Ministry of Sound Versus

Masters of Trance

In celebration of our Versus campaign, we count down the ten most influence names in trance music.

In celebration of our Versus campaign we count down the ten most influential names in trance music

Paul van Dyke

The Grammy Award winning producer was one of the first true superstar DJs. He has topped the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs twice and was declared the best DJ in the world by Mixmag in 2005. His music has featured on more than just albums and dancefloors, many of his productions have appeared in various other media, including Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and a whole host of video games including Need For Speed, DJ Hero and FIFA. His remix of Humate's "Love Stimulation" is widely regarded as the first track to be dubbed 'Trance'.

Paul Oakenfold

Although his beginnings were in Balearic and Acid House - being one of the first DJs to bring the sounds of Ibiza back to the UK - it is for trance that Paul Oakenfold has become most recognised. His two-hour "Goa Mix" for BBC's Essential Mix, first broadcast in the early hours of Sunday 18th December 1994 became one of the most famous mixes of all time and six months later he became the first DJ to headline Glastonbury. Paul has produced a huge body of work, including three studio albums, but it is surely for the above that he is most known. Before 2000 Paul was a legend in the dance scene, but after the runaway success of Big Brother, he became a household name the world over for creating that iconic theme tune.


Before he was a world conquering, Tomorrowland-headlining, EDM superstar, DJ Tiesto as he was then known, was one of the brightest stars in Trance. The first in a long line of big name DJs to come from the Dutch town of Breda, Tiesto began releasing music twenty years ago in 1994. Best known in Dance Music circles for his game-changing "Adagio for Strings", dancefloor smash "In The Dark" and a number of collaborations with Junkie XL. It was for his remix of Delerium's classic "Silence" however, that he first began to crossover into mainstream success. This set him on the path to superstardom which led him to top the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll for three consecutive years and culminated with him becoming the first DJ to ever play at an Olympics opening ceremony at Athens 2004.

Armin van Buuren

Probably the most iconic DJ in the world. Armin has amassed an insane number of accolades over his long and distinguished career. Along with being crowned No.1 DJ in the world a record five times in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll, Armin has been nominated for a Grammy Award, holds the record for the most entires in Billboard's Dance / Electronic Albums Chart and his A State of Trance radio show has smashed all online records by attracting a stagger 20 million listeners a week. 

Ferry Corsten

One of the longest running trance DJs. He began producing in the early 90s gabber and hardcore scenes but in 1999, under his System F moniker, he broke into melodic trance with "Out of the Blue". His follow up collaboration with Robert Smit cemented Ferry as a shining light in the emotional trance scene and he's gone on to become one of the biggest Dutch trance DJs on the planet. He gained mainstream attention after producing massive remix of U2's "New Years Day" and recording the very first edition of Ministry of Sound's Trance Nation compilation. This went on to become the biggest selling dance compilation in the UK and was certified platinum.


Nicholas Bracegirdle is one of the most recognisable names in the melodic and more ambient ends of the trance spectrum. Known for massive crossover hits, "Saltwater", "Offshore" and "Sunstroke" he also collaborated with Welsh national treasure, Tom Jones, on 2006's "Stoned In Love". After a short hiatus from production, he returned in May this year with the massive "No More I Sleep", the first single from forthcoming seventh studio album, The Sum of it's Parts

Above & Beyond

Above & Beyond are the biggest dance supergroup on the planet, they head up one of the most important labels in the genre and present one of the most popular weekly radio shows in the world. The trio of Tony, Jono and Pav formed Above & Beyond in 2000 and since then, they have released three studio albums, sold out madison square gardens and been the only act to ever be voted Essential Mix of the Year twice by BBC listeners. Their label Anjunabeats has brought exciting newcomers such as Andrew Bayer, Matt Zo and Super8 & Tab into the limelight.

Markus Schulz

The American DJ/producer is known for his massive extended sets of between 8-15 hours, establishing the Coldharbour Recordings label and releasing six mix and four studio albums over the past nine years. Markus has brought his huge extended sets to the biggest dance events in the world including Ultra, Electric Daisy Carnival and Tomorrowland. He presents his weekly Global DJ Broadcast radio show and he has recently teamed up with old friend Ferry Corsten to form supergroup New World Punx. His Coldharbour label has been responsible in launching the careers of M.I.K.E Push and KhoMha. 

Dash Berlin

Dash Berlin is a  Dutch trance music project fronted by DJ Jeffrey Sutorius. In the studio he is backed up by producers Eelke Kalberg and Sebastiaan Molijn. Kalberg and Molijn made their name producing crossover dance tracks throughout the late 90s and early 00s for acts such as Alice Deejay and Vengaboys. When the three started Dash Berlin in 2007, their breakout track "Till The Sky Falls Down" catapulted them into the limelight and just three years later they'd be headlining Ultra Music Festival and being crowned Highest Ranking Newcomer at the 2010 DJ Mag Top 100.

Aly & Fila

The Egyptian kings of trance are one of the most exciting purveyors of tough trance to emerge in recent years. The DJ and production duo had their breakthrough in 2011 with the Armin-championed "We Control The Sunlight". They have produced three studio albums and their iconic radio show, Future Sounds of Egypt has recently passed the 300th episode mark. Earlier this year they recorded a massive two-disc Trance Nation compilation and their remix of Luke Bond's "On Fire" was without doubt the standout trance track of the summer.

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More Versus: Masters of House, Masters of Garage, Masters of Drum & Bass, Masters of Chill

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Written by Matthew Francey

31 Oct 2014