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Top 10 veteran DJs still worth the ticket price

Absolute legends, no other words for it!

In recent years those that just play records have lost some of the limelight to superstar producers that also mix tunes. But there's no denying the two are very different beasts.

Stereotypically less bothered with finite intricacies and more concerned with the bigger picture, when a DJ is good there's probably nothing better. Because while on the face of it melding track into track requires little more than physical skill this preconception belies the complexity of a truly great set.

Any selector can beat match, the difference is that a great DJ can DJ too. And while there are a few new names that demand respect through experiments with black plastic sometimes if feels like The Old Guard still win out in terms of quality. As such we've put together ten of our favourite legends still guaranteed to impress behind the decks, so whether you agree or disagree, make sure you see them all.

A Guy Called Gerald

Former 808 State man, circa Pacific 808, and the Manchester-born, Berlin resident responsible for Voodoo Ray, along with the foundations of acid house and jungle is still one to watch. Not least when he turns up ready to play with two laptops running two versions of Reason, live.

Craig Richards

From his beginnings as an amateur DJ in London, slightly under the influence of time spent in the US (and at the Paradise Garage), Richards has continued to focus his efforts on the UK capital as Fabric's revered resident. Oh yeah, and there's some project called Tyrant too.

Derrick Carter

How do you articulate why this Chicago export should never be missed? Perhaps it's the boundless energy that exudes from the DJ booth as he piles tune on top of tune? Maybe it's the fact you could imagine him playing Kylie next to Classic fare? Actually, it's probably both.

DJ Hell

With some two decades behind him, and no less than 15 years running the infamous International Deejay Gigolos, DJ Hell is something of an enigma. At once a German techno player who enjoys house, and also a genius electro and synth pop pioneer, unique barely come close.

DJ Sneak

The original house gangsta is intimidating to watch. Born in a time when DJs were DJs his rise to underground stardom during this era was not undeserved. That he still packs them in, and is open enough to back2back with Ricardo Villalobos only cements his modern relevance.

Green Velvet

“Cameras ready…” The only thing more insane than the frantic snare crescendos that follow in Flash, or indeed the lyrics to La La Land, is a fully microphoned-up, multi-mixing appearance from Green Velvet himself. Crazed spoken word electro lyricism never sounded so good.

DJ Shadow

Let's go back to a pre-millennium time, well before the commercial collision of electronic music and street sounds. At this point Shadow was headlining Creamfields while making it pretty clear hip-hop and dance music aren't mutually exclusive, and he hasn't stopped since.

Robert Hood

Robert Hood's take on stripped back techno isn't quite what you expect. From his work as Floorplan to booty shakers like Tiny Dancer there's funk in that minimalism, and the only thing better than listening to his tracks is watching him spank a crowd on decks and real machines.

Laurent Garnier

There are few people that can drop a huge, synth-filled breakdown on a crowd of a few thousand hedonists, before skipping out into a jazz-tinged, though still immersive heads down number. It's commanding, proggy house-techno goodness no less, for want of a better description.


Say ‘the man like' to anyone over 30 and there's a good chance a wave of mainroom nostalgic joy will wash over them. But Sasha still has those epic, shimmering melodies, powerful breakbeats, and menacing drivers, proving beyond doubt that even though ‘those days' are over he isn't.

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