It’s that time of year again when various superstar DJs start high-fiving each other, others begin to moan about the state of today’s dance culture, and deadmau5 starts ranting again on Twitter. Yes, the results of the most talked-about survey in electronic music, DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll, have been announced—and once again, it’s the Dutch leading the way.
Not only can the Netherlands boast the overall winner with 26-year-old Hardwell, who retained his crown following a twelve-month period in which he embarked on a sold-out world tour, crossed over to the charts with “Dare You” and released a behind-the-scenes documentary film; it can also celebrate the fact that nearly a third of the entrants hail from its shores, including four of the top five.
Indeed, only Belgian duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike (No.2) break up the monopoly, with five-time winner Armin Van Buuren slipping to No.3, 18-year-old Martin Garrix climbing a whopping 36 places to No.4, and trance legend Tiesto dropping down to No.5. It’s a remarkable tally considering the majority of votes are cast in the USA, and a far cry from the inaugural 1993 DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll which was populated almost exclusively by UK artists.
Elsewhere, Mexican-American DJ Deorro lands the highest new entry at No.19, UK chart-toppers DVBBS and Oliver Heldens also debut high at No.20 and No.34 respectively, and Culture Club frontman Boy George makes an unlikely return as the only re-entry at No.89. Other notable runners and riders include big room house maestro Ummet Ozcan, who achieves the highest climb from No.99 to No.31; Ferry Corsten, who plummets 49 spots to No.91; and Calvin Harris, who, despite his status as the world’s richest DJ, just misses out on a Top 10 placing at No.11.
Of course, debate over the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll always centres just as much around who didn’t make it as to who did, and this year is no exception. There’s no room for the likes of Cedric Gervais, A-Trak or Mat Zo; female DJs are once again woefully under-represented with only Australian twin sisters Nervo (No.21) and party-loving trio Krewella (No.33) making the list; while alongside everyone’s favorite mousehead-wearing Canadian, Alex Metric, Bassnectar and Funtcase have also taken to social media to voice their displeasure at the results.
It’s difficult to disagree with the latter drum ‘n’ bass producer’s argument that the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll is “literally the list of the most famous rather than best DJs.” But the fact it sparks so much controversy proves that it still undoubtedly remains one of the key moments on the dance music calendar.