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Resident Advisor Poll: Top DJs of 2012

Today Resident Advisor has published their Top DJs of 2012 list. Plenty of well-deserving acts made the cut including Claude VonStroke, Damian Lazarus, Luciano, Dubfire, Sasha, Digweed, Marco Carola, Eats Everything, Art Department, Maceo Plex, Richie Hawtin and more, while the #1 title was claimed by none other than Seth Troxler.

Before you get in an uproar that your favorite didn’t make the list, RA has made sure to specify:

The Resident Advisor Top DJ poll is our annual chance to give RA readers a voice. Voted by registered members of the site, the list puts a global spin on something otherwise personal: your favourite DJ(s). The rules became a little tighter this time around. Selections were restricted to DJs listed in each user’s 2012 event diary, limiting voters to their best experiences this year rather than all-time.

With this in mind, I think this poll is one of the most true-to-form out there. Unlike DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs or Rolling Stone’s 25 DJs That Rule The Earth, RA’s list is much more grounded in DJing. It seems that every “Top DJ” poll that comes out suffers from the same issue: they do not clearly define the subject of their survey. What is a DJ today? Are we talking about the party-starter working a club with two turntables and a mixer, the tech-nerd obscured behind a rack of analogue synthesizers and MIDI controllers, or the bedroom producer performing to thousands with nothing but a laptop? While I understand the need for industries to be able to evaluate themselves, the DJ world really benefit from developing some modicum of standardization.

But honestly, how could you possibly compare the experience of seeing a 6-hour Carl Cox set at Space in Ibiza to the colossal pyrotechnic performance of Swedish House Mafia at Milton Keynes Bowl? The only real similarity between the two is that both are electronic music events. Perhaps a lot of the clamor about these polls could be quelled if they read something like, “Top Electronic Music Artists of 2012”?

This isn’t meant to be yet another drowning op-ed about “contemporary electronic dance music”, but I do think it is important for artists, fans, and industry folk alike to have a clearer understanding about what we’re talking about when we say “DJs”.

Check out RA’s entire Top DJs of 2012 list HERE.

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