Blast from the past: check out this scan of DJ Mag's first Top 100 from 1993

The first Top 100 DJ list from “a more innocent time” in dance music history.

While DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs list is now overrun with the Hardwells, Armin Van Buuren, and Aviciis of the world, that was certainly not the case when the magazine published its first list in 1993. Bodyjack has scanned and published the magazine’s 100th issue, and as he writes:

Imagine a more innocent time, before the rise of the super clubs and superstar DJs in the late 90’s, when the only genres in the magazines were simply house & garage, techno, ragga (!) and hip hop; when jungle / drum and bass was in its infancy, born out of the rave scene which itself had just gone “happy hardcore”; when trance bore no resemblance to what it would become just a couple of years later and Fabric was still 6 years from opening…and no one had even heard of a CDJ, let alone an mp3.

Compiled from the votes of readers, contributors, and “members of the international dance music community,” the alphabetically-arranged list is unlike anything that would appear in the magazine today. There are legends of radio (John Peel, David Rodigan), house and techno originators (Frankie Knuckles, Kevin Saunderson, DJ Pierre, Derrick May), hip-hop progenitors (Funkmaster Flex, Jazzy Jeff) and names you’ll still find in the list, 20 years later (Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold).

Admittedly, the list is presented as “a snapshot of the state of play now, this minute… it’s not the best DJs of all time,” and some of the names have not aged as well as others. Head over to Bodyjack’s Tumblr for bios, Top Fives, and interviews with the stars of 1993 (plus photos and adverts that capture the era’s style, for better or worse).



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