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 immensely 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. In their review of the album ElectronicMusic.com described the track "Electromagnetic" as a "robotic orgasm sequence" . The basslines were also harder in many of the tracks, making the music very danceable. The album is extremely 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.