BEST TRANCE ARTISTS 2019
2019 wasn’t a big year for trance and it didn’t see many kick-offs for the genre.
It saw many acts leaving, some artists taking deviation on their sounds. However, there were many artists who also had some great work released in 2019. We list down the ones that made it to our top 10!
When you listen to the music of Key4050 — the newly formed duo comprising trance titans John O’Callaghan and Bryan Kearney — you get an immediate sense of their deep creative bond. And if you’re one of the lucky headliners to have experienced one of their rare performances, then you’ve witnessed that collaborative spirit IRL.
Officially formed in 2015, Key4050 sees O’Callaghan and Kearney joining forces to take trance into the future. Individually, both artists have already blazed many trails in the international trance community throughout their respective careers: John O’Callaghan, known to die-hard fans around the world simply as JOC, is the founder and head of the seminal trance label Subculture, while partner Kearney heads up the reputable Kearnage Recordings.
Both hailing from Ireland, the two genre giants have known each other and have been making music in the same circles for more than 15 years— which means that, in many ways, Key4050 has been in the works for just as long. (In fact, the name Key4050 dates back to their early collaborative days, when O’Callaghan was living in a Dublin apartment that required a key code to enter the building. That code: Key4050.)
The first official inklings of Key4050 came in 2016 via their debut track “Dinklebot.” One year later, Key4050 made its official worldwide premiere at Dreamstate SoCal 2017.
When he isn’t playing metal guitar riffs or crafting meticulously detailed charcoal drawings in the Lone Star State of Texas, Leroy Moreno is producing some of the most uplifting bangers you’ve heard in the last couple of years!
Shortly after his first few releases on Paul van Dyk’s VANDIT Records, he had the honor of being cited in DJ Mag by Paul van Dyk as the “Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2016.” To top it off, Moreno’s massive collaboration with Paul was featured on PvD’s groundbreaking album “From Then On.” Leroy’s sound has also graced some top choice labels such as A State of Trance, Black Hole Recordings, Armin van Buuren’s label Who’s Afraid of 138?! and Paul van Dyk’s Vandit Records!
Moreno’s mission is to provide the highest quality trance our senses can experience. He states how trance is not only music, but a feeling.
Characterizing trance music’s energy in both approach and output, Italy’s Giuseppe Ottaviani has long been recognized as one of the genre’s most respected and prolific merchants. From his earliest studio work (as the engine behind esteemed group NU NRG), through to his latter-day output under his own name, he has established himself as a benchmark for preeminent trance. Over the last decade, his trailblazing Giuseppe Ottaviani Live! and Giuseppe Ottaviani Live 2.0 evolutions have redefined what a DJ does.
In doing so, he’s put countless hands in the air and feet on the floor at some of the world’s best-known electronic music festivals, Tomorrowland, Dreamstate, EDC UK, Transmission, ASOT, and the FSOE shows being just some of them. Exclusively feeding these performances is a litany of club hits and remixes, of which ‘Ready’, ‘Angel’, ‘Linking People’, ‘Through Your Eyes’ and ‘No More Alone’ represent but a few. Giuseppe’s remains both contemporary and omnipresent in the scene with of-late solo productions
Paul Denton is a hot new trance talent from Ireland who’s getting a lot of attention lately from the big hitters in the trance scene. His iDentify radio show has gotten him fans worldwide, where he debuts regular original tracks and reworks that are totally exclusive to his sets. Tracks such as ‘Say My Name’ with Audrey Gallagher and ‘Second Chapter’ under his Flynn & Denton duo project have stood out clearly over 24 months and highlighted Paul’s ear for a good record. Tipped by Aly & Fila, John O’Callaghan, Askew amongst others: Paul Denton is a name to watch closely.
From the humble surroundings of the northeast of England, near Newcastle, Darren Porter began his musical journey experimenting with keyboards and pianos and without the ability to read music and not one music lesson he was able to learn what made music work, from this he began to write small film scores for independent short films, but his real passion lay with electronic music. Since he first made a mixtape from SASH! Darren became hooked on EDM, spending hours every day through his teens learning the groundwork to production. He went on to study music technology to further his interest in production and to satisfy his thirst for producing music, in early 2003 Darren took his first steps into professional producing and since then worked tirelessly to perfect his tone and style which over the years has evolved into the hard-driving euphoric trance we hear today.
One of the longest-serving linchpins of the trance scene, Genix has deep roots in the genre that have helped his production career to grow exponentially since his debut release in 2003. Since then he has become a mainstay of Anjunabeats, with other releases on Armind, Vandit Records, Enhanced Records and Reset Records to name a few. DJing alongside the world’s elite along the way, he has become a huge name in his own right.
Pushing an exciting new sound that makes a departure from many of his previous works, he is one of the most exciting acts in Anjunabeats’ impressive stable. With no compromise in his style across his 100+ released singles and remixes and no desire to water down his sound in order to reach more commercial audiences, he is an artist who is truly dedicated to his scene.
From scene founding father to ringleader and flag-bearer of the Pure Trance movement, Solarstone (producer, composer & DJ Richard Mowatt) enduring influence stretches back almost as far as the genre itself. Releases like ‘Solarcoaster’, ‘The Calling’ and ‘Seven Cities’ are all benchmark classics of its pre-millennial period. The latter track – among the first of the Balearic trance anthems – has been re-released 3 times, and now sold in excess of ½ million copies.
Remixed by Armin van Buuren amongst others, its instantly recognizable sunset/sunrise-sound legacy is still heard in tracks today. With the albums ‘Anthology One’ ‘RainStarsEternal’, ‘Touchstone’, ‘Pure’ and most recently the cryptically titled ‘. – – – – ’ & ‘ . . – – – ‘, he’s also released a quintet of critically revered long-players.
Solarstone has long brought his sound to some of the most famous clubs, arenas and festivals on the planet. In Europe, those have come to include Tomorrowland, Cream Ibiza, Creamfields A State Of Trance & Global Gathering, whilst further afield he’s rocked TomorrowWorld, Dreamstate, Stereosonic, FSOE, and numerous others.
Leaving a mark on charts, dance floors and music enthusiasts the world over, Dutch born MaRLo backs up the #1 Best Trance DJ and #2 overall DJ in Australia with no justification required. From Beatport #1’s escaping the studio to headlining some of the most sought after dance events in the world, MaRLo is influencing trance music like no other.
Dutch Born, Australian raised, MaRLo has truly earnt his stripes in the studio. He has risen to striking heights claiming top chart spots. Signed to Armin van Buuren’s Armada Music, And is currently taking the world by storm, with Armin personally noting that MaRLo “programs the best lead sounds” – (Armin interview with MTV). His style can be best described as powerful Tech influenced Trance with plenty of hands in the air action
Few artists in today’s electronic space can claim the same depth and versatility as Andrew Bayer.
He’s produced some of the biggest Anjunabeats anthems of recent years, released albums of glitchy critically acclaimed electronica, and co-produced Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy and We Are All We Need albums. In the background, he’s also produced for leftfield bands, soundtracked short movies, and made himself an inspiration to both experienced and upcoming producers.
After playing some of the world’s greatest dance music arenas including Madison Square Garden, London’s Brixton Academy, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Andrew has shown that his unique, musical style can rock the biggest rooms around the world.
Based and living in Germany, Lostly (Andre Frauenstein) started DJing at the tender age of 13. With a passion for music & DJing, he went all out to break into the industry, which was already brimming with talented artists. Throughout the years he’s become widely acclaimed for his intense stage presence, as well as his outrageous antics behind the decks, spanning several different musical scenes and movements.
Lostly quickly moved into DJ at top events and festivals around the world, some of his highlights were Love Parade (Essen) Germany (1.3 million people attending) Luminosity Beach Festival, Color Festival, Decibel Festival, Nature One Festival, not to mention solo album tours spanning across the continents.
What punctuates Lostly’s skills as a DJ and producer, is his capacity to not only incorporate diverse genres and styles but to transcend them by infusing his music with pure emotion and loyalty. Whether it is sitting behind the control board, playing to his followers, or searching for the next great release, Lostly will continue to shine as the master at work
This year didn’t have much to offer for trance, however, there were artists who did make it their year with some great releases and the opportunities to have gone and played at multiple festivals around the world.
We hope to see 2020 provide more for trance on the whole and bring in some fresh talent with a new take on the genre! What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!