When it comes down to it, the case can be made for pretty much any recognized DJ as to why they should be included in the DJ Mag Top 100. That being said, it is incredibly difficult to select only 5 worthy of a vote. Once you realize that the “rankings” are more akin to a popularity contest and that many of the slots will be given to shoo-ins, the moment will come to make your vote count. After weeks of deliberation, I established my criteria and made my selections for this extension of DA‘s Where My Head’s At.
My DJ Mag Top 100 picks illustrate the DJs that have earned my vote in 2012; they are not necessarily my favorites, nor are they exactly who I believe is “the best.” My votes will go to DJs whose contributions to dance music hold the most weight, and to those who have had an over-the-top impact in 2012. Agree or disagree, every vote counts, so here are mine.
The latest Afrojack release has been a long time coming, but “Rock The House” is finally here. First debuted at Ultra Music Festival 2012 and showcased again at EDC Vegas and New York, Afrojack’s latest piece of musical magic has finally been released to the world on Beatport. Afrojack told Dancing Astronaut that it’s “really inspired by the old school Daft Punk harps and bigroom proggy sound,” adding that he “hope[s] everyone likes it.” Judging by the massive reaction the track has gotten on the festival circuit in its pre-release phase, it’s safe to say the response will be equally enormous.
Afrojack is at the main stage of EDC Vegas 2012. He kneels behind the turntables with tour manager Ludvie taking in a tribute to, well, himself. A mashup of his biggest tunes blasts through the speakers, while an accompanying video (that he also made himself) is displayed on the enormous LED screens that surround him. Nick Van De Wall is smiling, and he’s mouthing along to the words just like the um-teen-thousand other people packed in to the Kinetic Field on the first night of EDC Vegas 2012. As usual, he starts off with a simple question: “Las vegas, are you motherfuckers ready for some Afrojack music?”
Nick Van de Wall passed the significant milestone of 1 million likes on Facebook earlier this week, and he has decided to release a 38 minute video showing the highlights of two of his biggest gigs of late — EDC Las Vegas and New York — in a new level of intimacy. He was generous enough to share the video with Dancing Astronaut readers first, so keep reading for some of the highlights.
Leroy Styles released this electro-house banger today on Sidney Samson’s Rock The Houze label. Featuring a stuttering progressive lead-in and a bouncy high-pitched synth drop, it’s obvious to us why this track received such support from the likes of Sidney Samson and Afrojack. Crank this one up if you’re a fan of Dutch house and head over to Beatport to pick up the full-length.
DJ Mag‘s Top 100 ranking has been the most reputable and trusted ranking system for DJs – but what does that mean? Year after year, dance music fans are asked to support their favorite DJs and producers with a vote on DJ Mag‘s poll, which makes the Top 100 a popularity contest rather than an accurate ranking. As the scene has boomed, fans have caught on and have been particularly critical about what the famed list ultimately represents. Arguments have been made on all facets, especially the debate of producers and DJs being ranked under the same terms. DA editors return to the roundtable to break down the heated subjects of DJ Mag‘s Top 100 in the midst of the 2012 voting.
After a huge remix to “Can’t Stop Me” and the release of his original track “Paradox” Dyro is back again. This time he teams up with Canadian/Scandinavian duo Ansol. “Top of the World” has been featured in all of Afrojack’s biggest festival sets including UMF and is set to become an electro progressive banger. The light lyrics contrast nicely with Dyro’s signature electro drop to strike a balance that makes it the perfect big room track. “Top of the World” is now available on Beatport from Wall Recordings.
By now, you should know how fond we are of Afrojack’s next monster, “Rock The House,” as we have been keeping tabs since its Ultra debut. When Wall’s head honcho opened with the track at Pacha NYC’s Jacked party, we had sudden hope to see a release date in the near future — and the day has come. We finally have the official high quality preview of “Rock The House,” and rest assured, the less than two-minutes clip sounds greater than any live rip. Afrojack’s next big production will be released July 16th and will be worth the wait.
Update: Afrojack has released another video teaser for the track, which we’ve replaced at the top of this post.
It was our first night at Pacha NYC since DJs got a heartfelt but necessary reality check about the state of the industry, and we were anxious to see how one of our favorite crews would respond. Just last month, the Jacked family closed out EDC NY with their own tent (and an afterparty at Pacha for good measure). So with a familiar taste in the mouths of New Yorkers, the pressure was on for Afrojack and friends to deliver something completely different.
Upon entering the dance-mecca on 46th street on Manhattan’s West side, the vibes were noticeably special. Afrojack, along with Quintino and R3hab, would throw a party for New York that was not only memorable for the crowd, but a huge relief for dance music hopefuls. From start to finish, the Jacked boys proved their versatility and quickly separated themselves from the play-pressing pack.
By now you’ve inevitably seen the video of Paris Hilton “DJing” in Brazil, but what you haven’t seen is Afrojack’s official reaction. Well, we’ve received an exclusive statement from the Dutch mega DJ meant to set the record straight. He writes that he worked on some tracks with Paris “a while ago, but her trying to become a DJ was a complete surprise to me.”
It is simply not possible to become a good DJ unless you put lots of hard work and years of sweat in it.
In reaction to the footage online, he remarks that “this proves once and for all that edm (or dance music as I call it) is all about skills and quality.” He is afraid that Paris “underestimated” the hard work, time, and energy needed to become a good DJ, and asks everyone to “continue with what we’re doing, loving our culture and sharing our passion for the music.” Damn straight.
Full, unedited statement straight from Mr. Van de Wall after the break.
Update: Afrojack has spoken to Danny Valentino at SiriusXM about the split as well. Nick says that “everyone should do what makes them happy,” but reinforces the fact that it’s hard work and that you need to know what you’re doing. He also confirms that her set was pre-recorded, if there were any doubts out there.
We hope your management doesn’t kill you Afrojack, you’re way too awesome.
Back in January, Afrojack released his Shermanology-assisted “Can’t Stop Me,” an anthem that had been referred to as the next “Take Over Control.” The pop-house hit was the catalyst for Afrojack’s stellar 2012, but the track saw new life as a progressive monster when Tiesto remixed it for his Club Life Miami album. The intensified version silenced critics of the radio edit, but the remixes don’t stop there. R3hab and Dyro up the ante, leaving the melodic vocal alone, and contrasting it with heavy electro and thumping bass. If Tiesto’s remix doesn’t hit hard enough for your liking, you’ll be happy to know that R3hab and Dyro’s beefed up version of “Can’t Stop Me” has been released on Beatport today.