A recent poll ran by DJ Mag has crowned the Dutch Trance aficionado, Armin van Buuren the number 1 DJ in the world. The award was presented at the Convention Factory in Amsterdam, appropriately during the biggest electronic club festival in the world, the ADE. Despite van Buuren’s popularity which has seen him win the title four times in the past, the win comes as a surprise. Amidst a worldwide House music epidemic of an unprecedented scale, he has surely gone against all odds to kick David Guetta off the top spot. Maybe it is by sticking to what he knows that van Buuren has achieved his latest title as he tells DJ Mag ‘ I can’t change my sound. It would be too far away from my heart. I can’t do something I can’t love’. His position differs from fellow Dutchman DJ Tiesto, who has moved swiftly from Trance to Progressive Electro House and has scored the second place in the DJ Mag poll.
The co-existence of House and Trance in the electronic music world is something van Buuren sees as something of a window of opportunity. Talking to DJ Mag he explains the unexpected success of Trance music in 2012 ‘Maybe (it’s) because the focus has been on house music. It feels that trance is somehow more free.’ He briefly focuses on his new album which is due to be released in May 2013 “There are a few more safe tracks, and I’ve been road testing a few of the more trancey tracks off the new album, but making an artist album always allows you to experiment a little bit more.’ He has certainly been a busy boy this year, with his new title, new album and his radio show A State of Trance’s 600th episode Worldwide Tour preparations.
Also listed in the top 20, voted by 100 000 readers was eight other Dutch djs . Is dance music becoming one of the Netherlands’ biggest cultural exports? This is certainly debatable and may not sit well with everyone, but dance music as a product is a phenomenon elsewhere and in the country itself. As the Parool reported recently, there was a turnover of €587m last year from festivals and dance events, the fastest growth since the research was first carried out back in 2002.