2015: The Mixmag Awards
Kinda serious, kinda tongue-in-cheek
When we grow up we want to be: Helena Hauff
Hamburg's Helena Hauff has a punk-as-fuck attitude that we wished we had the guts to pull off. She stopped going to university back in the day because she wanted to concentrate on buying records, drinking beer and, later, making music on her newfound love: analogue equipment (or "machines', as she calls the contents of her studio). She got into dance music culture via anything-goes-on-any-night-of-the-week hangout Golden Pudel and also threw a series of nights there. And this year's breakthrough album 'Discreet Desires' is about fulfilling the personal wishes that are kept hidden in the shadows of the soul. "You can't do certain things because someone tells you you're not allowed to," she told us in the summer. "For example, you have to study and become a lawyer or an accountant. You work and then you're dead. A discreet desire might be that you just don't give a fucking shit about that." The techno she plays is as uncompromising as her point of view and it's all underlined by a lick of mischief, too. Right after we interviewed her at Dekmantel festival, she considered nicking a golf buggy then joked: "I'm better at rolling fags than DJing. To be honest, if there was a rolling-fag job out there, I could really make some money." Helena, you're a fucking ledge.
Photo of the year
Richie Hawtin and Sir Patrick Stewart. Say no more.
Youngest Breakthrough DJ: Arch Jnr
Not since Martin Garrix burst onto the scene with 'Animals' at the tender age of 17 have we seen a younger DJ smash it with as much confidence and power. We tipped Oshi as one of our artists to watch in 2016 and he's under 20, but there's one pint-sized DJ who's taken the world by-storm and he's not even out of nappies yet. DJ Arch Jr is the 3-year-old South African sensation who possess the best EQ skills we've potentially ever seen. First spotted on viral videos across Facebook and YouTube, the utterly adorable DJ-in-training rocks his own pair of Beats headphones and CDJs before tweaking the bass, giving it some on the delay and essentially live remixing some of the country's best house music. As cute as it was, it was just a video on Facebook, but soon Arch was all over televisions across SA as he appeared on South Africa's Got Talent. Jr looked pretty confused by everything but that didn't stop him zipping through the first round and straight to the live finals. He showed off his skills once more and won the whole fucking thing. Again he didn't really have any idea what was going on, but he's still 500,000 grand richer (about £25,000) and his Dad is made up. Let's see what you're up to in 10 years Arch, then we can talk about a cover.
The one hit wonder: David Zowie
'Heroes', 'Let's Dance' and 'Ziggy Stardust' are just some of the timeless classics that David Bowie is responsible for but this year he delved into dance music territory with 2015's breakout smash 'House Every Weekend'. Wait. That wasn't by David Bowie? What do you mean that wasn't fucking Bowie, it says it right there: David Zow... Oh shit. That's right, Mr Zowie is in fact named after one of music's greatest entities and boy has he had a big year. 'House Every Weekend' was hammered by every mainstream DJ on the circuit. Annie Mac championed it and it became the anthem for a generation of shufflers who just wanted a song to call their own. It hit the number one spot but the question on everybody's lips was: what's Zowie going to do next? Well, he's not released any more music, just the one single this year and a thorough search on the web doesn't throw up many results for his gig list. Looks like he played at Egg and The Qube Project in London a few times, oh and we saw him play one of the main stages at Creamfields so that's at least three right? Either way, that one hit has literally done wonders for Dave and next year we can't wait for his follow up 'Techno Every Weekend'.