heavy bass drums vie for attention, with thundering claps and hissing hats underscoring these exchanges. ‘Mirage’ is more house-based, but its skipping, swinging percussion makes it sound exactly like the kind of track that Ben Klock would play out.
Ibex Meltdown EP Yore
Gene Hunt & Ron Hardy
7.0 Tony Ollivierra aka Ibex’s small catalogue shows he favours quality over quantity — and there isn’t a weak link here. Rumbling beats and a double bass underpin the mysterious strings of ‘18681’; the rawer title track features indulgent Rhodes jamming, while a robust bass and a soaring string sequence lend ‘My Mojo’ the necessary dancefloor momentum. Best of all is ‘Mystery Babylon’, its fluid bassline, shimmering disco strings and electronic blips sounding like an amalgamation of UR and Larry Levan.
Mike Parker Geophone 01. MIKE PARKER ‘Arena’ Aquaplano
“‘Arena’ is Latin for ‘sand’. This track was inspired by the ancient arena in Pompeii.”
02. MIKE PARKER ‘GPH14’ Geophone
“The B2 cut contains the pulsing rhythm of a ring-modulator, designed to be layered with other tracks.”
03. STANISLAV TOLKACHEV ‘Blue Mood’ Aftertaste Recordings
“This track is brilliant. It has a hidden bass drum, or perhaps no bass drum at all, but builds with an incredible tension.”
04. KEVIN GORMAN ‘Nearly (Original)’ Mikrowave
‘Kevin Gorman is making fantastic music at the moment. This one is perhaps my favourite from him so far.”
05. SUB SPACE ‘The Bi-Machine’ Labyrinth
“A pattern divided in threes with a booming substructure underneath makes this track dreamlike.”
06. SILENT SERVANT ‘Regis Edit’ Sandwell District “A composition of power and beauty.”
07. DINO SABATINI ‘Scylla’ Prologue
“This is a monster of a track. It contains subtle crescendos and sweeping atmospheres.”
08. CUB ‘CU1’ Cub
“A syncopated kick-drum drives this dark recording. Its appeal is in the sound design which evokes an alien landscape.”
09. DINO SABATINI & DONATO DOZZY ‘Nocturnal’ Prologue “When these two Italians collaborate, great things happen!”
10. BCR BOYS ‘Endangered’ Synewave
“Techno, loud and crunchy — just the way I like it!”
DRUM & BASS REVIEWS
ALEX C firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICKIES Judda/Judda & Krakota
New Zealand Shapeshifter
The System Is A Remix EP
6.5 Ominous, swirling science fiction, where the clean highs of polished drum taps juxtapose with dirty bass gurgles. ‘Rodan’ is the lick here, robotic electro hypnotism.
Stand Tall EP Pt2
Invisible 002 EP
10 Two irresistible skull-stompers, a super-speed soulful skipper and a jaw-crushing floor-slayer, both with immediate appeal and bite like gulping strong cider on an empty stomach. The tuneful vocoder of ‘Stronger’ joyfully chants “this one goes on” over a wind-yer-waist strung-out rhythm and bass that will elevate your consciousness, while ‘The Jungle’ drags you down into a delightfully dark tear-out realm where twisted basses are punctuated by soundboy “jungle is a worldwide ting!” stabs. Victoriously viable.
Babylon Timewarp Durban Poison (DJ Vapour Remix)/ Durban Poison (Bladerunner Remix) 36 Hertz
9.5 You can’t go wrong with a fat junglist jumper, and those in agreement should grab this like their life depends. An original Rollin’ Vinyl (EZ Ben!) classic that kick-started the scene in the early days has been dragged completely up-to-date here courtesy of DJ Vapour, whose forthcoming LP is sounding hot. Both mixes are fat, with old-skool elements like time-stretched sound-boy vocals, burning furnaces of Amen drums, pounding bass and pure dancehall vibes. Mash and smash.
Prolix Eruption/Chainsaw (feat Temper D) Ganja-Tek
9.5 DJ Hype’s A&R ear has done a multitude of favours for the d&b community’s hungry ears over the years, most recently noticing the talents of and plucking from obscurity DJ Hazard, Original Sin, Netsky — and now here’s Prolix. Probably the strongest single yet, ‘Eruption’ is an intense
pulse-bass-driven future boom, and ‘Chainsaw’ has the most precociously devastating synthetic bass drop you could ask for in a ferocious rhythm track. Fans of Noisia in an angry mood will revel in this.
Justice Aquisse (Remixes)
both of these featuring MC-style vocals designed to get your blood pressure rising, ‘Turn It Up’ is a singjay-style d&b ditty with enthusiastic moods, frenetic drums and a gnarling bass drawl. Flip over for a grime-style using a bit more innovation than the reams of copycat warping bass twisters currently out there.
Modern Urban Jazz
8.5 Like above’s ‘Durban Poison’ update, here are more modern mixes of a raregroove classic from the dusty crates of d&b’s past, again showing that we have the most forward-thinking style on the planet, if not beyond. This one was/is a serene, glowing emerald shard that heralded the ‘intelligence’ wave and deserves a hell of a lot more credit in the history books. Relaxed strings and sensual synths mean any lovers of artists like Calibre, Soul-R or ST-Files should obtain. Detroit sunset.
Various More Blood 010 EP Med School
9.0 Four nigh-on perfect groundbreakers that caress different nerves, for connoisseurs confident within their wide-ranging taste. Stray’s ‘Frost’ is a gentle half-speed-loving caress of late night soul, reversed aqua strings and lounge love, while ‘In Transit’ goes even lower. ‘Glitchbitch’ does what it says on the tin, a pleasingly obtuse set of robot rhythms and computer malfunction vibes, then the anthemic moods of ‘Kabal’ borrow a piano riff from the realms of heaven itself. Sparkling jewellery box.
Crissy Criss & Youngman Turn It Up/Stop Technique
7.5 Two wildly differing tempos with the same ultimate aim, that being to reliably shoot straight at the dancefloor faster than a speeding bullet. With
Friction vs Camo & Krooked/ Friction
7.5 On Noisia’s experimental label, where they gently nurture new names in the field of darkness. Atmospheric, robotic ghostly Photek flow on ‘Ease Forward’ and Detroit meets Dante’s Inferno on ‘Underprint’.
8.0 When the great Hospital places its trust in a comparative unknown and employs the remixing talents of the best forthright dance-d&b producers out there, you must take notice. Features Netsky, Logistics and The Upbeats.
Jubei Distrust EP Metalheadz
7.0 Subtle changes in minimal patterns are as much designed for other producers’ analysis as well as to brew brains on dark floors.
Stand Up (feat Dynamite MC)/Life Cycle Shogun Audio
7.0 Another reliable label that tends not to put all of its eggs into one basket, where each release can be wildly different instead of sticking with a tried-and-tested sub-genre. Today, it’s label boss Friction’s turn, and he throws the glove down to current flavour of the year producers Camo & Krooked to provide a series of buzzing, heat flash basses and shock-out beats behind MC Dynamite’s skipping chants. Cool roller on’t flip, too, with sanguine singing sounding suspiciously like the great Nicolette.
Noisia & Ed Rush/Noisia & Spor Brain Bucket/Falling Through Vision
8.0 Two super-heroic team-ups, for those that seek sickness. Programming geniuses Noisia bring out the best in two standout stalwarts from the past and present. Great cover art too! ‘Brain Bucket’ slurps like a synthetic swamp in the opening until an overpowering poison aroma of serrated, glowing green bass frowns inward, while ‘Falling Through’ is a touch more introverted, calming classic synth arpeggios with a twisted monster-stomp minimal rumble bass. Amazing half-way drop-out. Shape shifting android.
DJ FRICTION SHOGUN AUDIO 01. FRICTION VS CAMO & KROOKED ‘Stand Up’ Shogun
“The first of my studio adventures is this co-lab with Camo & Krooked.”
02. VATO GONZALEZ ‘Badman Riddim (Friction Remix)’ Ministry
“Slowed the tempo a bit more than usual for this remix of one of the year’s biggest house tunes. Going down well in Skream and Benga’s sets.”
03. FRICTION ‘Life Cycle’ Shogun
“A little something for all those cold winter mornings we’re about to get. Due out alongside ‘Stand Up’ this month on Shogun.”
04. BREAK ‘Slow Down’ Symmetry
“A monster from Break taken from his forthcoming ‘Resistance’ LP. Big diva vox and heavy subs = win!”
05. DOCTOR P ‘Sweetshop (Friction vs Camo & Krooked Remix)’ Shogun “Myself and the Austrian boys once again coming together to step up the bpm.”
06. SUBWAVE & ENEI ‘The Mines’ Metalheadz
“Metalheadz golden boy Subwave teams up with new boy Enei to bring you some serious bass.”
07. ROCKWELL ‘DJ Friendly Unit Shifter’ Shogun
“The man of the moment and our latest signing with his second 12-inch on Shogun. Some proper science.”
08. ORIGINAL SIN ‘Phantasm’ Ganja
“Quite simply a track to annihilate any d&b party!”
09. DELTA HEAVY ‘Space Time’ Ram
“Delta Heavy are making some fantastic dancefloor d&b tracks, and this one typifies the Ram sound.”
10. MIKAL ‘Nu World’ SGN Ltd
“A little something on an old Photek tip that’s been floating around for a while, forthcoming on SGN Ltd early 2011.”
Karton All You Need
Sound Of Habib
Love (Journeyman vs BARRcode Remix)
Expansive floaty outdoorsy reworking by this fabled pairing, who’ve been away from the release schedule for far too long.
Fizziness and bleepiness abound in an otherwise proggy missive with a deep burrowing b-line from the highly proficient Dusted Breaks.
This City Means No Love (NAPT Remix)
7.0 Nasty, dirty, tech music from this Australian artist on the revitalised Missouri label that’s helping spearhead the US-led breakbeat revival.
8.0 The NAPT boys turn the funk original into a clanging, anthemic big room piece, making great use of Noa L’s soaring vocal.
9.5 Australia’s answer to the Crystal Method, Karton are back with a new album ‘For All Seasons’, and on this taster single they dabble with the sounds of indie rock for a vocal breaks missive that should blow them up if there were any justice. A perfect Zane Lowe cut, why more indie kids aren’t into this exciting synth-punk shizzle rather than woefully dull indie throwbacks like Vampire Weekend or Mumford & Sons is a mystery. It’s the NME’s fault, probably. Mesmer from Rumania supplies the definitive breaks re-rub.
Splitloop I Want You
Against The Grain
SANGERS & RA BREAKS & ENTER 01. SANGERS & RA FEAT MC SIRREAL ‘Nasty’ Westway
“Our forthcoming first original EP is a bassline breaks party tune with a super-catchy hook from SirReal.”
02. BEAT ASSASSINS ‘Straight To The World (Peo De Pitte Remix)’ Mofo
Bren and Phil have made the electro/ breaks crossover territory their own over the past few years, although ‘I Want You’ sees them crank out more of an acerbic, techy big room beast here. It’s absolutely brilliantly produced (as usual), with a bassline that snakes and cavorts like a giant burrowing metallic maggot, and features a couple of choice through-the-mangle samples from a hip-hop and a house classic respectively. The dub drops the house sample in favour of less accessibility, while also included in the package is Myagi’s superfly, immersive remix of ‘Ghetto UK’.
D-Funk Bitchslap/Let Yourself Up:Start Music
07. CHEMICAL BROTHERS ‘Swoon (Sangers & Ra Mix)’ CDR
Up:Start chief Doug Masters, aka D-Funk, seems to have broadened his palette since moving to Australia. No doubt inspired by the varied, eclectic gigs he’s been scoring down under, ‘Bitchslap’ is a somewhat slower (than normal) electroid nu-funk piece. Neo rockist in delivery, it’s backed by ‘Let Yourself’ that lets itself be laser-guided by an intergalactic bassline that throbs with gravity-defying aplomb. The otherworldly female vox provides the humanity in this cool early doors package.
08. SPECIMEN A ‘Just A DJ’ Funkatech
Andrey Mute & Jellyfish
09. PLUMP DJs ‘Plump Yer Butt (Sangers & Ra Mix)’ CDR
10. DODGE & FUSKI FEAT THE HIGHBURY WHORES ‘Pornstep’ Sludge
One half of Access Denied and his mate Jellyfish pop up on Dom Smart (Far Too Loud)’s label with this double-header,
“Peo’s been on fire for over a year. Everything he touches turns to gold.”
03. WILEY & CHEW FU ‘Take That (Doorly Dubstep Remix)’ Island
“This tune tears the room apart every time we play it out. A monster drop and really fun to mix.”
04. DOGTOWN CLASH ‘Hole In My Head (Sangers & Ra Remix)’ Westway “Our brand new remix is a mash of styles with a wobbly electro bassline, rolling breakbeat, dubstep breakdowns, and an awesome vocal.”
05. SLYDE ‘Move Ya Body’ Slybeats
“Probably one of the best of the year with an amazing bassline that goes everywhere you expect ... and then some!”
06. JAY-Z FEAT ALICIA KEYS ‘Empire State Of Mind (Nick Thayer Drum & Bass Mix)’ CDR
“An awesome d&b booty that has just the right amount of the original beats. Goes down a treat.”
“Our bootleg of this summer anthem adds some bigger beats, a simple bassline and a catchy vocal from Drake.”
“Banging electro/breaks monster - right on the money.”
“Our brand new bootleg gives a modern twist to the classic funky breaks tune.”
“A really fun dubstep tune that’s not too serious, with a cool beat.”
Trouble In The Attic/3D Metric
and anyone who’s witnessed an Access Denied production of late will know how tight and innovative this is likely to be. ‘Trouble’ is a techy assault offset with a Moroder-ish b-line, Gary Numan synth washes and a piledriver mentality. Guaranteed to annihilate any late-night dancefloor once you’ve built it up to be able to drop this, it’s backed by ‘3D Metric’ which does, indeed, evoke images of Andrey’s nemesis Alex Metric painted blue and floating around as if in the movie Avatar.
Cage Page My Memories/Feel Beat V.I.M. Breaks
6.5 Just stumbled across this Greek label, although this is apparently their 63rd release, and this is the first release from Ukraine act Cage Page on the label. With its evocative piano keys and clangy compressed beats, ‘My Memories’ is a proper stare-intothe-distance, dewy-eyed, outdoor dream-breaks tearjerker for sunrise/ sunset o’clock. The Duane Barry remix takes it into a rainforest, while ‘Feel Beat’ is a dark, techy electroclash missive that Ruido twists into more of a proggy roller.
Where’s Huey? Stay
8.0 The music industry has been going gaga about dance producers teaming up with rappers lately, but in truth breakbeat has been doing it for years. Specimen A here teams up with commanding rapper Bobby Whiskers on a track that also features Andrea Britton, and it pisses on any of David Guetta’s recent collabs with urban US artists. Accessible in a poppy
sorta way, this’ll slot nicely alongside electro-grime records (Wiley, Bashy, Roll Deep etc) at raves. Bassline and dubstep mixes cross it over further.
7.5 This page has followed the work of Merka since his first releases on Fat!, and here the under-appreciated beatsmith returns after a couple of years out since he became a daddy. Still resolutely refusing to play anyone’s game, this jazzy phuturistic ditty is cosmic, skittering space age discofunk so out-there it soundtracks the apocryphal Star Wars cantina bar of its own accord. Spanish breakers Kultur & Colombo beef it up into a warping electro-breaks big roomer, and J*O*K*R – Joe Kapiche and Ollie Rubicks, not the dubstep dude – rave it up.
Fort Knox Five feat Afrika Bambaataa & Mustafa Akbar Shift
Fort Knox Recs
8.0 If you haven’t yet heard this funk-fried DJ collective from Washington DC, you should seriously check them out. Taken from their recent ‘New Gold Standard 2’ album, this collab with the legendary Bambaataa and pal Mustafa Akbar is baaaaaaad. The parts are given to Deekline & Dustin Hulton for a bad-ass breaksy booty-shaker, and the guys rise to the enormity of the package. The Baymont Bros deliver a more rolling interpretation with neo cheesy ‘80s electro stabs, while Malente makes it into a carnivalesque post-fidget electronic kuduro piece. Unlock the good times.
MARKLE 58a Tetherdown, London, N10 1NG.
Crissy Criss & Youngman Shake That Technique
2.0 The washy disco-esque synths that open up ‘Shake That’ offered a microscopic nano-atomic particle of hope that this would be anything other than utter wibble-wobble. Sadly the r&b-style vocals made me want to bump and grind my ears with a cheese grater, and the punishing machinegun rattle of mid-range noise is depressing. Has no-one got bored of this effect yet? Please try something new, it could have been so different.
8.5 The Hessle boys bring another of their long-term gangbangers Elgato — a frequent DJ on Ruffage Sessions and at their various club nights in Leeds — into the fold, and the cat has unfurled an understated corker. ‘Blue’ creeps like an ivy vine, the smooth repetition and simple keys spread and infiltrate the brain with hypnotic intensity; its simplicity is devastating. ‘Tonight’ on the flip is equally as unaffected with delicate wafts of Pangaea. Epic stuff.
8.5 A bleary, gurning flashback screeches across my vision as the moody malevolence of ‘Skeng’ ekes from the speakers, but instead of Flow Dan’s gravely patois, out comes Hitomi’s bittersweet lyrics of urban decay. A poisoned lullaby if ever I heard one. Autechre’s remix of ‘Skeng’ is pure industrial bleakness, while the Roots Manuva collab sadly disappoints. ‘Poison Dart’ also gets a commendable remix from Scratcha DVA, who has to work really hard to match the intensity of the original.
Untitled 333 Wheel & Deal
7.5 This man is currently running for top cat in the dubstep popularity contest: boy, he is everywhere. With releases popping up on label after label, and an album set for the drop in November, a strategy of shock and awe seems to be very much du jour. And to find out why, get this little growler: ‘Untitled 333’ will eat your fleshy bits without you even noticing, and ‘Tachi’ will simply shit them out.
Those ravey pads and spongy synths are killer butthesteeldrummelody blows the frickin’ roof!
Subeena Opit Records
Comingoutfrombehind theboardstosingonher ownproductions,Subeena nowexcelsatboth.Afine single! Check the EgyptrixxandGhostsOnTape remixes, too.
6.0 Despitethecliché,Ialways go back to the gentle clicks of ‘Photographs’, butthereareotherkitsch delights on this EP, too.
Two Dollar Hooker Orson Records
5.0 Two remixes here and having been a fan of Point B’s previous work thisisdisappointing,but ‘FineCutBodies’rescues things with a squelchy, polyrhythmic bump.
Numan Planet Mu
Arkist Hem feat Terrible Shock On A Mission Berkane Sol
7.0 Label bossman Geoim goes undercover for the 17th release on this wonderfully experimental imprint. Sending up the dust in the ruddy face of post-dubstep is the opening ‘On A Mission’. Shortstuff cuts a chirpy remix, which is much like a trampoline full of excited puppies, bouncy. The original suits the Ital vocals better than butter likes toast, while ‘Plastic Lily’ and ‘Rich Chroma’ wonk and glitch their way out of a genuinely interesting EP.
Fantastic Mr Fox Phaelah
8.5 The intrepid Mr Fox is riding a very cunning wave right now. Fresh from a tour backing Mercury Prize winners The xx, the Manchester producer’s kudos is ripening with juicy aplomb. So, to the new EP, and what delights! ‘Over’ is the big one for me, all tweaked and clipped segments of fuzzy r&b. But, somewhat unashamedly, I like the press release’s overview: “The ‘Evelyn’ EP is a kick-driven, neon clad slice of lazer-cannon soul”.
I Couldn’t Possibly Immerse
7.5 Something different again from Kidkut’s Immerse label, and whilst they have always threaten to pull the rug from underneath the dubstep party, they have done here, with the plodding techno of Arkist. The aptly titled ‘I Couldn’t Possibly’ is a track that seems to keep you guessing without really doing anything. Toss it over and ‘Only If You Mean It’ ventures into Mount Kimbie and James Blake territory with blunted electronica and muted, foamy soul. Explore.
Trolley Snatcha One Trick Pony EP Dub Police
2.0 Ok, ok, I get the fact that you can make other styles of dubstep rather than achingly dull mid-range brostep. The sad fact is that you’ve had to stamp it all over the record to get the point across. And when we do delve inside we brush up against the tepid ‘Always On My Mind’ and the meandering ‘We Go Deep’, only to bottle it and scuttle back to familiar territory with ‘Pass Me By’ and ‘Rocco Revenge’ – the sound of dropping a bag of rusty spanners down a chimney.
N-Type Wheel & Deal Records 01. COKI ‘Madman’ Wheel & Deal
“Pure fire! Coki is a genius! As the sample says, this will leng down any wasteman who try test our sound!”
02. N-TYPE ‘Psychedelic Input’ Wheel & Deal
“Dark rolling bass, electro blips and lazers, conga beats and distorted (dub-echoed) mid growls that tear through the sub.”
03. BENTON & WALSH ‘The Last Crumb’ Biscuit Factory
“Dark, menacing but energetic with a different step. Benton & Walshy wake the war hungry machines, and they definitely ain’t happy!”
04. PHAELEH ‘Untitled 333’ Wheel & Deal
“Forthcoming release on my label by the Bristol don.”
05. Magnetic Man ‘Perfect Stranger (Benga Remix)’ Tempa
“I love the jungle vibe on the original, but this mix does it for me. Big up Benga, every time!”
06. SEVEN ‘Siren (Remix)’ Wheel & Deal
“My favourite Seven track ever. Absolute monster! This has banged the shit out of every dance worldwide!”
07. TOLERANCE ‘Timeship’ Wheel & Deal
“Old skool d&b breaks at 140 with epic strings and fat bass that really takes you on a time travel.”
08. BENTON ‘Smash That Badger’ Wheel & Deal
“My mate told me badgers will have your ankles if you’re not careful!”
09. HATCHA & LOST ‘Al Barsha’ Sin City Recordings
“Some old school tribal dubstep reminiscent of the first FWD and DMZ, my favourite Hatcha era.”
10. TROLLEY SNATCHA ‘Pass Me By’ Dubpolice
“Massive track I’ve been smashing for a while, garagey vocal and massive hype bassline. Big!”
garagegrime JME Avalanche Music 2 Avalanche Music
6.0 Rhythm Division’s DJ Cheeky brings together the second in the series of instrumental compilations, following Wiley’s classic debut. JME is undoubtedly more famous for his MCing, his t-shirts and being part of Boy Better Know, but he came into the production game following his big brother Skepta. This is a collection of some of his best and unheard productions circa 2005-2007, when he was a fixture on the infamous weekly Roll Deep show on Rinse FM. Now three years on, the beats sound dated and empty without the quick changeovers from the MCs. Strictly for the hardcore fans.
Mz Bratt Selecta
Soul 2 Streets Recordings
9.5 21-year-old Cleopatra Humphrey, aka Mz Bratt, has been no stranger to the UKG scene. Originally brought into grime godfather Terror Danjah’s Aftershock collective, Bratt now hooks up with one of the freshest producers on the circuit, Redlight, and oh my days what a collab! Quirky dancehall, ragga and reggae flexes — alongside a dirty UK funky jungle, breaks and hardcore mash-up — puts this track in a class of its own. Causing a serious crossover storm across the clubs and airwaves, look out for the mix package and video coming soon.
Teeza Riot Musik Teeza Music
Newcomer Teeza puts together his second EP of the year, and is one to look out for. If one of these gets a big vocal, he will be a force in the grime scene. His sound is like putting Dexplicit & Maniac in a meat grinder, with loud claps and swerving basslines that many people in grime left behind in 2006. Teeza has brought those styles back in a big way. Definitely a name to watch out for in the future.
Fire It Up feat Wiley & Chelcee Grimes
(‘Bounce With It’) Donaeo mix for a latenight vibe. Watch this one fly away.
One Hundred Global
Andy Jay & S Tee Crunk/Knocking At My Door Undisputed Entertainment
7.0 Northern producers Jay and Tee have been busting out UK funky for three years now. Being outside of the predominantly London-based scene has not caused the boys any problems at all. Crunchy beats and funked-out loops gather momentum and groove, with well-compressed bass melodies working the speakers. Already getting support from the likes of Rinse FM and Supadupa, these will work for any Inta natty UK funky party from Leeds to Napa.
Princess Nyah Butterflies My Ish
8.0 ‘Frontline’ front lady Nyah follows her previous massive club smashes with a soulful feelgood release. Well timed for the summer and taken from her debut album ‘Diary of A Princess’, her infectious lyrics and sexy harmonies are produced to the max by the one Ill Blu who has given this tune a buzz for the more classy listener. Also check out the
Kof lets loose his debut single ‘Fire It Up’ after support from Ras Kwame, Zane Lowe and Annie Mac. Bringing in guest appearances from fellow Merseyside artist Chelcee Grimes and Roll Deep’s Wiley is a good move for this club-hopping urban anthem. The remix comes courtesy of Greg and Leon, aka Agent X, who after recent chart success with Skepta’s ‘Badboy’ and ‘Rescue Me’ deliver an Ibiza-style electronic banger. One for the box.
Hold On feat Amber Coffman Mad Decent
9.0 You may have heard the term future garage being banded about by some of the cooler cats of late, and here Rusko unites dubstep and UK garage on a supersonic summer vibe. Not satisfied with helping create a whole new scene, Rusko expands his tidy sound palette to push things forward for the electronic generation. Coffman, best known for her part in rock band Dirty Projectors, brings an unusually synthetic sound to the release that works really sweetly. 12th Planet, Tom Stephan and Sub Focus lead the mix package to further bigness.
QUICKIES Big Ang
Badness & Shizzle
Bassline’s finest female producer, all the way from sunny Sheffield, comes with a little special something for the northern massive here, although southerners will appreciate it too. Grab this limited edition release while you can. Niche.
Danny Dubbz feat Tam Walker
Dancehall influenced MCs Shizzle and Badness team up over young producer J Beatz’s track, and literally scream their heads off. Even if you are of Jamaican descent I doubt you’d have a clue what they are on about.
321 Big Man Ting Last Japan
Snowflakes MI RAW
7.5 South coast-based Danny Dubbz, known for his work with Ed Case, links up with the London-based label run by Tony Portelli for a UKG escapade. There’s some nice drum programming and plug-in elements here.
Two of grime’s worst MCs, Hypa Fenn and Marcie Phonix, find a new guise in 321 and do the ‘old school garage’ style of MCing over an uninspiring funky and grime mash-up. Unfortunately this is repetitive and predictable, and really poor.
Bad Mind People Big Dada
7.0 The Newham Generals and newcomer Lickle J join the Murkle Man on the best track off ‘Jahmanji’, produced by Skepta. The original instrumental entitled ‘Reggae’ was a hit in 2007, so a great vocal is welcomed. As expected when the Newham Generals are on your song, D Double E steals the track with his infectious flow and witty lyrics. ‘Bad Mind People’ is typically about the ‘haters’, but it comes together well.
01. Todd Edwards ‘Love Inside (Sunshine Bros Mix)’ CDR “Ruff chords, beats and bassline. Gonna be a smash!”
Terror Danjah & D.O.K Hysteria/Bruzin VIP Hyperdub
7.0 Terror and long-time collaborator D.O.K bring their second offering to Hyperdub. ‘Hysteria’ picks up where his Planet Mu offering ‘Sidechain’ left off, and it’s a 4/4 grime electro mash-up that actually works. Terror is a genius on edits and stalling, and this would throw any dancefloor off. D.O.K adds his trademark laughs throughout. ‘Bruzin VIP’ is a 2010 rework of an Aftershock classic which has been a mainstay in Kode 9’s sets this year and is a totally wicked schooling by Terror Danjah in drums and edits. World class.
02. G.E ‘Chocolate Factory Dub’ CDR/2tfuf4u “Memory lane, only with speedbumps, ruff!”
03. El-B vs Roxy ‘Music In The Night’ DPR Recordings “Soulful bumpiness yet again from Mr El-B.”
04. Danny j lewis ‘Definition Of Garage’ Enzyme Black “Bringing the best of the old and new sound of garage.”
05. Solution ‘My Tears For You’ 42TF Recordings
“Mr EZ has spun this a couple of times on his Kiss show, thanks Zed!”
06. Macy Gray ‘Lately (Sunship Remix)’ Universal
“Sunship do it again with this summertime mix, fit for the clubs.”
07. 8th note ‘What U Say’ 42tf Recordings
“Quality 4/4 from talented up-and-coming producer, 8th Note.”
08. Daniel Kingley feat Jay Harvey ‘Together (Nu Vibe Dub Mix)’ CDR
“New 4/4 outfit with a ruff remix of this vocal track. Bumpy!”
09. Todd Edwards ‘I Might Be (MJ Cole Remix)’ Scion “Hypnotic two-step once again from the MJ Cole.”
10. Sol-Ski ‘The Safest Place (In Your Heart Dub)’ 42tf “Support from Todd Edwards on this one.”
trance REVIEWS QUICKIES Luiz B pres LZB Resplendence Energy BR
Pulser pres Luminal Sunstorm female vocals and pads and chords so hot you could fry an egg on them.
‘Resplendence’ turns its back on the label’s thus-far deeper sound. Quality.
Menno De Jong
As classy and clever as it’s possible for a right old euphoric roof-raiser to get. Greg’s latest stands out a mile.
Acapulco Heat Intuition
8.5 Brilliant percussion, sunsplash riffs, looping housey
Tim Stark PO Box 272, Oxford, OX3 8FJ
From Above Reset
09 Pulser’s first for Flashover under his Luminal name yields instant high-grade results. ‘Sunstorm’ stacks the deck heavily in its own favour by planting a catchy but understated progressive-leaning mainline on top of a powder-keg euphoric trance backing. Akin to using a flamethrower to light a barbecue, the results floor-side are suitably explosive.
Three ‘N’ One pres Johnny Shaker Zouk
Dash Berlin Aropa/Armada 01. ARMIN VAN BUUREN FEAT SOPHIE ELLIS BEXTOR ‘Not Giving Up On Love (Dash Berlin 4AM Remix)’ Armada Music
“Whenever I play Armin’s latest single, the crowd seems to explode. Very cool track to remix.”
02. GARETH EMERY FEAT LUCY SAUNDERS ‘Sanctuary (Club Mix)’ Garuda “Gareth created a beast of a tune here, with stunning vocals by Lucy Saunders.
03. BT & ANDREW BAYER ‘The Emergency (This Is The Day Mix)’ Black Hole Recordings “BT is a living legend and never ceases to amaze.”
04. EITAN CARMI ‘Subtle (Protoculture Remix)’ Iboga Records
“Protoculture is one of my favorite underground producers of the moment.”
05. DUDERSTADT ‘Stranded in NYC (Original Mix)’ Anjunabeats “You know you are listening to the Duderstadt boys from Germany.”
06. 4 STRINGS ‘Sundown (Original Mix)’ Liquid Recordings
“‘Sundown’ is an up-tempo trancer with a big hands in the air breakdown. Great tune to play out.”
07. MAOR LEVI FEAT ASHLEY TOMBERLIN ‘Chasing Love’ Anjunabeats “The mighty Anjunabeats continues to release high quality trance tracks!”
08. PASCAL FELIZ & NENES ‘Platinum (Ben Gold Remix)’ High Contrast Recordings “Searching for a peak-time tune? Search no more. Ben Gold clearly knows what he’s doing. Banger!”
09. LUKE TERRY FEAT KERRY LEVA ‘Arpora (John O’Callaghan Remix)’ Subculture “With label boss JOC on remix duty, the production quality is guaranteed.”
10. SNEIJDER ‘Away From Here (Arty Remix)’ VANDIT Records “Russian producer Arty is absolutely on-fire here.”
A history of big-buzz missed chart opportunities, reluctant artists, rights issues and shonky cover versions have turned ‘Pearl River’ into something of an enigma. A soulless re-vocalling job threatens this re-release, but skilled Roger Shah and Andrea Saenz remixes get it to dry land. The presence of the much sought-after/still mind-blowing 1997 club and radio instrumental mixes happily turn this into a ‘win’.
Ferry Corsten Premier
8.5 AdifferenttypeoftrackfromFerry here—onethatseesboththetempo andenergylevelsdrop.Ifthatsounds likeabadthing,thinkagain.‘Festival’is deliberatelyunusual,withanenigmatic lead-linethatlendsitafairground-like feel.Highlyoriginaland(afterafew acclimatizingspins)veryintoxicating,it’s a grade-A outside-the-box spin.
The original mix of ‘The Day Will Come’ finds Canada’s Arnej building the intro with hard-rocking beats and steelier sounds. They eventually
cede in the break to slow-rising, flickering synths that build big, thanks to some great accompanying moodier-side atmospherics. The 8th Wonders mix, meanwhile, uses shudder-judder beats to create a more techy appeal.
Gareth Emery feat Lucy Saunders Garuda
As a precursory flag-waver for ‘Northern Lights’, Emery’s debut album, ‘Sanctuary’ has undoubtedly hit its mark. Neither Lucy Saunders’ wispy, ethereal vocals nor Gareth’s mid-range backing are instantaneous. Their slow-burn effect though is quite undeniable.
DJs United Armada
Poignant, and then some, ‘Remember Love’ is Armin, PvD and Oakenfold’s Love Parade tribute. As homages go, it’s a fitting one, with some great early choral refrains giving way to pizzicato-leaning strings and a distinctive, weighty male vocal. It’s hard to imagine anyone listening to this without their mind turning to this summer’s tragic events, which means ‘Remember Love’ has done its job.
Tim Berg Data
If this track were on a trance label, its toe-curling ‘uplifting’ top-line would not be entertained. Dropping the tempo, ‘Bromance’ has courted (and won) both a different type of DJ and a slower-moving crowd… Far more to do with Edam than EDM, it’s certainly big, but really not that clever.
Joni Lungqvist Liquid Recordings
No course change for Sweden’s must-break-sooner-or-later Joni Lungqvist. It’s another super-subtle, beautifully judged deep trancer. The electro-lined intro gives way to a melodic, atmospheric centrestretch, and at no point throughout the run-time does it look set to break a sweat. Cool-as trance music from a man with an innate touch for it.
Dirk and Marco work an irresistible melodic main section and fractional techno elements into a low-range tempo, and finish with a shining production. It’s more likely to blow your mind in-car than in-club, but very fine nonetheless.
Hip-hop REVIEWS Collective Efforts I Get Down
9.0 Ooooh man, a Diamond D production! Yeah! Y’heard me! Fantastically spectral spooked stuff that chills the bones even in this hot summer, with brilliant shards of piano and strings and mellotron (set to William Castle settings) rolling under Collective Efforts’ back’n’forth nonchalance. Propulsive and punchy and as utterly absorbing as anything he’s done since the untouchable ‘Stunts Blunts & Hip Hop’. You know you’re gonna dig this.
The Roots Maxsta East London Is Back Grime Kid Recordings
Wu-Tang Clan Clap 2010
Gold Dust Media
8.0 Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, U-God team up on a bouncy, super-sparse Mathematics backdrop. Listening to this year’s Wu-related mixtapes it’s clear things are different without the RZA but Math’s beats hint that a dedicated album could be a corker. This track’s worth it for Meth’s incredible verse and the simple fact that in a world of bling and blahblah the Wu are still harnessing hip-hop’s poetic power to devastating effect. Essential, like everything Wu.
Reflection Eternal Just Begun Warners
8.0 Talib Kweli (get the ‘Tree Grows In Brooklyn’ mixtape to catch up) and Hi-Tek reconvene, have the smarts to get upcoming geni Jay Electronica and J.Cole in on a gorgeous ‘70s funk groove, and even Mos Def drops by with a killer verse. Perfect piped summer into your cells that will sound sweet-as at home, chilled-out in the club, cool as fuck in the jeep with the windows wound down. Get in on it.
Apollo Brown Hungry
Mello Music Group
7.0 Blaring horns, nicely squishy Hammond, drums that stay steady yet seem to endlessly crescendo. Yet
Love the bubbling techno touches lashed down by Danny Weed here, the ruffneck bass, the old skool breakbeat hardcore vibe to this. It’s so fuzzy and electrified it’s a toss up as to whether it should be on Suburban Base or Shut Up & Dance. Maxsta peppers the stomp with some neat rhymes, and there’s energy and verve to his verbals that confirm East London as a place we should all be looking if we want to hear where edges are getting cut, envelopes being pushed, the art is being stated. Superb.
crucially atop some musical madness that could’ve totally dominated the mix, AB & Big Pooh of Lil’ Brother manage to command the attention, hijack the mind and drive it out into the sunset even as the sonic environment seems to spin into the valley and explode. Stoopid fresh.
Radio Daze Def Jam
8.0 For a moment you’re worried, the piano’s so clean – then the beat crashes in and you know ?uestlove’s still on fire. Then the vocals swim in on a crest of sweet harmonies and you know that whatever The Roots have got cooked up on ‘How I Got Over’ (the soon-come new opus), it just might be the best counterpart to Erykah Badu’s stunning ‘Ankh’ you’re likely to hear in 2010. Back, and as utterly fantastic as ever.
QUICKIES Dipset Salute
6.0 Utterly fkn nuts barrage from a reconvened Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and a typically unhinged Cam’ron. Arab Muzik cooks up a freaknological backdrop of county-sized synth echo and beats that should make this as huge as it sounds.
The Suppliers feat Gorilla Zoe Leave Me Alone (Dammit I’m Rollin) NA
4.0 Been around a while, set now to be a proper international hit and absolutely bloody awful. Quick note to those saying Zoe’s fallen off – listen up, Zoe, like Gucci Mane can’t ‘fall off’ ‘cos he was shit to start with! Kids these days.
Game feat Robin Thicke Phantom
5.0 So you’re probably here ‘cos you heard Dre was producing this. Honestly, leave. Nothing to see here. And if this is the best Dre can do these days there’s someone who really has fallen the FUCK off.
8.0 Featuring Trademark & Young Rodd on a gorgeous stoned-groove (and Curren$y, unlike so many, has proved on recent mixtapes that he needs NO back-up), and man I hope it happens for Curren$y ‘cos like J.Cole and Jay Electronica he’s got the skills hip-hop seems to have forgotten. Excellent.
Pack FM Flux Capacitor QN5
8.0 Saw the legend ‘Produced By J-Zone’ on the sleeve, and damn right this hadda go into the bag. ‘Flux Capacitor’ is a nutzoid whorl of psyched-out keys, brutal old-skool beats and verbals all seemingly blitzed-out in an echo-delay-phase spiral too deep to climb out of. Stupendous. On the flip Marco Polo takes over the desk, Poison Pen spits on the mic and things get a little more conventional but just as compelling. Anyhoo, J-Zone’s busy again, be delirious!
MYSTRO DON’T BIZZNIZZ RECS 01. NAS + DAMIEN MARLEY ‘Dispear’ Columbia
“This is most definitely the soundtrack to a revolution.”
02. MYSTRO ‘Around My Way’ Don’t Bizznizz
“This is how Digmund Freud explains the hardships of his ghetto.”
Verbal Kent Monologue Bear vs Deer
7.0 Marco Polo puts beat and loop together like a hooligan. There’s a big phat slam of kick and snare here, minimal but heavy bass and an odd swirl of vocal and vibes droning throughout. With a backdrop that goes nowhere so compellingly you focus in on VK’s rhymes and he’s entertainingly freewheeling, utterly unconcerned that this is meant to be a single as all MCs should be in this day and age. Some of that ol’ underground ruffness the US is still excelling at.
Dumhi feat Reef The Lost Cauze
03. HOME BOY SAND MAN
04. GUILTY SIMPSON ‘O. J. Simpson’ Stones Throw
9.0 Don’t know who the producer Haj is but he’s created something really special here, seemingly cutting in horns that are totally unplaceable (Nigerian? Algerian? Jamaican? Who knows, just be sure they’re from a country with a better football team than ours), with some thunking beats. The whole sample’s wah-wah’d between your ears, Dumhi cutting through the chaos with some choice rhymes and an astonishing Arabicpsyche outro. Essential.
‘The Carpenter’ Boy Sand Industries “The beat, the hook, the flow, everything about this is refreshing to me.” “With Madlib on production it’s a given that this will get your head nodding.”
05. SKANDAL FEAT BLACK THE RIPPER ‘Everyday’ Hala Beats
“Production by Jon Phonics, and both emcees proving why they’re rated highly out here.”
06. REFLECTION ETERNAL ‘Back Again’ Warners
“Loving the vibe on this track, definitely one for the summer.”
07. SCORZAYZEE ‘Luv Me’ Low Life
“Nottingham’s finest pouring his heart out and letting us know where he’s been the last five years.”
08. BIG BOI ‘Shutterbug’ Def Jam
“The first time I heard this out loud I chipped more of my tooth from grinning so hard.”
09. THE ROOTS ‘Dear God 2.0’ Def Jam
“Black Thought’s my favourite rapper and has been for a while.”
10. T Y ‘Emotions’ Big Dada
“This track is hypnotic and the message is powerful. Nuff said.”
FOUND SOUNDS, PO Box 20437, London, SW16 2YJ
QUICKIES Visti & Meyland
Leave Your Worries
7.0 Absolutely love the live strings on this slice of neo disco from Bear Funk, although with many great records from the era that this is trying to emulate, it’s zero points for the naff lyrics.
6.0 Like the kind of distinctly average, MOR country-pop you’d expect to hear on mid-morning Wogan, this single is thankfully saved by a beautiful, stripped-down acoustic version. Phew!
Black Dot White Spider EP
Plays John Carpenter Versatile
9.0 As much a reverential homage to the seminal brilliance of composer John Carpenter as it is a blatant indulgence of their love of Can, Neu! and the purposeful, motorik joy of krautrock, the latest offering from this Parisian duo is something special. Taking the blueprints to a selection of Carpenter’s finest moments (including ‘Escape From LA’, ‘Assault On Precinct 13’, ‘Halloween’ and ‘The Thing’), they re-work the originals around an inventive, synth-laden kraut-disco framework to make something entirely new and entirely fresh.
Soil & Pimp 6.0
OK, so you can appreciate what’s happening here; the well-worn quest to remix a niche artist to a wider, more dance-based audience. Sometimes it works, sometimes it crashes and burns like the Hindenburg. On this occasion it’s a split vote, with a rather insipid re-work from Doc Daneeka and a bullyboy beats version from WAFA. Personally I’d say leave the poor little blighter alone. Don’t try to sanitise the crazy.
Little Dragon Slugabed 7.0
Falling somewhere between the rudiments of dubstep and the melodies of synth-led electronica, Slugabed construct a ridiculous ball-busting, flanging bottom-end affair that should test even the most balanced systems. Escaping the mulsh of bass for bass’ sake wannabes though, Slugabed manage to top the filth with a danceable rhythm and melody that should see this cross various scenes.
The Gaslamp Killer 8.0
Having long been an admirer of Mr Killer’s resplendent choice of facial hair, not to mention his mixtapes, beats and record collection, it’s good to know that the hairy beat-freak is now out and about spreading the good word through Flying Lotus’ concern Brainfeeder. Full of the usual electronic weirdness, heavy drumwork and general psyche-led, wigged out innovation, standout here is the brilliant Mulatu Astatke-inspired ‘When I’m In Awe’ (feat Gonjasufi). Nuts!
With an unlikely assortment of rappers, DJs and producers singing their praises (including Dr Dre, P. Diddy and Damon Albarn), it looks as though this Swedish duo have surreptitiously made that transition from niche to mainstream. And with singles like this propping up their arsenal, you can see why. They seem to have that balance just right. The real gold here, though, is SBTRKT’s pounding 4/4 remix of ‘Never Never’.
7.5 Recorded at the same time as last year’s ‘Junior’, ‘Senior’ has been described by Röyksopp as “the introverted, darker sibling who lives in the attic”. As descriptions go, that should give you some indication of where the three tracks on this sampler are coming from. Those of you looking for that instant, hooky, three-minute dance track need to move on, this is all about the duo’s love of a more graceful, considered, atmospheric kind of sound.
Justine & The Victorian Punks 7.0
Sounds like this should have come direct from the Ze stable in their heyday. Performance artist collaboration with producer equals a sassy spoken-word sojourn over a super-slick production. The result? Well, it’s definitely got a subtle production value about it, although for a little more meat on the bones try ‘Still You’ on the flip for a more drawn-out sax-led groove.
A fine remix effort from the underrated Dimlite, who manages to add the necessary sparkle, glitch and jazz sheen to the Paul White-produced original. The arrangement is the biggest change with a minute-and-a-half Clav intro that immediately brightens the mix before dropping into rolling drums and lucid fx to transpose this into a more than worthy re-mould on the original. As ever with Dimlite, it’s an outside the box affair.
Possibly one of the hardest tracks to cover, especially as it comes from the pen of Sir Quincy of the Jones, is ably re-booted and suited from a certain TM Juke here. Military drums, the more than capable vocal of Basement Jaxx vocalist Sharlene Hector and tough Afro horn stabs definitely make this a standout cover version. And if that wasn’t enough, a hard-as-nails electro version of ‘9th Wonder’ also gets the Jack & Juke treatment. Large.
7.0 A majestic follow-up to their last single (and a welcome peek into their latest album ‘Fever’), the psychedelic blues folk of ‘Sleepy Sun’ finds this Californian troupe in suitably fine fettle.
7.5 With a genuinely varied set of mixes on offer, it’s actually mystery Swiss producer Ghostape who serves up the goods with his freaky interpretation.
KRUDER & DORFMEISTER G-STONE RECORDINGS 01. STEFAN GOLDMANN ‘The Maze’ Macro
“A bouncing beat and the swansong of a dying synth. One of the craziest records that still works on the floor this year.”
02. CHRISTIAN PROMMER DRUMLESSON ‘Oxygene (Alex Barck Remix)’ K7 “Doing justice to a classic and taking it to the next level.”
03. dOP ‘L’Hôpital, La Rue, La Prison’ Circus Company
“Those wicked Frenchmen made one of the best albums this year so far and this is one of the highlights. Deep, different and very musical.”
04. ÂME ‘Rrose Sélavy’ Innervisions
“This duo are constantly stretching the perception on what is possible on a dancefloor, and do so again with this gem.”
05. AXEL BOMAN ‘Purple Drank’ Pampa Records
“From one of our favourite labels of the moment. Entertaining, sexy and forwardthinking — a winning combination.”
06. MAURICE AYMARD ‘Put Some For Jules (Gui Boratto Mix)’ Galaktika “Like the deep dub-vibe of this track.”
07. MARTIN BUTTRICH ‘Tripping In the 16th’ Desolat
“Nice guy, excellent producer. This is from his recent album — reduced and sexy at the same time.”
08. NELSKI ‘Body Pop (Radio Slave Remix)’ Rising Music
“Very well produced dance tune with a little feel of jazz due to the repetitive piano sample. Radio Slave in effect again.”
09. LTJ EXPERIENCE ‘Love Is On My Mind’ Sleazy Beats
“The Italians are going more and more back to their cosmic roots. Lovely bastard track.”
10. SEAN BROSNAN ‘Sat Jam (Eddie C Remix)’ NeedWant
“Has something fresh, a very good track to start the set. Has just the right groove to make you move.“
Catz N’ Dogz
Escape From Zoo Mothership
8.5 Escape from poo It’s official. Polish duo Grzegorz Demiañczuk and Wojciech Tarañczuk (Greg and Voitek) aka Catz N’ Dogz have no time for monkeying around. They’ve chosen their escape route, bribed the zookeeper and made a last dash for the exit. Anyone who thought this duo was only about serving a purpose with filler percussive tech house tracks can think again — these animals are on the move. Kicking off with a stomping Metro Area-style 4/4, opener ‘510-15’ hammers a globular bassline to form a solid deep house platform. But rather than fitting a rectangle into a square hole, diva vocal samples, twanging lazer synths, harpsichord
crescendos plus a sunny glockenspiel melody offer deep disco-house vibes similar to those deployed by Jozif, Motor City Drum Ensemble and the Wolf + Lamb boys. ‘Warsaw By Night’, however, doesn’t hang about. Despite opening with a flirty-but-awkward exchange between what sounds like Poirot and Cruella de Vil sharing a pot of Darjeeling, a jumped-up house beat padded by dramatic rave stabs sends a curt shot up the backside, while lingering clicks and an echoing vocal loop give an overriding UK urban feel. It’s inventive tune structures that build this release. Just take the second half of ‘Warsaw By Night’ for instance. Interruption by an airy, euphoric organ
and synthetic strings set up the jazzy beat again, until… HIT IT! A funky, disco bassline struts in, flanked by starry synths and piano chords. So much for a raved up house tune with an urban twist! Next, ‘Only For the Moment’ offers a vocal sample fit for Joy Orbison over a tripped up funky beat which leads into the deep, rumbling house track ‘Far Away feat Claude Von Stroke’, and ‘I’m Free’, featuring the righteous vocals of Paul Randolph, is lush soulful house. Switching from house to techno to disco to UK funky with ease, Catz N’ Dogz prove how each can live in perfect harmony. Adam Saville
Smoke n Mirrors
Midnight disco magic
For he’s a jolly good Phaeleh!
Caught in the net
An offshoot of successful and much-loved nu disco pioneers Crazy P, Hot Toddy is that band’s Chris Todd in ostensibly solo mode. But really, it’s business as usual, with their singer Danielle Moore present and correct on several tracks and the electro-funk sleaze, seedy synths and low-slung rhythms all intact. Actually, ‘Late Night Boogie’ goes one better. ‘On the 1am’ mixes evocative, funky guitars, early ’80s Danceteria grooves and rising synths. ‘Won’t Let Go’ lets Moore loose over percolating, interlaced acid helixes, a sulphuric disco missive guaranteed to burn the floor, while ‘Down to Love’ is just a perfect, gorgeous disco song, making full use of Jennifer Rhonwen’s sexy tones. The overall effect is what Crazy P have been hinting at for ages, but have never quite delivered: an indispensable addition to the nu disco canon. Ben Murphy
Skream, Benga and Artwork united. A major label budget. Dubstep at mainstream tipping point. Surely this album from the dubstep supergroup can’t fail. Right? Well, it’s certainly bound to be successful. Indeed, the hugely populist (and infectious) R&B of first single ‘I Need Air’ should ensure that. But is this the dubstep classic we’ve all been waiting for? A genre definer that will stand the test of time and exemplify the very best of its genre? The simple answer is — no. Skream’s own album ‘Outside the Box’ is far, far superior. And indeed, ‘Magnetic Man’ seems like something of a wasted opportunity. For rather than combining their extraordinary talents to create a 2.0 masterpiece, they’ve opted for a clutch of largely cheesy, soulsapped R&B beats, with a token dubstep wobble or two. Only ‘Ping Pong’ and ‘Fire’ really hint at the brilliance they’re capable of. The whole thing reeks of major label interference. Ben Murphy
While it’s Skream and Magnetic Man being tipped to cross dubstep into the mainstream, Bristol-based Phaeleh is our insider bet. Skipping the histrionic trance riffs and warbling bass of teen-friendly dubstep, his is a widescreen vision owing as much to the deep atmospherics of Cinematic Orchestra as to the hardcore continuum. An opening brace of ‘Afterglow’ (featuring Soundmouse), ‘Losing You’ and ‘Lament’ radiate exactly the kind of inflamed, sensory takeover that their names suggest, while closing track ‘Fallen Light’ has an epic, end-of-the-night quality that immediately had us reaching for repeat. The searing stabs and ragga vocal of ‘Badman’ might hint briefly at early Vex’d, but it’s soon back to perfect post-rave reflection, as on the future-garage swing of ‘Delusions’, which cuts through the haze of a wandering piano. Sublime stuff, which carries on where Burial left off. Joe Roberts
We’re all aware of the pitfalls of producing a dance album. With the stack of techno and house albums that should have been a series of snappy EPs piling up, it is refreshing to hear an arrangement of 11 tracks as considered as this. Following stints on the brilliant 20/20Vision, Belgian duo Jean Vanesse and Thomas Sohet have landed an album that track by track increases the tempo gradually, while gracefully hopping over a series of melodic stepping-stones. Once the undeniably funky mid-tempo disco of ‘One Way Express’ has met the robot-tinged Herbie Hancock/ Jimmy Edgar electro of ‘Threesome’ and the twinkling shoe-gazing Never-Ending Story synth-pop of ‘Special Dimension’, the first hint of a 4/4 beat has crept in. By now, we’re on our feet and grooving: our attention shrewdly captured by the Spirit Catcher’s net. Adam Saville
Late Night Boogie
Partners In Crime
My Best Friend
There’s a robot in my garage
When ‘Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer’ landed to reveal the melodious inner workings of an android’s mind a year ago, we knew we were on to something special. A few years before, Darkstar cropped up with the sort of scratchy, weird garage that has since become de rigeur. Burial’s influence helped — as did Hyperdub — to push this two-step forward during the late ’00s. Now, the scene’s resurgence is setting Darkstar off down the (perhaps inevitable) course of electronic post punk, putting the copyists off the scent. You heard the cold wave influence of Kraftwerk amid the soul-stripped synths and kaleidoscopic drum-loops of ‘Aidy’s’. Now imagine this distilled down into a clean, purified version across 10 tracks with some New Order vocals thrown in. What’s left? Tender waves of synthetic soul and tidy tin-can melodies, the sort of electronic pop considered experimental back in 2001. Even still, at times it’s beautiful. Adam Saville
Now a two-year-old partnership, Frederic Berger and Patrick Buck (AKA German outfit Kaiserdisco) have been sitting pretty atop numerous Beatport charts for a while. Their bouncy combination of techno, tech house and minimal for labels like Drumcode, Traum and Terminal M has proved popular on dancefloors across the world, and so comes their debut full-length on My Best Friend. While 12” success does by no means automatically translate into a coherent long-player, ‘In No One’s Shadow’ is a commendable effort. The rather magpie approach of ‘borrowing’ sounds and styles from a range of contemporary niches (there are hints of Highgrade, shades of Sci+Tec, nods to Novamute and even The xx) mean this may be an optimistically-titled album, but also means it manages to avoid becoming homogenised. From frenzied thumpers to breezier vocal tech, it’s the variety that impresses here. Kristan J Caryl
In No One’s Shadow
We’ll meet you at the cloakroom
Grime pioneer steps up
The magpie of music has done it again. Part two of Matthew Herbert’s triptych sees him return to club music — quite literally. ‘One Club’ is an album entirely constructed of found sound from the Robert Johnson nightclub in Frankfurt. Snippets of teeming crowds, clinking drinks, flushing loos and cosy couples have all been lacerated and lassoed to sonically replicate the kaleidoscopic snapshot nature of a night on the tiles. The dancefloor is represented in the head down and rave crunkstep of opening track ‘Robert Johnson’. The skittering, awkward ‘Jenny Neuroth’ evokes the disjointed feeling of losing your friends and yourself. Closing track ‘Kerstin Basler’ leaves you uplifted and reunited with your friends. And the incredibly cute detail of naming each track after people in attendance creates this as a unified ‘club’. While it is one club we are happy to be part of, we did hope for a few more floor-fillers. Ele Beattie
Given his gravitas as arguably the definitive grime pioneer, Terror Danjah’s debut artist LP comes with high expectations. But has it come too late? After all, tracks like morse code beeper ‘SOS’ and ‘Minimal Dub’ might have sounded face-smashingly intense had they emerged back in Danjah’s 2003–2005 golden years, but they feel a bit simplistic and clichéd when you’ve experienced all the evolution since. There are still moments of mad future genius. The fluttery garage keys, new jack swing vibes and loose limbed funky grooves that merge on ‘I’m Feeling U’, the freaky synth-funk(y) of ‘Breaking Bad’ and power-up hoovers of ‘Acid’, all show that Danjah has clearly got skills to unlock new hybrids. But there’s too much padding besides. He’s still a master sculptor of deceptively stripped, mindtwistingly detailed instrumentals, but not quite when it comes to composing cohesive artist albums. Allan McGrath
Make A Change
UK bass perfected Zed Bias, the UK garage mastermind behind yesteryear hits like 1999’s ‘Neighbourhood’, knows more than most about the history of the music that’s currently spreading like wildfire across the globe. As a pioneer of garage and broken beat, he’s one of the early architects of dubstep’s many mutations, and on this truly epic long-player under his Maddslinky pseudonym, he’s back to reap the rewards of his early efforts and show the young guns how it’s done. ‘Make A Change’ is the UK bass album we’ve all wanted but haven’t really had yet. Widescreen in its scope, here, there’s room for everything, from the bumpin’ neo dancehall dub skip of ‘Lionheart’ featuring MC Ghost1 and toaster Mighty Moe, to the bassy, tweaking underground house
of ‘Dub Is For Real’ (featuring Mr Scruff, somewhat surprisingly). Skream lends a hand on the none-rougher garage tear out ’50 Shades Of Peng’, but then, balancing out the darkness, is the future neo soul of ‘Further Away’, featuring Tawiah. Mashing together dub and electro funk with every shade of UK soundsystem and bass culture, with unbelievable, pristine production and a finely-tuned ear for song structures, this album is in the grand tradition of Bugz In The Attic and Soul II Soul. In other words, essential beats! Ben Murphy
7.0 Christian Burkhardt & Einzelkind
Dance To the Best Of ESG
Hardly brain food
The clue is in the title. Brainfeeder has always been a label reserved for the cerebral: electronic music for the mind, right? Well, not necessarily. The frenetic jazz of label head honcho Flying Lotus — especially on ‘Cosmogramma’ — is undeniably cosmic exploration, for all intents and purposes music of the imagination: a musical document of sporadic frontal lobe activity, yeah? So what about Teebs? Well, contrary to what the guys at BF would have you believe, this album offers very little by way of mental masturbation. Unlike ‘Cosmogramma’, ‘Ardour’ is very easy to categorise. It’s chiming electronica that twinkles from start to finish. Four Tet without bite, morning-dew Burial, dinner party AFX to be played when the in-laws are round or in the bath, when you want nothing to think about. Teebs answers the question: can background music be cerebral? Not here. It sounds quite nice, though. Adam Saville
Together for the first time, Burkhardt & Einzelkind here serve up nothing more complex than eight purely functional tech house cuts on the latter’s new boutique label, JAX. With little focus on melody and instead a devotion to solid, woody rhythms and tirelessly advancing grooves, tracks like ‘Scorpio’ and ‘Smashid’ are indicative of both Burkhardt’s track-work for the likes of Oslo, and Einzelkind’s tight-belted house output for Kindisch. Despite the overall rigidity and relentlessness of the eight rather homogenised tracks, each is organic, punchy and finished with a nicely aged, crackling aesthetic which helps ‘Revolver’ find a way into your record bag, if not your heart. Why? Well, listening to the LP in its entirety — unless you’re either on a dancefloor or speeding your tits off — can prove quite the challenge. Kristan J Caryl
Taking it ESGeeessssy This two-disc set covers the punk-funk career of these oft-sampled New York City legends. Comprised of three sisters and a couple friends, ESG sounded like what would happen if Joy Division and Funkadelic were to decide to make babies together. Beautiful noise that the !!!s and LCD Soundsystems of today aspire to. Drew Millard
Small Black New Chain Jagjaguwar
Reassuring but not revolutionary
New trance wunderkind delivers
In many ways, Artificial Intelligence’s debut LP proves that d&b can still stand up on its own two feet. There’s no bandwagon jump towards Instra:mental-esque halfsteppers or token techno dalliances. Instead, the North London duo focus on what they have always done best — deep, dense and soulful d&b rollers — with consistently accomplished results. With dBridge on vocals, ‘Threes A Crowd’ is a meditative, melancholy techstepper, the cold, clinical ‘Audio Assault’ with Krust is a return to the Bristol legend’s nearly forgotten glory days, while the epic, unwinding title track is the most stirring piece of d&b we have heard all year. ‘Stand Alone’ is nowhere near as revolutionary as its bold title and the artwork’s accompanying Marxist-style fist would suggest. But it’s still proper quality, lasting stuff. Allan McGrath
After being tipped for trance greatness in recent years, has Gareth Emery lived up to great expectations with his debut album? Indeed he has, with only a few minor quibbles. Firstly, let’s establish that there are some excellent tracks here – the riff behind ‘Arrival’, for example, is a synth hook and a half. The main criticism of the album is that there is perhaps too great a focus on the vocal-led numbers; Emery’s considerable strengths lie in instrumental tracks, which resonate deeper, blend genres intelligently and showcase the obvious musicality of an experimental producer (such as in ‘El Segundo’), so it seems a shame not to exploit this to the full. Putting that aside, ‘Northern Lights’ is far broader than your average trance record and demonstrates why Emery stands out from the crowd. Tristan Parker
Riding the wave Since releasing its self-titled EP a year ago, Small Black are back riding the chillwave with hazy electronics, offbeat instrumentation and foggy melodies basted in a proper layer of 1980s nostalgia. But now that summer’s over, do we still need this? Well, if it sounds this good, then we say… Indeed! Drew Millard
Wave Funk Rephlex
DMX, better than sex? The misleadingly-named solo artist DMX Krew has released his previous vinyl cuts alongside another CD of brand newbies. Newer tracks here show a departure from darker shores into lighter electro funk. Not a duff note amongst the mammoth 35 tracks — definitely more than your money’s worth! Ele Beattie
Shobaleader One/De Monstrato Warp
Squarepushed into rectangle hole? Squarepusher creates the fantasy band he designed on ‘Just A Souvenir’ with other esteemed but anonymous musicians. A Daft Punk-esque offering from the Warp bad boy. However, upon watching the video for ‘Megazine’, suspicion arises that this is indeed fictitious. Ele Beattie
Chris Lake & Marco Lys
Proper party music Big-room house producer Chris Lake has teamed up with Marco Lys to bring a pogo-jumping dancefloor album. If you like tech house sunny with a tribal edge and jam-packed with disco vocal samples, strings and rumbling boogie-house basslines, give this a spin. Adam Saville
Far better than Radio 1 It’s difficult to know what to expect in an artist debut from the ex-Radio 1 techno tearaway, but cast aside any preconceptions, as ‘Dynamite & Laserbeams’ is actually a pretty cracking album of refined techno and leftfield house. Tristan Parker
Cross the Line
Dynamite & Laserbeams 7.5
repeatTHE LPS WE CAN’T LEAVE ALONE...
Scuzzed-up house music has never been more in vogue. Don’t believe us? Listen to this…
Lucky Shiner 9.0
Truly beautiful debut from a one-of-a-kind creature more interested in a diet of chopped up beats than bamboo.
From the Cradle To the Rave DFA
Crossing disco, vintage house, electro-pop and LCD-indie, this album is essential.
Brownswood Electr*c Brownswood Recordings
Live at Robert Johnson Vol. 6
Lost My Dog: 5 Years And Still Looking
Lost My Dog
Both bark and bite
Instead of stringing together a bunch of other people’s records, the Arto Mwambe duo — Christian Beisswenger and Phillip Lauer -— compiled a set made entirely from their own material when they simulated a live performance at the famous Frankfurt club, Robert Johnson, for the sixth installment of the club’s consistently brilliant mix series. Breaking down into clattering ’90s house percussion warmed by the deeper vibes of the mid-noughties, cosmic synths and Inner City boogie-house touches, Arto Mwambe’s set is sunny and full of groove. From the off, clinking airspace opens into playful melodies and rumbling analogue synths, gradually building from a 2/4 into a pumping 4/4 and signaling the imaginary crowd to erupt into inevitable fits of satisfied whistles and cheers. The bleeps are lively, the bass bounces cheekily and jazzy piano melodies spread subtle hints of euphoria. A very encouraging, expertly mixed piece of work. Adam Saville
For those feeling a little ruff around the edges, may we recommend the hair of the dog? Lost My Dog is the best deep house imprint you’ve never heard of, but hopefully that will change after the release of this sterling collection of their first five years. YSE feat Beckford’s ‘Worry’ will have house hounds scratching at the disco door and howling at the moon, with its Tuff Jam style garage groove and big, euphoric rave stabs, while Tommy Largo’s wickedly funky, acid bleepin’ Chicago update ‘Come On’ will make the most laconic mutts get their tails a-waggin’. Harold Heath’s ‘Streets Keep Rocking (Harold’s Rocking Mix)’ is an irresistible boompty bumper and more established names like Milton Jackson, Burnski and Fred Everything also feature, but it’s the relative unknowns who make the biggest impact. Funky green dogs will lap this up… Ben Murphy
8.0 Thankfully, Gilles Peterson and Alexander Stevenson are next in line to celebrate the ripening state of post-dubstep today, collecting a roster of peaking bass producers and putting them all in one place: their Brownswood Recordings imprint. With the second part of the noughties seeing dubstep, fidget house and bassline taking the bottom-line wobble to the nth degree, the first half of 2010 has witnessed bass producers reign in and condense their sound. ‘Brownswood Electr*c’ is another step in this evolution. From Mosca to Ramadanman to Rockwell, bass music is subtler and classier than ever before and this unmixed compilation is evidence. Breaking out into the sleek futurefunk stepping of B Bravos’s ‘Computa Love’ — complete with dubbed-out boogie bassline and vocoder melodies — ‘Brownswood Electr*c’ steals the heart from the outset. Like the opener, Devonwho’s ‘Whispers’ creeps over ground laid by J Dilla during the ‘90s and the funky jungle percussion and
hypnotic synth melody of Eliphino’s ‘Let Me Love You Forever’ slots perfectly beside Ramadanman’s ‘Wad’ (under his Pearson Sound moniker), with its blissed-out vocal cut ups and driving percussion. The album’s aesthetic, always bass-tinged and tightly strung, meanders across numerous urban ballparks including grime, post-dubstep, funky, garage, two-step, electronica, boogie, hip-hop, soul… all tripped up and underpinned by the dark essence of London street life. From the grime sirens of Mosca’s ‘Square One’ to the computer-game trickery of 16Bit — the explosive soul of Letherette to the raved-up funky of Von D — this compilation tracks the full landscape of UK bass music today, reminding just how exciting this scene has become, as producers wash their hands of quivering explosions of bass noise to instead sponge up everything immediately around them. Brownswood Recordings is charged and conducting energy — it’s electric. Adam Saville
I Love Funky: Mixed By Supa D & MA1 Rinse
Walter Gibbons Jungle Music Strut
Ooh ooh ooh the funky Gibbons!
The sound of 2008-2013 Funky — the crappest-named dance-music genre of all time — is right on the cusp of graduating from blog to broadsheet coverage and going fully global, and Rinse have picked this tipping-point moment to release a one-stop genre primer – just as they did with the judiciously timed ‘I Love Dubstep’ back in 2008. Packing in 53 all-time anthems from the likes of Roska, Geeneus and Zinc, ‘I Love Funky’ showcases exactly why this sound feels such a breath of fresh air after the slo-mo dourness of dubstep: part Chicago bump, part Caribbean bounce and part London stomp, the best funky tracks represent the sharpest cross-breeding of melodic sweetness and rhythmic aggression heard since UK garage’s late-’90s heyday. Scene veterans will be wearily familiar with many of these tunes, but if you’re a curious newbie, this is an ideal jumping-on point. Joe Madden
When mining the past for solid gold sonic nuggets, Strut Records always dig out the 24-carat fodder. So to Walter Gibbons, the uncrowned Godfather of the 12” mix, and this collection of his essential and previously unreleased remixes from 1976 to 1986. It’s called ‘Jungle Music’ because Gibbons was known for producing intensely rhythmic and beat-driven versions of the tunes he reworked and that’s just what he’s done on all his versions of disco classics featured on this album. Included is his blindingly good version of Dinosaur L’s ‘Go Bang’, the 12” mix of Double Exposure’s ‘Ten Percent’ and Salsoul Orchestra’s ‘Magic Bird Of Fire’. For hardcore disco fans, this is essential stuff, from one of the genre’s finest. And for newcomers to all things disco this is a good starting point to trace the sound back to its roots. Claire Hughes
New State Music
Finger still firmly on the pulse
You know the score by now
Shangaan Electro : New Wave Dance Music From South Africa
The latest outing from the perpetually busy Digweed is a vast label showcase of his and Nick Muir’s ever-impressive Bedrock Records, channelling their passion for ultra progressive house and electronica through a host of new and established acts. Things get interesting on disc one with the recently formed Rowdent’s discordant, acid-tinged nightmare in ‘Put It To Bed’, answered by the sinister bass waves of ‘Boom Boom’ from John Graham/Quivver — a clever track pairing which perfectly exemplifies just how progressive the label can be. Disc two hits harder, with highlights including an unusual but enticing breaks/psy-trance rework of Guy J’s lush ‘Esperanza’ which melts into an ambient closer from the Bedrock owners. 'Structures’ is representative not just of Bedrock but also of Digweed’s understated yet unmistakable style. Tristan Parker
The trance don keeps the Cream dream alive with an Ibiza compilation full of huge breakdowns, hard-ish house and chunky electro. The 303-esque squelches of Afrojack’s presumably self-explanatory ‘Pacha on Acid’ stick in the memory, as does a brief burst of energetic techno from Umek and colourful stompers from Marco Bailey and German DJ Moguai, the latter of which sounds like a less simplistic and more appealing Deadmau5, who — as you’d expect — also makes a couple of appearances. For unabashed, no-frills trance sounds to get your arms in the air — and as a snapshot of where the modern scene is at – the album clearly delivers. Halliwell is still superb at what he does, but if big, brash trance makes you cringe this certainly won’t convert you. However, if that’s what pushes your buttons, dive right in here. Tristan Parker
Bombastic beats Take ‘New Wave’ out of the title of this comp and replace it with ‘Mad Bonkers Casio’ and you are getting close. For the uninitiated, Shangaan electro is extremely fast, traditional South African music full of mad computer loops with its own breed of craaaazy dancing. Adam Saville
Not quite bulletproof
The unstoppable/puzzling rise of brazenly saccharine electro-pop duo La Roux into ‘respectable’ musical circles and out of ‘Skins’ soundtrack/novelty territory continues, resulting in their compiling a ‘Sidetracked’ mix for Renaissance, following on from Hercules & Love Affair last year. Thus, the duo take the opportunity to nod their immaculately coiffured heads to the keyboard riffs that shaped them. It’s a genteel and unarguably enjoyable example of synthpop and faux-funk’s evolution, from Heaven 17 to the endearing Fever Ray, via Tears For Fears and an exclusive if predictable La Roux cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Under My Thumb’. Although there are no surprises here, you can’t argue with the tracklist — in fact, the only criticism is that it leaves you (or perhaps just me) wishing that La Roux sounded more like any of the featured acts and less like, well, La Roux. Tristan Parker
Another fine compilation from Sean Brosnan’s Needwant label and, this time, the label known for all things nu disco has come up with a more varied selection of contemporary cuts that, together, epitomise the best in contemporary Balearic music. Track selection comes courtesy of production duo Fete; one half of which is Brosnan himself. And included here is the mighty XX’s dreamy ‘VCR’, the Bubble Club’s ‘Violent Moon’ and Iain Archer’s utterly beautiful, guitar-led ‘Canal Song’. The 18 tracks are gently segued together, creating a seamless blend that sums up the laidback sound of the summer; the kind of music that would float free on the breeze of a hazy afternoon on Formentera. And if the success of the label’s ‘Future Disco’ compilation series is anything to go by, this will mark the first in a new series of chillout soundtracks. Claire Hughes
Prime Cuts vol. 3 Beef Records
Fading to Gray and sounding good After a tame opener, this compilation from the heads of Beef Records explores a darker, experimental deep house sound, with a series of engaging tracks from around the globe. Highlights include a skittish remix of Ivan Weber’s ‘Simple Things’ and Jet Project’s delicious Chicago groove. Tristan Parker
Toolroom Knights mixed by Chris Lake & Tocadisco Toolroom
Business as usual Those who like their beats main room, their riffs humungous, and their electro noisy will love this latest double CD head-tohead mix from Toolroom. Tocadisco’s clinches the prize, with tracks from Tony Lionni and Oxia, but there’s little to challenge or excite here. Ben Murphy
Ministry of Sound Pres Mixed — DJ Friction
James Chance - Twist Your Soul - The Definitive Collection
Kitsune X Ponystep
Crossover mess Mixed by Jerry Bouthier, this tribute to the culture webmag and Hoxton club night, Ponystep, sounds a lot like the feedback from an 18-year old mixing each and every one of his favourite indie-electro crossover tunes on a brand new pair of Pioneer CD1000s. Bit too much going on here for credence. Adam Saville
Shades of Gray
Drum & bass in every shade One of d&b’s most outspoken and skilful DJs, Friction’s Catholic tastes are represented here across two CDs — the first a lesson in dancefloor tear-out dynamics and the second a deeper headphone listen, which still packs plenty of grit and bite. Ben Murphy
Contorted funk If you like your punk loopy, screeching and out of control, then James Chance’s collection of ‘70s and ‘80s favourites made with The Contortions (and picked by the NY no wave legend himself) really is the ‘definitive collection’. But if you prefer your music smooth and sans dissonant sax sounds, give it a miss. Adam Saville
repeatTHE LPS WE CAN’T LEAVE ALONE...
DJ Kicks 9.0
Surprisingly cosmic journey from Border Community head man.
Fabric 53 8.0
Dubbbed-out, stepped, housey mash up from techno mainstay.
Berghain 04 9.0
Brooding, dark and fresh collection of techno, clinically mixed.
Tech Awards 2010
THE TECH AWARDS 2010
Last year’s DJmag Tech Awards at BPM, Europe’s biggest DJ event, was a phenomenal success and now we are back with a new panel of industry judges for an even bigger and better show. But before the fun can begin we need YOU to cast your votes on some of the hottest equipment in town. Yes, the Tech Awards are upon us again and now is the time for YOU to be part of this amazing event. We need you the people to pick the kit that you want to see put through its paces live before our panel of expert judges. Go online to cast your vote at djmag.com and plump for your favourite bits of kit.
We will be judging eight categories live at the BPM show, back at Birmingham’s NEC from 2nd - 4th October. Your votes will be counted and the top three products from the first eight categories — listed on the next few pages — will go through to our amazing live Grand Final at BPM. Manufacturers will have only a few minutes to show off their kit and try to impress our judges. There will be tears, there will be laughter, and there will definitely be glory. Our feisty judges will be demanding, and will give the reps a hard time before scoring the products on build, sound quality, features,
ease of use, and all importantly, value for money. Once this process has been completed, then — and only then — will the winners be announced and presented with their well-earned awards. The winners in the remaining 11 categories will be entirely voted for by YOU online. Remember, you call the shots, so make that ballot count! The scene has changed massively, and so have the demands on the technology. The digital revolution is well and truly upon us and you can be part of it all. Remember to go online and cast your votes at djmag.com.
the tech awards
DJmag Tech editor Mick Wilson is no stranger to hi-tech studio and DJ gadgetry. With his recording and DJing work with Sioux City Boys Club, as well as his DJ sets as part of the DJmag All-Stars, Mick will be using all of his industry expertise to chair the debate and cast those all-important votes on the hottest gear around.
Drum & bass legend DJ Friction was the first drum & bass selector to mash it up on three decks. Friction joins us this year and brings to the proceedings a fresh take on modern DJing technology, as the d&b arena is still largely steeped in the ways of vinyl.
Eddie is one of the bright young stars of the DJ scene and is eager to embrace new technology within his sets. Currently residing as Cream resident in Ibiza, he has been hailed by Tiësto as a legend. This trance dance champ joins us on the panel this year to really fire it up.
“I can’t wait for the Tech Awards in October and will be waiting to see what type of super technology there is on offer that could woo me away from playing vinyl and dubplates. I want to see if there’s anything that could take my DJ sets to another level. Bring it on!”
“Technology has always played a big part in my life. When it comes to DJing, I buzz off using new equipment and finding out it’s capabilities to enhance my performance on stage, so taking part in the DJmag Tech Awards is right up my street.”
“Last year was great, this year is going to be even better, DJing has taken a new turn and the kit on show reflects this. I for one can’t wait to have a fiddle and for battle to commence.”
SOS are DJs Omid 16B and Demi, two hell-raisers that will add the extra fireworks to the judging panel and make it go with a bang. With their cheeky patter, no manufacturer will be safe. These guys have a wealth of history on the DJing circuit and their musical productions have torn up many a dancefloor. OMID: “I am really looking forward to judging the DJmag Tech Awards at the NEC in Birmingham. I see my equipment as an extension to my physical self. What I choose to use and how I use it is the key to a full and wider expression from what’s inside. That’s why it’s just as important to inspire technology as it is to be inspired by technology.” DEMI: “The speed at which we have technological advances for today’s performing DJ is frightening, a little daunting and, at the same time, utterly thrilling. I expect this year’s DJmag Tech Awards to provide us with some astounding new developments, and we are very happy to be a part of this very important occasion. Boys with toys as they say… some things never change!”
Tech Awards 2010
INNOVATIVE NEW DJ PRODUCT
Which one of the new breed of controllers or Digital Mixers will take the top spot this year?
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1
Hi Spec’d, Dual USB mixer, two DJs can use the one mixer to play off different computers at the same time.
Instant access to cue and loop points for the digital DJ with analogue sensibilities.
Slightly short USB cable could be problematic in spacious booths.
The Dicer is a great product that really lets DJs have all sorts of mixing fun in that original turntablist mixing style. TECH VERDICT 8
Simple plug and play controller that offers a lot of performanceforcontrollingDVSDJing programmes.
At over £2000, this will put a serious dent in your pockets.
Superior-sounding mixer with total MIDI control that really gives DJs the tools to get busy when using Serato Live.
A well put-together, to-the-point unit that adds to any DJing performance tech verdict
Still needs a mixer.
ALLEN & HEATH
Solid controller for Serato’s Itch software that has all of Allen & Heath’s expertise built into it. This really makes digital DJing a fun pursuit, with all the performance values that would please the old school diehards.
With the new LCD Screen, FX and Performance modes, DJs can now be more creative when it comes to hardware mixing and DJing.
It’s not cheap, and will only be in the domain of the big boys.
Not cheap, but what you get is quality.
What DJs get is a lot of mixer and new technology, and when in use, the DJM-2000 almost becomes an instrument in its own right.
The emphasis with the Xone DX is on simplicity. There are a lot of functions to play with, but to use them doesn’t take a science degree.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 9
SINGLE MULTI-FORMAT PLAYER RELOOP
This year’s offerings can control DVS software as well as playing audio from any source.
RMP-3 ALPHA £545
X1000 MK II £899
A tidy little player with great Midi implementation that looks good and will offer you control over a multitude of audio sources.
A great-sounding multimedia player that covers all bases for the modern DJ, which could prove to be the new industry standard in the DJing world.
All in one digital DJ system with a wireless remote, offering you complete control over your digital DJing set up.
Bit of an unknown quantity in the UK DJing scene.
It will set you back a whole heap of cash.
A solid do-it-all player that looks good, with a nice simple layout for operation.
The CDJ-2000, in conjunction with Rekordbox, is determined to be the new industry standard CDJ deck.
Untested in a serious club environment, could be considered a gimmick.
TECH VERDICT 7
The Nextbeat is an interesting product that offers a new approach to DJing and whilst is new to the market could gain some friends from unlikely quarters
TECH VERDICT 8
tech verdict 7
Realistic and comfortable deck control. New simplified operation and layout for controlling and playing a wide range of audio sources.
A great CD deck for the scratchers that looks simple, but has great depth.
Has a plastic feel to it — build quality could be better.
A few niggles that users may find annoying, like no waveform view on MP3s without scanning the files first on a computer.
Denon’s direct-drive technology comes of age — but there are a few niggles.
A nice entry-level CD deck with a lot of thrills to keep you happy, and great especially for the scratch DJs who want to go digital.
TECH VERDICT 7
Tech Awards 2010
DIGITAL USB/FIREWIRE DJ MIXER
Which is the best mixer for connecting and controlling software in an all-round DJing environment?
ALLEN & HEATH
The latest incarnation of the PMC05 with MIDI capability, a three band EQ and nice touches, like balanced outputs.
The styling is definitely a Marmite affair and while great for scratch DJs, it might not suit every DJ.
The Xone:4D is loaded with innovative new features.
A compact battle-style mixer with MIDI capability means it can control Traktor, Serato Scratch etc — perfect for turntablists.
Incredibly versatile and well-endowed soundcard, with brilliant new filter and envelope shaping.
BPM counter is a bit wobbly on analogue sources, except clinical 4/4.
TECH VERDICT 9
TECH VERDICT 7
Fantastic build quality and great features mean the DN-X1600 is every bit as good as the competitors. USB sound interface and Midi control, as well as video control via the Edirol V-4 or V-8, make this a tasty toy.
Dual USB mixer with great looks and great FX to be used in close conjunction with Numark’s V7 decks.
Numark hasn’t really been a major force in high-end club mixers and this might detract from the X7.
EVO 4 £899
Ecler make great mixers and this is no exception — great sound with superb MIDI implementation.
Not going to find too many of these in the clubs.
A new contender for the crown of ultimate DJ club mixer. Dual USB at a very reasonable price range is a major plus.
This is a great mixer with some great controls. A joy to use, with great sound and a fab FX section.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 8
Not an 'industry standard' mixer, so it’s less likely you’ll find this installed in a club’s DJ booth.
Four-channel DJ mixer with on-board effects, a USB audio interface and full MIDI mapping, as well as V-Link to control video. TECH VERDICT 8.5
ULTIMATE CLUB DJ MIXER PIONEER
EVO 4 £899
With the new LCD Screen, FX and Performance modes, DJs can now be more creative when it comes to hardware mixing and DJing.
Ecler make great mixers and this is no exception — great sound with superb MIDI implementation.
It’s not cheap, and will only be in the domain of the big boys.
Not going to find too many of these in the clubs.
What DJs get is a lot of mixer and new technology, and when in use, the DJM-2000 almost becomes an instrument in its own right.
This is a great mixer with some great controls. A joy to use, with great sound and a fab FX section.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 8
ALLEN & HEATH
Excellent Midi Control, great sound quality with two filters and LFOs and two master outputs. Beautifully designed.
Hi Spec’d, Dual USB mixer, two DJs can use the one mixer to play off different computers at the same time.
Solid, well-built mixer with huge LCD display, built-in effects and a fabulous matrix design input selector.
At over £2000, this will put a serious dent in your pockets
A great-sounding, ‘do everything’ mixer with USB and MIDI compatibility, allowing it to control external audio/video software.
Superior-sounding mixer with total MIDI control that really gives DJs the tools to get busy when using Serato Live.
No BPM recognition and no EQ punch facility.
The Xone:92 is a great mixer that functions in a club environment admirably. TECH VERDICT 8
Tech Awards 2010 SINGLE MULTI-FORMAT PLAYER UNDER £500
These budget bangers still pack a punch.
A CD player that will also play MP3s off USB Keys or external Hard Drives, as well as controlling DJ software.
A great entry-level player that offers all the basic essential features that all budding DJs would need, without the hefty price tag.
Missing a few features that would have been nice, but at this price, you would be a fool to complain.
It looks a little plain compared to some of the opposition.
Fantastic, budget multi-format CD player with a great build quality, packed full of features and a joy to use. At this price, it’s a steal.
A great little player that is high on quality, with a lot of features for such a low price.
TECH VERDICT 7
TECH VERDICT 8
KCD400 MP3 £299.95
Scratch-style player with onboard effects, built-in sequencer and beat synchronized looping.
Packed full of features, this CD player offers the same performance as much pricier units, coupled with built-in effects.
A larger LCD screen with track waveform view would have been nice.
The lack of auto BPM detection and use of a CD tray instead of slot loading are a bit of a let down.
Midi control, soundcard, amazing scratch control, USB playback of MP3 and Wav, three effects, loops memo and D-link.
TECH VERDICT 7
A decent multimedia deck that has good in-built effects, as well as a built-in sequencer for added performance.
TECH VERDICT 9
TECH VERDICT 7
COMPACT DJ MIDI CONTROLLER KAM
DIGI MINI £179
DJ-style, entry-level compact controller to manipulate audio and visuals. Comes supplied with Virtual DJ software.
Large jog wheels and simple layout makes this a breeze to use especially when controlling the supplied Traktor Le Software.
None at this level.
A great little controller that can control the likes of Traktor and Mixvibes, as well as straight out of the box performance with the supplied Virtual DJ software.
The small fader throws on the unit doesn’t quite have that Pro controller feel.
This is a perfect entry level controller for anyone who wants to start cutting their teeth on the digital DJing arena. Its small size is deceptive of its capabilities. TECH VERDICT 7
A cheap-as-chips multi-use controller, with the added delight of Novation’s Automap system.
TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 £179
Simple plug and play controller that offers a lot of performance for controlling DVS DJing programmes.
A very well-built, useful sub controller, giving Serato Live users hands-on control for extra performance duties.
Still an element of computer interaction.
Still needs a mixer.
The DNHC1000S gives Native Instruments X1 a run for its money in the sub controller stakes.
A well put-together, to-the-point unit that adds to any DJing performance
TECH VERDICT 8
tech verdict 8
The basic visual feedback may not be to everyone’s taste.
The Nocturn can be used in a variety of DJing and production scenarios, and is more powerful than its small size suggests. TECH VERDICT 7
Tech Awards 2010 STANDALONE COMPUTER DJ INTERFACE
This is for the serious club DJ who needs ultimate, all-in-one digital control.
VCI300 MKII £699
Updated for 2010, and still a great set up for DJs whose music collection is mostly on their laptops.
Just like the NS7, the V7 has performance and scratch-ability written all over it — a must for die-hard turntable fanatics.
No effects built into the unit, but can be utilized via the VFX1 add-on.
Not quite the all-in-one solution for controlling Serato’s Itch, as a mixer is still needed.
The V7 opens up the options for DJs to consider when it comes to which controller is best for their needs.
A great portable DJing controller for Serato’s Itch platform, which has been updated for 2010 to keep it ahead of the curve.
TECH VERDICT 8
OTUS RAW £549
TORQ XPONENT £349
Hands-on controller for use with M-Audio’s Torq DJing software, with flashing lights indicating which deck is playing.
Build quality feels cheap.
An interesting product for use with M-Audio's Torq software, which gives DJs the chance to explore an alternative approach to the usual favoured two when it comes to digital DJing.
Two virtual decks, touch-sensitive scratch control and forward-thinking layout make this a pro option.
Twin layer can lead to confusion, knobs feel wobbly, loop buttons are too small and the unit isn’t that portable.
Works well for forwardthinking digital DJs looking to control the new generation of DJ software.
ALLEN & HEATH
The emphasis with the Xone:DX is on simplicity. There are a lot of functions to play with on the Xone, but to use them doesn’t take a science degree.
TECH VERDICT 9
TECH VERDICT 7
TECH VERDICT 7
A staple in DJ booths worldwide, this is not just a two-horse race…
LIVE 8 £580
SCRATCH LIVE £529
Packed with new features, this is the best Live programme yet.
Excellent sound quality. Fantastic back-to-basics DVS system that has many fans all over the world, this is all about DJing skill with no auto-syncing to make life easy.
Getting quite expensive now, compared to what else is on offer.
Scratch Live takes the skills of DJing and puts them into the digital domain. One of the most popular DVS systems on the planet — the upcoming updates will make this a killer piece of kit.
Live 8 is great for DJing, but it is now also a great tool for studio production, as its sequencer side comes of age.
Lack of auto-sync or beat matching.
TECH VERDICT 9
TECH VERDICT 9
Software-only version of the Crosspack that allows you to mix and blend audio with iTunes integration and iTunes styling, which makes for a familiar working environment.
Not as robust as some of the big boys.
This is a good alternative to NI Traktor or Serato’s Live. The iTunes integration gives pro-level performance, and it is without doubt great value for money. TECH VERDICT 7
REKORD BOX £ N/A
TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO £155
A good way to prep and manage your tracks before turning up to a gig, if you’re using the new CDJs.
Four decks, beat-matched, synced mixing and all-new effects, for use with a wealth of controllers.
None — it’s now free.
A useful software tool that should make life for DJs using Pioneer’s kit a whole lot easier, especially when it comes to track management and set preparation.
Can be taxing on the CPU, dull and indistinct colour scheme.
Some would say this is one of the industry standards when it comes to DVS software. Definitely a force to be reckoned with.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 9
Tech Awards 2010
AUDIOVISUAL PROJECT SERATO
SL VIDEO £1199
Rock solid performance, high-quality effects and transitions and simple to use.
Real-time recording, video triggering on its 12 MPC-style pads, plus effects and a built-in screen.
No audio-visual effects integration, mixer's fader curve does not affect video and you can’t run Video-SL without the TTM plugged in.
We can’t spot any major downfalls.
Looks like a nice way to get away from the stresses of computers while performing.
This superb all-in-one masterpiece will have you painlessly mixing and scratching video instantly.
TECH VERDICT 7
TECH VERDICT 7
VFX CONTROL £549
SVM 1000 £5699
Awesome integration of audio and visual effects, bright, colourful touch-screen, built-in visuals and no compromise for regular audio jocks.
AVENUE 3 £289
Mix video files and music files together with FX, all from this DJ-friendly controller.
Insanely powerful VJ server, made to be used in a live performance scenario with full midi control. Most of the features seen in the big-boy media-servers, without the price tag.
Operating the VFX was difficult, due to the annoying bug issues —hopefully rectified in a software upgrade.
Some effects don’t work on copyrighted discs.
No single product compares to the SVM-1000.
The software throws up unexpected bugs from time to time — constant updates needed.
A decent attempt to fuse together visuals and music in a format that DJs will already find comfortable.
TECH VERDICT 7
Amazingly featurepacked, extremely easy-to-use and midi control.
TECH VERDICT 6.5
TECH VERDICT 7
DUAL MULTI-FORMAT PLAYER DENON
A built-in soundcard and USB connection, rather than Firewire, make the HC5000 a very portable and compact controller for Itch, that is perfect for Mac or PC.
Budget rack mount twin CD player with MP3, USB and scratch capabilities.
Because of the compact design, the control surface is cramped and the jog wheels are too small to be any fun for scratching.
Designed exclusively for Itch, which limits the DN-HC5000’s versatility.
MEP 7000 £1199
Easy navigation, adapts to any gig, big screen, soundcard and software control, with CDJ-style scratch.
Short pitch slider, limited playlists and no sub crates. Lacks ABC loop and cue slots, and the trans effect is not BPM linked to the other track.
Denon’s first USB MIDI/ Audio interface designed for computer performance by club and mobile DJs, using any of the various DJ software packages.
The MEP-700 covers everything you could imagine doing in a DJ environment.
A built-in audio interface and the flexibility to control any of the popular DJ software packages, such as Traktor and Serato Scratch.
While the compact nature of this unit has its advantages in certain situations, it comes at the cost of usability and fun factor.
TECH VERDICT 7.5
TECH VERDICT 7
A dedicated USB midi controller for Serato Itch with built-in soundcard, aimed at the mobile DJ, or anyone with limited space.
All-singing, all-dancing multi-format player giving total format freedom to play from any audio source you desire.
TECH VERDICT 7
Build quality could be better.
A fantastic product with a great price, that will find many a fan in the mobile DJ/ pub install market. The ability to mix off an iPod is a major plus.
Compact dual CD player for those looking to save on space or cash. TECH VERDICT 6
TECH VERDICT 7
Tech Awards 2010
ANALOGUE DJ MIXER (UNDER £600) NUMARK
Three channel digital mixer at a reasonable price that would suit most bedroom jocks.
The robust build, quality components and features like the magnetic crossfader mean the TTM56S is a joy to use, and will delight scratch DJs.
No fancy features.
Budget-priced, threechannel digital scratch mixer with beat-synced effects.
It’s a whole lot of money for a two-channel mixer, especially with no on-board FX or audio interface.
Top quality, two-channel mixer for scratch DJs who demand nothing but the best, and are prepared to pay for it.
TECH VERDICT 6.5
ALLEN & HEATH
TECH VERDICT 7
Well spaced out and simple to use, plus a few extra-special features like the wet/dry rotary knobs on every channel make this a fantastic mixer.
A good quality four-channel mixer with a decent set of on-board effects and great EQs.
The lack of USB 2.0 or higher (the USB port is version 1.1) is disappointing, and the Xone:42 lacks some of the features found on other mixers in this category.
The lack of an external FX loop and badly-designed signal routing let this mixer down.
The little brother of the Xone 92, this is a compact four-channel DJ mixer with USB audio interface and the famous A&H filter system.
Mid-range four-channel club mixer, with digital FX and optional USB audio interface.
Full MIDI integration and an on-board audio interface mean that the DJM-350 is a fully-functional, but cut-down version of the most popular mixers in club-land. Perfect for anyone starting out.
Not the cheapest option out there.
The baby of the industry standard range of Pioneer mixers only has two channels, but has full MIDI implementation as well as an onboard audio interface. TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 6.5
EFFECTS MIXER (UNDER £600) STANTON
Cheap-as-chips digital mixer with onboard FX, that’s perfect for anyone just starting out or who just fancies a mix in their bedroom.
No onboard audio interface or MIDI functions mean that this mixer isn’t for everyone.
Two-channel digital scratch mixer with beat-synced effects. TECH VERDICT 7
In-built sampler, unique twists on standard effects and an ultra-sexy FXGlide control make this perfect for turntablists.
A good quality four-channel mixer with a decent set of on-board effects and great EQs.
A larger LCD display would have been nice.
The lack of an external FX loop and badly-designed signal routing let this mixer down.
A high-quality, durable and responsive effects mixer, giving pro performance at a very reasonable price.
Mid-range four-channel club mixer, with digital FX and optional USB audio interface.
TECH VERDICT 7
TECH VERDICT 6.5
DJM 350 £439
IQ2 MIDI £449
Full MIDI integration and an on-board audio interface mean that the DJM 350 is a fully-functional, but cut-down version of the most popular mixers in club-land. Perfect for anyone starting out.
Two-channel scratch-tastic mixer built to last under the fiercest battle conditions, with digital FX and midi control as well as in-built USB audio interface.
Not the cheapest option out there.
The buttons used on the IQ2 MIDI aren’t the nicest and detract from the pro feel of the unit.
The baby of the industry standard range of Pioneer mixers only has two channels, but has full MIDI implementation as well as an onboard audio interface.
Fully digital, compact battle mixer with MIDI controller function that is “Traktor ready” for plug-and-play with software.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 6.5
Tech Awards 2010
STUDIO MONITORS AKAI
ONE F101 £825 Pair
Compact active monitors with a crisp and detailed sound.
Big-sounding studio monitors from the renowned Funktion One stable.
No way to fine-tune the speakers.
Not as refined for delicate mixing duties.
Nice pair of speakers that don’t require an amp, which work well in modern studio environments.
A brilliant set of monitors for dance music applications and the bigger project studio. Big sound from the Funktion One camp.
TECH VERDICT 7
TECH VERDICT 8
M SERIES £200 pair
ROKIT SERIES £370 Pair
BX8A DELUXE £265
Low-cost reference monitor, aimed directly at the smaller budget project studios.
Offering great balance between loud and detailed sound in this price range.
The Rokit series monitors deliver a balanced sound for not a lot of money.
No way to adjust the sound setting to suit the mixing environment.
Can’t find any at this price point.
OK for general listening, but wouldn’t use them to mixdown or mastering.
A very cheap option for small project studios who are on a tight budget.
A good self-powered set of monitors for the project studio, ideal for anyone demanding quality and a step up from entry-level monitors.
These monitors deliver big sound with reasonable accuracy. TECH VERDICT 7
TECH VERDICT 6.5
TECH VERDICT 7
DIGITAL VINYL SYSTEM
Bringing old school techniques to the digital age, offering hands-on DJing. Prepare to be put in a spin.
Mix and blend audio with iTunes integration, and iTunes styling makes for a familiar working environment.
Just like the NS7, the V7 has performance and scratch-ability written all over it — a must for die-hard turntable fanatics.
Not as robust as some of the big boys.
Not quite the all-in-one solution for controlling Serato’s Itch, as a mixer is still needed.
Pro level performance, with a huge feature set and great value for money.
The V7 opens up the options for DJs to consider when it comes to which controller is best for their needs.
TECH VERDICT 7
TECH VERDICT 8
FAST TORQ CONECTIV £275
Use as a virtual DJing system or as an external effects processor. Good sound and internal effects suite with additional VST compatibility. Control vinyl gives excellent response.
Offers instant DJ-friendly remixing with a rock solid sync, simple layout, massive choice of quality club effects and advanced Midi.
Power supply not supplied and the mic uses one of the deck inputs.
No re-loop control and you can’t stack more than one loop on a deck, or sample combinations of decks.
Sounds amazing, easy to set up and works as a regular soundcard for other applications, thanks to its extra in and out channels.
Preamp switches are a bit too sensitive, no mic input and it comes with a hefty price.
The SL3 comes with innovative new features and great sound quality, but doesn’t quite warrant the expensive price tag.
An alternative option to consider when looking at entering the virtual vinyl DJing market. TECH VERDICT 7
As simple as you want it to be or as you can handle, Traktor Scratch Pro takes your DJing to the next level. TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 8
Tech Awards 2010
DJ CARTRIDGE ORTOFON
NIGHTCLUB MKII £108
The elliptical version of this cartridge provides stunning sound, but still has what it takes to stay in the groove.
A no-nonsense cartridge, perfect for club and scratch applications. Gets the job done with a minimum of fuss.
Not as detailed in sound as other options.
Another expensive cartridge, it’s tough at the top.
A great, reasonably-priced cartridge that does exactly what it says on the tin.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 7
Robust build quality, loud and punchy sound with easy installation and great groove holding.
Designed to be used with Serato Scratch, this needle is the ultimate in performance for time-coded vinyl and the sound is impressive, too.
A modern needle that has been designed to offer great control for use with DVS systems. The new technology brings unrivalled sound quality, but at a price.
Solid performer, with the perfect balance of sound and tracking. TECH VERDICT 8
Wide needle view, adjustable all-in-one headshell and cartridge , superb tracking and a huge sound.
The Rolls Royce of the cartridge world.
TECH VERDICT 9
TECH VERDICT 8
DJ SOUNDCARD NATIVE INSTRUMENTS
AUDIO 8 DJ £329
A very simple box to use.
Loads of ins and outs, great sound quality and performance. Easy access to alter settings, and great for producing.
Build quality leaves something to be desired.
A no-nonsense soundcard that doesn’t cost the earth. TECH VERDICT 7
DJ TRIM 4 & 6 £169
Only two phono preamps for turntables and quite expensive.
A feature-rich, low-cost soundcard, which also acts as a USB hub for connecting a controller and external hard drive to it.
One of the best soundcards on the market for DJs and producers.
For the price and what it does, none.
TECH VERDICT 8
AUDIO 2 DJ £79
A cool way of connecting up multiple devices for your digital DJing set up, at a cost that won’t break the bank. TECH VERDICT 7
FAST TRACK PRO £175
Ultra-compact DJ soundcard — great sound quality and performance.
A high-quality soundcard with balanced outs, Midi and super latency. Comes with Ableton Live Lite software.
So small you could easily misplace it after a drunken night on the decks.
Shame it doesn’t come with the new version of Ableton Live, but that would be pushing it.
A compact system for a basic set up, offering great sound and value for money.
A feature-heavy soundcard that can be used for many applications.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 8
Tech Awards 2010
STUDIO SEQUENCER SOFTWARE ABLETON
AVID PRO TOOLS
LIVE 8 £580
Bringing Pro Tools to project and bedroom studios at a great price, and improved Midi sequencing features.
Packed with new features, this is the best Live programme yet.
Getting quite expensive now, compared to what else is on offer.
Live 8 is great for DJing, but it is now a great tool for studio production too, as its sequencer side comes of age.
TECH VERDICT 9
Steep learning curve.
A great introduction to high-end studio systems.
TECH VERDICT 8
Reason has grown up into a pro application. The new features make it a serious production tool.
Industry standard production software. New plug-ins are just so good!
Great new features, improved interface and workflow mean that Cubase is even easier to use.
Can’t use VST plug-ins and can’t drag and drop audio files.
Only for Apple Mac computers.
Arguably the best cross-platform solution for making music.
Logic Studio Pro 9 is a very powerful package that gives instant gratification when producing tracks. Easy to use, it’s not too intimidating for beginners, either.
TECH VERDICT 9
TECH VERDICT 9
Still waiting for a decent amount of third party plug-ins to take advantage of the new VST3 system. Still uses a dongle.
This is the one-stop-shop for producers, especially in the dance scene. The new additions have pushed it into the pro production domain. TECH VERDICT 8
SEQUENCER CONTROLLER AKAI
The best controller we’ve ever used — period.
A fabulous, feature-rich controller that makes controlling Ableton Live a breeze.
No looping controls.
No external slider control for volume changes. Has to be done by switching views on the Launchpad.
If you use Ableton Live 8 in a live environment, you need an APC40 controller.
Big on features and a low-price tag, this could be the perfect controller for all Ableton Live users who wish to put performance back into the mix.
TECH VERDICT 9
NANO CONTROL £49.99
Custom controllers for studio production on-the-fly. Small size means that you can be creative anyplace, anytime.
Very small control surface isn’t the best for big fingers.
A great selection of controllers that give producers the opportunity to get creative on the road, whilst minimizing the amount of gear that needs to be carried.
TECH VERDICT 7
AXIOM 25 £199
Updated to make it even more interactive with your DAWs of choice.
Mixer inspired controller for Ableton Live.
Feels a little plastic, and the build quality will take a battering on the road.
No Matrix pads for instant clip creativity.
TECH VERDICT 7
Well thought-out controller that offers plenty of nice touches to keep it ahead of the opposition. TECH VERDICT 7
Tech Awards 2010
£149 Great-sounding pro headphones with replaceable ear pads that can also be used for studio applications.
Efficient 2000mw drivers, really compact and light with replaceable parts.
Speed twist replaceable pads fall off easily.
Ear pads come off quite easily.
A great-looking, sonicallybrilliantpair of 'phones.
Good value headphones with very loud, undistorted sound. TECH VERDICT 8
ALLEN & HEATH
Great fidelity, low distortion, highly flexible and well-built, with solid cable. Unbeatable comfort.
The round–the-ear pads and rear bass port don’t make for the best external sound isolation.
Good quality, but it’s hard to see the HDJ-2000 becoming industry standard faves at such a high price.
Great entry-level headphones that offer superb results at a low price.
A good alternative to the current market leaders, these phones offer great sound at a decent price.
These are great phones for those on a tight budget who still need a good sound.
TECH VERDICT 8
TECH VERDICT 8
Loud-sounding headphones that capture a wide frequency range. Slight plastic feel.
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Get hands-on at the 2010 BPM show After the success of the 2009 BPM show, 2010 sees the return of Europe’s largest event dedicated to DJ culture. Now running over three days, BPM is back at Birmingham’s NEC on Saturday 2nd to Monday 4th October. As well as the now established DJmag Tech Awards, all three days of BPM will be packed with kit demonstrations and DJ sets from an ever-expanding line-up of superstar jocks. Previous years have seen sets from James Zabiela, Radio 1 Hard Dance supremo and all round nice guy Kutski, Pete Gooding and Tom Middleton to name a few. There will be workshops and panels during the three days of BPM and GCI will be hosting a Freestyle DJing competition open to all on the Saturday. Advanced tickets for BPM are priced at £10.00 but you can also pay £15.00 on the door. Every DJ who purchases their ticket for BPM 2010 in advance will also be eligible for a free four-week trial of the new Sixpack digital music subscription service from CD Pool. For more information about tickets, GCI Freestyle DJing competition and the show visit: visitbpm.co.uk