The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 10-1
Deadmau5, née Joel Zimmerman, is electronic music's favorite enfant terrible, with his much-publicized jabs against everyone from Madonna to Richie Hawtin. Then there was his now-famous tumblr rant pulling the veil off of "live" EDM, which Deadmau5 boiled down to little more than button pushing. Yet, as the international circuit's pre-eminent electro-house producer, he can get away with it. His sound is a soaring and multilayered assemblage of cleanly produced beats, builds and drops that oscillate between elegant and aggressive. His stirring live show ups the ante with a visual production that he controls from the top of his LED cube as a thousand light panels hypnotize his fans. Though it all, in only a few years Deadmau5 has become almost synonymous with modern electronic dance music. -Katie Bain
2. Danny Tenaglia
A DJ's DJ, Danny Tenaglia has mastered the artistry, stamina and storytelling that accompany the ultimate EDM experience. While contemporary stars are used to blasting predictable playlists in an hour's time, this New Yorker is known for 12-hour tribal journeys that have been the soundtrack for after-hours bacchanalia. A "marathon man" who got his taste of clubland at the Paradise Garage in the 1980s, Tenaglia is a rare link between the edge of electronic futurism and the disco soul of dance floors past. -Dennis Romero
1. Richie Hawtin
Considering that he just released a 16-disc career retrospective set -- last year's monumental Arkives 1993-2010: Reference Edition -- you might forgive the techno legend also known as Plastikman for doing a little laurel-resting in 2012. But recent Hawtin shows have been anything but a victory lap, instead showcasing that same sense of innovation and risk that has always made his dense, pointillist take on Detroit sounds so thrilling.
Live, Hawtin conjures up mind-bendingly intricate sets with a gearhead's dream of laptops, processors, drum pads and modulators, often synched up with light shows and video projections. To call him a button-pusher, while technically accurate, is like saying Michelangelo painted pretty good. If more DJs follow his lead, whatever style they play, EDM's future is bright. -Andy Hermann
See also: The 20 Greatest EDM DJs: 20-11
Top Ten Awkward Coachella Dance Move GIFs
What's the Difference Between the EDM Scene and the Beat Scene?
Interview With a Raver Who Wears Electrical Tape on Her Boobs
World's Douchiest DJs: The Top Five
Top Five Girls From Hard Summer Who Are Out of My League