Carl Cox

DJ Mag alternative Top 100 is released, Powered by Beatport Sales

The DJ Mag Top 100 is often a bone of contention in the dance music world. Mainly, you get various people online saying “it’s just a popularity contest” which is presumably backing up the philosophy behind what is literally designed and marketed as a popularity contest. However, keen to give a different side to proceedings rather than just judging the top 100 DJs by giving anyone on the planet with access to the internet a chance to vote on who their favourite DJ is, there’s now the Alternative Top 100, which for the second year running, uses something of a different methodology.

Now, most fellow house and techno DJs will agree that the go-to point for the latest tunes is good old Beatport. A shining beacon that will always have that track you heard at 7am in DC-10, provided that 80% of the time you’re happy to wait a few months until it’s actually released. But that’s exactly how the “alternative” Top 100 is calculated, by sales of house and techno through every underground afficiando’s favourite download store.

So who’s at the top of the alternative DJ Mag Top 100? Well who else – the King, the Master, the big man himself. Mr Carl Cox. Even the most resolutely underground techno fan who will only listen to obscure white labels pressed in the back room of a Berlin industrial estate would struggle to argue that Carl has the magic touch when it comes to everything that’s great about our scene. No gimmicks, no tricks, he just gets up there, plays great music, and is a wizard behind the decks. He’s also 60 next year, and is more full of energy on stage than ever.

The rest of the top 10 is also a who’s who of black jeans, relentless beats, 4am strobes, and dripping with cool. Well, largely at least. In second place is Drumcode boss Adam Beyer, masked house master Claptone is third, Russia’s finest export Nina Kraviz is fourth, veteran Richie Hawtin is sixth, Charlotte de Witte is seventh, Peggy Gou arguably too low in eighth, highest new entry, and well deserved, is Boris Brejcha in ninth, Marco Carola providing a beefy low-end to round out the top ten.

Of course, the tech house revival is making a strong showing – you can’t escape the fact Fisher is rarely out of the Beatport top ten, so takes up a healthy fifth place. Fellow flowery-shirt aficionados Solardo are in eleventh, while Camelphat’s progressive/tech house mastery puts them in a surprisingly low 21st place. For a duo who’ve managed the rare feat of remaining resolutely underground while also achieving massive mainstream success, it’s a surprise to see them out of the top 20.

The rest of the chart can be viewed here, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the alternative-alternative to the alternative chart some cooler-than-cool publication will no doubt release before the decade is out in two months time, consisting entirely of DJs so underground they only play tracks that small mammals are capable of hearing.