92. John B
Style: Electro and trance influenced d&b
Best known for: Wearing make-up and playing weird electro d&b.
Gig of 2009: Pirate Station in St Petersburg, Russia. I played to 25,000 people in one arena.
Tune of 2009: John B 'Robot Lover' (Beta)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Camo & Crooked
The track that changed your life: The soundtrack to Clockwork Orange.
What makes a good DJ great: Reacting to the crowd and giving a proper performance.
Most underrated DJ: My dad.
Biggest challenge this year: Finding time to get in the studio amongst all the travelling and recovery time.
Top tech toy: My army of Macs.
He's obsessed with the '80s, he goes on 10-mile jogs with trance pumping out of his iPod, he hates MCs, loves make-up and spins drum & bass sets that see-saw from the most evil neuro-funk jungle to the brilliantly kitsch sounds that made up his last LP 'Electrostep'.
John B might be the neon pink sheep of the drum & bass scene, but he's definitely one of the most popular artists to emerge from it.
"This year we launched my own artist website, my podcast is going through the roof, the last one was downloaded 100,000 times in the first month, and I've been playing out a lot all over the world," he tells us, when asked what might have pushed him into to this year's poll.
He's also been spinning more full-on electro and techno sets in Czech Republic, while one of his recent podcasts showcases Lifelife's summery cosmic vibe, Boys Noize's mutant party techno and Paul Woolford's 'Pandemonium'. For now though the priority is rounding off his sixth artist album 'Trn Me On', which will again focus on stretching the drum & bass boundaries to the limits of his mad scientist visions.
"It just need to polish off tracks and get the right remixes done," relays John. "It's drum & bass that doesn't sound like drum & bass. It's drum & bass that sounds like progressive, trance and electro. I'm stepping back from the kitsch tongue-in-cheek side of my last album 'Electrostep' and going for a more mature sound, though."
Words: Allan McGrath