Top 20 trance mixes of all time

  1. Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure 1 (both CDs)
  2. James Holden - Balance 005 (CD 1 especially)
  3. M. Mayer - Immer (actually a microhouse and techno mix, but there's a slight neo-trance influence here too, so I've decided to include it since it's great)
  4. Kiki - Boogybytes Volume 1 (Neo-trance in it's fully developed form has it's first mix here)
  5. Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise
  6. Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure 2 (CD2 is stronger)
  7. Art of Trance - Platipus Beginner's Guide
  8. Dominik Eulberg - Kreucht & Freucht
  9. Superpitcher - Today
  10. Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise 2
  11. Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure: Expeditions
  12. Tiesto - Magik 6: Live in Amsterdam
  13. Paul Oakenfold - Tranceport
  14. Tiesto - Forbidden Paradise 3
  15. Sasha - Invol2ver
  16. Mr. C - Psychotrance
  17. James Holden - Fear of a Silver Planet
  18. Armin Van Buuren - Boundaries of Imagination
  19. John Digweed - Bedrock
  20. Tiesto - Magik 5: Heaven Beyond
  21. Runner-ups:
  22. Armin Van Buuren - Universal Religion
  23. Keoki - Journeys by DJ
  24. Tiesto - Magik 3: Far From Earth
  25. Paul Van Dyk - The Politics of Dancing
  26. Tiesto - Nyana (CD2 only)
  27. Ferry Corsten - Global Trancemissions 1
  28. Ferry Corsten - Global Trancemissions 2
  29. Sasha - Renaissance: The Mix Collection
  30. Sasha - Involver


I have a brief collection of trance mixes, making sure to delete those I don't deem worthy. I have not heard Holden, Kleinenberg, or Keoki but my collection contains every other mix on darktremor's list. A top 15 seems so brief it is difficult to argue for many that may have fallen just short such as Ferry Corsten's Global Trancemissions I & II, Armin Van Buuren's Universal Religion and Paul Van Dyke's Vorsprung Dyk Technik (Disk 1). However, I do feel that ATB's Clubber's Guide to Trance (Disk 2) deserves top 15 honor. It holds an entire era of trance captive on one disk. Matt Darey's Ibiza deserves consideration, yet is so similar to Clubber's Guide to Trance that honoring both seems repetative.

I don't think ATB's Clubber's guide to trance is worthy.

Mat Darey's Ibiza might be runner-up worthy. I don't still have it, and haven't heard it in years, so I'm not totally sure. I'll re-download it and see.

I'll give Ferry Corsten's Global Trancemissions series runner-up status (I ignored it originally, (and accidentally, as I like this mix), because most mixes that A)have the word trance in the title or B)play stupid wordgames with genre names have a tendency to be terrible. I know there are 2 like that already on the list, but those are pretty rare - there are about 100000000 stupid stupid mixes with names like Euro Ibtranceiza Tunnel Ministry Provocative Cyber Express Force 46, and they're pretty much all completely awful.)

I've never heard Paul Van Dyk's Vorsprung Dyk Technik, but looking at the tracklisting vs. the date, it looks worthy. I may give it runner-up status when I get a hold of it (I have it downloading, VERY slowly).

Yeah, Universal Religion is pretty good. I'll add it to runner-ups.

Thanks for the suggestions! :) :)

Can't tell you how much I'm enjoying these mixes, darktremor! It's so much easier than hunting individual tracks, and a great introduction to the genre.

No problem :) :) :) :)

That's what it's here for :) :)

Hey darktremor nice job!!! Firstly, thanks for all the time you've saved me from looking for tracks that are from the late 90's. Nothing beats the trance era of the late 90's. Anyways, hoping you could help me out agian. I have been looking for this track for soooooooo long and its my favourite, yet i don't know what it's called. I know it was trance files cd i believe it was blue and white and had a few volumes. It was track 11 and 12. It would have been from the late ninety's too. Anyway thanks again for all your help.

I just saw your message on this web site. I may have the Trance Files CD you're looking for--I was searching for a tracklisting for it so I can list it on ebay. The one I have is Trance Files 2002 and has 4 CDs. Let me know if you want me to send you the names of track 11 and 12 for this cd; email me at shaunaaura (at) gmail

Hey darktremor i just wanna say thanks for the effort compiling this list...

After finding this page from google i've since bought about 10 of the mixes :-), and they are fantastic.

For my money i'd add:
Paul Oakenfold: Resident (@ Cream), has so much atmosphere and some classic tunes.

Its a shame this lists just albums, because most of my favorite mixes are actually from BBC Radio one' essential mix from the late 90's. If you can find them then paul oakenfold at home in ibiza and at liverpool university are awesome mixes.

Problem is, many of the best sets of all time have been lost. Also, there are WAY too many sets for me to sift through to make such a list. Let's say there are 200 truly great trance DJs, good enough to make their sets recordable, at any period in time. Lets say they do an average of 150 gigs a years (and that's cutting it small). Since trance didn't really blow up until 1993, as has been growing ever since, we'll say this rate has been going on since 1992, to average it out. 14 years of sets. So that's 14 * 150 * 200 possible sets. That's 420000 sets to check through. Also, sets repeat tunes from each other ad nauseum, even more so than mixes. Therefore, it's hard to find the best of them, when everyone is just pandering to a crowd of expecting people. No, the best listening is found when either a)DJs make a mix of their favorite trance songs that aren't necessarily good on the dancefloor (ie In Search of Sunrise, Northern Exposure, Balance 005), and attempt to create a listening "journey" (which ironically was the original purpose of trance - now it's a novelty) or
b)DJs play songs previously unheard on dancefloors to that point, to give listeners a totally new experience (ie: the Magik series, the Forbidden Paradise series, Nyana, Boundaries of Imagination, etc)(some livesets are like this, but very few, and those are usually "prepared" in advance).

Although, I will admit, the essential mixes are pretty good - they try to provide the best of both the dancing and listening worlds.

I don't know why, but I'm not that big of a fan of that Oakenfold set. That's personal opinion though.

Glad to see you enjoy the list! :) I might make a "best livesets I've ever heard" list at some point. Good suggestion!

(BTW check out James Holden's essential mix from 2002 - INCREDIBLE! Then again - James Holden's entire aim as a DJ is to create that "journey." Probably explains why he's one of my favorites).

cheers for the tip, the holden 2002 mix was awesome...
It turns out rather nicely that a lot of the Essential mixes have been saved, they have a huge archive (1000's) over at for a few dollars unlimited access
Think i might go back to 1993 and start listening form the begining :-)

Sounds like a good site, actually...I might pay for access too...

I have heard that Holden essential mix - Awesome!
All of these mixes listed are some of the best.
A few others not listed here that I believe are up to par: Max Graham - Tranceport(2 CDs, Disc 2 is better), Noel Sanger - Summerbreeze 2(2 CDs, Very Good follow up to Tiesto, may be better), and Taylor - Synaesthesia (2 CDs)

Very nice listings you have here! It's amazing how well you can describe what trance is all about..:)
Also my suggestion is to make a list of best livesets ever. My absolute number one is Tiesto - live @ Trance Energy 2000. It was played by Tiesto on the millenium eve (31/12/1999) en is such a high energy, uplifting, up-tempo, Holy set. It can also be called Tiesto - live @ Energy 2000.
Are you from Europe? I'm from Belgium and I can say that trance is becoming more and more popular here.

Jeronimo's right you know. Tiësto Live @ Energy 2000 just is THE best set ever performed by a trance dj. If you don't believe me, just type it in google, you'll probably end up at a forum with topic 'your favorite livesets' or something like that. I've listened to it over a hundred times, it never gets old. This set is just *perfect*!

Pretty good, that's definitely true, but it had quite a few little mistakes, mixing errors, etc. in it that kinda detracted from the whole thing, I thought.

Still very good, for sure, probably give it a listen about once or twice a year.

Really? It's getting more popular? I've heard lately that R & B and hip-hop had recently taken over Europe (*shudders). That's actually awesome to know!

I think that the best set of all time is
Nu-NRG-Live at Orgasmatron-09-07-2002
Tiesto @ Trance Energy 2000 is also a classic set.
By the way Nu-Nrg was voted nro1 in live set category at trance awards 2004.

Best mix-cd in my opinion is
Kyau vs Albert - Positive Ways 4

I think that the tracklist is the most important part of the set, because almost every dj can make their mixes perfect.

Paul Van Dyk - Live at Trance Energy 08-10-2003
Posted in case you haven't heard and for all who are searching great sets.

Yes - I've heard it - very good set :) Good suggestion :)

Please darktremor !!!! start your "best livesets ever heard" !! It would be the best list!

Not a bad idea...
I won't be able to do it for a while though. Within the next few weeks.

You should listen to Taylor & Jimmy Van M - Trance Nation America

Will give it a listen.

Thanks! :)

Taylor on Trance Nation America is the Taylor from Libra pres. Taylor - Anomaly with BT, I have seen him live many times in SoCal. Some other excellent mixes are: Mr. C - Subterrain, Sandra Collins - Tranceport(2 CDs), and Kimball Collins - Music is Life

this is pretty usefull list, many trance albums seem to have the problem that they are not good as a whole album and there are too much bad tracks. downloaded james holden- balance 005 couple days ago and i can really listen that from start to end and enjoy pretty much all of the tracks. i have to check out more of these mixes. thanks for the list !

Glad you like the list :)

Yes, it's pretty hard to make a consistently good mix with no lags. The problem being: a lot of tracks sound really good on first listen, but become annoying later on. Also, a lot of tracks sound really boring at first, then grow on you. By the time these tracks have grown on the DJ enough for inclusion on a compilation, usually they're already being played, and therefore won't be as interesting on a mix. Plus upfront DJs have to make a mix at a period in time when there are at least 13 great tracks just...coming out, and they have to happen to fit together perfectly...Tis difficult, there are so many factors. This is a lot of why many of the mixes were made extremely early on in their respective genres: before there were many DJs playing that particular sound (a lot of these mixes brought in certain sounds, ie Balance 005 started a minimal and experimental trance surge, Northern Exposure really brought in the "smooth, dark ambient trance" sound, Tranceport brought in the anthem vibe, etc..

I'm not saying these CDs invented these styles, they just brought them to a much wider audience than before, and therefore brought them to greater popularity as DJ music, and spawned more DJs in the sound and copycat mixes, thereby making it more difficult to make an original mix in that subgenre.

Hey good work. I was wondering if any of you have found a site where you can dl albums that would have these artist like James Holden?

Sorry...there's no site. The best I can recommend is soulseek.

ya you can download most cd's but it didn't have james holden. Not a bad price either 10 cents a song.

Thanks for the list, I will be sure to download some of these. I think my favorite is Paul Oakenfolds - Tranceport right now. But I also like Paul Van Dykes - "Global" and also "Out there and back". One CD that I dont see anyone ever list is the original TranceGlobalNation. This was one of my favorites back in '98 Plus, I was trying to buy it somewhere and its nowhere to be found except used on amazon for 42 bucks used, which is quite a lot for 1 CD. Anyone know where you can get it for less?

Darktremor, your recommendations are intelligent, and you write well. Orbital's In Sides is worth the attention of anyone who likes what he's heard from this list. Although no other Orbital mix has held a consistent place in my queue, I've probably listened to In Sides as much as Northern Exposure 1, ISOS, and Tranceport combined. Generally classified as "acid house," Orbital here has produced something very trancy, although distinct from what I know on DarkTremor's list. I think it's a fascinating journey.

Thanks! Glad you enjoy the list :)

As for In Sides, I'd call it trance. However, it's an album. Still, something that good does merit a place here, I'd say... +adds.
Great suggestion!

Notice to everyone:
I won't really be here for a while. Until about early May (2006), I'm pretty much entirely tied down to the rest of my life: I'm going to have almost no time at all to respond or update here. I may make an occasional post, but don't expect anything regular (and don't take offense if I don't answer you for a very very long time).

Sorry to anyone who has posted and I can't respond to: I'm juggling university (a SCIENCE degree, in others words the nightmare of university existence - this is a complete time filler as it is), a (very serious - not in nature, in depth of relationship) girlfriend, two entirely seperate groups of friends, several plays, several clubs, and possibly soon a job. There really isn't time left to handle answering comments...

Goodbye for now everyone! (I'll be back again, eventually). It's been fun.

hello dark! how come you didn't mention sasha & digweed's renaissance - the mix collection. it's really one of the strongest progressive house/trance mixes of all times. yeah, on moments it sounds outdated, but hey it's from 1994

You're right, its pretty good. +adds.

Sasha - Involver is a good trance mix. Check it out:)

Pretty good. +adds

Have you considered James Holden - At the controls?

Yeah. It doesn't hold up to his other mixes. I don't even really consider it a DJ mix per se: I see it as basically "James Holden favorite travel tunes" burned onto a major label CD. It really just seems like he threw together a bunch of songs he likes a lot that would never be able to be played together in a real DJ set. So, I like it, but not as much as his other work (and it shouldn't be compared to his other work). It's not really an artistic statement, so much as a personal one. And anyone can do that.

Great list, i'd love to see a minimal mixes list sometime? You say CD 1 especially for the Holden CD, and i agree completely, mixing as good as that probably won't be heard for many years now, if ever.
NE1 will always hold the top spot, nothing will ever even come near it and i completely agree with its placement.
Just curious as to why Paul Oakenfol - Tranceport is so high, and more to the point in there at all?
All tranceport is is a collection of songs which he knew would sell well from the time, mixed poorly if at all, selected for the song's ability to fill a dancefloor.
Which as you say, is not what a mix is meant to do, it is meant to take you on a journey. I fail to see any kind of journey on tranceport? That said, it does have good songs on it, but deserves a complilation title not a mix.

I agree with you about Tranceport. This list was created over a longer period of time, and when I first generated it, my taste it trance wasn't qutie as developed as it is now. I've neglected this list for a long time, and it's about time I revamped it completely. It is a nice "greatest hits" collection of 1998 trance, which was a good year, but as a DJ mix it's rather weak.

As for minimal, it's going to start making it's way onto this list more and more over the next little while.

Yeah i saw your DeviantArt Profile, Favourite music artists listed as :

Tiesto, Armin, Ferry & Paul ;)
lmao :D
hey, who hasn't gone through that phase though :)

haha, yeah. Like I said, it's been a while since I was on there.

That's why they call epic trance the "gateway genre."

Perhaps Kreucht & Fleucht?

Yes, I agree.

brilliant. im downloadin em all right now

Enjoy! :D

Have you heard John Digweed's Transitions series? They're fantastic mixes although not many of the songs are trance, it's more a blend of genres.

They're not bad, I'll need to consider them. I often find Digweed's DJ work to be a monotonous, however - he sometimes tends to not just make all of the songs blend together into one (as a good DJ), but make it sound like it's just one track playing for hours, never leaving that same subterranean progressive beat.

The first two Euphoria albums are great mixes, with the third album pretty decent also, but not quite as good as the prior duo. After that, they became a cheese fest as Ministry of Sound bought out Telstar - the label that produced them.

Volume 1 was mixed by PF Project and volume 2 by Red Jerry.

I've never heard them, but I found a tracklists of them, and I can tell you right now that they won't make the list. I recognize almost every track (not always positively), and I cringe looking at the selection, the way they're ordered, and the dates of the tracks when compared to the release date. Red Jerry and PF Project are just randomly slamming trance anthems, which doesn't make for a masterful DJ mix. Unless they do something REALLY amazing with the transitions (which I doubt, because honestly, they're trance DJs, and pretty much only Sasha and Digweed can do anything skillful with trance). I'll give them a try anyway.

I don't know if this list is dead, but Sasha's Invol2ver (relatively recent) has to be THE best mix of all time. It really is that good.

Sure, I'll check it out. I liked Involver a lot.

I loved invol2ver aswel however its definately not the best of all time! Personally I think NEII is but everyone has their own opinions. I have NEI on CD but cant put it on my ipod due to overuse and scratches, was just wondering if any of you two have a torrent for it. Would really appreciate it!!

I know soulseek has it, that's where I got it. Wow, a hard copy of Northern Exposure, lucky :D

# Dominik Eulberg - Kreucht & Freucht album is not trance. it sounds like minimal techno.
great list dude.
u should check out and add

anjunabeats - 4
also ATB-Trilogy ( CD2 is awesome)
Kamaya Painters- collected works

I know this is not on the subject but would be most grateful if anyone can give me a list of Breakbeat hardcore songs?

Specifically songs which can be described as having lots of piano rolls, bouncy basslines and plenty of female vocals and classic "rave" sounds (I think this is what Breakbeat hardcore is?!).

I think an example would be Bizarre Inc - Such a Feeling?

Thanks very much

My personal favorites are:
Congress - 40 Miles
Blame - Feel the Energy
Manix - Oblivion (Head in the Clouds)
Manix - Feel Real Good
Bug Kann & The Plastic Jam - Made In 2 Minutes
Rozalla - Everybody's Free (to feel good)

I have more, that's all I can think of right now.

A state of trance 2006 (CD1) should be on the list in my opinion

I didn't like that mix - nothing original on it at all. That kind of trance is basically dead, and it has been since around 2005. Everyone is just recycling each other's ideas now.

Invol2ver? Yes? No? Not good enough?

Still thinking. I'm really out of the loop on trance - I haven't really listened to very much for a long time. I liked Invol2ver, but I'm not yet sure where I'd put it on this list.

Hallucinogen - In Dub (Mixed by Ott)

Sure, I'll take a look. Psytrance is really lacking on this list.

I realy do like this list. I think the best way to listen to trance music, is in a mix. This is a great list, but i´m missing the global underground series. I know a lot of those mixes are somewhat mediocre, kinda boring even, but some are true pieces of art, especially the early ones. My personal favorite is Sasha´s Global Underground 13: Ibiza (especially CD 2). Think about it, and more important, listen to them!

I gave up on Global Underground mixes after listening to around 9 of them, all of which were dull: I couldn't even tell most of them apart by ear. Still, I'll give that one a try, since it's pre-2000 Sasha.

I agree about trance mixes - especially hearing them put together live at a rave or club.

Darktremor -

I have been listening to trance for over a year now and am certainly not an expert. I was wondering what your opinion on Tiesto's In Search of Sunrise 3 was? It doesn't seem to be listed here, I thought it was pretty good, can you tell me what you think?

I find it pretty decent, but certainly not worthy of being called one of the best of all time.

In Search Of Sunrise 3
Nyana Disc 2 (should be higher)
In Search of Sunrise 4 Disc 2
In Search of Sunrise 5 Disc 2
Renaissance The Mix Collection 1 Disc 1 ( I know you include it but it should be much higher)
Renaissance The Mix Collection 4 Disc 1 (Some of Seaman's Best)
Renaissance Awakening (Both Discs are quite strong also some of Seaman's best)
L.S.G. - The Hive (artist album but it is mixed)
Sasha GU Ibiza Disc 1- Though more relaxed, light years ahead of Disc 2 which is a bunch of heavy hitters put together with little flow. Though the second half of Disc 2 is terrific...
Digweed GU LA Disc 1- More on a house tip, and the last two tracks arent quite as good, but when it is going, it is some of the best dark progressive there is to be found.
Stevie B- Zet- Archaic Modulation- Though only an EP, and an Artist album, it is mixed, and it IS unbelievable.

All of the above are outstanding, Im surprised you have Tranceport and In Search of Sunrise 1 + 2 on this list, as the rest of your choices seem pretty fine examples of the genre. Those 3 albums have some extraordinarly weak spots. In contrast, all of the above albums have very few.

I find the GU series to be a bit repetitive from album to album. I don't follow the series anymore - the dozen or so I've heard all sounded essentially the same - droning progressive house. Maybe I'll look into those particular ones. Also, are they not house mixes? Then again, I was pretty liberal in my definition of trance, and the line between "deep trance" and "progressive house" is virtually non-existent.

As for Steve-B-Zet, is that not ambient? If I remember correctly, isn't The Hive as well?

Considering weak points, I'm surprised you include ISOS 4 and 5 - I found them almost consistently weak throughout, with a high point or two.

Remember - this is for trance mixes, and it's not exactly the strongest genre of electronic music anymore (it never really was, but it used to at least have some talent and originality in it).

I think that james holden balance 005 cd2 is the most fantastic mix ever. ive heard it like hundred times every day before going to sleep and its just perfect. i am amazed by the fact it is 7 years old and still sounds fresh and beautiful in every aspect. what about forbidden paradise 7 ? best regards

Agreed, it's amazing.

FB7 was OK, but not top 20 worthy - too many weak points, and sub-par mxing.

The only GU Mix that is worthy is recent years, is the Felix Da housecat Mixes. Which doesn't really even fit in the "Global Undergound Type" of series. Nevertheless, they are some damn good mixes.

Hey guys whats up..i'm 33 years old and this music has been a part of most my life..i think i exsperienced the best era of the underground music scence..alot has changed but this music will live on forever to those of us who lived it when it was in its prime..this list is from me to the people that love EDM as much as i do..maybe to the newer and younger generation that is into the scene but is looking for the kindbud of the genre....of course everyone's opinion is different and this is all about personal selection BUT these are def some to look into if you are searching..the origonal list on this post is full of great set's as well so hope they are helpful to everyone out there taking the time to read...ENJOY!!

1. GU Sasha - San Fransico === {A MUST HAVE!!!}
2. GU John Digweed - Sydney Australia
3. Sasha and Digweed - Northern Exposure 1
4. Paul Van Dyk - Seven Ways (Album)
5. Sasha and Digweed - Northern Exposure 2 (west coast)
6. Sasha and Digweed - Northern Exposure 2 (east coast)
7. GU Sasha Ibiza
8. Sasha and Digweed - Northern Exposure / Expeditions.
9. GU Paul Oakenfold - New York
10. James Holden - Balance 005
11. GU Prototype 1 Seb Fontaine
12. Sander Kleinenberg - This Is Everybody too
13. Sasha - Airdrawndagger (Album)
14. Sasha and Digweed - Communicate
15. GU John Digweed - Hong Kong
16. BT - Movement In Still Life (Album)
17. Chicane - Behind The Sun (Album)
18. Paul Oakenfold - Another World
19. Fundacion NYC Sasha
20. Invol2ver Sasha
21. GU Danny Tenaglia - Athens
22. Sander Kleinenberg - This Is Everybody
23. GU John Digweed - Los Angeles
24. Gabriel and Dresden - Bloom
25. GU Dave Seaman - Buenos Aires
26. Dave Ralph - Tranceport 2
27. GU Prototype 3 Seb Fontaine
28. Junkie XL - Broadcast From Computer Hell Cabin
29. Sasha and Digweed - Renaissance The Mix Collection
30. Involver Sasha
31. John Digweed - Bedrock
32. Way Out West - Intensify (Album)
33. Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise 4
34. Way Out West - Dont Look Now (Album)
35. Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise 5
36. Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise 6
37. Tranceport 1 Paul oakenfold
38. Hybrid - Sound System
39. Paul Oakenfold - The Great Wall
40. GU James Lavelle - Romania


thnx for the great variety, also i'd like to suggest
great combination of contemporary classics

Thanks for the great lists.

My top 20 - in random order by what popped into my head first:

Tiesto - ISOS 1 (1999)
Tiesto - ISOS 3: Panama (2002)
Tiesto - ISOS 2 (2000)
Tiesto - Magik 5: Heaven Beyond (2000)
Tiesto - Magik 3: Far From Earth (1998)
BT - Movement In Still Life (2000)
Sasha - Global Underground 013 (1999)
Paul Oakenfold - Perfecto Presents Another World (2000)
Paul Oakenfold - Tranceport (1998)
Paul Oakenfold - Voyage Into Trance (1995)
Darude - Before The Storm (2000)
Chicane - Behind The Sun (2000)
Swedish Egil - Trancemission (2000)
Swedish Egil - American DJ 01: Los Angeles (2001)
Art of Trance - Retrospective (2009)
Ferry Costen - Right of Way (2001)
System F - Trance Nation (1999)
Push - From Beyond (2001)
The Auranaut - People Want To Be Needed (2004)
DJ Micro - Tech Mix Live (2001)