Trance is often forgotten, pushed to the back of dance music consciousness, but the genre itself has been around for over 30 years. It may not have the heritage of house music, or the huge culture that something like hip hop has, but it has maintained a humble and dedicated following since its arrival in the 90’s. Starting with regular 4/4 beats, faster than house but with a build that creeps, trance made it’s way out of Germany with tracks from artists like Dance 2 Trance.
As trance grew in popularity its tracks that lasted up to 30mins embodied the euphoria that was felt in dance cultures and it managed to spider throughout Europe. Artists like Paul van Dyke rose to prominence in 1993 and as the millennium came to an end, Darude release Sandstorm finally thrusting the genre to the ears of the unsuspecting public. DJ Tiesto, now famous for his role in the movement of EDM, released In Search of Sunshine and made Euro Trance rise to popularity as well as springboard Tiesto’s career into the limelight, turning him into one of the world’s first ‘superstar’ DJs.
Throughout the 90’s and the early 2000’s Artists like Above & Beyond honed their sound, Armin Van Buuren was beginning his infamous podcast series and trance still remained as alive as today. However, its sounds had fractured and split into many of the sub-genres we see today; hard trance, progressive trance, tech-trance and others have all helped pave the way for genres like EDM.
Above and Beyond ▶ Members Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamaki make up band Above & Beyond and own the London based Label Anjunabeats.
Armin van Buuren ▶ Famous as a DJ and radio personality, his weekly radio show 'A State Of Trance' has more that 33 million weekly listeners in 84 countries.
ATB ▶ Andre Tanneberger is from Freiberg, Germany and has been releasing music since 1993. He's best known for his single '9PM (Till I Come).
DJ Gollum ▶ Otherwise known as Lars Boge, his music wavers between Trance and EDM and has been making music since 1993.
Marcel Woods ▶ Now retired, Marcel Scheffers started making music in 1990 and released 'Advanced' which became an anthem in 2006 with the help of Tiesto.
Marco Bailey ▶ Marco has seen a rise in popularity in the last 5 years with releases on Intec and Bedrock as well as his own imprint, MB Elektronics.
Markus Schulz ▶ Born 1975, Markus lives in Miami, Florida. He is the founder of the label Coldharbour Recordings and has a weekly radio show called Global DJ Broadcast.
Paul Van Dyk ▶ Matthias Paul is a German Grammy Award-winning DJ and paved the way for 'superstar' DJs after him.
Tiesto ▶ The Godfather of EDM and a mentor to many, Tiesto has been on the scene for over 20 years. At the age of 45, Tijs Michiel Verwest was born in Breda in the Netherlands, but has gained global success DJing all over the world.
Markus Schulz (Interviewed by HTPS)
Growing up as an army brat in Germany, my childhood suffered due to the inability to forge proper friendships. And in an effort to escape, I found the one friend in life that is always there without having to say hello or goodbye - the radio.
My fascination with music began there, and traveled with me across the Atlantic when settling in the United States. The excitement of tuning in to college stations playing dance music; coupled with studying the layers of productions from Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode and ELO led to my curiosity with learning music. And through the early Jam & Spoon releases such as Stella, those goosebump notes associated with trance resonated with me the most.
The pivotal role in my life and career was moving to London and rediscovering who I truly was; and throughout the process, the one track that inspired beyond any other was Perception by Cass & Slide; a track I was very fortunate to remake with Justine Suissa a decade after the original.
Fast toward to today, I am in an incredibly privileged position to help people connect worldwide through the love of music and melodies. When you receive correspondence from a fan who says that my productions or DJ sets has helped inspire them, aid them through difficult periods, or indeed changed their lives; it is incredibly gratifying and humbling. That to me is what trance is all about. Uniting us all.