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Poll 2021: Blasterjaxx

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Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “MORTEN.”

Almost from the off, Blasterjaxx have occupied a treasured space in the upper echelons of the Nethelands’ evergreen EDM scene. With their signature brand of hi-def bigroom house, the duo has spent a decade blowing the roof from arenas and sending festival crowds into mosh-pit pandemonium, and become mainstays on the Top 100 DJs poll in the process.

With more than 20 releases and remixes to their name in 2021 alone, it’s clear the only way Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf knew how to deal with the enforced break to touring was to get busy in the studio, and it’s no surprise they’ve been getting the shows under their belts since then. Having overseen the release of more than double that many releases on their Maxximize imprint, a subsidiary of legendary Netherlands label Spinnin’, you would be forgiven for finding it hard to believe that the last year has seen them develop a more balanced relationship with work.

Either way, the steady stream of quintessential Blasterjaxx bangers has been a godsend for big-room fans.


How was your first gig back after lockdown?

Thom: “Absolutely amazing! Even though I was a little bit nervous, it all felt ‘normal’ again after five minutes on stage.”


How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?

“We both found our balance back, which was long gone. Both work and our private lives are now way more efficient, we have more drive, more fun and we are full of positive energy.”


What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?

“Use recyclable cups!”


What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?

“Mostly new plug-ins. We bought a lot of new digital mixing tools.”


What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?

“Even though it was released back in 2020, we recently discovered the album ‘Andro’ by Tommy Lee. It's amazing!”
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-05 15:27

Style: 
EDM/bigroom
Best known for: 
“‘Bigroom Never Dies’, ‘Faith’, ‘Narco’, Maxximize Records.”
Tune of the year: 
“Shousse ‘Love Tonight (David Guetta Remix)’.”

Poll 2020: Blasterjaxx

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Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf, better known as Blasterjaxx, have spent the best part of a decade in the Top 100 DJs poll. Best known for their larger-than-life EDM anthems, which usually land via their own Maxximize Records and legacy label Spinnin’, the duo hasn’t let a lack of festival appearances slow them down.
 
The last 12 months have seen a huge influx of material from Blasterjaxx; dropping no less than five brand new tracks in 2020, the duo also dropped their highly-anticipated remix of Armin van Buuren. They’ve still managed to perform some live stream gigs too, launching their own United We Stand stream series, as well as joining Dr Phunk and SICK INDIVIDUALS to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings earlier this year. They even performed a set at Rotterdam Airport for SLAM! Quarantine Festival.
 
Blasterjaxx’s mission for the year ahead, they say, is to “keep big room music present”. And with the pace the duo is moving at - they're likely to be successful.

 

What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Our family/girlfriend/friends; music/producing; video games.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“That we shouldn’t take our lifestyle and all the amazing places we’ve been for granted.”

 

What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“Music is universal. In the end, good music is good, no matter who made it. Racism shouldn’t even be a topic related to (dance) music.”

 

What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Avicii ‘Bromance’. Tiësto ‘Lethal Industry’.”
 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 23:12

Style: 
“Bigroom / EDM.”
Best known for: 
“Maxximize Records, Maxximize On Air.”
Tune of the year: 
“SAINt JHN ‘Roses (Imanbek Remix)’, Gentleman ‘Rise Up’.”

Poll 2019: Blasterjaxx

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Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf have been staples of the Top 100 DJs poll since first debuting at No.71 back in 2013. Over the years, their high-energy productions and DJ sets have seen them hop about all over the chart, and this year they land in a very respectable 36th place. 

So what have the boys been up to in the last 12 months? Well, alongside headline shows at the likes of Academy LA, Budapest’s Sziget festival, and their Maxximize label night in Amsterdam, the biggest news is, of course, the release of their debut album ‘Perspective’. “After working on it for two years, it was so relieving to share this with our fans,” Blasterjaxx say of the whopping 23-track collection. “Also, Maxximize Records is going very strong, and we have plenty of releases from colleagues as well ourselves lined-up for the next months,” they continue, so keep your ears peeled for all that new material heading into 2020.

 

What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“Talk more, and step aside from the egos. We all deal with the same problems, but most are too afraid to open up and share their difficulties.” 

Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?

“Absolutely! If it’s for line-ups of our own events, or tracklists for our weekly radio show, we always try to give equal chances to both genders.” 

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“I’ve got solar panels installed on my home this year. Other than that, I am always aware to not shower too long and eat mostly biological products.” 

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“That badass T-Rex toy from the first Jurassic Park!” 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

“I have a habit to eat very salty liquorice before bedtime… Before brushing [my] teeth of course!” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-16 13:24

Style: 
“Big room, electro-house, progressive house.”
Best known for: 
“‘Faith’, ‘Narco’, Maxximize Records, ‘Mystica’, ‘Fifteen’, multiple mainstages worldwide and Maxximize On Air.”
Tune of the year: 
“Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello ‘Señorita’.”

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