What’s happening with Trance? You hear people complaining that trance is dead, to slow or even calling it Trouse. There are those that think trance died when Dutch Trance artists like Rank 1 became popular. There are people that think trance died around 2003 when Tiesto and Armin started selling out arenas and making their productions more commercial. There are people who think trance died around 2009 when Armin Van Buurens A State of Trance 2008 won best compilation of all-time. I personally think A State of Trance 2006 should of one that title.
A lot of it depends on age. Genres evolve and change. What I consider classic trance, The Thrillseekers – Synaesthesia (1998), DJ Tiesto – Suburban Train (2001), Armin Van Buuren – Blue Fear (1996), Push – Universal Nation (1999), Sasha – Xpander (1999), Art Of Trance – Madagascar (1998) etc. is, to many newer fans old hat and they don’t get into it nearly as much, because for them it started in 2007, 2008, 2009 or whatever year they happened to be introduced to trance. I love it when someone does a really good remix of a classic track and breathes new life into it for a new generation. A great recent example of this is a remix of Planet Perfectos – Bullet In The Gun by Gary Maguire, this remix has really done justice to the original. It is also featured in my Club Trance Podcast Episode 6.
At Armin Only shows, you can already see a younger 18-20 year old generation of fans who are just now getting into Trance, and to them “Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford – Sun & Moon” will be their “classic trance”, no matter how much the rest of us insist it’s just a pop song.
A lot of people complain about the bpm of modern trance. I personally love the slower groovier trance that ranges from 128 to 135 bpm. I see trance as a much more complete style of music now days and not just relying on huge melodies and pads. Trance used to have simple drums and bass relying on the main melody and hook. Trance is defiantly a more developed style taking in the best house has to offer in drums and percussion, the best bass that tech house and electro has to offer and mixing that with the melody and the uplifting power of trance.
I find listening to 140 bpm uplifting trance for hours on end boring. The beauty of trance slowing down is that as DJ if I like a Tech House song that is just banging I can easily drop that into my set just to change things up a bit. With key lock now a feature on all of the new CDJs and software you are free as a DJ to speed up and slow down just about any track without it sounding like crap due to pitch shift.
Trance is now a broad church taking many sub genres and the line between styles has most defiantly blurred, but trance isn’t too old, or dead, or going anywhere. It’s here to stay and it’s changing with the times, it has to or it would die. The tastes of every age group will change slightly from the last. People need to stop complaining about current trends and roll with it. I love listening to my old vinyl records that date back to 1993 as much as searching for the next new big track. So embrace the future but never forget the past.