As 2013 comes to a close, we fondly look back towards our accomplishments towards EDM in America, especially within the world of Trance music. While American culture was still adapting to EDM back in 2012, our tastes are finally establishing themselves in a new golden age of Trance that has firmly taken root here in America. 2013 has been monumental for many artists as more and more either move to America or center their careers towards their American fans that have taken this music to symbolize their own generation, much like Rock did during the 60′s and 70′s. Even though 2012 was the year of Progressive House, we have finally developed a vibrant and exuberant Trance scene that spans from the dark streets of New York City to the sunny shores of Los Angeles and everywhere in between. As the lead Trance writer of Your EDM, it is my job to showcase the best of what Trance had to offer in 2013 to cap off this amazing journey that has only just begun. This list has been compiled after hours of research and thought and consists of the top 10 tracks that have been the most successful, as well as the impact that they had on the scene as a whole. Before I begin, I do understand that these lists always cause controversy, because a track you may like may not appear here. Please bear in mind that compiling all of the year’s best Trance tracks into just 10 picks is just short of impossible. These are not my own personal picks, but the ones that were the most important this year. So without further ado, I present the top 10 Trance tracks of 2013.
Ed note: These choices are not in any particular order.
1. Armin van Buuren & Markus Schulz- The Expedition (ASOT 600 Anthem) (Original Mix)
Celebrating 600 weekly episodes of Armin van Buuren‘s A State Of Trance radio show, this track was a homage to the astonishing contributions that Armin has given to the Trance community. It lead the charge through the Expedition world tour and was an essential piece of Armada‘s library this year. It received 4 remixes from Andrew Rayel, KhoMha, Orjan Nilsen and Indecent Noise, and was critically acclaimed across the entire spectrum of EDM. With one of the most spectacular and iconic melodies to date, it was one of the most memorable pieces of 2013.
2. Fisherman & Hawkins- Apache (Original Mix)
While this might have seemed like an ordinary Trance track, it actually was the unofficial anthem of the Expedition world tour with an incredible amount of artists supporting it. It spawned itself into a cult classic with huge support from Markus Schulz and gained much love from many fans on Facebook and Twitter, even going so far as to retain a trending topic on multiple occasions. It skyrocketed both of their careers to new heights and its popularity exploded out of nowhere. With an incredibly memorable melodic line and an equally powerful punch behind it, Apache was a huge success for the Coldharbour family.
3. Adam Ellis- Napalm Poet (Original Mix)
This tune was the underdog track of the year, as a fresh, upcoming producer managed to create one of the most powerful and uplifting pieces of 2013. With an artist that was just starting out their first year in the big leagues, it was unlikely that one of their singles shoots to #1 on the Beatport Trance charts. It was a cause of great celebration for KEARNAGE Recordings and was frequently spun by industry leaders such as Aly & Fila, John O’Callaghan, Indecent Noise and Armin van Buuren. People still remember the ballistic reaction of the crowd when it was spun during Bryan Kearney‘s set in the Den Bosh leg of the ASOT 600 world tour. Many Trance fans are regarding this track as the best Uplifting track of 2013 and its pristine combination between power and melody marks the sheer mark of quality and care that Ellis has crafted.
4. Andrew Bayer- Perth/Mirth Mobile (Original Mixes)
2013 was a spectacular year for Anjunabeats regular, Andrew Bayer. With the release of his most recent, experimental studio album, If It Were You, We’d Never Leave, Bayer switched his sound to a more club friendly sound with the releases of his double EP of Perth & Mirth Mobile. It was a universal success that was repeatedly hammered in almost every single DJ set and was a brilliant blend of Progressive House and Trance that crushed dance floors around the world. It too become a cult classic and has propelled his career to a new chapter where he comfortably sits with the big leagues.
5. Armin van Buuren & W&W- D# Fat (Original Mix)
Whether or not you are a supporter or a hater of this track, no one can deny the sheer impact that this piece had on the American public. While it was a systematic change of style for Armin, it was also an adventurous endeavor that became an integral part of his current library. Anyone who has seen live Trance this year has heard this track at some point and it delivers fantastic results every single time. Most importantly, it was the perfect combination of both sounds and one can even hear Armin vs. W&W‘s style going back in forth, especially in the breakdown. It was one of the most important tracks to entice newcomers to Trance and helped grow the American scene even more.
6. Giuseppe Ottaviani with Ferry Corsten- Magenta (Original Mix)
The leading track for the critically acclaimed Magenta album by Giuseppe Ottaviani, Magenta signified years of hard work to get to this point. Giuseppe is widely known for being one of the best technicians in all of Trance and his superior sound production skills shine at its peak with this Uplifting masterpiece. Additionally, it brought back the older style of Ferry Corsten, which many older fans have been eager to hear once more. With a beautiful, emotional melody and a sound design that brings back the classic ‘Pure’ Trance sound with modern, cutting edge production values, it is a true testament to their passions of Trance.
7. Neelix- Leave Me Alone (Simon Patterson Remix)
Nothing could have prepared the world for such a radical change from Patterson‘s usual Tech Trance/Uplifting style, but his remix to Leave Me Alone was certainly one of the most experimental Trance tracks of 2013. It was the first time that someone had even conceived of combining Trance and Psy together under one production and the results were incredible. With a gigantic library of sound effects, unusual arrangement decisions and multiple samples from game show themes to Pulp Fiction, it was a brand new area of unexplored territory that Patterson tackled with relish, and helped launch an entirely new chapter in his growing career.
8. Armin van Buuren- Who’s Afraid Of 138?! (Photographer Remix)
Who’s Afraid Of 138?! was Armin‘s return to the classic Uplifting sound that many of his fans fell in love with in the early days and regained the trust of fans who had debated that his sound was becoming way too mainstream. The creation of this track also help organize the highly successful Who’s Afraid Of 138?! stage at Den Bosh during the last stage of the ASOT600 world tour and also began a sub-label for Armada of the same name. For the first release of the label, it was a remix pack of Armin‘s single that included the powerful sound of Photographer, who are extensively known for their staggering power and breathtaking synth leads. With Armin‘s sagely melodies and Photographer‘s massive production skills, it paved the way towards a wider recognition of the faster styles of Trance.
9. Craig Conelly & Christina Novelli- Black Hole (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix)
Featuring the gorgeous vocals of Christina Novelli, Black Hole was an instant success that received heavy support from every industry leader in 140 Trance. It was a Future Favorite by Armin van Buuren as well as a Wonder Of The Week by Aly & Fila. It even received complete support from John O’Callaghan, who regarded it as his personal tune of the summer. As one of the most promising talents in the scene, Deynhoven completely blew past expectations and easily created the best vocal Trance track of 2013.
10. RAM & Susana- RAMelia (Original Mix) (Tribute To Amelia)
Even though we stated that this list was in no particular order, RAM‘s single of RAMelia was hands down the most emotional and heartfelt Trance track of 2013. The creation of this track was a homage to his wife Amelia, who had suddenly died earlier this year without any warning whatsoever. This death sent shockwaves throughout the entire Trance community as she was good friends with many artists in today’s scene and her vibrant and joyful outlook on life was admired by everyone who knew her. This track truly came from the heart and soul, and the deeper meanings and implications that this piece provided firmly established the legacy of this track to survive for decades to come.
As we close out our Top 10 list of Trance in 2013, I want to personally thank each and every fan/raver/dancer that champion the Trance scene as a whole. Without the support of each and every one of you, we would not have such an incredible and emotional movement that we have today. I welcome new people to experience the joys and wonders that is Trance music and ask that all fans continue to support all the genres of Trance as we push forward towards 2014. Thank you so much Trance Family!
Keep the music alive. -Q
Post Ed. As there were so many tracks to choose from, I want to add five honorable mentions that didn’t make this list. These too were some of the best releases this year.
1. Max Graham- The Evil ID (Original Mix)
2. Simon O’Shine & Sergey Nevone- Apprehension (Aly & Fila Mix)
3. Simon Patterson & Jordan Suckley- Vanilla (Original Mix)
4. Solarstone- Seven Cities (Solarstone Pure Mix)
5. Ferry Corsten ft. Jenny Wahlstrom- Many Ways (Will Atkinson Midnight Remix)