During my time here, I’ve discussed a variety of music genres. However, there’s one genre I realized I never truly discussed in detail. One that’s a favorite of mine, but also one I rarely let people know that I love. That music is EDM.
I’m kind of a closet fan, though I’ve spent many nights drowning in great beats by amazing DJs. Now that I’ve admitted my appreciation of DJs, I’d like to share some of the best out there today as well as look back on a few golden oldies featuring DJs in their native live setting.
Let’s start with a few classics from back in the day.
I'm kicking things off with one of my all-time favorites. Moby has been around for a long time and even if he's out of the spotlight now, we cannot deny his place in EDM history. All you need to do is take one listen to his album Play and the discussion ends.
The album is a classic that includes great tracks like Natural Blues, Porcelain, Bodyrock, and Honey. Don’t believe me? Play spent two years on the charts and had nine hit singles and became the biggest electronica album of all time with 12 million copies sold.
Paul Oakenfold has been around for a really long time and has even had a hit single, Starry Eyed Surprise, with Shifty from Crazy Town on vocals for that extra early 2000s feel. But it’s Oakenfold’s DJ sets all over the world, which are still ongoing, that cements him as a legend.
The Chemical Brothers
I've been a fan of The Chemical Brothers since the 90s when the first electronica explosion hit alongside other greats like Orbital and the insanity that is The Prodigy. The 90s electronica movement mixed alt-rock with EDM and it made for an amazing marriage. Listen to Setting Sun for proof.
With a little history behind us, let’s see who is making waves in EDM today.
When talking about mixing rock music with EDM, look no further than Skrillex. Originally starting out in emo and hardcore bands, Skrillex went out on his own and incorporated his love for rock into his work.
I consider Skrillex sets like going to see an EDM metal show. There’s a craziness to it that you don’t get at most EDM shows and for that he stands out from his contemporaries.
Corsten was brought to my attention by my wife, who essentially is an EDM and 80s synth pop girl. As a former club kid, I take her advice on EDM that she is into and Corsten is one of her two choices for this list. Like her I tend to lean more toward the Trance and House sound and Corsten is a prime example of that.
I first discovered Schulz when I was in Atlantic City at a bachelor party. We were at a club where he was DJing and after I was loosened up by a few drinks, I couldn’t ignore how awesome Schulz was and wound up on the dance floor the rest of the night. It takes some really good stuff to get me on that dance floor and Schulz has it for sure.
The first child prodigy of EDM, as his first hit, Animals (above) was released when he was just 17 years old. Just to show how great Garrix is, he set up a residency at the former Space Ibiza, now known as Hi Ibiza for the 2017 season. That's no small feat, especially considering Ibiza is the EDM capital of the world.
What makes Garrix even more amazing is that he is still only 21. He started his interest in DJing when he was 8 years old when he saw Tiesto perform and never looked back. Last year at 20, DJ Mag named him the #1 DJ in the world. Imagine what he will accomplish by 30. The sky’s the limit.
Armin Van Buuren
My wife’s second pick, Van Buuren, has been on my radar from his single, This is What It Feels Like. I never really explored too much more of his music, then when I checked out his recent sets at EDM festivals this year, I was blown away. He is 100% on my radar now and I hope to check him out live one day.
I’ve been a fan of Calvin Harris for a bit, but I became a major fan after his recent album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1. It's one of my two favorite pop albums of the year.
Harris is one of the best DJs when it comes to collaborations and with his legacy secure, everyone wants to work with him. Look no further than his latest single Slide, and be sure to check out his new album.
David Guetta is one of the biggest DJs in the world, hands down. His collaborations have dominated the pop and dance charts for as long as I can remember. He's one of the best out there and once his 2009 album One Love became a huge hit, he's been on top of the EDM world.
For me, it was his 2011 release Nothing But The Beat that made me a fan. With over 30 million singles sold, Guetta shows no signs of slowing down even as he closes in on 50.
Axwell ^ Ingrosso
While my #1 choice may not be the sexiest choice, I have deep love for Axwell ^ Ingrosso. The former Swedish House Mafia members decided to stick together after the went down from a trio to a duo. Ever since I heard On My Way, I've been addicted to these guys and love everything that they've been releasing.
My daughter has even gotten on the Axwell ^ Ingrosso train as she loves to listen to Sun is Shining when I drive her to school. I sadly missed their recent New York shows, but hope next time I am there as this is one EDM show I really, really want to see.