Ah, the DJ Mag Top 100. Some people live by it, some people laugh at it. Every year around this time voting opens up for dance music fans to have their say on which artists they think are the best of the best. While the list addresses the best “DJs” in the industry, there are no specifications on who you can vote for or why you’re voting for them. If you think Krewella’s “Alive” was the best song of the year, chances are you might vote for them to make the Top 100 – regardless of their actual DJ skills. Not to call out the Chicago trio who have made splashes in the dance music scene this year, but we all know many fans cast their votes according to artists’ productions rather than actual live DJ skills. While I personally respect producers for what they do in the studio, I try to cast my DJ Mag Top 100 votes according to who I think really brings it in a live setting. Last year I voted for artists like A-Trak, Diplo, Wolfgang Gartner, Laidback Luke, and Porter Robinson – solely because I had seen them live on multiple occasions and because I was absolutely floored by what they did on the decks.
Enter UMEK, one of Slovenia’s biggest exports. The producer/DJ/label chief/Podcast master is an absolute legend in the dance music world. He brings the funk like very few DJs can and I absolutely love what he does and what he stands for. He recently spoke out against the DJ Mag Top 100 voting. Here’s what he had to say:
There’s not a single DJ fan on Facebook this moment who’s not being spammed beyond reason with countless tries by DJs to be creative when asking for votes. And most of us do it in such way that it doesn’t look like we’re begging directly for a minute of your attention.
For years now the guys from my office have been banging their heads against the wall in an effort to come up with numerous creative ways to ask fans to vote for me. Everything but a simple can you please vote for me?
Does life really has to be always complicated?
And I’m noticing this is the case with most of my fellow DJs. In a way we all want to be rebels and pretend we don’t give a shit about how we rank on this semi-official list of who’s who in the industry. But if I’m being completely honest – I want to be on this list and I want to be on it as high as possible. There shouldn’t be any shame in admitting that. The ranking doesn’t influence my number of bookings, nor the price I can charge for my performance. It’s just an ego trip and let’s face it – we all like it. Some of DJs out there like it so much, they go too far with it by hiring Indian companies, pay hackers and do all kinds of twisted stuff (like getting the president of your country to make a public announcement hehehe) to get a few places higher. And then at the same time pretend to ignore the results once they come out. But in the end everyone of us awaits that moment at ADE, when the magazine announces the results.
So fuck it – if you like what I do, show me support, if you like what Guetta does, vote for him, if you fancy how Paris Hilton turns those »cute little buttons on that mixer thingy«, vote for her. It doesn’t matter what others say. DJ Mag made their way into creating a benchmark for dance music and although with all the subtle and not so subtle campaigns, sometimes the whole thing really looks like a beauty pageant, it means something to me and my fellow performers to see our names among the great 100.
Take it how you want but the 2012 #59 DJ in the world, according to DJ Mag’s poll, has shared his opinion. I have shared a bit of mine. While the DJ Mag Top 100 doesn’t determine the haves and the have-nots, it definitely has an influence on the dance music world. I personally urge you to truly consider who you’re voting for and why you’re voting for those people. If you think Martin Garrix deserves to be in the Top 100 because of his history-making track “Animals”, then by all means vote for him. Just don’t forget about the guys and gals who helped pave the way.
Check out UMEK’s Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013 set and find out why everyone’s talking about it.