With the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place this morning, we decided to concoct our own DJ Olympic Team Power Rankings. There has been a lot of commotion surrounding Sochi and the Games, so we wanted to bring a little fun to the situation and see which countries outweigh the others in terms of number of DJs and talent. Take a look at how each country fairs as we enter 2014 and celebrate this years Winter Olympics:
The Motherland may be hosting this years Games, but due to their lack of emerging artists they slip to the back of the leaderboard in this year’s power rankings. Spearheaded by the party-started Arty, the Russian team makes up in talent for what they lack in numbers. Trance is their go-to genre with names like Moonbeam, Eximinds, Bobina, and Alexander Popov (not to be confused with the actual Olympic athlete of the same name). Though, don’t get swept away with the uplifting euphoria of the trance acts because Russia knows how to get down. Swanky Tunes, Hardrock Sofa, and Matisee & Sadko provide the progressive and electro side of things, while female producer Nina Kraviz prefers to keep it underground.
Official Anthem: Arty – Twilight Tonight (Arty Remode)
What an eclectic group of artists we have here. While, similar to Russia, Italy‘s numbers may be low but their influential artists sure do pick up the slack. Italy has the “Satisfaction” of calling itself home to the electronic music legend Benny Benassi. He sits alongside forward thinking artists such as The Bloody Beetroots, Crookers, and Congorock all of which bring a very unique style of production to their craft. Some of the most played tunes from the last couple years have come straight from Italy including The Beetroot’s “Warp,” Giuseppe Ottaviani‘s “Magenta,” and Benassi’s “Cinema,” made even more famous by one of America’s pack leaders Skrillex.
Official Anthem: Benny Benassi – Satisfaction
Quickly moving up the rankings is the land down under. Australia is known for their shrimp on the barbie, wild dingos, and Melbourne bounce. The producer most notably responsible for this influx of bouncy, electro house music is Will Sparks. The 20-year-old exploded on to the scene after his remix of Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines.” The Olympics aren’t just for men, and no women do it better than the Cover Girls themselves, NERVO. The blonde-headed duo has been met with unmatched reception due to their body-rockin’ DJ sets and immensely popular podcast NERVO Nation.
Australia does music incredibly well, from the trance sounds of MarLo, TyDi, and Jaytech to household names of Tommy Trash and Dirty South. Despite Australia sitting at number 8 this year, expect a big shift in years to come because they are truly defining their own sound right now with artists like Flume and Emoh Instead‘s What So Not project.
Official Anthem: What So Not – Jaguar
Coming in at number 7, France‘s sound is distinct yet hard to put a finger on. Ranging from electro-pop to techno to drum n bass, names like David Guetta, Martin Solveig, Gessafelstein, and Dirtyphonics ring a bell to even a newcomer on the dance scene. The youngest of the 2014 team is 19-year-old Madeon, who took the world by storm with his fast, flying fingers and latest single “Technicolor.” France is called home by producers and DJs of all ages, sizes and DNA mutations. Space invader Joachim Garraud and interstellar Grammy-winners Daft Punk touched down in France but soon influenced all nations with their unmistakable beats.
Another artist who’s quick emergence turned heads was DJ Snake, who took ahold of the trap genre and isn’t letting go. Though, you would be doing an injustice to France without mentioning…well…Justice. The electro rock duo has become a staple in the world of electronic music due to their chart-topping albums and sold-out live shows. Talent-wise France should be higher on this list, but the amount of musicians on their roster doesn’t quite match the forthcoming countries.
Official Anthem: Justice – D.A.N.C.E.
It seems hard to write about Canada without mentioning the words Justin and Bieber, but its even harder to do so without mentioning Dead and Mau5. But the Mau5 is in good company this Olympics because he’ll be alongside fellow legends like Richie Hawtin, MSTRKRFT, and Chromeo. While most of America is getting blasted with snow this winter, Canada is used to it and how do they cope with the harsh winters? They get the blood flowing with some dubstep. Often seen side by side (I hear they’re competing in the 2-man bobsled race this year) Excision and Datsik bring heavy hitting bass to their home country when they aren’t touring across the world. Other bass musicians that can be seen constantly crossing the border to the US are Adventure Club and Zeds Dead.
Maybe the heart-pounding super-bass isn’t quite your style and you’d rather warm yourself up by putting on some trance pants, we recommend you turn to either Arnej or Max Graham for that. Both artists release tracks on Armada, Armin Van Buuren‘s brainchild, but we’ll get to him later. Canada falls in a number 6 because they really do touch all bases of electronic dance music and boast undeniable talent.
Official Anthem: Deadmau5 – Strobe
This year, Germany is producing some of the most impressive artists and tracks the likes of which we have never seen. Their strength derives from their ability to push the definition of genre. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t possess some of the strongest names in each category of electronic music. Don’t let the cold weather stop you from busting out your scuba gear because Germany is going deep. Their house game is strong and comes in the form of artists like Dixon, Booka Shade, Loco Dice, and Catz ‘N Dogz, the list goes on. Like a fine wine paired with a perfectly prepared steak, the trance genre compliments nicely to that of the house variety and Germany has quite the feast of trance phenoms. ATB, Cosmic Gate, Paul Van Dyk, Markus Schulz and Alex M.O.R.P.H. all have roots in Germany.
The current frontrunner of Germany‘s EDM desirables is without a doubt Zedd who just recently partnered up with Bud Light to be their head spokesman. After Anheuser-Busch just merged with German company InBev, Zedd continues to stay true to his homeland in both marketing and music. Germany can also be proud to call itself home to the revolutionary, avant-garde group Kraftwerk who helped pioneer the way for EDM artists across the globe. In 2014, there are few countries that can hold Germany back from reaching the gold-standard of artisanship they so well deserve.
Official Anthem: Paul Van Dyk ft. PLUMB – I Don’t Deserve You
4) United States
There is little that hasn’t already been said about the impact American artists bring to electronic dance music, but we’ll try to elaborate. What puts the United States so high on the power rankings is neither the number of artists they boast, nor the talent they exude, but the revolutionary impact they have on revolutionizing specific genres. Some say America is where dubstep went to die and where trance became over saturated with top-40 vibes, but the way I see it is these artists took what was put in place by other countries and expounded on it, creating their own forms of musical genius. There is a reason why artists like Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Bassnectar, Steve Aoki, and Pretty Lights have the world-wide recognition they do. These producers have orchestrated their style and marketed themselves incredibly well to their niche audiences.
The United States is the birthplace of house, techno, and trap. Wherever you go, what ever festival you choose to attend, its hard to escape the American influence. Thanks to Seth Troxler, Moby, Josh Wink, Kaskade and the likes America has been a staple of dance music for decades and that’s not changing any time soon. America continues to innovate and invent its own sound via progressive-minded artists like Flosstradamus, Baauer, Djemba Djemba, and Mr. Carmack. We are truly only breaking the ice on the amount of talented producers located in the United States, but thanks to the ever-increasing scale of live performances, you can be sure to find one of these Djs hitting a club or festival near you soon.
Official Anthem: Moby – Porcelain
The hits coming from Sweden didn’t halt with the break up of Swedish House Mafia, in fact, they are popping off harder than ever.
Country superstar Swedish-born Avicii definitely wasn’t the first to put his country into the forefront, but his rise success sure didn’t hurt. It’s hard to look anywhere without seeing his face on an advertisement or his name on tracklisting. Prior to his success came producers who stamped their name on the scene, like Pleasurekraft, Eric Prydz/Pryda/Cirez D, and Marcus Schossow. These artists brought Sweden into the limelight and the newer ones didn’t fail to carry that torch.
You can catch Swedish talent headlining festivals or in the depths of the Boiler Room spinning records of all genres, but it’s hard to escape the progressive house sound of which Sweden is so famous for. Axwell, Alesso, Otto Knows, and AN21 all seem to have found the recipe for success and that’s what puts the Swedes so high in the power rankings. Both the legacy (Pryda‘s snare sample) and the continued prosperity (“Levels” hellooo) can’t be ignored, so now we just sit and wait for the next Swedish House Mafia reunion tour.
Official Anthem: Pryda – Miami To Atlanta
2) United Kingdom
Whether it be newcomers or living legends, the United Kingdom is putting out track after track of straight fire. As the birthplace of dubstep, you can find Skream (although he might rather be preferred to as a disco producer these days), Knife Party/Pendulum, Nero, Sub Focus, Rusko, and nearly the entirety of Circus Records. But, the UK can also be cited as producing some of the hottest trance legends, house makers, and techno curators. It’s a difficult task to even scratch the surface in terms of talented acts from across the the pond, so we’ll touch on some of the more notable ones.
Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Sasha, Pete Tong, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Above & Beyond. Need I say more? Ok I will. The respect and influence these artists have on electronic music is endless. But, much like Sweden, its not just the legacy that puts them so high in the power rankings, its the continued success. So many artists from the UK are following in their footsteps and generating some of the best electronic music to date. Artists like Dusky, Jamie Jones, Hot Since 82, and Maya Jane Coles are keeping electronic music alive in the United Kingdom, and they are staying true to their roots while coin it. The majority of them have now become household names that any music enthusiast would recognize. Household names like Calvin Harris and Disclosure ensure that the UK will remain a top dog in the music ranks and that kids world-wide will eat, sleep, rave, repeat for years to come.
Official Anthem: Fatboy Slim & Riva Star – Eat Sleep Rave Repeat (Calvin Harris Remix)
Well, I hope this didn’t come as a shock to anyone. The Netherlands puts itself in our number 1 spot, primarily due to sheer numbers (seriously there has to be something in the water over there). They can be proud to boast not only the “king of trance” Armin Van Buuren, but just about every other DJ in the book. The Netherlands has become synonymous with dance music due to producers like Tiesto, Afrojack, Laidback Luke, Sander Van Doorn, Richard Durand, and the current #1 DJ in the world Hardwell. I’m sure you’re familiar with the big room house sound that’s seeping out of every speaker in the world right now and that’s largely
Maarten Vorwerk’s the Netherlands‘ responsibility.
Literally there are too many DJs and producers to name that stem from the Netherlands and that’s what is keeping them in front of all these other countries (full list of notable producers). Whether you like it or not, what these artists have done is unheard of. Turning the EDM scene into exactly what they please and defining what is and what isn’t popular music. Now you don’t have to follow along with these specific producers’ formula and that’s what sets the Netherlands ahead of the rest. Numbers, popularity, and diversity. Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Dash Berlin, and Richard Durand dish out trance while Chuckie, Sidney Samson, and friends infiltrate your ears with dirty Dutch. The Netherlands is also where one of the biggest names in dubstep and drum n bass resides, Noisia.
Official Anthem: Dimitri Vegas, Moguai & Like Mike – Mammoth
The Dutch take the cake in this years DJ Olympic Team Power Rankings, but not without some stiff competition. 2014 will shape out to see some big names emerge out of nowhere, as we’ve seen Dutchman Martin Garrix do in 2013, and festivals will continue to show records numbers across the world with new events popping up constantly. Next time you find yourself spending the weekend surrounded by electronic music, see if you can make it a mission to go “around the world” and catch a from a DJ representing each country seen here. Here’s to a successful 2014.