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No less than nineteen DJs living in the United States were selected for the readers' poll, an unprecedented high for Yanks, but not one comes from Miami. It begs the question: How can a city that attracts nearly half of the Top 100 for guest gigs fail to land a single local on the chart?
"We have to understand that this is a U.K.-based magazine, and it's judged by U.K. votes, not American ones," says Level resident George Acosta.
This is true. Each year the poll's highest echelon is reserved for Euro-giants Digweed, Sasha, and Oakenfold. Unless a DJ has played places like Pacha, Cream, or Turnmills, odds are he won't garner much attention. But Acosta has traveled extensively, and if any Miami DJ deserved recognition it's him.
"I've played many festivals all over the world with lots of great DJs," Acosta observes. "I know we have talent in Miami. No one seems to care, but I don't get mad because polls like this are never well managed."
More than a few in the business have cited the Top 100 to be an example of "you scratch my back, I scratch yours": Mention DJ magazine and get a spot on the list. While the rankings leave room for speculation, some DJs hint that making the list requires as much grease as wax.
"I suppose if I had the time to do some mass e-mailing I'd have gotten me a higher ranking," joked U.K. DJ John "00" Fleming last summer when asked about the poll. Seems he didn't find any more time this year, dropping two places to number 49.
But such is the nature of fan-based voting. As Acosta was quick to mention, another list compiled by Orlando-based djlist.com tends -- not surprisingly -- to be kinder to spinners stateside. While the DJ mag poll is annual, djlist is updated regularly and currently ranks Acosta number 11, Space regular Edgar V. number 61, and former Beach resident Dave Ralph number 64.
Swiss-born Beach transplant Ivano Bellini (a disappointing number 529 on djlist.com) assesses the DJ mag ranking diplomatically: "To the rest of the world, we're still an up-and-coming town where Latin music is king. For now you'll have mostly Europeans and a few New Yorkers. I hope this might change little by little as dance music goes global."
Until then, we might just have to call for a recount.