Best Rave DJ - 2013
David "CIK" Sankey has an aversion to the local club scene. The 36-year-old DJ is more likely to be found doing his thing at warehouses, event spaces, or off-the-radar dance fests in the desert. And what about the danceterias of Scottsdale or elsewhere? Eh, not so much. Frankly, he's more into either gigging for gigantic European crowds or Valley ravers, both of which are more receptive to his EDM genres of choice (industrial hardcore, gabber, darkcore, and industrial techno) and approach to crafting soundscapes. "Mixes are generally my way of telling a story or taking someone on an auditory journey," Sankey says. In 2010 and 2012, for instance, he took more than 80,000 people on such a jaunt at the high-profile Ground Zero Festival in the Netherlands. Closer to home, Sankey, who runs influential DJ collective Arizona Hardcore, has played massives like Nocturnal Wonderland in California and Bang! in Philadelphia. He also has built a reputation as one of the more prominent and die-hard performers in the local rave scene, having worked more than 500 underground parties in the past 17 years. His Phoenix audiences may never get as big as those across the pond, a fact he doesn't seem to mind. "A lot of the local DJs are okay with being a superstar in the state of Arizona," Sankey says. "That was never my goal."