Proper Deejays DJs

I saw a DJ Mag thing and it made me absolutely shudder, so it got me thinking about who are truly the decent DJs out there and not the EDM mime jobs.

The best I’ve heard in recent years are:

DJ Dea - plays mostly in Bali from what I can tell and has a real musicality to him. When I saw him play he went very groovy electronic with what sounded like an Indonesian take on what was happening in Europe in the 80’s. I didn’t recognize one record but I wanted them all.

Ruby Savage - the woman is just good vibes. Was playing mostly soul and house and every record had a smile on it. Really enjoys herself as well. Saw her in Melbourne and it was fabulous.

Sophie McAllister - another one I saw in Bali. Really adventurous without being poncey, and her sets just seem to build and build and build.

DJ Koze - saw him in Miami which I thought was a recipe for disaster but he played for 5 hours and it was all just layers on layers on layers. The man doesn’t give a fuck either and will play a few refreshners in the middle as well to clear out the riff raff. One of which was just the vocal snip and the guitar from Pick Up without the drums which he left for at least 3 minutes before he kicked the drums in and the place went mental. Would’ve been naff if he didn’t set it up so well with his selections before.

Phuong Dan - never heard of him before dragging my jet lagged arse into the Golden Pudel and seeing him really get people locked in and then seemingly begin an exercise in bringing the bpms down without losing the crowd. I swear we were dancing to records that were 90 bpm at one point. Seems like a guy who would really have loved the marathon 12 hour sets of yore.

Gary from Invisible City Editions. All over the place (and world) through his selections but doesn’t lose the dancefloor, I liked that when the record needed to be played start to finish he did so. Was a nice touch, really enjoys himself as well,

And whoever the guy was that was playing records in Beat Street in Vancouver for an hour a few weeks ago. I think he was from the Mood Hut crew but I didn’t ask but I’m only assuming so because he played a few of their releases. It was just tune after tune and it sounded great even with the jazzercise lady next door with her microphone set to 11 doing her best to ruin it.

Obviously Hunee and Antal fall into this as well but I think everyone knows what they’re about.

I do want to see Powder and Yu Su play at some point, and our own Apiento based on the excellent RSD/Phonica set where he played the red zone mix of Preska “Let’s Get Real” which is an excellent piece of music.


With their Houghton sets still fresh in my mind I give you James Holroyd and Darshan Jesrani. More on the no fuss/killer tunes vibe than any spectacular technical DJ skills.


I agree with Koze his long sets are brilliant, I really enjoyed Palm Trax few years ago in Dublin and John Talabot is another favourite for the long hall.

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James Holroyd for sure. Consistently brillant for 30+ years

Idjut Boys
Maurice Fulton
Ivan Smagghe
Ralph Lawson


Domenic Cappello

Master of his craft, just sublime. Resident at the same club for nearly 30 years. Rarely plays anywhere else


Darshan is always killer.

New people I’ve seen recently and really liked that maybe tick these boxes…

Budino (properly good)
Alex Kassian


Yep . Always on form when I’ve seen Dom play.

Slightly biased as he’s a mate but Jonny Rock. And Rob Mello. Love seeing both of em spin.

Boggy is a proper DJing enigma. Can truly do it all from sun kissed balearica to top shelf Czech panel beaters. A lovely man as well, and seemingly always in a good mood.


Orpheu is a top, top shout. Was outstanding at Lentekabinet a good few years ago now and doesn’t seem to have gotten the recognition his skills deserve.

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Great post…


Yeah man. One of the nicest people. I always really enjoy hanging out with him in Croatia. Was really good this year and he just has great great music.

The guest on your last show was really good… Never heard any of the tracks before and it was right up my street… From Budapest I think. Just checked Pleasure Voyage

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Great DJ who has always done his own thing, and done it well.

Would add JD Twitch to the list.


Ralph is a proper legend.

I’ve always loved John Acquaviva and Stacey Pullen too.

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Oh man I saw Stacey Pullen in around 2004 and it made me want to quit DJung. Seemed like an impossible standard to attain. Still does.


Here’s another one that is deep, deep under the radar - Paul Hughes. Plays as a part of the Freakout collective with Andi Hanley (another enigma) and Clarky from Clampdown Records who have all been friends since they were in school. Selection always great and he’s a top, top bloke.

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Rob Mello was also brilliant at Houghton (I don’t get out much so excuse the constant references!). Proper underground house music, brilliantly played. Simple stuff, didn’t know any of it, absolutely killer.


Chris Duckenfield


Mark Seven
Millos Kaiser and Trepanado
Marcio Vermelho (!)
Justin Strauss
Darryn Jones
Red Greg

Albion Venables although I’ve never seen him play live.
ditto Mark Grusane

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Can you link the DJ Mag article, I’m curios to read who they think are “diggers”