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8 Best DJs in Phoenix: Best of Phoenix 2012

Djentrification spinning at Dia de los Crescent.
Djentrification spinning at Dia de los Crescent.
Photo by Abraham Karam

We've spent the last year in the laboratory putting Phoenix under the microscope to reveal hundreds of specimens of the best culture, outdoor adventures, shopping, dining, and nightlife the city has to offer. And we're finally ready to publish our results. Nerd alert! Now presenting Scientific Phoenix.

Phoenix has its fair share of DJs; some better than others. Here are our picks for the best DJs around town straight from Best of Phoenix 2012. If you're looking for dubstep, goth, house, or just about anything else, these eight DJs have you covered.

Best Hipster DJ: Sean Watson

Sean Watson has an immense following among young-and-hip circles because of his innate skills as a party instigator and near-infallible taste in music. Plus, his weekly sets at such fashionable spots as Crescent Ballroom typically are packed with the PBR brigade, and he's an occasional performer at Quincy Ross' secretive see-and-be-seen soirees. Ask the burly and bearded DJ about his revered status in the scene, however, and the ever-affable Watson will shrug it off with one of his trademark belly laughs.Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 story on Sean Watson.

Best House DJ: Turner and Heit

A word of warning: The house music laid down by Thomas Turner and Timothy Heit isn't necessarily for everyone. Like, if you're a typically ADD-ridden club kid who impatiently expects the DJ to bump a new song into the mix every minute, that just ain't Turner and Heit's bag. Instead, they craft epic and sophisticated soundscapes by expertly blending together just the right amount of house, electro, and trance tracks with mixing wizardry and beat-matching prowess. Check out the full Best of Phoenix story on Turner and Heit.

 

DJ Noiz.fkr with a lady friend.
DJ Noiz.fkr with a lady friend.
Photo by Benjamin Leatherman

Best Goth DJ: DJ Noiz.fkr

With the sound of witch house infecting adventurous indie and EDM listeners, it's a good time to be a goth DJ. Not that DJ Noiz.fkr is a Johnny-come-lately. Noiz.fkr (real name: Rob Poe) long has been spinning EBM (electronic body music), industrial, synthpop, and New Wave (all with a dark bent) at clubs like Sanctum, various fetish balls, and the dearly departed club night Tranzylvania at Palazzo. Read the full Best of Phoenix story about DJ Noiz.fkr.

Best Dubstep DJ: J. Paul

Believe it or not, it turns out that God loves dubstep. Or at least that's the humorous opinion of Jared Paul Jackson, better known by his DJ moniker J-Paul. Born to a devoutly Mormon family in Salt Lake City, the local EDM artist is certain that the Heavenly Father is a major fan of the unrelenting bass-heavy music that the 32-year-old creates. Read the full Best of Phoenix story about J. Paul.

Best Hip-Hop DJ: Logan "Element" Howard

One of the most memorable moments from the most recent season of IFC sketch comedy satire Portlandia was a hilarious vignette in which it seemed literally everyone and his mother (including Carrie Brownstein's onscreen mother) was becoming a DJ. What's even funnier is the fact that it's totally true-to-life, as embryonic mixer monkeys and knob-twisters are springing up everywhere, including here the Valley. Unfortunately, a brand new MacBook and a pirated copy of Serato Scratch Live does not a DJ make. Actual talent is necessary, son, not to mention voluminous knowledge of a chosen genre, many years honing your craft, and learning the true fundamentals of turntablism, like maybe how to mix and scratch some actual records. In other words, you'll wanna follow the same path as Logan Howard. Read the full Best of Phoenix story about Logan "Element" Howard.

 

DJ Melo and Pickster One
DJ Melo and Pickster One
Photo by Chris Piel

Best Moombahton DJs: Pickster One and DJ Melo

Influential Philadelphia-via-L.A. record label and blog Mad Decent, which is run by electro wizard Diplo, is something of a tastemaker in the music world that regularly sniffs out next-level shizzle to pimp to its fans. So when it started extolling the virtues of the moombahton mixes created by local DJ/producer team Jorge Melo and Dusty Hickman in 2011, not to mention booking them at a few club nights across the country, it was sort of a big deal. Read the full Best of Phoenix story about Pickster One and DJ Melo.

Best DJ Duo: TABS

Ben Andersen and Eric Hoss have been full-on BFFs for the past four years, ever since meeting at a local club night in 2008 and bonding over a shared love of Photek and other deep-house artists. And the partnership that's developed between these bromantic DJs has resulted in some epic indie, electro, and dance-music mixes that have gotten a major reaction at hipster club nights throughout Phoenix and in the bedrooms of EDM bloggers around the globe. Read the full Best of Phoenix story about TABS.

Best Crate-Digging DJ: Djentrification

Alex Votichenko doesn't just collect records -- he stockpiles them. When local filmmaker and blogger Gregory Harshfield interviewed the turntablist (who's better known by his nom de guerre Djentrification) for the online documentary Vinyl: A Phoenix Story, viewers got a glimpse inside Votichenko's Central Phoenix home, where an entire room is lined from floor to ceiling with haphazardly stacked milk crates and mismatched bookshelves overflowing with thousands of records. Thing is, that was only a small part of his entire collection. Read the full Best of Phoenix story about Djentrification.


Check out the complete edition of Best of Phoenix® 2012.

...And take a scientific journey through the Best of Phoenix® 2012 micro-site.

8 Best DJs in Phoenix: Best of Phoenix 2012

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