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DJs and industry figures have their say

Voting has now closed for Top 100 DJs 2013 and in the build up to the results announcement on October 19th, we are besieged by speculation, rumour and excitement about this year's results.

This year's excitement is more intense than most, due to the fact it is the 20th anniversary of Top 100 DJs. 

To mark this milestone we teamed up with KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines to ask dance music fans to vote for their favourite DJ of the last 20 years. The winner of this award will receive the Top 100 DJs Legend award at the Top 100 DJs Awards party in Amsterdam on 19th October, as part of the Amsterdam Music Festival during the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

We took the time to speak to some key DJs and industry figures to find out who got their Legend vote:

“I have to say that Ben Liebrand is still my favourite DJ ever,” says Armin Van Buuren, last year's poll winner. “He was the one that got me interested in EDM at all at the age of eight. He was one of the first to actually mix two records together, which wasn't common at all in the late '70s.”

Armin was actually a member of Liebrand's fan-club in the pre-internet days, and his In The Mix radio show every Friday night is what inspired him to start his own weekly A State Of Trance show — up to ASOT 626 at the time of writing. “He's still one of the most skilled DJs out there, and last time I saw him he played with four DVJs at the same time (almost constantly!), giving a spectacular audio and video show,” Armin continues. “He's one of the most under-estimated artists out there.”

Music mogul Ben Turner from the International Music Summit (IMS), meanwhile, says: “In 23 years of working in electronic music, the DJ that probably affected me the earliest and still does to this day is Richie Hawtin. Disclosure time – yes, I work closely with him today. But I find it hard to think of anybody who has consistently progressed his performance over this time, who from then to now creates a true party atmosphere in small or large environments, and who considers every detail when performing: his own performance, sound, lights, visuals. He represents better than anybody where this scene came from, where it is today, and has the vision to take it forward to tomorrow.”

Eric Prydz started name-checking a number of DJs as his Legend when we asked him, such as Jeff Mills, Sasha, Carl Cox and Adam Beyer, before settling on John Digweed “because he's the most consistent DJ out there. He doesn't care about trends, he follows his heart. I've seen him many times and it's not about the tracks, it's what you can do with the tracks to make something bigger. He's one of the masters at doing that, he puts people in a trance when he plays. They may not necessarily know the music but it doesn't matter, he will play it in a way that will drive people crazy anyway. 

Egyptian trance titans Aly & Fila, meanwhile, name 2005/6 winner Paul van Dyk as their Legend. “He is a great inspiration,” they tell DJ Mag. “We fell in love with his music, and that's why we actually started doing music.

The duo have been in the Top 100 list themselves for the past five years now, and they say it's definitely helped them a lot. “The Top 100 opened a lot of closed doors for us,” Aly & Fila say. “Sometimes promoters wouldn't normally book you, but because of the list they will maybe try you one time, and it's up to you as an artist to prove yourself.”

French house don Martin Solveig made quite a surprising selection when we asked him for his Legend. “Armand Van Helden really stands out for many reasons,” he says. “He’s one of the very few DJs who were relevant back then and still are to this day. He kept on reinventing himself without losing his personality, and managed to leave his ego at a level that doesn’t blur reality — and actually never took all of this too seriously. He’s my hero.”

Top 100 DJs Legend Award bought to you by KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines will be presented during Amsterdam Music Festival on 19th October 2013. Tickets are now sold out but your can watch a live stream of the event and find out more about the Legend Award at music.klm.com.