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Poll 2021: Carnage/GORDO

37
Carnage/GORDO
Re-entry
0

From: Guatemala

 

Welcome back to the Top 100 Carnage... Or should we say GORDO? Last spotted in this poll in 2017, the Guatemalan EDM superstar is back with a bang. Trimmer, sleeker and deeper, this year has seen him unveil a brand new alias — GORDO. Two tunes deep, both ‘KTM’ and ‘TARAKA’ have been big milli-streaming smashes and shown a different side to his musical palette.

For the full Carnage/GORDO palette, however, it’s all about the DJ sets. Popping off like a rocket since shows opened again Stateside in the summer, his performances have ranged from his first-ever sunrise set at XS Las Vegas (where he’s a resident) to his TARAKA phenomenon, where he announces flash raves in random cities across North and Central America and plays to his fans for free — for upwards of six hours!

Don’t act too surprised. GORDO’s got a heart of gold and has previously invested in building schools in Guatemala and Nicaragua, cannon-fired $10,000 into the crowd and, most recently, invited his nan to be his roommate so he could look after her. Call him Carnage, call him GORDO, call him a gentleman. 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 12:02

Style: 
Bigroom house

Poll 2021: ATB

35
ATB
Up
21
From: Germany
 
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Barkley.”
 
 
It's been an exciting year for André Tanneberger, aka ATB, despite the first half of 2021 being consumed very much with Covid-19; he finally released a remake of his epic trance anthem '9PM' with Topic and A7S. “In the last 20 years I've received so many requests for collaborations, remakes and cover versions,” he begins to explain, “but I turned them all down because I was never really satisfied.” Embracing life with his one-year-old son has played a massive part in making this year extra special, he says. 
 
As with so many DJs, artists and performers, the past 18 months have given him a whole new perspective on life in general. After spending much time working on his eleventh album, planned for release next year, ATB also isn't shy to talk about precious family time. “I have once again become very aware that work is not the most important thing and that one should find a healthy mixture of work and enjoying life.”
 
 
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
 
“It was just insane. I had goosebumps all over. I've been used to being on stage since 1993, and this was the first time since then that I hadn't been in front of an audience for more than two months.”
 
 
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“When you've been on the road for so many years, it feels at first as if time has stopped. You think that it will soon go on, but then you realise that this is not the case.”
 
 
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
 
“Energy from green power should be used by the industry (streaming platforms, festivals, clubs, record labels, artists etc) or more sustainability at events that generate large amounts of plastic waste.”
 
 
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
“My new flight simulator platform that I built into my home studio.”
 
 
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“No favourite album in 2021 so far.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 11:56

Style: 
“Energetic and emotional dance music.”
Best known for: 
“'9PM (Your Love)'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Toni Palucci 'Skywalker'.”

Poll 2021: Alan Walker

22
Alan Walker
Up
4
From: Bergen, Norway
 
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Imanbek.”
 
 
Masked-up and hoodie-wearing Norwegian superstar DJ Alan Walker has taken the opportunity this year to sit down and spend time in the studio making new music. It's been a bit of luxury because ordinarily he would be working on the hop while he wows his 'Walkers' across the world. “I've had more time to focus entirely on my music. I think this is why I've managed to release a lot of new stuff this year,” he tells DJ Mag, adding that there's going to be a whole lot more besides in 2022. 
 
When asked about climate change, Walker revealed that he has teamed up with Tree-nation so that he and his fans can contribute back to the planet. “For each purchase of my merchandise, the buyer gets to plant a tree in our forest, the Walker Woods!” Turns out this is an actual place, located in Madagascar. “It's a really exciting initiative and I hope as an industry we can improve and adapt even more.” Well done Alan!
 
 
How was your first gig back after lockdown? 
 
“It was incredibly good to be back on stage, no words can describe the feeling I get while up there! It also made me realise how much I’ve missed performing and meeting Walkers around the world.” 
 
 
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance? 
 
“I’ve learned that it’s always good to set aside some time to be with my family and friends. Although it also made me realise how much I love being out on the road.”
 
 
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change? 
 
“As someone with a following, it’s important to use my platforms to reach out to people and I hope more artists can use their platforms.”
 
 
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year? 
 
“I’ve actually added a plug-in called Satellite, which enables you to do sessions with songwriters and producers all over the world.”
 
 
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year? 
 
“'WLUWD' by Tristam.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 11:50

Style: 
“Pop-inspired EDM.”
Best known for: 
“Wearing a mask and a hoodie!”
Tune of the year: 
“Skrillex 'Supersonic'.”

Poll 2021: Nervo

18
Nervo
Up
2

From: Australia

Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “KC Lights and Dom Dolla.”
 
 
Australian DJ duo Liv and Mim Nervo have been a constant in the Top 100 DJs poll for nearly the past ten years. Intensely likeable and without question one of the finest double-acts the clubbing community has been blessed with, NERVO remains firm favourites on the scene. They’re known for their many artist collaborations with the likes of Kylie, David Guetta and Miley Cyrus, while their huge tune 'Best Friend' peaked at 100,000,000 streams on Spotify and has appeared on a recent iPhone ad. Nice work. 
 
NERVO ‘opted' to take the summer off to enjoy some beautiful weather in southern Europe. “It was one of those Covid silver linings!” they tell DJ Mag about time spent over the past year. “We have been busy making lots of new music and taking care of our toddler daughters.” Refreshingly keen to talk about parenthood, Liv and Mim are also fired up about their forthcoming NERVOnation shows across the globe. 
 
 
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
 
“It was incredible. We were in Bangkok and had quarantined for two weeks with a bunch of other DJs, so by the end of our month in Thailand we had all become close buddies.”
 
 
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“It has just reiterated how lucky we are to have the life we live.”
 
 
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
 
“It would be amazing if clubs were all powered by solar energy! And there should be a ban on plastic cups and straws. All plastic should be banned!”

 

What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
“We have been loving our Neumann U87 mic, and find we spend less time EQing and compressing vox now!”
 
 
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“It’s a little shameful to say, but we haven’t been listening to albums at all actually. But we love KC Light’s ‘Girl’, and what Purple Disco Machine has been releasing lately.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 11:47

Style: 
“Big room house.”
Best known for: 
“DJing around the world at all major festivals like Lollapalooza, Creamfields, Tomorrowland, and having residencies at superclubs like Hakkasan and Omnia in Las Vegas, and Ushuaïa in Ibiza.”
Tune of the year: 
“'Friday (Dopamine Re-Edit)' by Riton x Nightcrawlers, and 'Gotta Be You' by NERVO feat. Carla Monroe.”

Poll 2021: Calvin Harris

16
Calvin Harris
Up
2

From: Scotland


Despite playing no DJ sets this year, Calvin still remains a firm favourite with many fans as he appears in the poll for the 12th consecutive year. That’s not to say the Omnia resident hasn’t been active, though. As Love Regenerator he’s dropped some of the most underground sounds of his career: the piano-pumping, NYC-inspired ‘We Can Come Together’ (with ex-drum & bass star/current bigroom smasher Eli Brown) and ‘Rollercoaster’ with Manchester tech-house duo Solardo. Both landed this summer and reminded us all of Harris’s dancefloor roots. Prior to these came a more typical poppy Harris anthem in the form of ‘By Your Side’ — a hazy, feel-good track with Tom Grennan that hit the UK top 10.

While we’re unsure when Harris will be able to return to perform at regular haunts like Pacha and Ushuaïa, judging by his Instagram we can confirm he’s grown a reasonably decent (if a little unkempt) beard, and his watermelon growing game is on-point! We told you he was active. 

 
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 10:27

Best known for: 
A string of dance hits

Poll 2021: KSHMR

11
KSHMR
Up
1
From: Berkeley, California
 
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Padé.”
 
 
2021 for KSHMR was all about unveiling his debut album, ‘Harmonica Andromeda’. “I really wanted to show people the music I had inside of me that wasn't really seen before,” he says. “It spans many moods and genres, which was a challenge but it made me fall in love with music all over again.”
 
The American musician, producer and songwriter also worked on creating new tools for producers including a new plug-in debuting later this year, as well as ‘Sounds Of KSHMR Vol. 4’, the latest instalment of his sample pack series. 
 
He also valued the pandemic-induced downtime and used it as a chance to “develop new hobbies and relax”. Fans will notice the dance titan managed to evolve his sound this year, too: he broke away from big room and tried to focus on music that “embodied the breadth of my musical interests”.
 
He will continue to hone this new sound on further singles in 2022, and promises a second album will quickly follow his first. 
 
 
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
 
“Truly incredible, seeing the crowd reminded me why I make music.”
 
 
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“I put a lot more emphasis on things outside of work - time with friends, going to the park with my dogs.”
 
 
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
 
“I’m really not an expert but I suppose festivals could aim to use solar energy.”
 
 
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
“I got the super-fast Thunderblade drive. It stores all my Kontakt libraries and helps with video editing, which I got into this past year. I actually worked on the VFX for my music videos ‘Around The World’ and ‘The World We Left Behind’.”
 
 
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“‘Harmonica Andromeda’ by this guy named KSHMR was pretty good.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 10:23

Style: 
“Global EDM.”
Best known for: 
“‘Power', ‘Wildcard’, ‘Secrets’, ‘Carry Me Home’, ‘Harmonica Andromeda’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Cristobal Tapia De Veer ‘Aloha!' from The White Lotus OST.”

Poll 2021: Green Velvet

81
Green Velvet
Up
5
From: Chicago
 
 
Chicago’s Curtis Jones is truly a singular artist. With a peerless ability to intuitively know what a dancefloor needs, Jones — better known as Green Velvet — draws on nearly four decades of experience to pull together sets that flow seamlessly between genres. His place in the Top 100 DJs list is no coincidence: he founded two beloved US house labels, Cajual and Relief, and he’s been top of his game since the early 1990s — when other DJs on this list may not have been born. His discography also boasts a producer who skips through genres effortlessly with tunes like ‘Flash’ and ‘Brighter Days’ (under his Cajmere alias) sitting neatly alongside 2021’s ‘Critical’. 

With an array of singles under his belt, nearly two dozen EPs, several compilation albums and five studio albums, Green Velvet is deserved of any honour that comes his way. A true stalwart figure in both the house and techno scene, the Chicago producer continually creates legendary memories for everyone. 
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 10:20

Style: 
Jackin’ house
Best known for: 
‘La La Land’, ‘Flash’

Poll 2021: FISHER

77
FISHER
Down
1
From: Australia

Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Cloonee and Sosa.”
 

In a few short years, Australian DJ/producer FISHER has cemented himself as a renowned artist. Since his massive ‘Losing It’ elevated him from unknown DJ to headliner, FISHER’s continued success has made him one of the world’s most sought-after artists. Though he’s spent the year “playing shows, hanging out with family and friends and getting music ready to release,” the surfer-turned-selector allowed the last 18 months to be a break after a whirlwind few years. 

His label Catch & Release has championed the sounds of his peers and new artists, while his own tunes have continued to gather momentum: ‘Just Feels Tight’ carries the torch of ‘Freaks’ and ‘Wanna Go Dancin’, instantly cementing itself as a banger to be played in clubs across the world. With a slew of singles under his belt, a successful label and an Ibiza residency, it feels like the Grammy-nominated artist is only just getting started.
 

How was your first gig back after lockdown?

“It was in Phoenix, AZ, and it was amazing. The energy was through the roof, it was one of the best shows I have played.”
 

How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“Nothing’s changed, just enjoying it more now than ever. I am super grateful for every amazing moment playing music.”
 

What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
“Novation Summit synth.”
 

What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“Dr Dre ‘2001’.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 10:17

Style: 
“Tech-house.”
Best known for: 
“‘Losing It’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Cher ‘Believe’.”

Poll 2021: Naeleck

72
Naeleck
New Entry
0
From: France
 
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Bellorum.”
 
 
French producer Naeleck has had a busy year. Despite being unable to tour, the 32-year-old “dark electro” musician has had time “to focus on new music and even try different styles”. Though his single with Sarah Rebecca, ‘All My Heroes’, doesn’t fall into the usual category of a Naeleck production, it’s one he’s extremely proud of, telling DJ Mag: “It’s very different from what I usually produce and cannot be played at 2am in a packed club. But I had very good feedback and it's my most-streamed tune of all time. I'm not sure it's something I would have thought to produce when focusing on touring, but I'm happy I did.”
 
“I have mainly been making music, doing TikTok videos, eating sushi and playing videogames,” he says. Naeleck has also been busy developing his two labels Den Haku Records and Dancing Deads, spending time finding “talented artists”, while also working on the visual aspects of his projects with “more storytelling for socials and new live setup visuals”.
 
 
 
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
 
“Amazing, it felt so good to meet with the public again and drop all the tracks I have been holding off the last 18 months.”
 
 
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“The last 18 months changed my focus from touring to other things, but didn’t really affect my work/life balance.”
 
 
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
 
“I guess the most important step would be to keep raising awareness, especially in some countries where even officials try to make it pass as a hoax…”
 
 
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
"The [Pioneer DJ] CDJ-3000, it's a pleasure to play on it.”
 
 
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“Apashe ‘Renaissance’.”
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 10:09

Style: 
“Electro and bass.”
Best known for: 
“Breaking borders between DJing, anime and videos games with 8-bit-style tunes and millions of views on animation videos.”
Tune of the year: 
Naeleck & Hige Driver ‘Virtual Gaming (Tokyo Machine Remix)’.”

Poll 2021: Jamie Jones

50
Jamie Jones
Up
18
From: UK
 
Rising DJ / Producer of 2021: “Wheats.”
 
 
A longstanding stalwart of the London house music scene, Jamie Jones has since become a globally recognised star. Now an internationally-established DJ regularly touring the world, he co-founded the eleven-year-strong imprint Hot Creations plus its offshoots Hottraxx and Hot Waves, and started a highly successful Paradise event series.

As soon as the clubs returned this year so did Paradise, with an event at Brooklyn Mirage in New York, for which Jamie inviting the likes of DJ Deeon and Technasia to play alongside him. Other big shows include Paradise In The Park in Los Angeles in the summer, a takeover at Warehouse Houthavens in collaboration with Loveland at ADE, and Space Miami in December. This year Jamie became a proud parent to his first daughter, an exciting new addition to his life, and he continues to show passion and drive for his career. As well as a new solo release on Hot Creations, Jamie is already back in action with upcoming gigs in London, Ibiza, Los Angeles and New York to name a few, plus plenty more in the pipeline for 2022. 

 

How was your first gig back after lockdown?
 
“It was incredible, I’d forgotten what the energy exchange between myself and the crowd felt like. So much joy, everybody was so happy to be together and hear the music on a big system again.”

 

How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“To be honest, I’d worked a lot over recent years on making sure I took a decent amount of time off the road but I definitely cherished the time at home to spend with family.”

 

What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
“I started using Genelec The Ones monitors. They have a tuning system that you buy separately that tunes the monitors to your room, so no matter which room you’re working in they sound the same — and sound amazing too.”

 

What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“J. Cole ‘The Off-Season’.”
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-08 10:01

Style: 
“House to techno.”
Best known for: 
“Paradise parties, Hot Creations and ‘Hungry For The Power’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Technasia ‘Bring It Back’.”

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