25 DJs tell us who is the greatest DJ of all time
19th Jun 2013 | 23:14
25 DJs name their best of all time
DJ EXPO 2013: What does it take to become a DJ's favourite DJ? Well, we rounded up 25 DJs and asked them just that. Who gains the respect of legends such as Todd Terry, Dave Clarke and Josh Wink? Who impresses the new breed of superstar DJs like Nicky Romero, TJR and Lazy Rich? Find out after the jump...
“Carl Cox! I feel this exceptional guy has paved the way for us youngsters. Apart from that he is someone to look up to and known for his awesome sets, not just his productions (although these are very good - no disrespect meant).
"He was one of the first great artists to put electronic music on the map and is still rocking after being on the scene for over two decades - nothing but respect. The fact that he is into motorbikes (and particularly Ducatis) helps too.”
“John Peel. He made so many people's dreams into a sustainable career.”
“I think Richie Hawtin does really terrific performances. His audio-visual style is outstanding and he really 'lives' for music. I just learned that he happens to live around the corner from my studio in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg.”
“DJ Jazzy Jeff seems to know how to rock a techno crowd with hip-hop. He's the only one that could do that.”
“Hmmm, that's a tough one. It would probably have to be David Mancuso. He is definitely one of the founders of the after-hours nightlife scene.
"He introduced the idea of promo records and record pools, broke so many of the key foundational records and did so without mixing until the wee hours of the morning. Just saying.”
“Phew… too many good ones to name just one. I do have a vivid memory of Francois K playing in Room One of Fabric about eight years ago. He was playing with CDs, an early version of Traktor and vinyl on three turntables and I was blown away. Mixing really quickly across many genres seamlessly.
"It was more that I remember thinking how super professional he was - all his vinyl alphabetized in the Room One booth, with his little reading glasses and loafers. It was like watching my Dad. In a good way, like if my Dad was an amazing DJ.
"I was also incredibly impressed by a Derrick May DJ set in Sheffield a few years ago.”
DJ Bootsie from Zagar
“DJ Premier. He's the kind of trendsetter whose works have everything that I cherish in this genre. Simple but great, both as a producer and turntable icon.”
“I have two categories: turntablists and non-turntablists (house DJs like myself). Craze is my favourite turntablist: he's technical, creative, unique, entertaining and has attitude.
"Non-turntablist: Terry Mullan from Chicago. He mixed so many different genres of acid, disco, techno, booty, funky and breaks in a set flawlessly, as well as cutting and scratching. My biggest influence by far.”
“There's no such person. In France, it's Laurent Garnier, no doubt about it! Sometimes I think Andrew Weatherall could be the best DJ of all time. I never heard Larry Levan but apparently he was close, too!”
“Technically, my favourite DJ would have to be Digweed. There is something about his technical style that has always fascinated me.
"But in terms of track selection and programming it would be very hard to pick anyone because that would depend on the mood. One of the problems with auto-sync is that anyone can beat-match; there is something very mystical about riding two records together, so there's a lot of technical artistry that has disappeared with so much technology.
"I also think there are too many effects in modern mixing. The best possible effect is just two great tracks coming together for the first time.”
“The best technical DJ I ever saw was Timo Maas. His beat-matching could only be described as ‘clinical’.”
“It's always changing. I think Tiesto and Armin [van Buuren] are the most consistent over their careers.”
“Derrick May and Jeff Mills. Both of them created the original DJ styles which have led to today's techno scene all over the world. I have known them for 20 years but I still enjoy their gigs to this day.”
“Hmmm. Carl Cox springs to mind. Versatile, amazing stage presence, always brings the heat, and has managed to stay so relevant for so many years! I look up to him for sure.”
“Well, there are a few DJs coming to our minds, but we both think that, as a DJ, Chuckie has everything.
"He is the heart of any party, and he plays many different styles in his live sets. Chuckie has incredible management of the mix, with scratching. He can do whatever he wants on the mixing side. Chuckie makes the crowd go crazy every time! He has an incredible open mind when we talk about music.”
“DJ Herc or Grandmaster Flash. Herc refined the art of using breakbeats, but Grandmaster Flash coined a lot of technical deck skills we take for granted now.
"Flash experimented with different torque powers of decks and stability of needles. He even claims to have invented the slipmat...”
“Kool DJ Herc, for creating a movement that has made me the person I am today.”
“If I really had to pick, I'd say Carl Cox. Not many DJs have been on top of the game for that long and are still rocking it hard with a smile.”
“Francis Grasso. The Godfather of DJing. He was the first known DJ to beat-match and turned music programming into an art in the nightclub.
"He understood the importance of programming and picking up on the vibe and energy of the crowd. He used that energy and directed it back to them through the next selected track.”
“We don't have just one favourite DJ. Maybe a lot of DJs opened up the way for the dance scene at different times, from Larry Levan back in the day to Danny Tenaglia or Erick Morillo - two proper DJs who know very well how to treat the dancefloor!”
“As a DJ I would probably say Eric Morrillo. He is technically brilliant, but he also reads the crowd in every show and knows how to play the best music every time!”
Adrian blonde: “ZIP, because of the organic way he plays.”
Adrian dark hair: “Hard to say as there are a few in different genres. I'm also a big ZIP fan, Jeff Mills, too. Oh, and I was quite impressed by Dyed Soundorom, too.”
"Laidback Luke. He is a great DJ. He's technical, chooses great records and he really keeps the crowd going - surprise after surprise! He is also a champion of new talent and is very supportive."
“Laurent Garnier is my favourite. I've been a huge fan since I was a child. I love his super eclectic DJ sets, his style, his productions and for sure I really love his live set. His was the first live set I ever saw. But the most important thing is that he is super funny!”
“That's a hard question since I'm inspired by many different artists from many different styles.
"But if I really had to choose I would say Headhunterz is the greatest DJ/producer of all time. I've been a big fan of his music since I was just 11 years old and I still really love his music.
"Another reason I would choose him is that, beside hardstyle, he also makes very very good house tracks. You should check it out - he produces his house tracks under the name Shilo.”