X-Dream are Marcus Christian Maichel (born May 1968) and Jan Müller
(born February 1970); they are also known as Rough and Rush. They are
producers of psychedelic trance music and hail from Hamburg, Germany.
Although their music retains the 4/4 drum patterns of Goa trance music
and has a dependence on riffs, X-Dream have a unique sounds different
from most other artists in the genre. They are well-known for their
high quality of production and well-placed psychedelic sounds. Muller
was educated as a sound engineer. Maichel was a musician familiar with
techno and reggae, and was already making electronic music in 1986. In
1989 the pair first met when Marcus was having problems with his PC and
someone sent Jan to help fix it. That same year they teamed up to work
on a session together. Their first work concentrated on a sound similar
to techno with some hip hop elements which got some material released
on Tunnel Records. During the early 1990s they were first introduced to
the trance scene in Hamburg and decided to switch their music to this
genre. They have since made a large number of releases as part of
projects like Children of Paradise, The Delta (Marcus C. Maichel with members of Spirallianz),
and The Pollinator. The earlier albums of X-Dream such as Trip To
Trancesylvania and We Created Our Own Happiness are much closer to the
original formula of psychedelic trance, although featuring the
unmistakable "trippy" early X-Dream sound. In October 1996 X-Dream
reached an agreement with the new UK trance label Blue Room Released.
Working with Blue Room, they released famous single "The Frog"
(featuring authentic frog sound samples from Mexico) and contributed
the track "No" on the Trip Through Sound compilation. In 1997 their
single "As A Child I Could Walk On The Ceiling" (released by The Delta)
became widely played by many top trance DJs including Mark Allen. They
have also remixed several tracks for other artists including Koxbox and
the Saafi Brothers.
In 1998 they released their most celebrated album Radio and two new
singles, "Brain Forest" and "Radiohead". The Radio album became
immensly popular quickly selling out all the printed copies. It
featured a totally new kind of sound which was yet unexplored in the
genre. Instead of complex melodies familiar in prior Goa trance
releases it featured a more industrial, darker, feel where the melody
would become apparent only after several listens. ElectronicMusic.com
referred to this style as a "robotic orgasm sequence" in their review
of the album . The basslines were also harder in many of the tracks,
making the music very danceable. The album is extremelly significant as
it ended up changing the direction of where psychedelic trance was
headed and influencing the work of many future artists in the genre.
Even though Radio was a significant departure from their earlier work,
due to its more minimalist sound, X-Dream went back to their earlier
style with the two next album, Urban Alien (as Children of Paradise)
and Panic In Paradise. These would be their last non-minimalist
releases. The 2002 Irritant album was their first authentic minimalist
release on the Global Trance Network label and sold out all the copies
within only a few days of the first printing. The latest X-Dream album,
We Interface, includes vocals from Tennessee singer Ariel (Jan's wife).
The lyrics are actually her poetry, written ahead of the album. The
album has a very much industrial sound and is in some ways similar to
the work of Kraftwerk. The lyrics deal with subjects such as
technology, censorship, cyberspace, cloning and robotics.