The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

See also: The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 20-11

Electronic dance music's recent resurgence has made the genre more popular than ever before, but it's still often not taken seriously as an art form. And yeah, many goofily-dressed ravers are so high they'll literally dance to anything. But below we've highlighted 20 top-notch spinners who put real thought into rocking asses on the dance floor. From Los Angeles to all parts of the globe, here are our picks for the best EDM DJs in business. -Ben Westhoff

10. Boys Noize

Thirty year old Hamburg, Germany native Alexander Ridha -- also known as Boys Noize -- has worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg to David Lynch and Depeche Mode. The producer-DJ got his start supporting DJ Hell and Felix Da Housecat and has gone on to win over crowds with his unique electronic sound, for which he draws from his hip-hop and disco roots. Having racked up a slew of awards, he's currently in the midst of his first live tour and has teamed up with Hard Events to bring forth a huge show. He also runs Boysnoize Records, and his discoveries include notable new artists LE1F and SCNTST. -Nicole Pajer

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

9. DJ Dan

L.A.'s original superstar DJ is a master artisan of the craft; think of him as a chef who's never served a disappointing meal. An adherent of "funky techno," Dan's sound is a whirling blend of soulful house set to a pogo pace and beat matched with skill rarely seen on the EDM circuit. (Dan used to cut and scratch, hip-hop-style). We'd pit his performances against anyone in DJ Magazine's Top 100 and dare you to say Dan lost the battle. -Dennis Romero

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

8. Chus & Pablo Ceballos

The Spanish duo of Chus L. Esteban and Pablo Ceballos blew the roof off of Monday Social at Playhouse in Hollywood recently. There's much talk of the return of house music via the likes of Swedish House Mafia, Avicii and Afrojack, but these two put it down properly, mixing percussive vocal grooves with dark synths and providing a bridge between cathartic festival performances and a druggy European underground. -Dennis Romero

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

7. Bassnectar

Perhaps no artist personifies the electronic-live-show-as-transcendental-group-experience better than Santa Cruz-based Lorin Ashton, also known as Bassnectar. Known (and named) for fusing sub-bass vibrations with lush astral trance and quirky samples, Bassnectar's ultra-low frequency sound waves vibrate off of every cell of every body within a certain radius, and it feels amazing. Add this energy to an engaging visual production rife with sophisticated imagery, lights, and lasers (and his trademark locks), and you've got a show that feels like the open portal to an inter-dimensional realm of multi-sensory hedonism. -Katie Bain

See also: How Bassnectar Came to Rule American Dance Music


The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

6. Kazell

U.K. transplant Kevin Bazell's eclectic style and uncanny ability to read the room make him a master of the increasingly lost art of setting the mood. Whether he's whipping the club kids into a frenzy with one big-room anthem after another, or building almost unbearable tension with sinister tech-house and tribal grooves, Kazell can work any crowd like a cross-fader. No surprise that he's opened for more top-shelf headliners (Sasha and Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, Sander Kleinenberg) than anyone else in town. -Andy Hermann

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

5. Claude VonStroke

If anyone has the goods to get the dubstep kids into four-on-the-floor beats, it's Barclay Crenshaw and his dirty house alter ego, Claude VonStroke. Specializing in bass drops that are more booty-shaking than bone-crushing, the VonStroke sound -- equal parts Berlin sleek and Chicago slutty -- is a welcome reminder amidst the epic builds and breakdowns dominating the festival circuit that dance music is still best when it's sweaty, funky and above all, relentless. -Andy Hermann

See also: Claude Vonstroke Got in the EDM Game Late and Now He's Taking It Over

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

4. Sander Kleinenberg

This Dutch spinner is probably our favorite contemporary DJ of the moment. He presents massive, dance-floor destroying sets that compete with any button-pusher's show while avoiding the kind of spiraling breakdown cliches and grating synth sirens that have ruined clubland for the adults among us. He'll rinse breakbeats and contemporary house sounds without ever sounding cheesy. Kleinenberg gets in early on those "it" tracks every other jock will be playing three months from now. -Dennis Romero


The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

3. Deadmau5

Deadmau5, née Joel Zimmerman, is electronic music's favorite enfant terrible, with his much-publicized jabs against everyone from Madonna to Richie Hawtin. Then there was his now-famous tumblr rant pulling the veil off of "live" EDM, which Deadmau5 boiled down to little more than button pushing. Yet, as the international circuit's pre-eminent electro-house producer, he can get away with it. His sound is a soaring and multilayered assemblage of cleanly produced beats, builds and drops that oscillate between elegant and aggressive. His stirring live show ups the ante with a visual production that he controls from the top of his LED cube as a thousand light panels hypnotize his fans. Though it all, in only a few years Deadmau5 has become almost synonymous with modern electronic dance music. -Katie Bain

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

2. Danny Tenaglia

A DJ's DJ, Danny Tenaglia has mastered the artistry, stamina and storytelling that accompany the ultimate EDM experience. While contemporary stars are used to blasting predictable playlists in an hour's time, this New Yorker is known for 12-hour tribal journeys that have been the soundtrack for after-hours bacchanalia. A "marathon man" who got his taste of clubland at the Paradise Garage in the 1980s, Tenaglia is a rare link between the edge of electronic futurism and the disco soul of dance floors past. -Dennis Romero

The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

1. Richie Hawtin

Considering that he just released a 16-disc career retrospective set -- last year's monumental Arkives 1993-2010: Reference Edition -- you might forgive the techno legend also known as Plastikman for doing a little laurel-resting in 2012. But recent Hawtin shows have been anything but a victory lap, instead showcasing that same sense of innovation and risk that has always made his dense, pointillist take on Detroit sounds so thrilling.

Live, Hawtin conjures up mind-bendingly intricate sets with a gearhead's dream of laptops, processors, drum pads and modulators, often synched up with light shows and video projections. To call him a button-pusher, while technically accurate, is like saying Michelangelo painted pretty good. If more DJs follow his lead, whatever style they play, EDM's future is bright. -Andy Hermann

See also: The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 20-11

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