DJs Breaking China

Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren has been voted the world’s favourite disc-spinner by a readers’ poll in DJ magazine, with a huge amount of votes coming from China and the old eastern bloc.

"The U.S. was the biggest voting block, then the U.K. But China was close behind them both and eastern European countries not far behind either. China was a big player this year. The market for dance music is shifting abroad," DJ publisher Jason Robertson told the U.K.’s Guardian.

The main explanation for such a trend is the continuing Chinese economic boom, which has seen outsized nightclubs opening in cities including Shanghai and Guangzhou.

"In a parochial sense it’s over but there remains a higher echelon of mega-DJs who are huge all over the globe," said Bill Brewster, the co-author of dance music history "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life."

He says a decline in appetite for big name DJs in the U.K. has forced them to look abroad.

"In countries where youth culture is a relatively new thing, there is a huge appetite for music like trance. In Russia and the former Yugoslavia they’re experiencing the demand for clubbing that we did five or 10 years ago," he explained.

Robertson believes it is only a matter of time before the superstar DJ makes a comeback in the U.K.

"Cream had its 15th birthday party with van Buuren and I really believe it’s going to come back," he told the Guardian.

"Ten years ago there was a huge travelling clubbing community, it was like going to the football. Kids still want to be part of a community and a big name persuades them to go out. I really believe it’s going to come back."

Van Buuren pipped fellow Dutch DJ Tiesto for first place in the magazine poll, with the U.K.’s John Digweed in third place.