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16 most influential DJs of the past 16 years

16 most influential DJs of the past 16 years

We look back over the past 16 years and the DJs who have made the most impact on dancefloors in the UK.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 17th May 2017

We're currently celebrating our sixteenth birthday, and to coincide with it we're taking a look back to 2001 and all those years in between for a nostalgic series of features. Clubbing has always been at the heart of our company, and so have the DJs. The selectors that have soundtracked many a night out, introduced people to dance music, made people fall in love with it all over again, and changed the game. 

Whether it was through innovative techniques, a dedicated approach to running a record label, hosting the biggest clubnights on the planet or introducing quality music to the masses with a distinctive flair, these are the 16 acts who we think have impacted on the dance music scene the most since Skiddle's inception. 

Richie Hawtin

A true leader and pioneer, few techno artists have had as much of an impact on the dance music scene as Richie Hawtin has, either under his own name or under pseudonyms like F.U.S.E., Concept 1 and Plastikman. Whether it's through his innovative edge when it comes to technology, something which led to the PLAYdifferently MODEL 1, or the passion behind his ENTER. nights which ruled Ibiza, Hawtin's dedication is remarkable. 


As one of the founders of dubstep, Oliver Jones aka Skream paved the way for a whole new flavour of dance music which peaked in prominence back in the mid to late noughties. He's distanced himself from that sound since, but is still as in demand as ever playing house and techno, and forever fiery on the production front. 

Eddie Halliwell

Eddie's rise has pretty much mirrored our own, with 2001 the year when the fresh-faced hard dance superstar was just breaking onto the scene through residencies at Gatecrasher, Goodgreef and the legendary boozer the Howard.

Since then he's tested the technological limits of what a DJ could deliver, becoming one of the biggest draws around the globe as his jaw-dropping technique has gripped millions. And we still cain his first BOSH! cd in the office.


Held in high regard by most major selectors, DJ EZ's prowess behind the decks has earned him demi-god like status. His fast-paced style of mixing has soundtracked many festival and club moments, and he has skills which others can only aspire to master over the course of their career. Consistently championing UK garage, EZ brought it to the masses. His 3-hour Boiler Room will go down in the channel's history. 

Annie Mac

Annie MacManus is a leading authoritative voice in the world of popular music, through her Radio 1 show every weeknight from 7pm (the slot which was previously helmed by Zane Lowe) she introduces the best new music from across the board. Trusted and above all eclectic, her DJ sets cover bass, house, techno and loads in between. Her own festival AMP Lost & Found is a haven for young ravers, and proof that her finger is always on the pulse.

Andy C

Considered one of the most iconic figures in bass music, Andy C is a pioneering name in the world of DnB. With his signature mixing style including 'The Double Drop', the British act has picked up numerous awards over the years for Best DJ. He's also the founder of RAM Records, one of the leading DnB labels in the world which is home to the best talent, both up-and-coming and established.  

Laurent Garnier

There have maybe been more influential DJs these past 16 years, selectors who've pioneered sounds or pushed the art form further. But there's only one who has remained steadfast as the master in our eyes, LG, recipient of a lavish DJ love last year.

His extended sets though every genre under the sun - meticulously programmed, joyously curated, stunningly mixed - have captivated us throughout the last sixteen years. Dominating the entire morning at Timewarp, seven hours on a Sunday at WHP and nine hours at the sadly gone the End, no-one does an extended set quite like the Frenchman. 

Carl Cox

Was there a bigger event in dance music last year than Coxy's trudge towards the end of Space? The ending of the most important nightclub of all time was made all the more memorable by the DJ who helped maintain its status at the pinnacle, a man who can blend radio friendly smashes with monster techno workouts without missing a beat. He's also someone who has never played a bad set, not once during the last 16 years, and not once in the 16 before it.


Having soundtracked many a night out in the early 2000s, Tiesto was considered the king of progressive, trance and electro beats, conquering arenas across the globe. Tiesto was the first DJ to hold a solo concert in a stadium back in 2003, paving the way for a new breed of DJ.

In 2013, he was voted by DJ Magazine readers as the "best DJ of the last 20 years", and while that's an accolade which will divide opinion, nobody has drew the crowds with quite as much intensity this century. 

Ricardo Villalobos

The master of minimal techno, elongated grooves and obscure selections, Villalobos is sensationally unpredictable and is always armed with records you have absolutely no chance of Shazaming or locating afterwards - there's a reason he attracts hordes of proper music heads.



The driving force behind the Innversions label alongside Ame, Dixon is lauded as one of the most authentic and talented selectors in the business. With atmospheric sets which ooze substance, his focus on quality has organically made him one of the biggest names electronic, praised by both DJs and crowds alike.


From humble beginnings working in Phonica record shop in 2003, Heidi is now one of the leading names in house and techno, playing at the world's leading clubbing spots. Founder of the Jackathon parties and consistently championing female talent, the Canadian-born all-round party starter is behind some of the UK's favourite DJ sets and mixes. 

Swedish House Mafia

Swedish House Mafia, consisting of Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello, hit epic heights as a DJ supergroup. Huge headline shows, stints in Ibiza, chart crossover tracks and even their own documentary made for an unbelievable career stint between 2009 and 2013.


Clubland was a very different place in 2001. Genres were rigid, with the tempo and mood rooted to the same all night. Enter two Belgians who tore up the rulebook with their stunning As Heard on Radio Soulwax series, sticking two fingers up to six-minute blends by getting ten records in during that time. They've been causing dancefloor destruction ever since.

Calvin Harris

Whether you love or hate him since he turned is hand to the more accessible side of dance, Scottish-born Calvin Harris has had an incredible decade. Everything he has done - from his albums I Created Disco and Ready for the Weekend, reaching the top of the charts with the likes of Rihanna, Florence and the Machine and Ne-Yo, to now being one of the richest DJs in the world - has oozed success. Not bad for a lad from Dumfries. 

Derrick Carter

in 2001 jacking house and the bumpty bump sound was bang on trend, with Derrick Carter at its peak. And whilst the fashions of dance music have come and gone, he's remained one of the most consistently on point DJs around. Bringing flawless technical ability to an innate groove which has rhythm in spades, DLC's effervescent journeys through house, disco and acid are still one of the most joyous experiences for any raver. 

Free tickets for our sixteenth birthday party in Manchester are available below.

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