Editorial: Predicting the fate of the 2013 DJ Mag rankings
It’s that time of year again; the polls for the DJ Mag‘s 2013 edition of their Top 100 DJs ranking have opened. Hailed often as a popularity contest, the chart is indirectly correlated with talent but aligned with the mindset of dance music’s fan base. While my ballot (which I will reveal later in this piece) is still unfinished, I’ve found it a priority led by intuition to predict the fate of the 2013 DJ Mag rankings.
I’ve observed the prestigious top 10 spots, artists who have yet to break the top 100, DJ Mag sophomores, projected winners and losers, and even how the former Swedish House Mafia will affect the polls. Each day, week, and moment of the past twelve months have carried weight in the dance music community; here is how I foresee a changing of the guard amongst the industries revered Top 100 DJ rankings.
Changes in the top 10
The top two slots will once again be held by Armin van Buuren and Tiësto, but it will be interesting to see who is voted number one. It’s safe to say the throne isn’t safe this year with both producer’s having massive years both inside and outside the studio.
After monstrous years for the 6th and 5th ranked DJs, Deadmau5 should move up a slot to 4 with Hardwell up to 5, leaving David Guetta at the number 6 spot — a significant decline considering his #1 DJ status only two years ago.
Avicii‘s spot at number 3 appears to be safe, but one of the reigning champs in the top 10 (most likely one of the aforementioned trance giants) may lose their position to Calvin Harris after his incredibly successful year.
Breaking onto the chart
Krewella has seen a meteoric rise to popularity over the course of the past 12 months, and it is difficult to predict where they will land on their breakthrough ranking. The competition favored by time may occupy the higher slots, but the Krew should have no problem making way in the top 50.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano are due to make their breakthrough onto the DJ Mag poll. Considering the growth of their live audiences and favorable liking towards their tribal sound, Sunnery and Ryan should land anywhere between 50 and 60 — a relatively high slot for a Top 100 neophyte.
Coming off a blazing hot year, young star Audien will make a splash on this year’s chart. Flirting with the increasingly popular progressive-trace sound, and scoping out the historic trance placeholders of lists pasts, Audien may surprise us all with a top 40 billing.
Ranking the 2013 sophomore class
Breaking onto the charts in 2012, Zedd found himself occupying the 51 position. Then of course, he released one of the biggest albums in recent history, produced for Lady Gaga, and made an undergarment spectacle of Deadmau5’s main stage Ultra set. Perhaps one of the most relevant DJs of the year, Zedd will climb the charts drastically this year and I’d be surprised to see him fall below the 25 mark.
Tommy Trash first landed on DJ Mag‘s ranking last year but despite a slew of anthems, was still ranked at the back end of the list. His production chops haven’t slowed down for a second and his significance is beginning to resonate with the dance music community, so for his second year on the list, Trash is due for top 40 recognition.
Nervo‘s first year upon the top 100 DJs had the sisters at 46, an impressive initial ranking that still leaves room to climb. As one of the hottest and most demanded brands in dance music, and not to mention an up year for their musical outputs, the Nervo twins should find themselves sliding upwards of 40 in 2013.
2012 had Nicky Romero voted into the top 100 for the first time, skyrocketing to the 17 slot as the biggest splash from the freshman class. Already amongst the elite in the top 20, Nicky is expected to climb the ranks in his second year and should surpass the likes of Paul van Dyk and Steve Aoki to find himself in the top 15.
Re-ranking the now former Swedish House Mafia
The entity of Swedish House Mafia, although now non-existing, will rank among the top 100 due to this year’s grand tour, but nowhere near last year’s 11 spot.
Due to success post-SHM, Steve Angello should leap between 20 and 30 spots from last year’s 57 position. Expect him to steal a place between 27 and 33.
Daft Punk will certainly climb the rankings this year following Random Access Memories and its hype circus. Expect the French duo to jump from 44 to anywhere between 11 and 15.
Carl Cox landed at 45 in 2012, a decline from his 31 ranking in 2011. Expect a return to the top 30 in 2013.
Eric Prydz found himself at the 52 spot last year, but after dominating the United States and pumping out Pryda releases left and right, don’t expect to see him fall out of the top 20 this year.
Mat Zo ranked at the back half of the 2012 chart, but is certainly slated to jump nearly 20 spots from 72 to the low 50s.
Who I’ll be voting for
First and foremost, I do not believe this ranking is indicative of production or DJ talent, nor that it truly set artists into concrete tiers. Still in no particular order, or even without a definitive five, I can positively say that Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Steve Angello, and Diplo have all earned my vote after what they’ve contributed and achieved over the past year. If I find two more DJs worthy of my ballot, it will be tough to arrange and rank.