The Most Original / Most Boring DJs of 2016

Some touring DJs will play a very different sets every time you see them. Others will stick to a successful formula that works well for them. And sadly, some DJs play the exact same set of songs every single time they play a show for an entire tour. Keep reading to find out which DJs are the most and least original.

This article is based off of original data that the team behind the Kado track recommendation software was able to provide to DJ Techtools. After beta testing the software for a few months, I got a chance to ask them last week a few questions that they might be able to answer with their data. This set of data is one of the results – see even more in their “Year On The Decks 2016” report.

The Most “Original” DJs in 2016

I wanted to know, of “famous” (fairly well-known, touring) DJs – who actually played the most original sets? What artists would you be impressed with every time you saw them mix because they were playing new, unique tracks?

The Kado team took my question and made up a cute name for the result – the O-Factor (O is short for originality). This is an “originality score based on […] a combination of how often a DJ plays the same tracks in a set, and how much those tracks are played by other DJs” 

Here’s the DJs with the highest “O-Factors”, along with some of their mixes:

  • Hernan Cattaneo – with an O-Factor of 820, plays a track an average of 1.0 times

  • Dave Clarke – with an O-Factor of 807, plays a track an average of 1.1 times

  • Noisia – with an O-Factor of 798, plays a track an average of 1.1 times

  • Umek – with an O-Factor of 795, plays a track an average of 1.1 times

  • Stefano Noferini – with an O-Factor of 795, plays a track an average of 1.2 times

A special note here – many of these DJs have their own podcasts and radio shows, some of which are included in the results. If you have a weekly radio show, it’s unlikely you’d play the same song every week! 

The Most “Boring” DJs in 2016

The same question applies to famous DJs on the other end of the spectrum. DJs with a low O-Factor play the same tracks a lot each set, and other DJs also play those tracks as well.

There’s a number of reasons why a DJ might play the same songs over and over again from one gig to the next. Maybe they have hit tracks that their audiences are expecting them to play. Perhaps they’re on a tour for a specific album, or have simply found a formula that works for them.

  • DJ Snake comes in at O-Factor 0.076. He also plays a track an average of 6.5 times.

  • Yellow Claw has an O-Factor of 0.779. They play a typical track about 4.0 times.

  • Galantis has an O-Factor of 1.275, they play a track an average of 3.3 times

  • Mico C comes in at 18.392, playing a track an average of 3.7 times.
  • Skrillex scores a 27.592, playing any one track an average of 2.6 times.

Note – just because a DJ is on this list doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be a fun show. They also might play more sets that are inherently repetitive – think of these as the opposite of radio shows / podcasts which every fan might be listening to.  

More data: the most mixed two track transitions in 2016

2016boring DJscreative DJsdataDJ setskadomost original DJsunique DJs
Comments (29)
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  • Noname

    I enjoyed the sets from Marky, Zinc, Murphy, Annie Mac, Utah Saints… All EDM guys sounds shit for me, no matter how many statistics are out there.

  • bart02

    You didn’t include Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike in your list. I bet they get to a much higher average play count than 6.5 times per track.

  • SweetGwendoline

    The most boring article on DJ techtools this year:
    This article
    The most uninspired article on DJ techtools this year:
    This article
    The most bullshitty try to bring “big data” into journalism ever:
    This article

  • benjamin funklin

    the numbers are kind of meaningless though, aren’t they? dj snake plays tracks an average of 6.5 times, which might mean it is in his record box for a month. wasn’t this normal for vinyl djs? tracks would be bought and played for several weeks in different cities and then moved towards the back of the box and be replaced by new tracks.

    perhaps practically limitless record boxes via USB or laptop has changed this idea and the numbers suggest that dj snake plays the same set, who knows?

    also, without actual detailed numbers it is kind of abstract and meaningless. for example dave clarke, average 1.1 times. i have heard him several times in 2016 and heard a few of the same tracks several times. but what was his total tracks played? how often did he play at the same club? same city? same country? were the tracks played in the same context? at the same point in the set?

    big data, poorly analysed can give nonsense results.

    in regards to hernan cataneo average of 1.0. that means that if he played one track twice, he would have to have played one track zero times. i can’t see how an average of 1.0 is possible, it suggests not enough data was collected to be meaningful.

    in theory, it is an interesting idea, but poorly delivered.

  • Name

    I can’t vouch for the others, but the Noisia radio sessions aren’t exactly “DJ sets”, They’re playing music with little to no transitions and a couple of special segments thrown in. They’ll answer fan questions and they’ll even play some of their unfinished music that they’ve no intention on finishing. It’s more of a radio DJ style, which technically it still qualifies, but it isn’t always like the example found in the article.

  • Envinite

    I’m surprised Hardwell is not on the boring list.

  • djingisdead

    djs are job is to mix and play music to make the crowd dance. these days people dont dance anymore, they watch and stare at touring featured circus djs. djing is becoming a played out trend.

    • Rob Seurat

      Come visit the underground techno scene in Brooklyn

  • Noname

    I enjoyed the sets from Marky, Zinc, Murphy, Annie Mac, Utah Saints… All EDM guys sounds shit for me, no matter how many statistics are out there.

  • Rob

    Who?! never heard of any of them.

  • Psychofrakulator

    No offense, but this is one of those articles, that will be used by uninformed I-never-DJ’d-but-know-everything-better people, to force an opinion on what’s good and what’s not on others. Y’know, the kind of people who think Carl Cox isn’t a real DJ, because he looks like he is having fun behind the decks and waves and smiles at the dancefloor once in a while, that you can only be a DJ, if you have been doing it since the 80s or that Jazzy Jeff and A-Trak are fake, because they have a digital setup.

    “What? There are DJs who play a song more than once? Losers! Fake DJs! They made a playlist hours before their gigs! Real DJs only play a song for 30 seconds and then destroy the vinyl before it becomes mainstream!”

    • Roy Bear

      You made me smile, and I also agree that this article could mislead if readed in the wrong way.

  • zendoo

    Yay yellow claw!

  • Mr. E Hz

    Interesting… I find that DJs that play the same songs in their sets can be just as entertaining, or more so than those that play a song only once. How does that DJ even know the material well enough at that point to mix with any skill? Just because a touring DJ plays the same track in a set, to two different crowds, doesn’t make them un-original in my opinion. To me a boring DJ is one that doesn’t do anything but smooth transition after smooth transition.

    • Spacecamp

      Good point – it’s almost more of a “most boring DJ if you were to follow them on tour” metric.

      That being said, I saw DJ Mustard play last year and I expect that his set would be very similar this year, and I doubt the technicality of his mixing has improved much.

      This brings up another point – highly productive producers (like Mustard) are just going to play their tracks over and over. Why would they play anything different?

      • David De Garie-Lamanque

        As a producer, when i play my own tunes i will always try to switch it up and play new stuff every time, even though it’s hard when you have a few releases that you really want to wow the crowd with, but you don’t want to overplay them.
        it’s always great fun to test out new tracks that are in the works to see if they are worth pursuing, based on crowd reactions, and since most producers usually tons of tracks in the works, that give them a lot of possibilities to created entirely different sets everytime 😉

        • Mr. E Hz

          I can’t speak to your performance, however there is something there that bugs me a bit. Trying out new material regularly on a crowd is in my experience a pretty terrible idea. Unless your following is craving all new all the time, I think people love to be given something they can latch on to and know in your sets. Sure, try out some new stuff here and there, edit it differently, perform it slightly differently, but give them something to be comfortable with, and to know about you. At least that’s my opinion, but maybe you play to a different type of audience than I do.