10 Awesome Cheesy Trance Tracks

Mostly, I like to think that I listen to “good” music.  But sometimes, listening to some corny trance tracks from the late-90s/early 00s can be an effective guilty pleasure.  The overly dramatic crescendos, the over-the-top samples, and huge build-ups designed to kill ravers – all of them are just so goddamn entertaining.  So, listed below for your general perusal are some of my favorites (in something resembling chronological order):

Robert Miles – Children (Dream Version) – 1996

“Children” is the king of all poppy trance tracks, so that’s a good a place to start as any.  The piano hook is hyperbolically infectious, which is probably a big reason why it was one of the most commercially successful trance singles ever.

Paul van Dyk – Forbidden Fruit – 1996

I wasn’t sure whether to include this track, because it actually is good (actually, I would say it’s great).  But, it’s uplifting and has a lot of similar sounds to other tracks on this list, so I think it fits.  Out of seven minutes, more than four of them are build-up, which mostly consists of layering more and more melodies on top of each other.  Just lovely stuff from PvD.

Ayla – Angelfalls (Elemental Force Mix) – 1999

Speaking of build-ups, this mix of “Angelfalls” has a massive one.  Going from some quiet chords and soft piano to a full on screeching trance-splosion via a crescendo-ing snare is extremely energizing and delightfully over-magnaminous.

Absolom – The Air (Prophecy Mix) – 1999

The key to this track is the vocal sample, which is about as over-the-top as you can get: “Every night I see the most horrible things: murder, rape, genocide, torture… terrible wars with weapons we can’t even imagine today… they will destroy everything!”

Cygnus X – Superstring (Rank 1 Remix) – 2000

This is one of the more understated tracks on here as it doesn’t really have any big melodies or huge drama.  It’s just a few different little melodies and a catchy main synth line that I’ve been humming in my head for the past 8 years.

Guardians of the Earth – Starchildren – 2000

I liked this track before Paul van Dyk boosted its popularity by including it on his Politics of Dancing (2001) mix album.  The lyrics are, of course, nonsense, but I nonetheless prefer the original vocal version over the dub mix.  For some reason, Mike Olson, the guy behind GotE, has had extremely limited output over the past five years.  That’s too bad, as I’ve enjoyed almost all of his work.

PPK – Resurection (Space Club Mix) – 2001

This has to be one of the oldest MP3s I have on my computer.  I have this from back in the old mp3.com days, probably from before 2001 (the “official” label release date for the single).  I’m pretty sure this was the case, as I remember artists still naming songs “2001”, like it was the future.  Anyway, this is a pretty good combination of bad Russian spelling and spacey, layered melodies.

Rank 1 – Awakening (Ferry Corsten Remix) – 2002

This track bares a pretty good resemblance with the Cygnus X one listed above.  Small synthesizer screeches are well contained here by Corsten, who gets the most out of Rank 1’s melodies.

Three Drives – Air Traffic (Original Mix) – 2003

Three Drives warbles a wonderful swoosh of a melody over some normal trance rhythms and bass.  The main melody is all the track has going for it, but really, that’s all it needs.  Helluva melody by the guys who have the most variations on a single artist alias.

Ferry Corsten – Rock Your Body – 2003

To finish this up, we have what could be the cheesiest track here.  Corsten brings all of what makes cheesy dance tracks together.  We have:

  • Robot-like vocals
  • Commandments to dance
  • Gratuitous filtering on the primary build-up
  • High flatline sound that adds to the drama
  • Criminally catchy main melody

BONUS (this list goes up to 11): Raymond Wave – Starglider (Extended Edit) – ????

As you can see, I’m not sure what year to mark for the year on this, as this track wasn’t ever released on a label or anything.  It has classic NASA samples mixed into the track breaks, a staple of 90s dream trance.  You can download the song for free from the artist’s website here.

Arbitrary song of the day: Felix da Housecat vs. Sasha – Watching Cars Go By (Sasha Remix)

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