I have been thinking for quite some time now about who my Top 5 picks would be for the DJ Mag Top 100. I have to say that it has not been an easy choice for me. In the process I have also had to decide WHY I would be voting for the artists that I chose. Would I vote solely on skills or would I be voting based on my own personal live experience? I feel like music needs to be experienced, not just simply listened to. So I have picked based on different memories and feelings so this is going to be very biased.
5. Dillon Francis – I’m not sure how to even explain what seeing him live is like other then FUN. I could sit there and watch his visuals forever. They are actually hilariously amusing in a kind of stupid way. I’ve seen him twice this summer and I have witnessed a “cat taco,” Dillon Francis’ head on all sorts of various dancing “mini-bodies,” dancing cats, and snippets of Dillon’s head floating around on the screen. To sum it up, cats and Dylan’s face, but I swear I laughed out loud a few times throughout his sets. With that said, he obviously supports his fellow Djs, which is an honorable trait, seen in this video below (skip to :32 for Dillon). No, but really this video shows the perfect example of the humor I am talking about. It is nice to see a DJ who does not take himself completely seriously, makes good music that I can dance too, and keeps me entertained…I’m not going to mention anything about the whereabouts of his family members…
4. Markus Schulz – Twelve hour sets. Do I need to say anymore?! He hosted his own stage at Tomorrowland, where he decided that he was going to play for 12 hours for you beautiful people and this was not the first time he has done this. Besides that, I just want you to listen to his 2013 Summer set. Which I have included below because it is amazing. I also believe that he seems like a genuine character. I have not actually had the chance to personally meet him, but while shooting photos at Boombox I was pleasantly surprised to see him show some love to his fans. He walked down off stage, shook hands, gave hugs, received Kandi, and posed for some photos. This is not something that every performer does or cares about. It deserves a level of respect. Not to mention that he played Boombox Fest, took that time to hangout, and then headed to DC FOUR hours away and played a full set at Echostage. He is super dedicated.
3. Excision – I feel like Excision has been a very busy man this year. First I want to talk about The Executioner. Excision embarked on his Executioner Tour in January bringing 100,000 watts of bass with him. For those of you that have never experienced this I am going to explain. Standing in front of the speakers my nostrils vibrated, my friends contacts felt like they were vibrating on her eyeballs, and you could feel the bass through your entire body. Besides the giant speaker that he lugged around on that tour, he also dropped his album with Destroid. I hear a lot of hate towards the collaboration of Excision/KJ Sawka/Downlink, but I disagree. The drumming was awesome live, their set was ridiculous, the CO2 was enough to choke somebody out (setting the mood), and I felt like I was looking at some sort of alien creatures on stage. Needless to say, I was impressed anyways. Plus, there was definitely a song involving Bassnectar (Put it Down). Speaking of bass and Bassnectar…
2. Bassnectar – I had the amazing…or somewhat nerve-racking chance to do photos for Bassnectar at Camp Bisco this summer. I headed into the photo pit with a smile that could not be ripped off of my face. The music started and I instantly realized that I had forgotten to put in Earplugs. I may have gone a little deaf that day, but I consider it worth it. When I was talking about feeling the bass from Excision – I would like to describe Bassnectar as the same way x 10! Maybe I shouldn’t vote solely on how insane the bass felt when I saw him perform at one fest this summer, but this set was nothing less than magical, and no one can deny he does some amazing work that people of all genres can enjoy.
1. Pretty Lights – I got the chance to see him at Electric Forest this year. His set was sick and I remember it was the first time I had ever heard the song “Yellow Bird” off of his most recent album. I will never forget looking around and seeing people crying, people kissing, and how most of the people attending Electric Forest were gathering to hear the final set of the weekend as one giant family. Pretty Lights set the mood for this amazing moment. Regardless of that, he seemed to have put major work into “Color Map of the Sun.” After watching the album Documentary I had felt some sort of huge respect for him. In case you haven’t seen it I’m going to post it below.
If I were running the list this is who I would pick because these are the people that have left an impact on me this year; all who's music I thoroughly enjoy.
My honorable mentions:
Dada Life. Bananas and Champagne. Hell yes.
Eskmo for his use of household items, such as lamps, to create live atmospheric sounds.