Tastemakers: The Most Influential Dance Mix Shows

Once upon a time, club-goers went out solely for the music, the person playing the records wasn’t part of the appeal. The rise of DJ superstars began thanks to expert tastemakers who had inside access to the newest and obscure records. These curators started to offer an experience other clubs and DJs couldn’t, and so the demand grew.

Some of the earlier pioneers still do exactly this only now it’s with an audience of millions of people globally. We take a look at some of the biggest and longest-running mix shows that continue to unearth the biggest hits. Kicking off with Tiesto, who in the early days was working in a record shop by day and then to the likes of Diplo, Above & Beyond, Pete Tong, Hardwell and Armin Van Buuren.



Tiësto’s Clublife started in 2007 and has become one of the most sought after mix shows for DJ’s to get their records played on, it has now aired over 650 episodes and inspired his compilation series. Each week the Dutch icon shows us his tastemaking prowess that has kept him at the top for decades, teasing exclusive releases from around the scene among them many from his revered record label Musical Freedom. It has aired on 3FM and Radio 538 in Holland. Previously it was 2 hours each week however this year Musical Freedom took the reigns of the second hour with exclusive mixes. You can also hear the biggest songs via the Clublife Playlist on Spotify.

A State of Trance

Armin van Buuren

Armin van Buuren’s live radio show ‘A State of Trance’ is now 18 years old and coming up on it’s 950th episode. It is co-hosted by Ruben de Ronde and airs weekly on Thursday 20:00 (CET) and 14:00 (EST) live on YouTube and is broadcasted on various stations. The two-hour show covers the best music in trance and dance, with special guests frequenting the studio. Armin holds events for the milestone episodes which attract hundreds of thousands of fans. Armin ensures he covers the best from his label Armada and its subsidiaries. Listen to full episodes here.

Radio One Essential Selection

Pete Tong

Pete Tong is the definition of the dance mix show, he has taken over the radio waves of the UK’s BBC Radio 1 for as long as many clubbers can remember. Originally called the Essential selection, it was later rebranded as just ‘Pete Tong’. They kept the segment ‘Essential New Tune’, where we get to hear his pick of the best new music, an accolade that often signals a future club hit. The show also pairs nicely with the Essential Mix also on BBC whereby Pete brings in select artists for a coveted slot to show dance lovers what they are all about.

Group Therapy

Above & Beyond

Group Therapy is brought to us by none other than Above and Beyond, and it has evolved into a world of its own. While it got it was named after their 2011 album, the show embodies its meaning with a warm and positive community. The trio now holds major events for all the shows milestones, recently celebrating #350 in Prague and treating fans to a chilled river livestream set from a boat beforehand. The weekly show consists of the best current trance among them releases off their Anjunabeats imprint.

Hardwell On Air


Hardwell has been on hiatus for year now yet his radio show remains as active as ever. Premiering new music from himself as well as his Revealed label is a staple for the show. Hardwell has special features throughout the tracklist such as Community Pick Of The Week, Hardwell Exclusive, Track Of The Week and more. The show has consistently aired weekly from March 2011. This is one of the picks for fans who love the electro big room side of dance music.

Diplo & Friends


While in the US he has an entire station called Revolution radio, over the pond in the UK the outspoken and iconic DJ has hosted his eclectic mix show ‘Diplo & Friends’ for some time. Each week he drops an exclusive mix and brings on two talented artists for guest slots, often unearthing new talents for their first shot as well as bringing on seasoned DJ veterans.

Splice General




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