Following on from our previous post, we just had to take a deeper dive into some of our favourite classic trance anthems from the 2000s!
But first …
When did trance music start?
Whilst it wasn’t known as a dance genre until the early 1990s, trance music can be traced back to 1988, with the release of Klaus Schulze’s album ‘’En=Trance’’.
It originated in Germany from the techno & hardcore scenes and quickly flooded dancefloors throughout the rest of Europe in places like Belgium and the Netherlands.
Given its mostly instrumental nature, and characterized by its repeating melodic phrases, the genre was considered a more melodic variance of house and techno, with ‘uplifting trance’ lending much of its influence from classical music.
Recommended by The DJ Revolution:
Before we jump into the content, we thought we’d quickly showcase ‘Hypnotised: A Journey Through Trance Music (1990-2005)‘.
The 322-page encyclopedia book spans a near-complete discography of essential albums, labels and releases, alongside exclusive photos and in-depth interviews with influential artists and label owners.
It’s also the first (and only) book to cover the global trance movement during its most prolific years!
How we’d define ‘’Classic Trance’’
Every standout genre has its golden age, which is nearly always during the initial years from when that genre was conceived.
Whilst the early ‘90s was the birth era of trance music—producing some of the best trance anthems that exist today—many would argue that the genre didn’t hit its top gear until later in the decade, which we’d mostly agree with.
As far as how long this ‘’golden age’’ lasted? We’d probably categorize ‘classic trance’ as running most of the way through the 2000s, until about 2007.
Before we jump in
This list has been hand-picked by our team here at The DJ Revolution, many of whom had these tracks in their vinyl collections as working DJs around the turn of the decade. It includes tracks from trance music legends such as Armin Van Buuren, OceanLab, Ferry Corsten, Marco V and Sander Kleinenburg to name just a few.
Make no mistake, these records were absolute bombs when they came out – and were further popularized by clubbing brands such as Gatecrasher and Godskitchen in superclubs in the UK and Ibiza.
In case you wanted to purchase any of the selections, we did our best to include the appropriate ‘buy’ links for the digital and vinyl versions in the description for each track.
Here are 20 of the best classic trance anthems from the 2000s!
1. Lange Feat. Skye – Drifting Away (Original Mix)
Let’s start with this one from UK trance producer & remixer ‘Lange’ …real name Stuart Langelaan.
With its wonderful slow build-up and progressive energy, “Drifting Away” was originally released on UK label VC Recordings in 2001 and features Katie Marne (AKA Skye) on the vocals. It reached No.9 in the UK Singles Chart the following year in 2002.
Before this, Lange was also behind the SuReal track “You Take My Breath Away”, which peaked at No. 15 in the UK in 2000.
2. Armin Van Buuren Feat. Susana – Shivers (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Red light dub)
No introduction needed for trance legend Armin Van Buuren. His track ‘Shivers’ feat. Susana was first released back in 2005.
Armin is of course Dutch DJ/producer & remixer, well known for previous releases (before this one) including “Blue Fear”, “Touch Me” and “Communication”, together with various remixing projects. Notably, Armin also picked up the No.1 spot in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ poll for four consecutive years through 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
3. Above & Beyond – Alone Tonight (Above & Beyond’s Club Mix)
Above & Beyond are the English electronic music trio consisting of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki. The track Alone Tonight originally came out on their own label Anjunabeats in 2006, and is surely one of the best examples of a euphoric trance classic post-2005!
It’s also worth a mention, in the years following its release, the trio placed in the top 10 of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll for three consecutive years in 2007, 2008 & 2009.
4. Marco V Vs Jens – Loops And Tings Relooped (Marco V Mix)
If we’re talking about ‘’secret weapons’’, for any DJs out there, then look no further. This track from Dutchman Marco V in collaboration with German techno/trance duo ‘Jens’ is surely one of the best hard trance anthems ever made.
Known for his energetic hard trance & tech-trance productions like this one, Marco met longtime music production partner Benjamin Bates early in his career, and the pair would go on to produce countless tracks under numerous aliases.
5. Dutch Force – Deadline (Original Mix)
Dutch Force (real name Marinus de Goeij) is a trance producer also known under other aliases for such as Rank 1, Gaia and others. His track ‘Deadline’ was first released on UK label Inferno Records in 2000.
Fun fact: The name for the label was inspired by a bottle of very hot sauce!
Achieving big success in the clubs, this track was subsequently included on countless classic trance compilations in the years that followed.
6. Mirco De Govia – Epic Monolith
Here’s another absolute bomb ….it’s from German electronic music producer Mirko Zettl, AKA Mirco De Govia.
Taking his inspiration from electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, Mirko released his first record on a small underground label back in 1994 and has since become one of the most respected artists for the German label ‘Euphonic’ ….the same label Epic Monolith was released on.
Whilst this track would perhaps be considered a ‘slightly alternative’ example of a trance classic, it’d be criminal not to include it! Grab the full vinyl EP from 2001 via Discogs or get a digital copy from Beatport.
7. OceanLab – Clear Blue Water (Original Mix)
OceanLab is a vocal trance project from Above & Beyond (also see No.3), with fellow Brit Justine Suissa proving the vocals for this one.
This little beauty has to be one of the best uplifting trance anthems out there …first released on Dutch label Captivating Sounds in 2001.
You can either grab the vinyl EP, which includes an instrumental version, on Discogs, or get a digital copy from Beatport. The full-length ‘Original Mix’ is what we’re looking for here …preferably not the shorter radio edit!
8. Push – Strange World (2000 Remake)
This next track is from Belgian trance DJ/producer ‘Push’ (also known as ‘M.I.K.E. Push’ among other aliases, real name Mike Dierickx); yet another trance classic from the year 2000!
After becoming a massive hit in clubland, ‘Strange World’ subsequently appeared on countless classic trance compilations for years to come. Push also had success with trance hits ‘Universal Nation’ in ’98, and ‘The Legacy’ which came after this one.
9. Alt+F4 – Alt+F4 (Original Mix)
Certainly one of the best uplifting trance tracks of all time …this one from producer duo ‘Alt+F4’, a Finnish outfit consisting of Joonas Hahmo and Matti Kotala.
Without the aid of any vocals, this track is pure euphoria! It was first released on Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats label back in 2004.
10. Luke Warner and Mat Lock – Deep Psychosis (Daniel Kandi’s Cure Mix)
Jumping into 2007 now, with this hard trance banger from British trance producers Luke Warner and Mat Lock — a remix from Danish DJ/producer Daniel Kandi.
Unfortunately we couldn’t find a vinyl copy of this one on Discogs, although you can get a digital version on Beatport. As one of the few exceptions to the rule, the remix easily overshadows the original version!
11. Breakfast – The Sunlight (JPL Remix)
Another classic now from 2007, this time from American producer and label owner Casey Keyworth …AKA ‘’Breakfast’’.
The track ‘Sunlight’ was released on Ferry Corsten’s Flashover Recordings label which he started a few years earlier in 2005.
12. SuReal – You Take My Breath Away (Lange Mix)
More feel-good vibes now as we return back the year 2000 – and yet another vocal trance classic! Also known as ‘Lange’, it’s another track from UK trance producer & remixer Stuart Langelaan, this time in collaboration with Rohan Heath and Steve Long under the alias ‘SuReal’.
In addition to its success in clubland, You Take My Breath Away also enjoyed commercial recognition, reaching No.15 in the UK charts in the same year.
13. Sander Kleinenberg – My Lexicon (Original Mix)
Whilst you could categorize ‘My Lexicon’ under the umbrella of Progressive House, for us, it’s also classic trance!
The track is by Dutch DJ & producer, Sander Kleinenberg, and was released on Pete Tong’s Essential Recordings label (which isn’t operational anymore) back in 2000. With its fantastic nostalgia-infused vibe and percussive melody, we definitely think it deserves a spot.
14. Sasha & Emerson – Scorchio (Full Length Version)
Keeping with the dreamy vibes for this next classic from Sasha & Emerson. This absolute gem of a track is also from 2000!
What a time this was for legendary Welsh DJ/producer, Sasha, who was also voted the world’s No. 1 DJ by DJ Mag in the same year and had just released his ‘Xpander’ EP the year prior.
It’s also interesting to know that British dance music legend Darren Emerson had recently parted ways with Underworld to concentrate on his solo career as a DJ, remixer and label owner.
We couldn’t easily find a digital copy of Scorchio, although you can get the vinyl EP on Discogs, which also includes ‘Emerson’s Late Night Dub’.
15. Slusnik Luna – Sun (Original 2000 mix)
Here’s a hard trance classic if there ever was one! This 10-minute banger is from the Finnish electronic music duo ‘Slusnik Luna’.
The track ‘Sun’ was originally released in Finland on Unity Records in October of 2000 and was later licensed to popular labels around the globe the following year. As well as being a massive hit in clubland, the track also reached No.40 in the UK Charts.
16. Solid Globe – North Pole (Original Mix)
Maybe not as widely known as some of the other tracks on this list, but boy does it deserve a spot! This one is by a Dutch progressive trance outfit created by Nic Vegter and Raz Nitzan.
‘North Pole’ was first released on Dutch label Fundamental Recordings back in 2003. After this one, the duo followed up with “Sahara”, which was nominated for ‘Best Dance Song of the Year’ in 2004.
17. System F – Dance Valley Theme 2001
Most notably famous for the classic trance anthem ‘Out Of The Blue’ released in ’98, ‘System F’ is one of the many aliases of Dutch trance music legend Ferry Corsten, who also went by the names ‘Moonman’, ‘Pulp Victim’ and ‘Gouryella’ during this era.
Fun fact: The name System F comes from Ferry’s systematic way of producing, as he always starts by looking for a melody, then fills in the bass and kick. The ‘F’ apparently stands for ‘fantastic, fabulous, Ferry’!
18. Above & Beyond Presents Tranquility Base – Oceanic (Original Mix)
Another well-deserved slot for Above & Beyond (also see No.3). This tech-trance banger was again released on their own label, Anjunabeats in 2007.
Fun fact: The name ‘’Anjuna’’ comes from the name of a beach in Goa, India.
With a production resume as long as your arm, the trio have displayed a broad range of electronic productions over the years, gravitating towards progressive trance & progressive house, whilst occasionally releasing downtempo & ambient tracks.
19. Tukan – Light A Rainbow (CJ Stone Remix)
‘Light A Rainbow’ was a classic vocal trance track released on German label ‘Drizzly’ in 2000. It’s by Danish Trance duo, Tukan.
This one reached No.4 in the German Dance Chart and featured on a number of German compilation albums. Perhaps more notably, the track also appeared on massively popular UK compilations ‘M.O.S. clubbers guide 2002’, ‘Judge Jules Clubbed’ and ‘The Annual’ from 2002.
20. Haylon – Starfighter (Jonas Steur Remix)
Last, but certainly not least, the track ‘Starfighter’ was originally released on UK label Surface recordings back in 2005. It’s by British trance outfit Andrew Perring & Tim Stark.
If you were looking for more evidence that ‘’classic trance’’ continued beyond the early 2000s, this is another good example!
Other euphoric trance anthems from the 2000s
21. Filo And Peri Feat. Eric Lumiere – Anthem (Original) (2007)
22. Rank 1 – Awakening (Original Mix) (2001)
23. Future Breeze – Temple Of Dreams (Club Mix) (2001)
24. DJ Tiesto – Lethal Industry (Original Mix) (2001)
25. Solid Sessions – Janeiro (2000)
26. Jurgen Vries – The Theme (2002)
27. 4 Strings – Take Me Away (Into The Night) (2001)
What an incredible time it was during the early 2000s for this magical nostalgic era of classic trance…
If we’re talking about escapism in the music, this period matches up against the best of them!
Read this next: 20 of the best classic trance anthems from the late 90s.
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