DJ superstars such as Tiësto, Avicii, and David Guetta may be taking EDM to new heights by reaching mainstream audiences the world over, but not every DJ aspires to such fame and recognition. There are a slew of underground artists who refuse to play the high-profile game, eschewing big festival gigs for more of a low-key – albeit equally as influential – presence in the genre that, over the past half decade, has exploded around the globe.
Granted, the notion of “selling out” is somewhat of a cliché: all artists inherently seek affirmation for their craft. However, a debate always ensues whether there’s a certain lack of credibility and integrity surrounding DJs and producers selling millions of tracks.
This piece isn’t about that discussion, though. It’s about the DJs that are not only content underground, but relish the … whatever the opposite of limelight is … and, thus, are committed to staying out of the mainstream no matter what how financially lucrative such opportunities may be.
Here are the odds on which underground DJs are most likely to stay subterranean:
Guy J: 1/5
With his own Lost & Found label, Israel’s Guy J continues to explore sonic soundscapes without kowtowing to market trends. Don’t expect him at Coachella 2016.
Joris Voorn: 1/4
The often reclusive Joris Voorn is focused on the Dutch electronic scene, which includes spinning at Ushuaia or remixing classics.
Marco Carola: 1/4
Known for hosting Ibiza’s underground night at Amnesia, Marco Carola (pictured) is a techno legend with more than 20 years in the game. He’s never yearned for or sought out a larger, mainstream audience and there’s no reason to think the veteran will start anytime soon.
Richie Hawtin: 1/3
While his peers seek mainstream attention, Richie Hawtin is content to spread his techno sounds one gig at a time.
Carl Craig: 1/2
This influential Motor City DJ appears more concerned about digressing his style into new realms than with catering directly to the dance floor masses.
(Photo credit: Dave Walker from Royal Oak, MI, USA (Marco Carola) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)