The Trancefix best of 2022 is here! Once again time to celebrate the best tracks, labels, albums and compilations, across the
Trance, Progressive, Psy and the general hypnotic dance music scene. Thanks again to our sexy community who help us
formulate this, with all ya votes, sharing, thoughts and discussion throughout the year in the forum.
We beat the last years turnout by 17 votes, with over 1100 tracks submitted for review. We also had far more votes for
underground/nu-trance artists than last year, partly due to increase in votes from members and lurkers, but also I think because
the underground offerings have continued to improve quite significantly over the past years. In contrast, the votes for
uplifting/commercial Trance fell off a lot, or were at least more scattered to not make it into the charts. Alright lets get to it.
Winner: Filip Storsveen aka Repulsive Force, Oprofessionell, Omformer, Kineta, Levitating Frog
Runner up: Mikkel Rev/Omformer
Special Mention: Digital Blonde, Enigma State
Congrats to Filip Storsveen, best known as Repulsive Force, currently one of the most prolific talents of the current underground Trance scene. His album TRANS08 (released on Translusid), was a an awesome, deep, driving and hypnotic experience, and one of the best albums from the year. He also released an excellent ambient Trance EP under his alias The Levitating Frog, some wicked remixes and more original material under Omformer and Oprofessionell. Great to see an underground producer get so many votes this year. He seems to produce exclusively for UTE, but I am really hoping I can tempt him to create something for TF in 2023.
In Runner up we have Mikkel Rev, who came very close in votes to Repulsive Force, who he is often working together under the Omformer alias. He had a beautiful ambient/trance album TRANS07 (also on Translusid) and a ton of other great remixes, original material and collabs across different labels. Very diverse producer with a lot of talent.
Digital Blonde actually released a TON this year. Pretty sure he has a new alias DR S7R4NG3 (unconfirmed?) Check the top 100 to see lots of his awesome work, he featured heavily, with many other tracks not even making the list. Enigma State also got lots of votes, clear scene favorite now.
Winner: Aerium pres Avalon 62 - Paracosm
Runner up: Repulsive Force - TRANS008
Special Mention: Factor B - Theatre of The Mind | Super Frog Saves Tokyo - Strawman | You Are My Salvation - Part 1
So happy to see you guys voting Paracosm as your number 1. Dominating the votes by far, big congrats to @jetflag for an awesome album that I think was so successful because it genuinely felt like a true concept album, that is meant to be experienced completely from start to finish, with lovely diversity in the tracks, and a dreamy and techy combo of sounds that are not really found anywhere else in the scene right now. Lucky us that we got to release it! Remix album?
Repulsive Force's album very much following the new approach of underground album releases; no grand concepts, no big release fuss, no pre-hype, tons of remixes already included and in true hipster fashion not even including a real album name. You can just plug into this dark, hypnotic, trippy loveliness and come out 2 hours later and not know where all that time went....a true trance state. All this wrapped up in lovely sound design and oldschool influences that the rest of the Trance scene should really pay more attention to, as these guys are delivering.
All the special mentions here got equal share of the votes and caps off a pretty good year for Trance albums, with something for all tastes across a bunch of different scene styles.
Runner up: UTE Collective (UTE, Translusid, Sinesis)
Special Mention: Anjunabeats, Forescape, Gestalt
Congrats to Activa and Borderline, a great return for the label! Really popular by the members of this forum with over 15 different tracks featuring in our top 100. 100+ track nominations in total! Probably the only label that manages to do high BPM melodic/euphoric Trance whilst still keeping it grounded with a more serious and sophisticated approach. Definitely hints of classic feelings too at times, but ultimately its a very signature modern, clean 'Activa' sound that characterizes the label which can be very satisfying when done right.
Second place (by a mere 5 votes!) for the UTE label and its sub labels. Ok, ok I kinda cheated by grouping UTE, Translusid and Sinesis votes together, but it's all essentially the same Mikkel Rev and Repulsive Force party anyway, so why not. Out of all the current underground/nu-trance contributors swimming in the bandcamp store they are ones that are most closely delivering Trance style. Respect! Not only is the sound design miles ahead of almost all other mid to mainstream Trance labels, they're also not sticking rigidly to genres, plenty of blending and cross influences going on. Did you hear that ambient Trance stuff they put out this year? Damn amazing, first time we are getting ambient music like this in the scene in years.
Special mentions - Anjunabeats clearly still doing something right with their signature recipe, bunch of votes these. Forescape almost looking like it was finished after having a massive forced hiatus due to the war in Ukraine, but thankfully now back in business, and Gestalt was a new label that popped up a handful of times too, very much underground newcomer, but definitely worth checking out.
Winner: RE: Dream
Runner up: Repulsive Force - The Art Of Skullduggery Vol. III - by Alex Di Stefano & Zach Zlov & EverLight
Special Mention: Pure Progressive Vol. 2 - by Forerunners, Radiant Love IWD Comp Vol 3 - VA
RE: Dream takes the top spot for the year. What a great compilation, featuring a whole range of Downtempo, House, Techno, Progressive and Trance tracks, which to be honest is a breath of fresh air considering the Trance genre has been notoriously one dimensional in having compilations stick to the set sub-genre of the label. The great thing about these compilations is that you never know what your’e gonna get when you tune in, and the sound design of all the tracks is high-quality and often pure ear candy too.
Art of Skullduggery get the runner up. Hard hitting Tech and Hard Trance from some of the bigger names from the scene, mixed wonderfully (especially the Di Stefano one) and probably the last label that does higher BPM 'mainstream' Trance but staying more or less out of the generic/cheesy styles that will typically dominate that space.
To be honest none of the votes revealed a clear standout/favorite compilation this year, votes were low and many users left that field empty. It’s understandable really, as the days of legendary compilations still seem to still be well well behind us. Most of the underground comps don't even mix together for that journey approach! There were a number of votes for Myon’s Tales From Another world, Forerunners Progressive Pure and Radiant Loves Comp too, but ultimately we are still left wanting for the magic journeys to return.
The Top 100 Tracks
Ok now the best part, the top ranked 30, and unranked 100 tracks from 2022. The criteria for making it into the list is a minimum of 6 points and spread across at least 3 individual votes. In the case of tied points, whoever received more individual votes ranks higher. We had more votes than last year so can increase the ranked submissions from 25 to 30.
Congrats to @EnigmaState ! For the second year running he gets the top stop, and by far. Borderline dominates the label entries, and most artist votes go to Digital Blonde, Repulsive and Avalon 62 aka @jetflag. Please note, some tracks like Enigma State - In My Fantasy/Enigmatic were featured in last years vote/results, as although released in 2022, were available to listen and enjoyed for most of 2021.
- Robert Nickson w Stoneface & Terminal - From The Sun (Enigma State Remix) [PURE Trance]
- Willem & Cybernet - Exit Phase [GODDEZZ]
- Slamduck - Struggle For Life [JOOF]
- Lange pres. Firewall - Together [Create Music]
- Horizons - Dusk Over Puerto Princesa (Narel Remix) [Landscapes]
- Activa vs Mac & Monday - A Light In The Dark [Borderline]
- Definitions & Andre Meir - The Gate [Borderline]
- Reflex Blue - Ocean Bliss (Paradise Mix) [Gestalt]
- Standard Form - Crimson Dust (Spirit MIx) [Lost Language]
- Activa & Slipstream - Cassini [Pure Trance]
- Aerium pres. Avalon 62 - Russokye Leto [TF Recordings]
- SEO John - When Dreams Collide [GODDEZZ]
- Aerium pres. Avalon 62 - Eudaimonia [TF Recordings]
- Oprofessionell - Someone [UTE]
- Dark Matter - Dragons Tear (Thomas Datt's Third Eye Activation Remix) [Landscapes]
- Mellow Sonic - Changes (Artifact303 Remix) [Self Release]
- Kineta - Scorpious [UTE]
- Solaris - Waiting For You (Thomas Datt's Heart Activation Extended Remix) [FSOE]
- Robert Nickson w Stoneface & Terminal - From The Sun [PURE Trance]
- Byron Yates - Dreaming Is Essential [Radiant Love]
- Aerium pres. Avalon 62 - OAHU [TF Recordings]
- Matchbox - Break A Take [Who's Susan]
- Myon - Moon [Anjunabeats]
- Digital Blonde - Legato 22 [JOOF]
- Simon Bostock - Reflect [Borderline]
- Atlantis -Voyager II (Activa Remix) [Borderline]
- Factoria & Gregor Burney - Mergence [Borderline]
- Rigson - U Ask I Tell [Union Trance Mission]
- Benjani vs. Mac & Monday - Sanctum (Mac & Monday Remix) [Borderline]
- Astral Projection - Into The Void [Sacred Technology]
- The Digital Blonde - Callakuma [JOOF]
- Repulsive Force - Dreams of Unity [Translusic]
- Bliss Inc - 131 [Haws]
- Above & Beyond & Mat Zo - Always Do (Extended Mix) [Anjunabeats]
- Superfrog Saves Tokyo - Kill Em Quick [Electronic Architecture]
- Temple One - Magic Moment [ASOT]
- Dj Maria - Acid Sunrise (Alan Backdrop Remix) [Beyond The Galaxy]
- Sonic Element - Memories of A Past Life [Borderline]
- L-3P - Axtron [Space Trax]
- Simon O'Shine & Fe Malefiz - Can't See Clearly (Original Mix) [Audioresearch]
- Ovnimoon, Tanonica - Behind The Eye [Geomagnetic]
- Lostly - Suadade [Subculture]
- Jon Jones - Gateway (Sunrise Mix) [Dream Software]
- Julian Del Agranda - New World (Alt Mix) [TF Recordings]
- Enlusion - Harvester Pt II [Forescape Digital]
- Damate - Reflections [Colorize]
- Slipstream & Sonic Element - What Defines us [Borderline]
- Kineta - Extensions [UTE x Amniote]
- You Are My Salvation - Mercurial [Self Release]
- Mikkel Rev - So Surreal (Repulsive Force PB Mix) [Translusid]
- Cybernet - Enceladus [Gestalt]
- Romy & Fred Again - Strong [Young]
- Luke Terry - Cryosphere [Borderline]
- Repulsive Force - Ants [Translusid]
- Bliss Inc - Peace FM [Why People Dance]
- John Askew & Shelby Merry - When Darkness Comes [Blackhole Recordings]
- Chris Johnson - Next Chapter [Borderline]
- Coredata - Waking Bliss [JOOF]
- Peter Steele - Equilibrium [Borderline]
- Benjani vs. Mac & Monday – Sanctum [Borderline]
- Aerium - Wetterlocht [TF Recordings]
- Repulsive Force - Feel The Force [Translusid]
- Cybernet - Sun Dancer [Gestalt Records]
- Aerium - Something More (Solarstone Retouch) [PURE]
- Chris Johnson - The Infinite [Borderline]
- Gabriola - One to Zen [Spirit Mirror]
- Aerium - Through Fields of Open Shards [TF Recordings]
- Spectral - Unexpected [Titan Audio]
- Cosmonaut - Plasma [JOOF]
- Mellow Sonic - Shattered Dreams (Artifact303 Remix) [Self Release]
- Luminance & Randomtask - Oasis [Titan Audio]
- Orbital - Belfast (Yotto Remix) [Self Release]
- MIkkel Rev - Revelation In A Chillout Room (Ekkel 'Manifest 2 B' mix) [Translusid]
- Allende - Midnight Train (B2B Mix) [PURE]
- Repulsive Force - Peace [Translusid]
- Coredata - Toad of Truth [JOOF]
- Cybernet - Druid [Gestalt]
- Miika Leinonen - Singularity [Alter Ego]
- Midian - Echoes of You (Autumn Mix) [TF Recordings]
- Narel - Assonance [JOOF]
- Incdient Prism - Boomentrack [Vital Manger]
- Zara - Di Plastica (Maara Remix) [Salt Mines]
- Mac & Monday - Adhafera [Borderline]
- Omformer - Transmedium Travel [Amniote X UTE]
- You Are My Salvation - Vittra [Self Release]
- Lostly - Concorde [Subculture]
- Glenn Morisson & Paul Keely - Be Nice [Anjunabeats]
- Terra V - Hypnotic State [Codex]
- Mark Sherry meets Push - Big Things Have Small Beginnings [Outburst]
- Paul Denton - Ricochet (Stoneface & Terminal Remix) [FSOE Clandestine]
- G Coulter, The Conductor & The Cowboy, STOBY - Sirens (Enigma State Remix) [Premier League Records]
- Atlantis - Vengeance (Mac & Monday Extended Remix) [Borderline]
- Stoneface & Terminal with Sinsonic - Spaceglide [PURE Trance]
- Aiden Francis - Entropic Nature (Biodive Remix)
- Maara - Spiral 2 the Other Side [X-Kalay]
- DJ Maria - Acid Sunrise (Mikel Rev Remix) [Beyond The Galaxy]
- Trancemaster - Release It [Transatlantic]
- Will Rees - Burnin' Up [Kearnage]
- Sonic Element - Forgotten [Borderline]
- Incident Prism - Time Synchro [Vital Manger]
- Chris Johnson - String Theory [Research & Development]
- Solarstone - Hope [PURE]
- Sonic Element - Gone Again [Borderline]
- Burns - Always (Stoneblue Remix) [Anjunabeats]
- Jamie Stevens - 'Transference' (Luke Chable Remix) [Music to Die For]
- Jackob Roenald & Mike Moor - Our Dimension [Borderline]
- AA Meeting - Summit [VII]
- William Bryne - Echo (Hoopoe Remix) [PURE]
- Rambal Cochet - Ambientica [Spaziotempo]
- L-3P - Xondel [Space Trax]
- You Are My Salvation - Dawn [Self Release]
- Bliss Inc - Get Some [Radiant Love]
- Air Protection Office - Mind Trip, Body Journey [Space Trax]
- Mikkel Rev - Age of Plastic (Peachlyfe Remix) [Translusid]
- Rigson - Digital Tears (Trance Mix( [Shogun Records]
- Tekknova - Last Trip To Paradise (The Noble Six Remix)
- MIkkel Rev - Error Humankind [Translusid]
- Feel Fly - Sinfonia Celeste [Internasjonal]
- DR S7R4NG3 - Fields of Joy
- Brent Rix - Mirage [MIKE Push Studio]
- Maara - Plum Plum Paradise [Radiant Love]
- The Digital Blonde - Magic [Elektrobeats]
- Andre Senior - Voices (Enigma State Remix) [Premier League Recordings]
- Maara - Lezzies In A Jacuzzi [Radiant Love]
- Cores - Millennium (Will Reese Remix) [VII]
- Dylan Forbes - Take You Over [Haws]
- Maara - Going All The Way Up [Stranger Together]
Thanks again to everyone who voted. With over 1000 track submissions this one really took a while to go through. What do you think of the results? Mixed feelings on if its a stronger list than last year. On one hand there was far less of a breakaway for the majority of the top 30, compared to 2021, which had many clear standouts. However this list has so much more underground and nu-trance than I was expecting, so shows that that side of the scene is growing. EoY mixes are arriving soon! Expect a Spotify playlist with all this too!
2022 Scene Review
My head is telling me that the scene is moving in the right direction, even if the heart still not quite satisfied and still longing for 99. The underground is probably the most exciting it's been in the years, with the 'revival' movement continuing to produce more great Trance, Techno, House, Prog, Ambient and Breaks, all with a sound design not way above the rest. My personal bandcamp follow list jumped from around 40 to 180 this year, a testament to how many new labels are popping up and willing to give the Trance sound representation. I think Trance is now becoming 'cool' again in the underground. Thats a good thing in my opinion, as It could be exactly what we need to help propel us out of decades of idea stagnation and mainstream take-over, and into what the heart knows can be done.
I still feel that this modern 'Nu-trance' (as sometimes dubbed) has a bit of a way to go to deliver at the levels we experienced in the golden years, and unite the scene more collectively, like we had in the past. My criticism is maybe those proper Trance journeys and tensioned filled storytelling is no there, instead more house, techno or speedy grooves.... but if anyone's showing signs of doing it it's definitely this new wave of underground producers who are bringing an authenticity and less rigid mindset to the productions. Even just having beautiful, bespoke artwork again is a stark difference from last decade. The passion and creativity is returning.
In contrast, Uplifting, Tech and 'conventional' Trance still makes very little to no progress, with steroid sounds still dominating. There is nothing I want more for Uplifting and super euphoric/melodic Trance to return, but its just not happening for me. The scene is obviously still very disconnected on this point too, as their is a large portion of the scene who completely disagree with me that there is an issue. Borderline does a good job at bridging the gap between worlds, and would love more labels like this, but they are few. At this point now it feels like two completely different Trance scenes and genres...but maybe thats a good thing?
Competition winner - For those who paid attention to my original post in the voting thread, everyone who voted gets a chance to win free TF Records releases for life. Well congratulations to @sszecret, because you my man were pulled from the hat! Will DM you with more details.
TF Recordings - I'm gonna work extra hard this year to sign more people, more classic sounds hopefully too. We have an awesome uplifting/euphoric Trance album coming hopefully before Spring, some really classic German sounding stuff and a few other release in the works with more familiar scene names. I'm also gonna do everything I can to sign original @EnigmaState material And will be messaging in general tons of the underground guys to see if they will consider making really Trancey stuff for us. Let's see
Forum updates - This year we will hopefully finish all the visual improvements to the site, Including proper article/interview format and hub, fixing the banners that look weird depending on your screen size, big fixes and maybe even bring back light theme. If time permits we may also do the Trancefix Top 1000, which needs to be done.
Thats it! Thanks!