The DJ Awards 2012; Nominees announced!
With ten categories reflecting the breadth of the contemporary electronic music world, Ibiza's official DJ Awards represents one of the more credible annual contests for dance music supremacy the world over.
Now into their fifteenth season, to be held on Tuesday, 25th September, and ever changing to accurately represent the complex mutations of modern music production, this years shortlists look set to be a fearsome competition in every genre. You can view the full breakdown of hopefuls over on the official DJ Awards 2012 website, but for now we'll pick out the contenders that look in rude health ahead of crunch time.
The techno section looks set to buckle under the strength of the names involved, but there's no denying that Carl Cox is enjoying a particularly strong year with his new Revolution party at Space and an unstoppable avalanche of favourable press. Richie Hawtin is making some waves with his Enter. events although his popularity is perhaps waning compared to the heights of minimal techno's popularity a few years back. Reaching beyond his Detroit roots, Carl Craig's association with the likes of Luciano could be the gateway to scooping an award, which would be well desrved after years of musical accomplishment both in the club and beyond.
In the downtempo scene, Gilles Peterson is always a firm ambassador for eclectic vibes with a soulful edge, although his lack of personal productions may set him back. In that sense the adventurous achievements of The Heritage Project and their orchestral experiments may bode well for them, while Mr Scruff continues to be as relevant today as he was when his tea-loving funk first broke across the globe.
In the ever-changing landscape of bass music, it's hard to imagine anyone other than edgy upstart Skrillex bagging the award, seeing as he is on an unstoppable rise through the electronic music scene. Having said that DJ Fresh and Skream have both been bothering the charts with their crossover sounds, while Chase & Status now rank as two of the most in-demand producers on the planet after their work for the likes of Rhianna.
In the trance field it's interesting to note the ommission of Tiesto (now interestingly decamped to the electro house field), which arguably leaves Armin Van Buuren ample space to kick back in the confidence that his fellow nominees don't have quite the stature of the Armada man. That said there is a mysticism around Above & Beyond that refuses to shake, which may lead to some surprises, while Markus Schulz presents a fresh potential amongst a selection of veterans.
With the popularity of deep house getting ever stronger in Ibiza, all eyes will be on the winners for this category. After the year he's enjoyed with his Hot Creations label, Jamie Jones looks in fine form to bag a gong, but then Maya Jane Coles has been quietly climbing the ranks without falling into the cool kids club. Solomun's ascendancy is just starting to take hold with the Diynamic residency at Sankeys, but this year might be a little premature for him.
The newcomer selection is always an eyebrow raiser as many of the artists have been doggedly doing their thing for years, but there's no denying that Eats Everything and his association with Dirtybird Records has a good chance, while Soul Clap have been doing equally well with their Wolf + Lamb affiliated disco-pop-house hybrids.
The increasingly vague boundaries of tech-house are brimming with odd matchings of DJs as ever, but it's likely to be a heated contest as to who will pass the finishing line first between Seth Troxler, Luciano and Loco Dice. That said, Marco Carola's new residency at Amnesia, 'Music On', may stand him in better stead than before.
If the tech house tag seemed convoluted then the modern day definition of electro house should leave plenty of heads scratching. From Tiesto to Calvin Harris, Guetta to Deadmau5, via the artists formerly lumped in as Swedish House Mafia, they might as well rename the section "stadium dance music" and leave it at that. Between that many egos it's hard to imagine who will duke it out to rise to the top. Quite why there's a need for the international section it's hard to say, seeing as each nominee already has a placement elsewhere, but atleast it opens the door of opportunity once more for the big hitters they've lumped in there.
The live performance section opens up opportunities for an interesting spread of acts, from long time festival favourites Faithless to arty young upstart Nicolas Jaar. The raucous energy of dOP has certainly charmed many hearts across the globe, but they may be too much of an outside bet when compared to the mass appeal of a band such as Hot Chip. However with less of the usual titans and more fresh talent such as Azari & Ill and Goldfish, this could be the surprise win of the evening.
There is no date as yet confirmed for this years ceremony, but expect the usual wealth of live performances and celebrated hosts dishing out the trophies on the night. We'll keep you up to date with developments as they are announced.
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