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  • Anthony Cruz

Top 10 DJs (2023)

1.) Fred Again

DJ Style: Melodic House

Few have experienced another year like Fred's... The London-based DJ and producer has reached new heights, if it was conceivable. From closing out Coachella's second weekend with Skrillex and Four Tet to a four-date residency at Alexandra Palace as part of a fully booked global tour, he has done it all while establishing himself as a major force in both underground and mainstream circles, which earned him a place as this year's highest new entry in the Top 100 DJs poll.

In 2023, Fred Again continued to produce music. He released the piano follow-up to his acclaimed Actual Life album series, as well as the seismic January single "Rumble," featuring Skrillex and Flowdan. Gibson's output has come to be associated with these well-known partnerships as well as his peculiar, journal-style production approach, which combines speech samples with 'found sounds.' To keep pushing his artistic boundaries, last summer the producer also played a highly sought-after NPR Tiny Desk Concert, which required him to simultaneously loop beats and sounds, sing at the piano, play the vibraphone, and relearn how to play the marimba. Though it's difficult to imagine how Fred might have another year as significant as this one, he never backs down from a challenge.

Let us see what 2024 holds…


DJ Style: Trance and Progressive

In addition to continuing his astounding 22-year streak of being in the top five of the Top 100 DJs survey, Armin van Buuren has had another amazing year, winning The World's No. 1 Trance DJ accolade. When asked about the last year, he beams, "I've been spending a lot of time in the studio to cook up new tracks, and also had the pleasure of performing at premier festivals throughout the summer season."

Armin released the last chapter of his trilogy of Feel Again albums in March. The 33-track album, which is divided into three parts, is reported to have originated from van Buuren's disconnection from his friends, family, and fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. After changing his daily routine and starting yoga, he discovered a newfound love for music, which inspired him to work on the record. In May, Armin managed to deliver the twentieth installment of his enduring A State Of Trance mix album series. It has 41 tracks total, divided across three mixes instead of the customary two. Among the 14 tracks on the extra third mix, which pays homage to another of van Buuren's own labels (Who's Afraid Of 138?!) are two brand-new remixes of two of his most recent tracks, "Vulnerable" and "Computers Take Over The World," by Maddix and Bogdan Vix & UUFO. In addition to his rigorous release schedule, Armin assumed hostship of the Dutch radio program Dance Department, which airs weekly alongside his long-running A State Of Trance broadcast.

3.) James Hype

DJ Style: Energetic House Music

James Hype is one of the most appropriate DJ names out there. Behind the decks, the Liverpudlian is a force to be reckoned with. He is a CDJ genius who personifies the concept of the DJ as a live remixer, making the most of every aspect of the technology at his disposal to create complicated and thrilling mash-ups, switches, and mixes of house music hits from all across the genre. It has led to some incredible moments over the last 12 months on the dance floors of Tomorrowland's main stage, Miami's Club Space, and the world's best club, Hï Ibiza, where he and Meduza hosted the Club Room every Friday. 

Through his monthly Moving Differently show on YouTube, James also discusses these milestones and the ones in between, including moving to Vegas, hanging out with David Guetta, creating new music, and even popping the question to DJ/producer Tita Lau. With half a billion streams on Spotify alone as of this writing, James's sun-baked, guitar-licked 2022 mega-hit "Ferrari" is still doing crazy things. Meanwhile, his newest song, the slinky tech-house cut "Drums," featuring German singer Kim Petras, dropped last month and is already receiving a ton of plays.

Is he worth the Hype?

4.) Alesso

DJ Style: EDM

Alessandro Renato Rodolfo Lindblad, often known as the Swedish prouder Alesso, is a vital member of the EDM scene and still plays at major festivals. He performed on several legendary stages all over the world this year, including Tomorrowland's Ultra, where he performed side-by-side with Martin Garrix.

In addition, he got the honor of performing live among artists like Burna Boy at the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final. "As a major lover of the sport since I was a child, it is a dream come true to be a part of football history," he said at the time, performing their 2014 hit song "Heroes (We Could Be)" with Swedish singer Tove Lo. The master of a catchy chorus delivered hits in the studio, including his chunky house remix of "Montagem PR Funk" by S3BZS and the heartfelt pop ballad "Caught A Body," which he collaborated on with American singer and producer Ty Dolla $ign. It was reminiscent of '90s chart sounds with Alesso's distinctive melodies and Ty's soulful vocals, and it turned out to be the latest success in a string of hits.

5.) Calvin Harris

DJ Style: Dance-pop and Part anthems

Calvin Harris is a prolific hitmaker. With the possible exception of David Guetta, he is the only musician in the Top 100 DJs that can effortlessly blend dance and pop genres, creating hits that reach the top of the charts like it's nothing. He has topped numerous worldwide lists just in 2023 with his song "Miracle" featuring Ellie Goulding. It is the third best-selling song of the year in the UK, over a piano-heavy trance instrumental that transports listeners to the heyday of the genre around the turn of the millennium.

Reuniting with Sam Smith in July, Harris leveraged the throwback Eurotrance vibe that has already been making waves (with more than 115 million streams worldwide as of this writing). The song debuted during Calvin's summertime Ushuaïa Ibiza residency. He and MK performed at the outdoor superclub every Friday, drawing crowds that included Ben Hemsley, HoneyLuv, Ewan McVicar, and fellow Scottish chart-toppers, LF System. Often hailed as the highest-paid DJ in the world (although this isn't determined by the total amount of money he makes each year from all of his endeavors, not by the cost of individual sets), his producing skills and mastery of the steel drum have also allowed him to play Coachella and Creamfields this year. 

6.) Zedd

DJ style: Emotive Bangers

Zedd has traveled the globe this year. Recent photos from performances across the US, Asia, Europe, and other regions can be found on Anton Zaslavski's Instagram page. It appears that while he wasn't spinning records at international festivals or at his residency at Vegas's Zouk nightclub, he was behind the camera. The German producer made an appearance in the new Disney+ series The Muppets Mayhem this summer, which followed the iconic muppet band as they began work on their first full-length record together and celebrated their comeback.

In addition to giving guidance to Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Dr. Teeth, and the adored Janice, he still made time to visit the studio to work on his next project. The Grammy-nominated musician released a working title for his audio clip in February, which got fans excited about the prospect of his third studio album becoming a hit before the year was up. The Muppets must have been very demanding because, as of this writing, no official release date has been announced. Fans who have been missing that synth-driven Zedd magic, however, were given a small surprise in August when British producer Ellis gave his 2022 summer smash single "Make You Say" a pulsating electro-house remix. Hopefully, Zedd won't wait too long to release his next long-player, so it will have to be sufficient to tide us over. 

7.) Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

DJ Style: “An eclectic fusion of post-rave, gabber, and hard techno.”

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have been ranked in the top five of the Top 100 DJs survey for ten years running as of this year. The Belgian-Greek team also won the title of The World's No. 1 DJ Group, which is another honor they've held for a long time.

DVLM, who have one of the most devoted fan bases in dance music, has been able to adapt and switch up their sound this year by going back to their early rave, techno, and gabber roots with the full backing of their followers. Dimitri remarks, "We've been exploring the sounds that initially drew us into electronic music, and it's encouraging to see that all barriers have been blatantly removed." This festival season, stretching the boundaries has been enjoyable.

8.) Martin Garrix

DJ Style: Pop/Dance

Martin Garrix has grown beyond his reputation as a dance music icon. He is a well-known artist throughout the world who has collaborated with artists like Ed Sheeran, U2, Dua Lipa, and Usher. Since joining the poll in 2014, he has won four times, and since then, he has never finished outside of the Top 10. Even at just 27, he still has a timeless baby-faced appearance. Throughout that time, he has remained boldly autonomous and consistently ahead of the curve in musical trends.

Garrix has persisted in performing on the largest venues in the world, including three sold-out nights at The Brooklyn Mirage, Tomorrowland, and Creamfields. The Dutchman's famed Thursday residency at Ushuaïa Ibiza ruled his summer once again. His second summer on the bounce saw him play alongside peers and friends including Ferreck Dawn, Disciples, and ACRAZE.

9.) David Guetta

DJ Style: Future Rave

Yes, David Guetta is doing well. He is in good spirits. If we're being really honest, it's more than okay because, in 2023, this chart-topping producer will be in my top 10 for the fourth time. 

Guetta does have a lengthy career, the success of which can be credited to both his diversity and studio prowess. Guetta is a master of blending scenes; during his many years as the dance music industry's king, he has largely succeeded in gliding between the radio realm and the periphery of the underground. DJing since the age of 14, he then made a name for himself as an alternative house producer, gaining a following in his home city of Paris before becoming well-known worldwide.


DJ Style: Progressive, EDM

Deadmau5 and the mainstream DJ scene haven't always had the best of relationships. In addition to criticizing the usage of pre-recorded sets and DJs who, in his opinion, rely too much on the sync button for mixing, he has previously expressed disapproval at being featured in the vote at all. He utilizes a creative variety of controllers while he plays, including his program, OSC/Pilot, which he released a few years ago.



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