The sound of the 90s is still with us today. From grunge to Britpop and beyond, that decade was one that saw rock music making a comeback after a brief hiatus from the charts. Electronic music was booming too, with acts such as The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim leading the charge for DJ culture and rave culture alike. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that many of the biggest DJs from this era hailed from the UK or had some sort of connection with its thriving club scene. Many of these names are as big today as they ever were back then – not only because they remain influential figures within their respective genres but also because they continue to tour and release new material regularly.
In many ways, Norman Cook is the godfather of big room house. He got his start in the mid-90s, DJing for the likes of Michael Hutchence and Pete Burns of the Britpop acts Dead or Alive and The Beautiful South, respectively. From there, he went on to found his own record label, Skint Records – whose first release was his own single, “Who's Your Friends”. This record marked the beginning of a hugely successful career as Fatboy Slim, one that saw Cook winning two Brit Awards as well as a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. Although his popularity has diminished somewhat in recent years.
The Chemical Brothers
Born out of the same rave scene that birthed Fatboy Slim and other iconic DJs, The Chemical Brothers’ career began in 1995 with the release of their second studio album, “Exit Planet Dust”. The album went on to become one of the best-selling records in the UK that year and has since been credited with helping to break techno and rave culture into the mainstream. Since then, The Chemical Brothers have remained one of the biggest DJs from the 90s, with their sound and aesthetic has influenced countless other artists and DJs in their wake. Moreover, they have managed to remain relevant even though they have released very few new records in recent years.
To this day, Groove Armada is best remembered for the hit single “At The River”, which was released in 1998 and can still be heard on the radio and in clubs to this day. The record is just one example of how the music of this duo is renowned for fusing together elements of house, electronica, and many other genres. Indeed, they are considered pioneers in the field of “DJ-Producer” collaborations, which is a field in which many of the biggest DJs from the 90s and 00s made their name. Since the release of “At the River”, Andy and Tom have continued to tour and release new music, most recently in 2018 with the release of their tenth studio album, “Grow.”
One of the biggest DJs from the 90s who has managed to remain relevant over the years is DJ Shadow, who began his musical career in the early 90s with the release of a series of 12” singles. From there, he went on to release his first album, “Endtroducing”, which has been credited with creating and influencing the genres of trip-hop, downtempo, and alternative hip hop. Since then, DJ Shadow has remained a hugely popular act on the DJ circuit, touring the world and releasing new music at a steady rate. He is also one of the few DJs from the 90s with a verified account on Spotify, which is one way of measuring and quantifying an artist’s popularity in the streaming age.
One of the biggest DJs from the 90s and 00s whose music is still relevant today is Sasha. He began his career in the late 80s and spent the early 90s DJing across the UK before being hired by London nightclub Fabric as head resident DJ in 1995. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the most successful and highly paid DJs on the circuit, regularly touring the world and even sitting in the studio with famous artists like The Chemical Brothers, who he has produced two studio albums with. Since the 90s, Sasha has managed to remain hugely popular, with his “Fabric” record label having been named the best club in the world on numerous occasions. Indeed, he is one of the biggest DJs from the 90s whose popularity has continued to grow in recent years.
Another one of the biggest DJs from the 90s whose music is still relevant today is Paul Oakenfold, whose career began in 1987 when he was hired as a DJ by a club in London called The Temple. From there, he went on to DJ at the legendary club, The Haçienda, and make guest appearances at raves across the UK before being hired by Radio One in 1988. Since then, he has gone on to DJ at some of the best clubs and festivals in the world, including Creamfields and the iconic Hollywood Bowl. Since the 90s, Oakenfold has remained a hugely influential figure in the world of DJing, with his production credits including songs by The Rolling Stones and Muse. In terms of popularity, he is one of the biggest DJs from the 90s and 00s whose fame only seems to grow with each passing year.