23 Best Trance DJs
DJs have always been a big part of the trance scene. They select and spin the best songs at raves and festivals, and sometimes even produce hits themselves.
But who are the best trance DJs that move the scene forward? Read on as we take a closer look.
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1. Ferry Corsten
Starting off our list is one of the greatest pioneers of trance. Born in the early 1970s, Ferry Corsten’s work helped lay the foundations for EDM. First hitting the scene in 1991 with Spirit of Adventure, Corsten arrived with a unique sound and unmistakable identity.
Corsten’s mixes and music would go on to inspire countless other DJs. Dozens of DJs would twist his signature sound to fit their own. It wasn’t until 1999 that his album Out of the Blue, released as System F, would become a massive hit.
Working under multiple other aliases and with other legendary artists such as DJ Tiësto, Corsten’s influence is impossible to understate. Trance simply wouldn’t be the same without System F.
2. DJ Tiësto
There are few names in EDM as instantly-recognizable as DJ Tiësto. Hailed as the Godfather of EDM, Tiësto’s work in the trance genre shaped the world of electronic music through the decades. Working as a solo act for much of his career and collaborating with other artists for years, Tijs Michiel Verwist has had his hands in every aspect of the genre.
In 1997, Tiësto founded Black Holes Recordings with fellow musician Amy Bink. Under this label, he released the records Magik and In Search of Sunrise, continuing to grow his network.
Performing at the 2004 Summer Olympics, the Dutch DJ’s influence continued worldwide.
Named the Best DJ of the Decade, Tiësto’s music has had more influence on the genre than any other DJ. If you’re looking to build your arsenal of trance DJs, your playlist isn’t complete without DJ Tiësto
3. Armin van Buuren
With massive names like Corsten and Tiësto, you may wonder how many legends the trance genre has. To answer that, we have another legend – the King of Trance, Armin van Buuren.
Armin van Buuren has been active since 1997 with his release Blue Fear. For his incredible work, van Buuren has been ranked as the #1 DJ by DJ Mag five times – the most anyone’s been ranked, as of writing this.
With seven studio albums, a successful radio program, and dozens of remixes and singles, van Buuren is a can’t-miss. Between Corsten, Tiësto, and van Buuren, you have the foundations for trance and much of EDM.
4. Bryan Kearney
What if you like your EDM with a bit of a harder, crunchier tone to it? Bryan Kearney may be the DJ for you! This Irish producer is renowned for his technical prowess and intense beats.
Gaining popularity in 2006, Kearney found nearly instantaneous success. Winning van Buuren’s Tune of the Year with one of his tracks and only continued to grow with solo releases.
5. Markus Schulz
Finding an artist that can do it all is always stunning. Bridging genres isn’t easy, but DJs that can accomplish the task are cherished. German-American producer Markus Schulz is well-known for bridging talents and genres.
Winning a ranking as the top DJ, Schulz has tracks to fit every mood. His songs range from hard club bangers to softer, more introspective tunes. It’s difficult to sum up just how varied Schulz is as a musician, so give him a listen! If you’re interested in finding artists that don’t stick to one specific sound, Schulz is ideal for you.
6. Richard Durand
Born in 1976, Durand wouldn’t reach prominence until the mid-2000s. In 2007, Tiësto hailed Durand’s work and stated that he was the next big name in EDM.
Whether Tiësto’s words meant that much or Durand’s music was truly as impressive as he’d said, the words proved prophetic. Durand has been listed in the top 100 DJs, reworked some of Armin van Buuren’s tracks, and more. While not the most influential DJ on our list, Durand’s music fits among the names of the giants.
7. Giuseppe Ottaviani
When discussing trance, you can’t forget the Italian Maestro. Giuseppe Ottaviani began DJing in 1995, but his work as a producer is where he began to kick-off in 2000. It wasn’t until 2005 that his first solo release would become a hit.
Working with trance/techno DJ Andrea Ribeca, Ottaviani would continue to grow as an artist. Check his tracks out and see if they fit your new playlist!
Another incredible musician out of the Netherlands, Marlo Hoogstraten – stylized as MaRLo – remains one of the greatest trance DJs. As of writing this, he’s still ranked as Australia’s top DJ, selling out shows whenever they’re announced.
With a technical sound that flows well into trance, MaRLo’s work as a remixer is where he truly signs. Working with a flawless ear for production, he’s Australia’s top DJ for a reason!
9. Billy Gillies
Based out of Northern Ireland, Billy Gillies is one of the more recent additions to trance. The artist became well-known as recently as 2018 and is only continuing to build traction!
With influences from deep house and bassier, more hypnotic genres, Gillies brings a unique touch to trance. If you’re looking for an artist with a more “modern” take on the genre, give Gillies a shot!
10. Aly & Fila
What about something a bit less European? Aly & Fila are considered to be one of the biggest names in the genre. Based out of Egypt, members Fadi Wassef Naguib and Aly El Sayed Amr Fathalah are most known for their uplifting, Arabic-inspired sound.
Coming onto the scene in 2003, their first studio album made massive waves. Today, they continue to win awards and revolutionize the EDM scene.
11. Gareth Emery
Trance is known as a more uplifting and optimistic genre, but few highlight these traits better than Gareth Emery. Making waves since 2002, Emery’s variety in the music world has kept him on the map for decades.
With half a dozen studio albums and dozens of bangers, Emery has been putting smiles on the dance floor with every track. We highly suggest this DJ if you prefer uplifting and happy themes in your trance.
12. Paul van Dyk
Paul van Dyk is as legendary as they come. While trance was still in the mainstream, van Dyk was nominated and awarded the first-ever Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic for a trance artist in 2003.
Constantly exploring new sounds and revolutionizing the genre, van Dyk brings a downtempo progressive lens to the scene. With tracks that are still innovating new things, van Dyk’s mixes should make it into your party mix.
It’s easy to get swept up in the legendary names of trance. What about a DJ that isn’t already cemented as a top DJ?
ReOrder has been around since 2006, which many consider a bit past the peak of trance. However, with support from artists like Ferry Corsten, van Buuren, van Dyk, and more, it’s hard not to rank this DJ.
If you’re looking for a DJ that isn’t already on every playlist, jump into ReOrder’s discography and see what you think!
14. Apollo Nash
Speaking of bridging genres, few artists have influences as deep as Apollo Nash. Bringing together his favorite inspirations into trance, Nash refuses to let a single sound define him.
Few artists bring such a strong variety to their music. If you’re looking for someone who can bring a discography of all-varied tracks, Apollo Nash may be your trance artist of the year.
15. Above & Beyond
We’ve mentioned a few pairs, but what about trios? Above & Beyond is made up of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki. Most known for their releases with Richard Bedford, the trio is one of the most iconic in the London scene.
Above & Beyond topped the US charts with their fourth studio album. Constantly releasing new bangers, this trio is certain to have something you’d love.
Another iconic duo, Suzanne Chesterton and Sue McLaren make up the trance duo Siskin. With Sue on vocals, the pair joined forces in 2019 to release their first single, Real Love. Debuting at the Ministry of Sound in late 2021, the pair is still picking up steam, seeming set to make 2023 a strong year for their releases.
You may recognize Mavros under his previous alias, Joaquin Limon. Based out of Southern Cali, Mavros is far from a newcomer to the EDM scene.
Joining the collective Anjunabeats Rising, the artist made his statement with the track Abyss. As his music continues to grow and evolve, it’s hard to see an end in sight for Mavros. He’s still mixing different threads of EDM into his sound, releasing some tracks you can’t afford to miss.
18. Chris Giuliano
Christ Giuliano has been around for years, but it wasn’t until recently that the artist began to reach prominence. With his name on labels like Armada, Enhanced, Elliptical Sun, and more, this LA producer is setting standards for the industry.
Joining Anjunabeats as well, Giuliano continues to grow his influence across the industry. Continuing to land on festivals and draw eyes, Christ Giuliano is set to become one of the biggest artists in the coming years.
19. David Harrison
David Harrison doesn’t use his birth name for his music. Instead, you may recognize the name Super-Frog Saves Tokyo, usually shortened to Super-Frog. Reaching prominence with his track Kyoto in 2019, Super-Frog is a veteran music producer that focuses on analog production.
Inspired by some of the most classic artists from Bowie to Kraftwerk, Super-Frog’s first album was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now hitting true prominence, Super-Frog is an artist to keep your eye on.
20. Dustin Husain
The new artists are often brought in by the old, and Husain is no exception. Continuing to grow in prominence as a regular on Ferry Corsten’s Flashover, Husain’s music is often featured on A State Of Trance.
Continuing to grow with every year, Husain’s trance is constantly evolving. Chances are, if you’ve been listening to trance for the last few years, you’ve caught Husain accompanying some big names.
21. Sequence Six
Trance is great, but artists that don’t restrict themselves to a single genre are always a special treat. Sequence Six is one of the artists that refuses to put himself in a box.
Bridging genres across EDM, his work in trance has helped him garner a sizable following. Sequence Six doesn’t follow along with trends but rather puts out unique sounds for fans to follow.
22. Matt Fax
Combining trance and progressive house, Matt Fax’s career is still on the launching pad. With appearances at Dreamstate SoCal, Matt Fax’s 2020 releases of Progressions continue to grow his audience.
While not topping lists just yet, Matt Fax is one of the quickest-growing artists in the industry. House-heads are certain to like Fax’s interweaving of genres.
23. Cosmic Gate
Duop Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems – better known as Cosmic Gate – formed in 1998. Since their formation, the pair have been rocking enormous festivals and exclusive clubs globally.
But the pair aren’t slowing down! While some older artists aren’t releasing new music, Cosmic Gate is still at it. Their bright and uplifting tracks are perfect for a party mix.
Top Trance DJs, Final Thoughts
No matter what you’re looking for in trance, one of these DJs can provide it! From van Buuren’s classic trance hits to Apollo Nash’s varied tracks, there’s something for everyone in the trance genre.
Did we forget your favorite trance artist? Be sure to comment below on what artists you think we should discuss next!
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