20 Best EDM DJs of All Time

best edm djs of all time

Martin Garrix, Avicii, Astrix, David Guetta, Infected Mushroom, Skrillex… We are all used to seeing these names on these kinds of lists.

Usually, that’s because of how much money they earn, or records they sell. It is time to see things from a new perspective.

Here is a list of the top 20 Djs worldwide, who are the most talked about according to social media and online searchers.


# 20 – SHPONGLE

Shpongle is a psychedelic music project formed in 1996 in England. Members are Raja Ram and Simon Posford.

This duo is considered to be one of the ancestors of the psybient genre. It combines world music with ambient and psychedelic trance music.

Their tracks combine traditional music and sounds from all over the world and amazing female and male vocals with western synthesizer-based psychedelic music.


#19 – Steve Aoki

Steven Aoki mixes electro, dubstep and progressive house into his unique dance sound.

He was described by Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg as a genre defining the music that the globe needs more of.


#18 – GOA GIL

Gil was born in 1951 and was raised in San Rafael, California. He lived the birth of the hippie movement and the acid rock, and was involved with the freak collectives Family Dog and Sons.

He took off first to Amsterdam and then to India in 1969 and ended up settling in Goa.


#17 – Deadmau5

Joel Zimmerman’s alter-ego is almost as famous for his various takes on house music as for his online outbursts.


#16 – TRISTAN

With a career as long as the history of psy-trance, this guy has been a star in the festival scene for years.

He played at the most important festivals in the world. He has a massive number of fans who love his full-on music of deep psychedelia.


#15 – Tiësto

Dj Tiesto or Micheil Verwest is still on top three decades later, he is today combining his old trance with a pop charm that has won him a new generation of fans.

Tiësto was top of Forbe’s world’s highest-earning Djs list.


#14 – DJ BLISS

DJ Bliss is among a small group of Emirati celebrities with the highest career growth and taking their talent internationally.

He has been able to establish himself as one of UAE’s most influential entertainers being the first Emirati DJ to go on tour.


#13 – Diplo

Best known for Major Lazer and Jack Ü alongside Skrillex, this guy spent the year of 2015 on top of festival lineups and global charts.

This year will certainly be no different, however it might be hard to make something more popular than Lean On.


#12 – AZAX SYNDROM

One of the best makers of Psy-Trance music, AZAX SYNDROM (aka Regev Azaria), is easily one of the most influential artists today.

He creates his own music style, or as he calls it “Power Trance”.


#11 – Hardwell

Robbert van de Corput, or Hardwell was an early bloomer. He is one of the people who fell in love with the EDM music.

Hardwell’s was one of DJ Magazine’s Top 100 for 2 straight years, 2013 and 2014.


#10 – NEELIX

There’s only one obvious thing in the sound of Neelix: Relentless forward boost. Exactly how this boost is generated is not obvious at all – which makes it catchy in the most subliminal way possible.

Neelix nicely adds elements of Progressive Trance to Progressive House and Electro music.


#9 – Avicii

Wake Me Up made by Avicii in 2013 was for sure the song that made Avicii’s career take off. He’d sold 10M albums before the end of the year.

Since then, he has made himself as a real festival A-lister, riding high with his fellow Axwell Swedes and Alesso.


#8 – VIBE TRIBE

Elmar Ivatarov is one of the creators of the Vibe Tribe project. He has been making electronic-based music since he was only 13 years old.

He spent four whole years of experimentation of thorough learning which kick started his professional career as a Dj. A short while after, he started releasing tracks on different compilation releases.


#7 – Martin Garrix

This guy is easily a child prodigy of EDM. Martijn Garritsen was only 17 when Animals went international during February 2013.


#6 – Skrillex

In the 2000s, Sonny John Moore was making emo-rock music with From First to Last.

He may still look like a hardcore star, but it is clear that his electronic career has been way more successful. He is now into electronic dance music.


#5 – ANGERFIST

Danny Masseling is a Dutch hardcore producer and DJ. He was born on 20 June 1981.

He produces for various genres and subgenres under many aliases. He is also part of the following groups: Roland & Sherman (with Outblast), Masters Elite (with Catscan and Outblast) The Supreme Team (with Outblast, Tha Playah & Evil Activities) and Masters Elite (with Catscan and Outblast).


#4 – Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris is the next biggest thing from Scotland after whiskey. He has had one foot in the pop world and one in dance music since his start in 2007.


#4 – RAJA RAM

Raja Ram is an Australian musician. He left Australia in the 50s to start the hippie trail. He studied flute at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and went to New York in 65 to study jazz.

He was a founder of the psychedelic rock band Quintessence in the 70s. He was also the co-founder of Shpongle. And he now plays solo and is one of the best Djs of the psytrance scene.


#3 – Infected Mushroom

Infected Mushroom is an Israeli musical duo formed in Haifa in 1996 by producers Amit Duvdevani and Erez Eisen. They produce and perform psychedelic music, psytrance and electronica.

They are one of the best-selling artists in the Israeli music history in terms of both international and domestic sales.


#2 – David Guetta

He has been in the electronic music industry since the 90s, but Guetta’s solo career went worldwide these last years.

Billboard declared his 2009 track When Love Takes Over, with Kelly Rowland, the best dance-pop duo of all time, in 2013.


#1 – Astrix

And the #1 Dj of our list is Avi Shmailov or Astrix! He is an Israeli trance music Dj specializing in full-on psy-trance.

He is a leading trance maker and DJ and he has been for more than a decade. He is carrying his message of beautiful emotional uplifting trance to the most well-known urban clubs, big festivals and underground events.

Acid House vs Techno Music

Techno.  Acid House.  How are they the same?  How are they different?  In this article, we explore these two types of music and what they’re all about, and how they’ve developed over the years.

Table of contents:

Let’s dive in!


What is Techno Music?

Techno is an EDM genre of music that came out of Detroit, Michigan. This took place in the mid-80’s, but it wasn’t till 1988 that people started referring to this new style of music as “Techno”.

The identification of a first Techno record is debated and unidentified, but it is generally not disputed that such a record must have emerged in Detroit.

There are a variety of Techno subgenres, just as there are a variety of House styles, but Detroit Techno is undisputedly the original version. Originally, Techno was a fusion of Funk, Jazz, mixed with elements of House and electronic music.   

Here’s an early classic – Cybotron’s “Techno City”.

Still holds up, don’t you think?


Commonalities Between Techno And Cyberpunk Literature

Stylistically, Techno is often incorporated with or presented alongside futuristic themes. Cinematically, Techno music has been used in association with noir films that deal with morally ambiguous characters, in bleak situations.

Some Techno, has even been mislabeled as Cyberpunk.

cyberpunk anime

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of Science Fiction literature that deals with futuristic, technologically advanced, often grim worlds.

Although they do share some similarities aesthetically, it is important that each be distinguished, one as a literary pursuit, the other a musical endeavour.

Pure Techno is also commonly confused with Tech House music, a subgenre that fuses Techno and House.


Germany’s Burgeoning Techno Scene (Early 1990’s)

Around the same time the UK embraced Chicago Acid House, Germany established a Techno scene. It was not long before both locations in Europe had equally brimming EDM scenes.

After the fall of the Berlin wall, many social commentators regard Techno as a social glue that helped to reunite the German people.

During the early 90’s, Germany quickly helped to bring about a harder, more brutal style of Techno called Tekkno.

Techno quickly spread in Europe, and many believe that the continent embraced Techno music more readily than North America, where the genre was founded.

Here’s some early stuff…

So groovy…


Minimal Techno

As Techno began to evolve both in terms of sound and its adoption around the world, many Detroit producers who witnessed and gave birth to the genre, yearned for a return to the original sound, and thus “Minimal Techno” was born.

Robert Hood, is primarily credited with spearheading this movement. The sort of Techno he was essentially rebelling against, became both sped up in tempo and less soul-influenced, which many saw as an unfaithful diversion from the Detroit Techno that started it all.

Due to this, it is believed that Detroit has remained more faithful to true Techno than any other place in the world.

In comparison to House music, Techno music is generally more bass drum heavy. Techno music is also much quicker in pace, usually somewhere between 130-150 bpm.

It is common for producers to view the use of older drum machines and other equipment as a purist technique, in the creation of Techno music. Software companies quickly capitalized on this, revitalizing older machines for newer producers.

The Propellerheads, for example, introduced the ReBirth RB-338 to producers.

Although fairly well known, Techno has in many ways remained an underground phenomenon, while other forms of electronic such as Dubstep and House seem to have more easily broken into the mainstream.

Here’s some Propellerheads…

Gotta love the ReBirth RB-338…


What is Acid House?

Acid House music saw its inception in the mid-80’s as well, except in Chicago. Compared to Techno, House and Acid House in particular place a higher emphasis on kick drums, and a slower overall pacing (118-135 bpm).

In the early days of Chicago Acid House, many DJ’s had Roland TB-303’s in their arsenal of equipment. Like most forms of electronic music, Acid House is hugely DJ based and designed to induce a rhythmic, dancing response.

Here’s some old school Acid House music that goes back to 1988.

Gets ya movin’, don’t it?


Acid House In The UK

Although Acid House is not as celebrated or widely listened to today as it once was, the genre is largely responsible for the spread of electronic music to Europe, starting in London in the late 80’s.

During this time, the UK media quickly flipped on the movement after initially embracing it with enthusiasm. Headlines soon raved about the dangers of the electronic scene, and at one point, Acid House was banned in the UK altogether due to its excessively “hedonistic nature”.

This occurred, not surprisingly, during the zenith of the movement.


New York Acid House

Around the same time, New York embraced Acid House music as well and eventually became a significant hub for the genre. It wasn’t until this time, around 1988, that Acid House began to be correlated, whether deservedly or derisively, with MDMA use.

The substances Acid House is usually referred to in conjunction with, are typically psychedelics and stimulants commonly used in club scene culture.

Although just about all of electronic music has become synonymous with drug use, particularly in the media, Acid House has shouldered a good portion of this labeling.

Acid House, more than any other subgenre of electronic music, has been talked about in comparison to the Hippie movement, and 60’s counterculture.

Listeners and Acid House artists typically represent themselves under the universal symbol of a simple, yellow, smiley face.

acid house smiley

Acid House Vs Deep House and How It All Started

acid house smiley

Acid House music is largely responsible for bringing House music into the consciousness of the mainstream mind.

If you enjoy a lot of the popular Deep House and Progressive House songs that receive attention and praise today, you owe some gratitude to the influence Acid House had on electronic music, especially from a historical perspective.

Table of Contents:

Let’s dive in!


What Is Acid House and When Did It Start?

Glad you asked.  

Acid House first came onto the scene in Chicago, in the mid 80’s. Acid House is largely an experiment in electronic minimalism, and is characterized often by deep basslines and memorable synthesizer effects.  And it sounds a little something like this…

The thumbprint of Acid House is felt on all forms of electronic music today, but particularly it is felt within the music of artists operating within the Trip Hop, Breakbeat, and Trance genres.

So who invented it?  Although opinions on the earliest Acid House tracks vary, many consider Phuture’s “Acid Tracks” to be the first, which was concocted back in 1987.

Fans (and the artists themselves) typically symbolize their allegiance to the genre through the use of a simple, yellow, smiley face. This tradition is particularly common among British listeners.


Euphoria Level Red

Many say that the arrival of Acid House marked a new era of music altogether, where artists could fuse instruments and technology succinctly as they created. Acid House culture was a draw, often for those on the fringes of society.

The scene accepted all with open arms, regardless of race, ethnicity, social class, or religious preference. Many have compared it as a cultural phenomenon to that of the Summer Of Love, in the late 60’s.

acid house smiley

Acid House also introduced a new element to the craft of DJ’ing.

Many DJ’s during Acid House revolution reported tendencies to restrain the crowd, by somewhat subduing their delivery of music, due to the fact that the crowd’s euphoria was already brimming at level red.


How Did Acid House Get Its Name?

How Acid House received Acid in its name at the inception of the genre, is debated. Some claim that the genre got its name after the earliest Acid House tracks were initially debuted at nightclubs where the use of psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD were prevalent.

Others maintain that the genre was given the name “Acid House” as a derogatory jab, due to the fact that it frequently borrowed from other genres through the use of sampling, a feature of the genre which critics often point to as a sign of a lack of originality.

club shroom london

Clubbin’

By the arrival of the late 80’s, Acid House music had spread like wildfire through the UK. Clubs in London like Club Shoom, were early pioneers in bringing Acid House music to Western Europe.

Soon, many clubs hopped on the bandwagon and premiered Acid House music to new audiences exclusively.

Much of the media attention concerning Acid House has rather unfairly obsessed over the genre’s, either true or untrue, affiliation with the psychedelic scene.


What Is Deep House Music?  

Deep House music also happened to arise in Chicago, at the same time as Acid House music. Larry Heard, a well known DJ from Chicago, is often credited as the father of Deep House music.

However, its influences are distinctly different from Acid House, and that is easily felt by listeners.

Deep House traditionally draws heavily from Jazz, Soul, Disco and even Gospel music, and essentially laid the groundwork for the eventual advent of Future House music.

Check out this utterly classic track with Mr. Fingers and “Can You Feel It”.

The lyrical nature of Deep House music is ambient, positive, and uplifting, although at times it can be dismal.

Perhaps, more than any other subgenre of House music, Deep House places the greatest value on lyricism. Often times, the hypnotic effects produced by talented female vocalists are heard in Deep House.


BPM of Deep House

Although an evolution of traditional House, and remaining under that genre umbrella, Deep House differs in that its BPM (Beats Per Minute) is much lower, typically registering at 120-125.

Deep House also draws a lot of its rhythmic inspiration from the Detroit Techno scene. Deep House is often characterized as being intensely atmospheric, as its warm melodies are frequently complimented by light-hearted base lines.

Listeners frequently claim that among all the subgenres of House music, Deep House is uniquely “tropical” in feel.

Some popular Deep House artists include: Steve Mill, Sebb Junior, and Jimpster among many others. Deep House purists have the tendency of being fiercely loyal to what is considered true Deep House, and what is not. This is often due to the rampant misuse of the “Deep House” term itself.

Fans of electronic music often use the term to describe songs that are melodic in some way. They are often wrong, confusing Deep House frequently with Trance, or even Chillstep.


Deeper and Deeper

Within the EDM category, many say that Deep House is currently the prevailing fad. In a similar way to how Dubstep lovers will discuss which song’s beat “dropped the hardest”, Deep House listeners claim some songs are noticeably “deeper” than others.

The subgenre shares some similarities with Trance music, in the melodic, atmospheric, and entrancing way comes across.

A 5 Track Introduction To Barry Adamson

barry-adamson-live-image

Music is like an ocean.  If you are frolicking near the shore, you might see certain unremarkable lifeforms – the kind everyone sees, like minnows darting around, and other commonplace things, like plankton, or sea scum.  We might equate these lifeforms with mainstream music – found in droves and unremarkable.

Indeed, some people stay in the shallow waters of mainstream culture because they are safe and easily accessible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in your boat and head out into open water for a different kind of experience. 

barry adamson 5 tracks

If you go out far enough out, where its remote and with perhaps some dark clouds on the horizon, you can put on your diving suit and dive into the deep black depths for some adventure.  This, of course, is less safe (which is why most don’t do it) but you might see something a bit more interesting if you do this.  

Musically speaking, Barry Adamson is one of those unusual entities you will only see if you are swimming deep below the ocean’s surface, just seeing what you’ll find down there.  Yes, that’s right, his incandescent head may float out of the darkness and scare the shit out of you.

barry-adamson-king-of-nothing-hill-stumm176-560x502

Ok, we can dispense with the “sea creature” metaphor now, and talk about Barry Adamson the musician – the human person with the live beating heart and the mind full of intense, brooding music.

The reason for our abstract metaphor is partly because Barry Adamson is a fairly abstract and complex dude.  He is absolutely a legend in some circles, and completely unknown in others.  This leads to a weird dichotomy that even he must experience, where some people are in awe of his long list of musical achievements, while others have never before heard his name. 

barry-adamson-live-image
Source: Gagarin Magazine

So, why do we bring him up?  Because, if you are more than just an average listener, he is an artist worth noting.  He has been in a number of legendary bands, including post-punk pioneers Magazine, as well as playing in the Bad Seeds with Nick Cave, collaborating with David Lynch on Lost Highway, and as a mastermind behind a slew of his own infamous solo recordings. 

One thing that characterizes Barry Adamson is “dark”.  Much of his music is quite playful, but also quite dark as well.  You might even call some of it “raunchy”, which is not a usual descriptor for music these days.  Stripper music.  Hmm. 

In this article, we wanted to choose 5 of our favorite Barry Adamson tracks to introduce you to the man and his music, if you have not previously been introduced.  FYI, this will not be in chronological order – instead, we are just bouncing around to different projects he has been a part of over the years and giving you our thoughts on certain tracks.  Let us commence…

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Lost Highway Soundtrack

This is one of those moments where Barry Adamson, like the Loch Ness Monster, came to the surface briefly, long enough for a few cameras to capture some grainy video footage before the monster descended back down into the impenetrable lochs.  This is to say, the Lost Highway Soundtrack did reach some mainstream ears, and exposed Barry Adamson to a whole new audience.  Still, because we are talking about David Lynch here, and so to call this album a blockbuster would be slightly misleading. 

David Lynch was clearly a fan, and Barry Adamson made several contributions to this album, which was released in 1997.  “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is an interesting track in his catalogue, because it is almost unnervingly “happy”, especially once you watch the movie and also if you are familiar with Barry’s other work, you know that smooth, upbeat songs like this aren’t exactly his usual fare. 

Still, one can only love this track.  Its a gorgeous combination of various influences, from dub music, to lounge, to bossa nova and jazz.  It also features a slick little snippet of Massive Attack’s “Blue Lines”, for those keeping track.  

This song is, quite literally, soundtrack music, which you can almost trace back to what we will listen to next (but is from further into the past), which is something off of the classic album Moss Side Story, a fan favorite and one of ours too.


Under Wraps – Moss Side Story – Solo Record

Moss Side Story is the album that put Barry Adamson on the map as a solo musician, and forever cemented his association with both film noir and instrumental soundtrack music. 

This album was apparently made to be the soundtrack to a non-existent film noir, and that’s exactly how it sounds.  It is a highly conceptual album in nature, and musically quite rich and diverse, featuring various disparate elements pulled together to form something that sounds both old and new at the same time.  Take any track on its own, and it still works. 

Years later, this was also the album that caught David Lynch’s attention, and word has it he was quite complimentary to Adamson about the album.  While working on Lost Highway, David literally called up Barry and told him he’d been listening to the album for 10 hours straight, and wanted to work with him.  Adamson, oddly enough, was wheelchair bound during this phone call but took the job.

This track, Under Wraps, is a perfect example of what makes this album great, as it shows the true character of Barry Adamson as a unique and experimental musician with a vision.  Also, when taken in the context of his previous work at this juncture, meaning his involvement with both Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Magazine even earlier than that, there is an obvious trajectory where, in its own way, this album serves as culmination and a major accomplishment.


Tupelo – The Firstborn Is Dead – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Going back even further in time from Moss Side Story in 1988, here we find Barry Adamson playing with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on Tupelo in 1985, contributing musical elements to help form the sonic identity of the band. 

Obviously, Nick Cave has his own sonic signature, but it is only enhanced but the dark musicality of Barry Adamson, who is a multi-instrumentalist and who played a variety of things on the album where this song comes from, The Firstborn Is Dead. 

Coming from his background as an outsider and a punk rock oddball, Barry’s entry into the Bad Seeds just made weird even weirder.  Of course, by this point in time, the Birthday Party had already happened, so there’s that to factor in as well.  Nick Cave and Barry Adamson have been lifelong collaborators, and so this song is taking us back a ways.

One thing that springs to mind when you hear music like this is that it is quite visceral.  Not all musical attempts to capture that feeling of actual real paganistic tribalism, regressed futurism, along with a healthy amount of gut-churning discomfort, but these guys were kings of this type of misfit sound.

In Other Worlds – Know Where To Run – Solo Album

Suddenly we zoom up to the present time, and we find Barry Adamson still drenched in the macabre and the vaguely unsettling.  After all of this back peddling into the past, we felt the need to highlight some of Adamson’s new work.

If you listen closely, you can hear the familiar elements of Barry Adamson’s sound still very much represented – jazzy forms, minor key synths, impeccable grooves, and whatever else lies inside within the mystery of his sound. 

You might notice here that the production is heightened compared to what we’ve already heard, but this is really nothing new.  Over his 10+ solo albums and wide variety of other projects, Barry Adamson has had the ability to turn up the clarity on his recordings or fuzz them out at will for a long time now.

What is infinitely cool about Barry Adamson’s sound, with this being a great example, is his mastery over each sonic element.  Having had a thorough experience with all of the instruments you hear in this track, Barry has great musical intuition on each, and so when he presents us with one of his productions, you hear the perfectionist at work.  We must say, it is always good to hear new stuff from this man. 

Shot By Both Sides – Real Life – Magazine

If you are a fan of bands like the Buzzcocks and Joy Division, you’ll probaby dig Magazine, which was the 70’s post punk band where Barry Adamson played bass. 

Shot By Both Sides was one of their first releases, off of the Real Life LP from back in 1978.  The album is a post-punk classic, and that’s not just us saying that – its a generally accepted fact of life at this point. 

Even as the band was very raw and ramshackle, there is diligent musicianship at work, and fairly developed song arrangements for a punk band.  Barry Adamson, in the thick of things with Magazine at this time, contributed plenty to the band’s dark and chaotic sound. 

In fact, you may want to get your hands on some Magazine and start your journey there, as it can take you in any number of directions musically, but we do recommend you follow Barry Adamson’s musical thread from this point onward, as it won’t take long before the man’s legacy of dark and edgy songs and soundscapes are laid bare before you. 

As dark as it is, Magazine is somewhat of a “fun” band to listen to – at least for us! 


We hope you’ve enjoyed this 5-song musical meandering throught he works of Barry Adamson. 

Visit Barry Adamson’s official website here for new tour dates and updates <

Who Or What Is Squarepusher? EDM, Jazz, Bleeps, And You

squarepusher solo electric bass

Jenkinson showed interest in music very early in life while studying in Essex at a school affiliated with Chelmsford Cathedral. That’s why the organ music highly influences his work.

At the age of 11, Tom bought a 3/4 size nylon-strung classical and attended a couple of private lessons, but soon after that, he decided to teach himself. This was as a result of the fact that he found his teacher’s answers of his questions unsatisfactory.

who-is-squarepusher

He joined his first band at the age of 12 and in the following years he played bass guitar in numerous gigs across East England and London. During the 90’s he started to show any interest in the acid house, techno, house music and hardcore. This resulted in his friendship with the co-founder of Spymania – Hardy Finn.

Notable Albums by Squarepusher

V. Selection Sixteen (1999)

For less than $14 you can purchase a vinyl copy of one of the most underrated albums of Squarepusher. This is the most acid techno related record he has ever released. In fact, it was really great, and people never understood why he didn’t experiment more with it in his next albums.

At the time of the album’s release, Tom had been working as a regular DJ in various clubs located in Sheffield. “Snake Pass” is a fantastic track, which makes a great combination with “Mind Rubbers.” These two together with “Schizm Track #1” and “Schizm Track #2” make this album a genuine pearl.

IV. Hello Everything released in 2006

After a series of acid tracks had been made, Tom decided to create another album even thought that he first stated that he had no intention of doing so. Some of these tracks were played at Warp’s 20th anniversary in Sheffield 2009 by Tom, himself.

Many believe that Hello Everything was his last great record. They might have a point!

III. Hard Normal Daddy

This is the first album developed for Warp, and Tom used the same equipment, which he used in Feed Me Weird Things. He wanted to move over to the more soundtrack-type of sound and pushed away the jazz influence.

The sleeve artwork was influenced from sceneries the town he lives in has. The cover image features the Gasometers near the place he lived as a teenager.

II. Go Plastic

Squarepusher’s Go Plastic album is really experimental, but it consists of some of the greatest moments of Squarepusher’s composition. “The Exploding Psychology” reveals his incredible creativity, and it’s a true bliss to listen it.

In this album, you can find one of Jenkinson’s most straightforward drum & bass tracks and the semi-radio-friendly record “My Red Hot Car”.

Big Loada

In January 1997, Tom moved to a flat in London where he even filmed the “xxx” documentary. During that time, Tom claimed that he had experienced numerous nightmares about the end of the world.

Part of this album is the record “Journey To Reedham” which was an 8-bit project developed on a computer for a computer game. Meanwhile, “Come on my Selector” has turned out to be his most famous tracks, whereas the director of the video Chris Cunningham also played a major role in this success.

What else in the Squarepusher goodie bag?

squarepusher solo electric bass

Visit Squarepusher on YouTube

Aphex Twin’s Top Gear – The Unknown Facts

aphex-twin-top-gear

Who Is Aphex Twin?

Aphex Twin, also known by his original name Richard D. James, is an Irish-born British musician and electronic music maker. Due to his amazing work in electronic music styles such as IDM and acid techno, Richard has been praised worldwide by critics and loved by fans who seem to get his surreal, unorthodox musical stylings and dark of sense humour.

Some of his first and popular albums were his 1992 album called Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and the one in 1994 named Selected Ambient Works Volume II. However, his popularity skyrocketed with his 1997 EP Come To Daddy and his single “Windowlicker”.

His most recent album released in 2014 “Syro” won him a Grammy Award for the best electronic album.


Richard’s Face

James decided to use his face, grinned or distorted, on his covers and songs because techno producers used to hide their identities.

He explained that there is an unwritten rule in techno, where performers can’t show their face on songs and covers.

aphex-twin kid


Aphex Twin’s Top Gear

PlayerPro Tracker

This is a complete music editing software and player, which is available for Mac. To work with it, you are not required to have a specific hardware. Currently, it is considered as the best music editing software available for Mac devices.  Richard said that he recorded the majority of the album Drukqs with PlayerPro Tracker.

Here is a link to PlayerPro Tracker on Sourceforge that we dug up


Akai MPC60

MPC60 is a music production studio, created by the Japanese company Akai and designed by Roger Linn.

Akai MPC60 aphex twin

MPC60 offers 99 patterns, 99 sequences and 99 tracks per sequence that can be created & edited seamlessly. You can easily edit samples, loop, and transform with the lo-fi Sampler section. There’s also a built-in drum machine. Those who want to create Hip Hop, then there are 18 voices of polyphony available for you.  

Richard has been known to use the MPC60 on a number of occasions, especially live.

Check out the Akai MPC Professional on Amazon for something similar


MetaSynth

This is an electronic music studio especially created for Mac devices. With it, you can create, compose, transform and design music the way you want. You can quickly produce full-length compositions with the six rooms it has to offer.  You will find it used extensively in his song, Windowlicker…

Visit http://uisoftware.com/MetaSynth/


Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer

TR-808 uses analog synthesis to create its drum sounds that are of very high-quality. Many performers use this hardware to create R&B, dance, techno and hip-hop music.

The machine offers 16 drum sounds including low/mid/high toms, congas, rimshot, snare, 808 kick, maracas, cowbell, open hi-hat and lots more. In fact, a large number of these sounds can be easily edited.

You can find some of these sounds on his Ambient Works tracks, or on Polygon Window.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5eRyZPNj1w

Feature Pick

Roland Tr-8 Rhythm Performer With 7X7-Tr8 Drum Machine Expansion Bundle

Buy On Amazon


Sequentix Cirklon

Cirklon is a MIDI sequencer made in small batches by Colin Fraser. An interesting fact about this niche equipment is that you have to be on a waiting list to buy one.

The quality of this machine is incredibly high, and Colin will help you out in case something gets broken. With Cirklon you can create patterns, which can be either piano roll style with high-res or rigid step sequences.

There are around 64 tracks, and each one of them can play a pattern. All the information, regarding which patterns are played, is carefully stored and organized.

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Aphex Twin even said himself in a recent interview: “it is the best sequencer ever made til now, in terms of analogue i/o, timing man that box…its got a long way to go but I can’t endorse it enough ! I’ve never been into endorsing anything, I’ve been asked by a lot of people but i hate the idea of it, makes my skin crawl, there can be good combos for sure between artist and maker but when its too business it all goes wrong, people gotta make a living but you can tell easily when people got their priorities wrong anyhow, anyway colin is totally on it and in it for the right reasons.
i hope colin does really well out of it, he deserves to , guys a genius and he’s got my gx1 still for midi -ing! but at the mo id rather he kept o.s updates flowing:)”

Check out https://www.sequentix.com/shop/cirklon-hardware-sequencer

You can hear this slick synth on his album Syro, for which he won a frickin’ Grammeee brah! Watch his tear jerking speech here:

10 Unknown Facts About Apex Twin

  1. What many people don’t know is that Richard took his pseudonym from a single processing equipment brand known as Aphex Systems Limited. “Twin” is in memory of his older brother who died at birth (a story he has trolled the media with on more than one occasion).  
  1. “Drukqs” was released in 2001, even though that he had said that he would compose music only for him. However, his laptop with hundreds of tracks was stolen, and he feared that somebody would upload them. Thus, he decided to release the double album himself.
  1. James once revealed that he had spent five weeks without sleeping because he had to make music. That’s a person who is ready to go the extra mile for his performance.
  1. Once Madonna requested a remix, but he was willing to do it only if she made pig noises on the track.
  1. Richard used to scare his girlfriend by putting his “Come to Daddy” silicone mask in bed. He puts it, cuddles next to her and waits for her response when she turns around. Crazy, isn’t he?
  1. Back in the days, Aphex remixed a Craig David track only with one sole purpose: to irritate him. According to James, he has hundreds of unreleased tracks stored.
  1. Back in the days, when James was a young kid, he used to mess with the wires and hammers of their piano. This had established a special connection to music from an early age

We leave you with this nice interview with Richard talking about God knows what…

Bonobo’s Simon Green – DJ Spotlight

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DJ Simon Green, aka Bonobo Barakas, has often talked about himself as being technically homeless, in the sense that he has toured so much in recent years he has been without fixed address for long stretches of time.

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Bonobo simon greeen dj live black sands tour

=> Click to visit Bonobo’s website for current tour dates

Where Is Home?

A Quick Look Back

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Give An Ape A Turntable…

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Ape For Bass

Bonobo Studio Albums / Enter The Sound Scape

Down Tempo’s Favorite Son

If you are new to Bonobo’s work, check out this album called Sweetness – a melancholic classic for the ages that is one of our favorites.

chill out lizard

Additional Stuff

Watch Bonobo’s What’s In My Bag episode below.

The Music Man StingRay

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Click to check price on Amazon

The Northern Borders DVD

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Click to check price on Amazon

Best Underground Techno DJs in 2016 – A Who’s Who

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If you are an avid techno music lover, there are very few things that are better than discovering an awesome new DJ with an awesome new track to add to the soundtrack of your life. The mainstream has its own appeal and successful DJs are usually famous the world over for a very good reason. But Josh Wink, Tiga or Carl Cox are sometimes not enough for the ravenously hungry music enthusiast, so looking deeper into the underground is probably the best source of fresh new artists and music.

So, let’s look at some guys and gals that are worth checking out and who have already been making a name for themselves as part of the blossoming techno underground from all around the world.

Ben Klock

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You cannot talk about the techno underground without mentioning Berlin and its thriving modern techno movement centered around its local techno mecca Berghain. And you cannot talk about Berghain without its resident DJ Ben Klock. If you are part of this scene, he might as well be an icon, not an underground veteran.

Take in some of Ben Klock’s live dj set and see why he’s a boss of this scene, and why you may want to start buying your plane ticket now.

This energetic German started his career with his signature marathon sets that helped him hone his skills to an amazing level. Besides skill, his performances offer a lot of soul and emotion and everybody that has seen him live agrees that he knows how to make any venue feel intimate. In recent years Ben has started touring more and his international popularity has steadily been rising. If you get the chance to catch him live, don’t miss it.

=> Ben Klock Facebook

On top of this, don’t look over other underground DJs from the Berghain scene in Berlin like Marcel Dettmann, Function, Rodhad and Marcel Fengler.


Adrian Hour

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After Berlin, let’s look at South America. Adrian Hour is one of the most talented and hardworking DJs from Argentina. He leads the way as part of the Buenos Aires underground scene, but has already started making a name for himself worldwide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hu_Vf8sZrY

=> Adrian Hour Facebook


Donato Dozzy

Dozzy’s music and sets have a lot of depth and so does his personality – he actually has a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Rome and is known for his deep knowledge about music as well. He currently tours the world intensively and resides in Berlin.

=> Donato Dozzy Facebook


KiNK

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Bulgarian DJ Strahil Velchev known as KiNK is a typical example of a talented DJ to start gaining some international recognition solely on the legs of his skills and his music. He started out in the Sofia techno scene but his unique approach to making modern music soon got him noticed.

KiNK loves both vintage and modern equipment and also likes tinkering with it to produce new and exciting sounds that are very different from what most other people do. He got his first real break in 2008 thanks to a home video of him tweaking a drum machine. It got him enough attention to start appearing in famous clubs all around Europe and his unique performances helped him create an international following. What you’ll see when you catch him live would not be expensive visual effects, but an artist and a performer who is one with his unconventional set of machines and controllers.

=> KiNK Facebook


Matrixxman

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Techno DJs from the USA have been rising in popularity in recent years and one of the forerunners of the new generation of North American underground techno DJs has been Charles Duff also known as Matrixxman. His sound has been described as cold, mechanized and futuristic but by no means emotionless. His tracks explore the road to the singularity when humans and machines would be one and his musical style reflects that duality.

Here’s Matrixxman performing a killer DJ set at the Boiler Room, showing no mercy and taking no fucking prisoners.

Matrixxman has been releasing new music regularly and has been doing sets in a number of iconic locations around the globe. If futuristic techno is what you are looking for, this is certainly a DJ and an artist to keep an eye on.

=> Matrixxman on Facebook


Nicole Moudaber

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Nigerian-born Lebanese lady Nicole Moudaber has been a star DJ for some time already. Besides her fierce DJ sets, Moudaber is known as an event promoter, a record label founder and a radio host.

Feast your ears on her live DJ set at Music Is Revolution in Ibiza.

Some might even argue that Nicole Moudaber’s prolific work has already lifted her out of the underground but her dedication to the techno scene keeps her close to the troops despite her success. She might not be “the most underrated DJ” as described by Carl Cox in 2009, but she still has a lot of room to develop and is always worth paying attention to.

=> Nicole Moudaber Facebook


The Techno Underground as a Whole

What’s beautiful about the underground is that is always full of surprises and there are a lot of other DJs to keep an eye on as well, so keep your hearts and ears open and keep searching.

A few other underground DJs worth checking out: Shlomi Aber, Oliver Huntemann, ANNA, Nikola Gala, Danny Daze.

DJ Krush – History And Profile

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A Short History Of DJ Krush

Hideaki Ishi, as his real name is, dropped out of school really early to join one of the most brutal and popular gangs – Yakuza. He decided to forget about his criminal past when he found a finger wrapped in paper on his desk. It belonged to one of his best friends. He decided to pursue career as a DJ after watching the 1983 movie Wild Style.

Ishi is one of the most famous hip-hop producers, and he is considered by many as one of the pioneers of the Japanese hip hop music. Back in the old days, the American rap scene dominated the genre, but his experimental beats and music changed the whole industry.

DJ Krush doesn’t like to identify his music by associating it with a particular genre because it could serve as a limitation to his talent. People consider his music like ambient, hip hop, trip hop and a combination of the last two. However, Hideaki appreciates all styles of music, and he likes to keep a distance from the genres associated with him.

His career skyrocketed when he formed the group Krush Posse, which became famous in Japan almost instantaneously. Four years later he decided to pursue a solo career, and his first album has been ranked high in numerous Japanese charts.

World Recognition

In 2007, he created a special DVD box, which was a collection of his work in the past twelve years.

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He is internationally recognized, and he has produced music for movies, TV shows, and many commercials throughout his career. He has done numerous collaborations with known musicians from around the globe. In 2009, he won the Kommersant Award of the Moscow’s Film Festival with the animation film “First Squad.”

Recently, he collaborated with Bernie Worrell and Toshinori Kondo on Bill Laswell’s latest project called “Method of Defiance.”

Statistics

The facts tell an interesting story about Hideaki Ishi. He has performed in 29 cities in 50 countries in front of more than 7 million people.

The amazing producer continues to create music and make millions of people happy because of his beautiful and groundbreaking music.

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