Ben UFO says the Bruk collective have profoundly affected the way he DJs
I agreed to contribute to this piece a few weeks ago thinking it'd be a relatively straightforward thing to write a few hundred words about a great DJ, but I actually came close to backing out. I started to think about the sets I've listened to heavily over the past few years, but it didn't feel appropriate to base my decision on any of them, as for whatever reason the sets I find myself returning to are sets that are somehow detached from the experience of being in a club—whether that's because they're documents of another era, because they're recorded in totally sterile studio environments or, on the other hand, because the recordings themselves are so full of artefacts. The Spencer Kincy mixes I referenced in this piece, with all the tape saturation, compression and distortion, are good examples of the recording process affecting the energy of the mix itself.
I'm choosing the Bruk collective of DJs for a few reasons. I've seen them play multiple times in situations where I've felt able to fully immerse myself in the set, and they've always been exceptional. They've introduced me to a huge amount of different music and opened my eyes to the intricacies of entire worlds I never fully understood, and in doing so profoundly affected the way I DJ myself. They allow the characteristics of all the different music they play to reveal themselves by the way in which they present it, which is something I think very few people manage successfully. I return to their radio show recordings constantly and continue to hear new things. It makes sense to me that it's the people I know personally who would affect me most profoundly.
RP Boo can't help but hit the floor when he hears DJ Deeon
My favourite DJ to catch my attention would have to be DJ Deeon (Deeon Boyd) from Chicago's Dance Mania Records. I heard him before even seeing him in person, and his "House-O-Matic" track was so outstanding to my ears because it complemented the dance group of the same name as they performed. House-O-Matics were a dance group from the South Side of Chicago who were key in the development of footwork.
Years after, I finally met him and he was so into playing from the heart. I could see and understand what he does, which is deliver a groove you just have to nod your head to. He will do his best to make you instantly get down and dance to his music, and every time I hear his music it can lure you into a Chicago dance mode of showing what you can do on the floor. The best thing I can say is that while seeing him in action it's like having a great day off as a DJ.
Franck Roger admires the spirituality of Joe Claussell's DJing
After about 15 years of DJing, I have had the chance to play with tons of DJs. Firstly, at my residency in Paris, or elsewhere sharing the same decks during a night. No matter what the music will be or which technology was used, for me a good DJ is someone that entertains the crowd, someone that is present 100% behind the decks and shares his energy with his crowd. For me Joe Claussell is one of those people. His music is tinted with spirituality, whether he plays house or techno. The way he can play with the EQs and edit almost all the tracks he plays is just magic, and you can feel a certain cosmic energy and power when you are in the DJ booth with him. Long live Joe!
For George FitzGerald, San Soda is both educating and entertaining
I'm often asked this question at gigs, and it's something I struggle to explain adequately in a couple of sentences. If I had to give an answer for which DJ has given me the most pleasure over the years, I would probably choose DJ EZ, but that would have more to do with nostalgia about my childhood than anything else.
Most frequently the DJ I offer as my current favourite is my friend San Soda. Nicolas takes what is now regarded as an old-school approach to his sets. He's a vinyl purist and a consummate digger of house music, but he also avoids some of the traits I find frustrating with other DJs of a similar style. He doesn't hide behind his use of vinyl as an excuse to be a sloppy mixer, and he doesn't descend into self-indulgent vibe-killing. There are few DJs who tread the line of educating and entertaining with such skill and playfulness. In my own personal experience, no one I've seen has come close to his sets in Panorama Bar (something of an acid-test) other than maybe DVS1.
Nicole Moudaber respects Anja Schneider's holistic approach to dance music
It's a tough choice having to choose one DJ as I'm inspired by many. Initially I come from a US house background and my ears have been stamped firmly with Danny Tenaglia, both musically and technically. However, the only one I can really praise right now is Anja Schneider.
Not only is she an amazing artist, but also a great entrepreneur. I practically have every single record she's produced. Her soul and sensibilities are very present in the music she delivers, and it's got groove and funk at the same time without losing the credibility. She's launched many artists in her career, too—Sebo K and Pan Pot to name a couple. I've watched her DJ a number of times, and the way she captures the crowd is incredible. I was fortunate enough to have released my Hair EP on her label [Leena Music], and there are plans to do more on Mobilee.
Rødhåd always enjoys Ben Klock's machine-like mixing and diverse selections
This is first time that I've had to really think about who my favourite DJ is. Of course, I have a lot of good DJs around me (my friends Alex.Do, Felix K and Don Williams are always surprising me with their selection and skills). I started going out in the late '90s - early '00s and heard people like Chris Liebing and Adam Beyer for the first time. I liked the tool-techno way they played records. But I soon had the feeling that techno music can express more than just straight four-to-the-floor "boom boom." When I first went to Berghain and heard the residents there, it was mind opening.
I like Marcel Dettmann's sets a lot, but Ben Klock is the DJ who stands out. The way he mixes old classics, new stuff and all his secret weapons is great. I'm also impressed by how easily he hops between the genres, playing, for example, so-called house tracks or more melodic stuff in a techno night. He mixes like a machine, and he can keep the energy level on the dance floor for hours. I know I'm only supposed to write about his DJ skills, but his productions are another great aspect. To meet him in person and to see how relaxed and professional he is, dealing with success and a crazy gig schedule, was inspiring. It's always nice to see him somewhere, even if we just have a short five-minute chat. I still try to go to Berghain every time he's playing, whether it's to dance a little or just get new ideas and inspirations.