Top 70 neo-trance and microhouse tracks, in order of best to least best

  1. What is microhouse? This is a question man has asked since the dawn of time, and the answer may be found in the Great Book:
  2. In the beginning the earth was without form and void.
  3. Then God said let there be microhouse: and there was microhouse.
  4. And God saw the microhouse, that it was good: and God divided the microhouse from the boring regular house music.
  5. And God said let there be awesome in the microhouse and it was so.
  6. And the seven archangels Akufen, Matthew Dear, Pantytec, Isolee, Markus Nikolai, Robag Wruhme, and Ricardo Villalobos came down from the sky and did the bidding of microhouse, and feasted upon grapes, and onions, and raspberries, and elephant tusks, and parlour wigs, and...(*hook drags Darktremor off stage)
  7. Microhouse is a combination of glitch, techno, extremely minimal house, tiny beats, and an experimentalism and playfulness not seen in electronic dance music since the early 90's. It's an relatively new genre (the sound has only existed since 1999, and was only named in 2001) that attempts to strip sound down to it's tiniest elements. Rather than a booming bassdrum, it has a tiny hi-hat - in fact the entire thing sounds tiny. This is a really heavy sampling genre - some songs contain up to several hundred different sources. This is due to a rarely used (until microhouse came along) technique called "microsampling" - tiny indecipherable snippets of sound are taken from sources, rather than larger, identifiable pieces. They get as short a a few microseconds (get it? MICROseconds? Starting to make sense?). If techno is an army of robots taking over the world, microhouse is the nanomachines that chew through the exoskeletons of all who stand in their path. MUHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
  8. In other words, it's worth giving it a listen. Of late, it's become one of my favorite genres, hopefully you'll like it just the same...
  9. You're going to have trouble following it at first, but it's quite worthwhile if you stick with a track until it makes sense. For example, Deck the House is one of my favorite songs, but when I first heard it, it took me about 30 seconds to make any sense of it.
  10. Now...what exactly is neo-trance? Well, "micro" expanded beyond house very quickly, as all of the current interesting electronic music started being made in the "micro" world. So trance hopped on the bandwagon too. How is it different from microhouse? Well, microhouse is funky, glitchy, and tech-housey. Neo-trance is smooth and slightly ethereal (like trance!), with tiny beats and no massive breakdowns - so, it's basically microtrance. But some of it isn't micro. And this is why people are confused by electronic dance genres.
  11. Anyways, this stuff is getting really big. Kompakt's "Total" series and Get Physical's collections now outsell almost all other dance music compilations by unprecedented numbers, tracks are starting to get radioplay, the world's top DJs are converting into this sound, and even the most conservative adding it to their playlists - clubs are starting to play it, and critics are going wild:
  18. ...and so on. Summary: You're going to like it. It's very different from trance.
  19. And here's the list:
  20. Akufen - Deck the House
  21. Jurgen Paape - Mit Dir
  22. Booka Shade - Mandarine Girl
  23. Matthew Dear - Dog Days
  24. Ricardo Villalobos - 808 the Bassqueen
  25. Michael Mayer - Amanda
  26. Luomo - Synkro
  27. Isolee - Beau Mot Plage
  28. Markus Nikolai - Bushes
  29. The MFA - The Difference it Makes
  30. Dntel - (This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Kompakt Superpitcher mix)
  31. Metaboman - Easy Woman (Robag Wruhme mix)
  32. Lawrence - Teaser
  33. Superpitcher - Tomorrow (and More Tomorrow)
  34. Dettinger - Lemon
  35. The Knife - Heartbeats (Rex the Dog mix)
  36. Freiland - Hot Love (Justus Kohncke ft. Meloboy mix)
  37. Akufen - Skidoos
  38. Jona - Yellowstone
  39. Isolee - Shrapnell
  40. Kaito - Soul of Heart
  41. Markus Nikolai - Chitchat on a Sunset Cliff
  42. Closer Musik - One Two Three (No Gravity)
  43. Akufen - Jeep Sex
  44. M. Rahn - Toaster
  45. Jurgen Paape - So Weit Wie Noch Nie [the version by Justus Kohncke is equally brilliant]
  46. Rex the Dog - I look into Midair
  47. Carsten Jost - You Don't Need a Weatherman
  48. Michael Mayer - Lovefood
  49. Pile - Worldrecord Holder
  50. Goldfish & Der Dulz - Birthday Party
  51. Auch - Tomorrow Goodbye (Farben mix)
  52. Farben - Beautone
  53. Scsi-9 - All She Wants is (Wighnomy Bros remix)
  54. Michael Mayer - Falling Hands
  55. Pantytec - Does Ronda Know?
  56. Matthew Dear - It's Over Now
  57. Ricardo Villalobos - Mormax
  58. Justus Kohncke - Station 18
  59. Oxtongue - Delight
  60. Schaeben and Voss - The World is Crazy 2
  61. Komeit - 3 Hours (T. Raumshmiere mix)
  62. Ricardo Villalobos - Morphunk
  63. Matthew Dear - It's Over Now
  64. Voigt & Voigt - Roxy
  65. Kaito - Hundred million Lightyears
  66. St Germain - Alabama Blues (Todd Edwards Vocal mix) [Not strictly microhouse, but very very close to it in its glitchy style. It's such a great track that it deserves a place here anyway)
  67. Baxendale - We Built this City (Michael Mayer mix)
  68. Akufen - In Dog We Trust
  69. Error Error – It Hits My Hair (Falling Deep)
  70. The Orb - Lunik
  71. Tocotronic - Pure Vernunft Darf Niemals Siegen(Superpitcher and Wassermann Single Mix)
  72. A Rocket in Dub - Rocket Vol. 3
  73. Akufen - Psychometry Vol 3.0
  74. The Orb - Cool Harbour [Yep, it's that Orb! :) I think it's really nice to see that possibly my all-time favorite electronic group is still relevant after 17 years making music - although I think this has more to do with continuously changing their artist lineup than anything else...]
  75. Michael Mayer - Speaker
  76. Justus Kohncke - Timecode
  77. Robag Wruhme - Hugendubel
  78. Audison - Gamma Limit
  79. Murat Tepeli Feat Prosumer - Low
  80. Akufen - Severed Finger Samba
  81. Farben - The Videotape
  82. Akufen - Late Night Munchies
  83. Markus Nikolai - Dimbied.Shake (Dimbiman Remix)
  84. Mylo - Rikki (although this is debatably french house)
  85. Yomgaille - There
  86. Thomas Fehlmann - Making it Whistle
  87. Ricardo Villalobos - Temenarc 2
  88. Akufen - New Process
  89. Herbert and Dan Siliciano - Going Round
  90. Ricardo Villalobos - Bahaha hai
  91. B. Wild - F(M).com
  92. Narcotic Syntax - Merenguerilla
  93. Superpitcher - Baby's On Fire
  94. Broker/Dealer - Boots & Pants
  95. Shannon & The Mole - His Last Mistake
  96. There will be many more than 71 later on, I just only had the time to do this many for now. I have a collection of about 2000 microhouse and neotrance tracks that I still have to sift through. A good start to the genre, however, would be to download Akufen's My Way album - it's fantastic the entire way through, and this list contains several tunes off of it. Another good one is Kompakt - Total 4, or anything by Kompakt, for that matter.

Thanks for continuing to expand my musical horizons. I'll have to try out this microhouse and neotrance stuff!

You won't be disappointed with it: this music is apparently the wave of the future - trance, house, and progressive are dying in it's wake, and dance music is seeing good reviews in the mainstream for the first time since...ever (1997, I do believe).

Naturally, if you'd like to send me some songs, I wouldn't complain. :-)

Since you're already a trance fan, I'll start you off with one of my favorite (if not my very favorite) neo-trance tracks:

It's hard to give a cross-section of the genre with just a single track, since there are many different areas to it - much like regular trance (although nowhere close to as many, considering the age of the genre), so I'll post more samples later.


Did you enjoy it?

I'll have to warm up to it, I think, though I'd certainly love to try more tracks from your list!

Sure, here, try a microhouse: (Akufen - Deck the House)

This is much bigger than the other tracks, and much more complex and confusing: it's actually something pretty special when it comes to microhouse, and quite possibly my favorite song of all time, any genre. This is a definite "grower," as you notice more and more layers and patterns with each listen - it's like 30 songs contained it one, but somehow it all works. You'll have to listen to whole way through, no matter how jarring it seems at first: you're almost certain to warm up to it, and make some sense out of it. I have friends who normally hate electronic music, but love Akufen - Deck the House.

Now, it isn't for absolutely everyone - some people just find it too attention-deficit to listen to, but I think you'll like it.

Did you enjoy it?

Yes! It's actually a bit like the music of Cuebism (free album download), which I discovered quite a while ago.

If you do give Cuebism a listen, let me know what genre you think it belongs to. I ignorantly categorized it as "disco", and am willing to change its listing if someone more knowledgeable corrects me.

This is fantastic!

What great music, seriously. I love Cubeism, I've heard it only once and I'm already addicted. Thanks SOO much for the recommendation.
Yes, this is definitely microhouse. I'll probably add it to this list later.

On full re-listen, I've made a change: only "Made it", "Get 'Em" and "Superpersuit mode" are microhouse (and that's borderline - they're not fully glitched out, but there's certainly an influence there: the lines of microhouse are very blurry, as it's not a template like most other subgenres of music: it's simply a process by which music is made, the microhouse sound being the byproduct of that process, leading to a very loose and blurry [but wildly innovative] subgenre). The others are almost definitive French house (especially the heavily Daft Punk influenced (but excellent) Run Quick).

Le faithful strikes again! Thanks for the awesome work! I'll make sure I get all of these above, considering I've never been disappointed by your suggestions :)

No problem :) Glad you enjoy them :)

many thanks to your lists. this micrhouse is new to me but i like it. great trance list, your list is really a big help! If its not too much to ask, do you also have some chillout music that you can suggest? Thanks!

Glad you enjoy them :) :) :)

As for chillout, try my ambient list. Especially anything near the top, great stuff.

If you'd like a more "chillout" sound (aka ambient that's not ambient), than these albums would be best for you:
Royksopp - Melody A.M.
Air - Moon Safari
Bonobo - Animal Magic
Bonobo - Dial M For Monkey
Zero 7 - When it Falls
The Orb - Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
Boards of Canada - Music has the Right to Children (although this has both, and is really different from just about anything else: more nostalgic and surreal than organic or robotic)
Chicane - Far From the Maddening Crowds
Transit Kings - Token EP I'm really loving this one right now, great comeback for The Orb)

ok..thanks! i'll check it out...

No prob :) :) Enjoy! :)

Are trance and microhouse albums any good, or is it all about the single, more-so than pop music?

For trance, it is absolutely about singles. I don't think there has ever, even once in history, been a really good trance album. Maybe some of the older "trance" albums from artists like Banco De Gaia and Underworld, and even these don't really have a cohesive whole. Usually trance albums are just collections of singles with a bunch of filler in between hits (not worth buying). No, the closest trance has to good albums is good DJ mixes.

Microhouse, on the other hand, is like the "indie rock" of the electronic music world (while trance is one of a few under the category of "pop"). There are indeed great albums by single artists, which form a cohesive whole while still managing to remain innovative and interesting the whole way through (*Darktremor chokes on pretentious comment). Sounding unbearably snobbish aside, check these out for some good microhouse albums:
Akufen - My Way
Luomo - Vocalcity
Ricardo Villalobos - Alfachoka
Farben - Textstar
Isolee - We Are Monster
Pantytec - Pony Slaystation

Especially the first 2. Fantastic, I can listen the whole way through without getting bored in the slightest, quite a rare feat for an ADD poster child like myself.

Many artists actually start with albums, then release single from them - I'd say the majority end up with full albums, in fact.

Great, thanks!

No prob :)

hey dark. i heard a lot of good things about this guy called herbert. i have his new album "scales". how would you call his music, is it microhouse?because i saw that you haven't got him on the list...

Matthew Herbert is indeed microhouse.

I only discovered him 2 months ago, I'm going to add some of his tracks to this list (and a huge arraw of others) when I come back.

He's a rather different variety of microhouse than the other producers here though (well, from what I've heard so far, which was his Bodily Functions album), but still very good.

very nice recomendationts i love finding people like you, just a question.

Whats wrong with bordercomunnity? i considered it microhous ann only have the MFA on the list.

Thanx 4 the knoledge man!!!

Thank you, glad you enjoy it :)

No, I have no problem with Border community. I love it, in fact. Their releases just sort of got lost between this list, the "ketaminimal" list, and the trance list; I really need to organize and divide the three. favorite releases from BC, in order:

1.The MFA - The Difference it Makes
2.Nathan Fake - The Sky Was Pink (James Holden mix)
3.Petter - These Days
4.Dextro - Do You Need Help? (The MFA Help Help mix)
5.Nathan Fake - Outhouse [both mixes are very good)
6.James Holden - A Break in The Clouds
7.Extrawelt - Soopertrack
8.Avus - Real
9.Lazy Fat People - Dark Water
10.Fairmont - Gazebo

Okay Darktremor I have a huge question. What is the difference between Ketaminimal, Minimal Trance, and Neo-Trance?

A couple months ago I noticed on your Trance list that you stated anything from the year 2003 and later thats high on your list is Minimal Trance. I dont know how much the order of tracks has transitioned since then (well I haven't checked before typing this, I mean), but I noticed Motorcycle's "As the Rush Comes" fit into that- so is that song minimal trance?

I guessed James Holden was, since everything about him online is MINIMAL MINIMAL MINIMAL! His myspace is even graffitied with MINIMAL!

I just wanted to know what the significance of the three were... if you could explain briefly...

And do the three genres really cross breed then? I notice the MFA is on all three lists.

"huge question... explain briefly..."

Not that I always (or ever) understand the explanations but I'm grateful for the length and breadth of the posts darktremor gives and gets. The breadth and lack of dumbth by everyone involved are also impressive.

Dumbth? Steve Allen... look it up.

I also appreciate the fact that darktremor adheres to the old adage... "Just carry a big stick."

Sad. Very sad.
I didn't mean controversy in that way at all.
Didn't know my questions were being dissected so carefully.
If darktremor wishes to give me a long explanation then thats fine, I'd be happy to read the entire thing.
I just didn't know how much of a nuisance the question would be.

Sorry, not to come off as a snob or bitch, but some questions ARE nuisances.

whoops! No no no no no... I was trying to take advantage of huge v. brief to give darktremor (and you) some well-deserved love.

I dissect evedrything... I can't help it. I suppose it comes from being the eldest child of an only adopted child and an eldest child who was nine years old before his first brother was born. The pressure to be perfect combined with my undiagnosed attention defecit... Well, you get the picture.

I interjected out of admiration, not out of any knowledge as to whatever "Ketaminimal" is.

They're basically different reconstructions of house. By this I was stripped down to its bare elements in the early 00s, and ketaminimal, neo-trance/microtrance/nanotrance/minimal trance, and microhouse are just various reconstructions of house, from the ground up.

Neo-trance/nano-trance/microtrance (there's no difference between them) is best defined by Border Community, The Field, Jesse Somfay, Minilogue's later work, The Rice Twins, Kaito, and The MFA. Ketaminimal...Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Trentemoller, Dominik Eulberg, Wighnomy Brothers, etc.. Many tracks are clearly solely minimal trance (anything Kaito) or ketaminimal (anything Ricardo Villalobos), but others are very hard to place as one or the other.

Motorcycle's "As the Rush Comes" is an exception. It's not neo-trance, it's "deep trance" (aka prog house trance).

What do you mean by "Just carry a big stick" in reference to my lists and responses? (aka Speak softly and carry a big stick? Personally I think I speak loudly and a lot, and don't "carry a big stick" [metaphorically speaking] in the slightest!) This may be a "meaning lost in tone of voice" thing, methinks...

thanks for the list DT, really interesting to see your opinion and to clarify a bit more what micro and stuff is. thanks, blind

Glad you like it.

What about producer Stephen Bodzin? I think he is doing some fabulous stuff. Check out his myspace page or look for his Resident advisor podcast...
I read recently that he considers his music "neo-trance."
Also, are there any good (and recent) mix albums in this genre?

Well, I've sort of absorbed Bodzin into my "minimal" list, and abandoned my microhouse and ketaminimal lists. Check on there, he's on there a few times.

As for good mix albums:
James Holden - Balance 005 (neo-trance and progressive house)
Michael Mayer - Immer
Ricardo Villalobos - Taka Taka

More recently:
Luke Slater - Decks & Data 2
Cassy - Panorama Bar
Micahel Mayer - Immer 2
Kiki - Boogybytes vol. 1

anyone know any sites where i can get some of these tracks? its kinda hard to get microhouse and neo-trance aye? :D!


Nicotine+ is the linux Soulseek client for those who want to know:

Yes, and you can usually download it right from the Ubuntu program installer, right in the operating system.