Perusing the results, you may be struck by a particular thought: almost every person on this list is huge. It's not like the heat tapers off near the bottom—hell, number 100 is a living legend. Point being, it's a big world out there, with a lot of DJs in it, and while 100 may seem like a large number, it's only a slice of the vast and ever-growing community of artists we cover on RA. Countless DJs smashed it this year whose names you will not find below—up-and-comers, influential scene-leaders, even a few so-called legends. What you've got here are not necessarily the 100 best DJs in the world, so much as the 100 DJs who made the biggest splash in 2014. More than anything else, it's a look at where dance music is at right now.
Anyway, enough chat—let's do this thing, shall we?
Dixon spent years inching up the RA DJ Poll, until in 2013 he finally topped it. But Steffen Berkhahn hasn't just charted a path to the top; he's drawn a blueprint for staying there.
He's certainly played enough this year, by our count hitting the 100-gig mark before the festival season had wrapped. Yet the number of sets he played was secondary to how gracefully he navigated the circuit. Mammoth festivals? Sure, he played them, but he still made time for the sort of perfectly tuned small clubs (Robert-Johnson) and niche festivals (Nachtdigital) he's helmed for years. DJs Complaining-ready moments? He used a potential one at the Beirut airport to instead reflect on how lucky he is to travel as freely as he does. Dumbing down for the masses? Though his signature style has undeniably morphed over the years, he's stayed remarkably independent and adventurous, and he's fiercely loyal to his label's sound no matter how large the stage.
If Berkhahn can keep up the frantic pace, musical drive and enviable poise that have come to define him, there's no reason to believe he'll cede the mantle any time soon.