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The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 20-11

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Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 4:00 AM
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See also: The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1

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

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20. John Tejada

For years John Tejada was L.A.'s best-kept secret, a producer's producer whose records occupied places of honor in every techno DJ's crate, even as his name remained unfamiliar to casual EDM fans. Thanks to a prolific hot streak that's included a killer contribution to the FabricLive DJ mix series and percussive floor-fillers like "Orbiter" and "Torque," that's finally starting to change. Live, his sets are subtle, sinewy and flawlessly sequenced--especially when he sticks to his own material, which he's been favoring of late. L.A. couldn't ask for a better techno ambassador. -Andy Hermann

See also: John Tejada Is a Techno Traditionalist, Dammit

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19. Audion (Matthew Dear)

On solo albums like this year's Beams, Detroit's Matthew Dear layers his own eccentric vocals atop danceable yet fractured art-pop. But behind the decks -- especially at Avaland, where he's an on-again, off-again resident -- Dear ditches the pop elements in favor of a live-wire mix of minimal techno, acid house and old-school electro-funk, highlighted by the robot-sex grooves of his techno alias, Audion. Among next-gen techno jocks, Dear's ability to transform classic Detroit sounds into 21st century EDM anthems is second to none. -Andy Hermann

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18. Araabmuzik

MPC sampling prodigy Araabmuzik, aka Abraham Orellana, began playing drums at age three and has progressed in the nearly two decades since to become one of the fastest-fingered producers in the beat-making game. Live, his sound is dubstep built on eclectically-sourced samples that are chopped, twisted and spit out the other end as a dirty digital shitstorm. Araabmuzik gets everybody within close range moving along, while elevating drum machine button pushing to the level of performance art. -Katie Bain

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17. Paul van Dyk

Now 40, veteran Paul Van Dyk has been dubbed the world's greatest DJ two years running by DJ Mag. He's come far since growing up in East Berlin, where he exposed himself to music through illegally-tuned-in West Berlin radio stations and cassette tapes smuggled into the country. Nowadays, he tours the world and remixes for Madonna and U2. He's know for his modern trance and exceptional live mix that's packed venues of all sizes. If there were an award for the largest DJ audience, he just might have it, seeing as he attracted over a million dance music fans to a beach in Rio de Janeiro for his New Year's Eve gig, as 2009 was rung in. -Nicole Pajer

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