A friend of mine from Germany gave me a bunch of "Hamburg techno" as he called it; really mostly a bunch of late 90s trance. Although I liked a bunch of the tracks, I never really got into the music in the sense that I wanted to go find more of it. The tracks that were really stand-outs from that collection—of somewhere around 50-60 tracks, maybe?—include "Magnetic Love" by Hyper Tension, "In My Dream" by Scoopex, and the so-called original trance song "Age of Love" by Age of Love (although I later found out that the version he gave me wasn't the original version, it was one of the "Jam & Spoon" mixes. Apparently, that's a common mistake, as the original from 1990 wasn't the one that went on to become a cult classic that spawned an entire genre.
That home-made mix tape given to me in late 1999 or early 2000 while I was in my MBA program, along with the Big Hard Disk compilation were, for many years, my sole exposure to real EDM—even though it didn't even have that name yet. Meanwhile I spent much of that same time chasing after the then current A Different Drum and others underground synthpop scene and discovering the neo-EBM turning into futurepop scene. This is when I discovered artists like De/Vision, Mesh, VNV Nation, etc. EDM was something going on in the background that I didn't pay much attention to, but I knew was out there. In fact, given that I only had about a 50% like rate for the stuff on the mix tape I was given, and even less for the compilation I bought pretty much guaranteed that I didn't think I had a future in that direction. How wrong that ended up being! I just wasn't exposed to enough of the right tracks!
Anyway, here's a few more tracks that I've stumbled across that I really regret not having in my collection for a long time:
- Hennes & Cold - "First Step"—along with its B-side (or alternate version) "Second Step" this 1999 track is usually considered the very first "reverse bass" track, and therefore simultaneously a great example of Millennial hard trance and the very first hardstyle song at the same time.
- Brooklyn Bounce - "Born to Bounce [Warp Brothers Remix]"—this does miss out on the "Music is my destiny" vocals, but it is otherwise a better version than the original. Sorry, Brooklyn Bounce.
- The Warp Brothers - "We Will Survive"—still trying to decide if I prefer the Club Mix or the D.O.N.S. Remix, speaking of the Warp Brothers. Either way, they're both great tracks. By the way, their remix/rework of the Pump Panel Reconstruction of New Order's "Confusion" as "Blade" is pretty fun too.
- Cosmic Commando - "Heartbreak"—you'd think a duo that goes by, respectively, the names DJ Yanny and DJ Gollum would be too silly to take seriously, but this is a seriously great track. It's funny to hear the same song sampled that Tuneboy used for "Whackyjackie" too.
- Cosmic Gate - "Human Beings"—Cosmic Gate is something like a superstar in the world of hard trance, as near as I can tell, with loads of hits and actual albums and everything. "Exploration of Space" or "Fire Wire" might be their "signature" track, but I like this one. Also, Wikipedia actually uses a portion of it to demonstrate what hard trance is. Plus, "The Truth" falls victim to the Magic Negro fallacy just a bit; why in the world do we have this guy saying, "Da Troof" over and over again in a track made by two Germans?
- DJ Mirko Milano - "Stopp & Go [DJ Arne L II and Mirko Milano Mix]"—the original is pretty great too, but it seems that Arne and Mirko did their best work when working together. This is actually a contender to be my new favorite song flavor of the week (or two) currently.
You should be able to find all of those tracks on YouTube, and most of them (although not all) are on Spotify too.
Curiously, since he was such a huge part of the hard trance movement overall, I find that most work by Scot Project is kinda... well, I like it, I suppose, but I rarely love it. So, I've got some of his tracks and remixes, but few of them make the cut to "best of" status.