Estroe loves the modesty of Laurent Garnier
Of course there are so many DJs I really respect and like to listen to, but Laurent Garnier has been among the biggest inspirations and influences for me since I started DJing in 1997. Me and my friends always listened to his sets in the car on our way to parties, and later in the car when we were going to gigs. I think one of my most favorite mixes from him was the one he did for the BBC Essential Mix in 2000. Or maybe his CD Excess Luggage. I still listen to the PPB Late Night Mix on my iPhone on the train sometimes.
When I've seen him in person, I have admired the flow he maintains in his sets. It's always a trip that leads you slowly to a climax after which he easily decides to throw in some drum & bass, jazz or hip-hop tracks and then slowly build up the tempo and tension again. Not by tweaking effects but by his selection of tracks, letting the music do the job. What I also like so much about him is that he seems to be quite modest and introverted, it's always a pleasure to look at him while he's playing and to see him really into the music. In a scene where a lot of the DJs are going for the fame and attention from the audience, Laurent Garnier stays very refreshing and normal. I hope that people see me in the same way when I DJ.
Tom Trago hasn't seen Aardvarck mix a record in five years, but he's still the best
Of course I don't have one favourite DJ, but I do have one in mind I want to shine a light on, and that is the uncrowned Amsterdam king of all genres, Aardvarck. As a steady force behind the Rednose Distrikt, but also as a solo DJ, this legend has been playing clubs for over 25 years non-stop. He's a great mixer although I haven't seen him mix a record in the past five years. Packed with a mini laptop (that has a sticker on it that says "I love vinyl") and the best selection of tunes, he can handle any crowd.
What surprises me the most is that his style is so eclectic, but never out of style. I've seen him throw on tracks that were impossible to play, but with the right timing were the best of the night. This man must carry elephant balls in his pants, because he's never afraid to take the crowd a few steps back... only to later slaughter them with new music. Always thinking about the music, never thinking about his career. With bonafide techno albums in his discography, he still opens big rooms with a D'angelo track or so. He also edits all the tracks he plays into his own. If he doesn't like the bridge, he'll take that out! With his diverse taste, phenomenal appearance and fast DJ style, he's always been a big inspiration for me.
I mean come on, don't we all wanna just play what we wanna play? Well, Aardvarck does it.
Delta Funktionen can't get enough of the online mixes of I-f
A good DJ is someone who plays stuff I've never heard and whose mixes create something extraordinary out of illogical selections. I-f is a master when it comes to this. I was a big fan of his mixes from the CBS radio days and his presence on the airwaves was important to me because he opened me up to a different scene in Holland. He might seem like a strange selection considering I've only seen him play a club twice but he's my favourite DJ because of his track selection and weapons, and his ability to show different kinds of moods in his sets, ranging from dark and gloomy till super gay.
Whenever he puts a mix online I have to check it out because he plays records that nobody has and nobody knows. Some guys just paste records, but he combines them and something mindblowing comes out, which for me is the essence of mixing.
June Miller ask Loxy to take a bow
After a handful and a half hours of scratching our extremely aggravated heads, one name repetitively echoed in the conversation—a guy that opened our eager eyes into the world of drum & bass music and practically put our name on the map with his persistent support. Ladies and gentleman, introducing the Jedi Knight, AKA Loxy.
Loxy for us has pretty much been coasting the humongous tip of the ever incalculable drum & bass iceberg since day dot. Trends, changes, fluctuations, innovations.... call them what you want, but the fact that Loxy, over the span of 20 years in the game, still seems to consistently nail the art of always being that tip toe ahead is unbelievable. Does he own a crystal ball? Maybe!
Music and DJing should be about telling a story in the most sincere possible manner, getting your message across, playing the music you want to hear and crafting an audience into a catalepsy state. Doesn't sound too hard, but it's something the average human can't learn, but in some Marvel superhuman way Loxy seems to deliver on every level. Is he Wolverine? That could well be! This man seems to command an audience like a 1000 puppets on a single string. His steel steady underground form and interchanging influences are why he is in our subservient eyes the best around. Loxy, take a bow!
Jordash from Juju & Jordash says there's no party like a Move D party
I know I'm not unique in my choice of David Moufang as my favorite DJ at the moment, but I just couldn't deny it. Why Move D? 'Cause there ain't no party like a Move D party! It's not about male energy, it's not about jolting you into the groove and it's definitely not about intellectual aggression—it's all about the love… the sweet, sweet looooove… You can feel the love when you are dancing at a Move D party. And one thing is clear looking at the dance floor—so do the ladies! A Move D party is the farthest thing from a male nerdfest, even though he may be playing the same records that you would expect at one of those... The dance floor seems to be covered with a fluffy cloud of positive femininity. And sex.
Move D's DJ style is very different from my own personal DJ thing and that is another reason why I love his style. David manages to make every record he plays his own and seem like a completely harmonious choice amongst the wide range of sounds he explores during the party. A true master.
For Julien Chaptal, Maayan Nidam has the magic that only some DJs know how to brew
I have no favourite DJs, and then again so many as well. It almost feels wrong to indulge in this favorite pick, but since I have to pick someone today, I would say Maayan Nidam. I heard her play many times—from when she was living in Amsterdam years ago up to just a few weeks ago. She's a DJ that has never ceased to amaze me for reasons that sometimes elude me. It's not just about skillful mixing, or choice of records, which she has talent for, but that extra kind of magic that some DJs know how to brew.
I remember a night during ADE a couple of years ago where she (as Miss Fitz I think) took control of a room in a way I had rarely seen before, taking people places on melodies they never knew existed, through a wide range of tunes, styles and dynamics. I, for one, lost it after a few records that night. I think a good DJ isn't afraid of pushing boundaries and embraces several styles of music within a set, or at least have a loose approach to music selection and create the kind of vibe where it is right to do so. Too many DJs tend to forget that and I hear a lot of generic sets these days. Maayan goes the extra mile to dig these golden nuggets in hidden pockets of her bags as nights turn into days. She's a true marathon runner behind decks.
I-f thought there weren't many more records to be found before Loud E came along
It's always hard, but my favourite is Loud E. He sent us a mix for CBS (Cybernetic Broadcasting System) in 2002, and just took things a level up, because of the way he mixes, the records he uses. It's really special, against all odds I would say. It is really the art of mixing, there's a lot of feeling in it, and he really doesn't care about anything. He chooses music that no one else plays, picking up 7-inches from flea markets, which nobody has heard before, really obscure things. We were all at a point where we thought, "Oh we have heard it all." But we couldn't be more wrong, you know?
He knows very well how to build a set. He keeps it steady for a little while, and then he just starts flying. Also with his radio mixes it is impossible to keep still in your chair. The last time I saw him play we played together at STRP in Eindhoven, and it was a big stage. I really think that this music is best in compact clubs, old school discotheques. But even on the reasonably big stage he held up. You know, everybody can play straight beats and techno and house, but disco is all oblique, the drums and stuff going from left to right. It doesn't bother him. He just rocks.
Melon was pleased to find that DJ Harvey lived up to expectations
In a way I always believe that you should consider yourself as one of your favorite DJs and that you joined the game because you think you can bring something that others can't. I mean, you're the one playing the music you like most. The DJ that inspired you is the different question and a very hard one to answer. When I first got hands on the early Ron Hardy tapes I flipped out, but as I never saw him in real life it's not a fair choice. Good friends like Doc Martin and Ricardo Villalobos are definitely names that need to be mentioned too, but the winner is DJ Harvey. It's for lots of reasons, but mainly for not losing his pure inner child. He's always searching for ways to surprise the people on the floor like no one else can do. I met and played with him last year for the first time and it was pure pleasure to see and hear a legend who's actually as good as everybody says.
Serge mulls it over and finally decides on a classic: Jeff Mills
When someone asks me about my favorite record, I can always come up with a handful of classics right away. However, when asked who my favorite DJ is? I really have no answer ready... I've had some magical moments with different DJs, but it doesn't feel right to make one of them my favorite based on one amazing night. Often that same DJ would suck playing a main stage or a party only for the heads. And, for some of the good new DJs, I first would like to see how they develop over time.
OK... some names! DJ Dimitri from Amsterdam was a huge influence in the very early '90s playing a fine selection of Detroit techno and house with an impeccable timing and technique. He could turn an obscure B-side into the biggest tune ever by dropping it exactly at the right moment. However he kind of got sucked into the club scene and lost his passion at some point. I-f is among them, with his incredible drive and unique selection. His "no compromise" sets sometimes are a "miss"... but if he hits it right, he hits it big time! DJ Assault blew me away when I heard him the first couple of times... mixing up Drexciya, UR Cybonix. D.I.E. with classic electro and a bunch of tracks I never heard before (a lot of his own productions). I'd never heard anyone doing something like that with such energy. But he lost me sometime before he did "Trax 2 Make Ur Panties Wet." Maybe Laurent Garnier? Great DJ. However he never gave me the magic like I-f or Theo Parrish when they have a special moment... he seems to be able to do a great job anywhere, anytime. Very functional, and still with an edge. But there are several others who can do that too I think.
So, let's go for Jeff Mills: As The Wizard in his early days he basically was a proto DJ Assault! Mixing up great tunes, forgetting about categories, just playing hot tracks in a way not done before. A raw ghetto style DJ with a unique style, a techno DJ before there was techno! He then became Jeff Mills as we know him... the godfather of techno as we know it. A DJ with funk like no one else! He's experimented with style and technique in his sets and his productions over the years trying to push things forward. He's arguably somehow limited in what he plays... but I still have to choose style over function. Jeff Mills it is!