In the beginning there was Trance and it was good!
Somewhere along the way the definition of what Trance is somehow got changed. Most of what is referred to these days as Trance isn’t what I’d call ‘Proper Trance’.
Over the years there have been so many new genres, sub-genres and sub-sub-genres that it’s now getting a bit confusing. The other thing is that DJs tend to stick very rigidly to one sub-genre or another.
What happened to the days of DJs playing a variety of different ‘moods’ of Trance in a set? Starting out quite light and fluffy, then getting more serious as the mix develops.
As Trance became popular, it’s definition changed to match the more commercial style that was being made. Tunes started to include vocals, they got more repetitive; they became ‘cheesy’. It got the point where you HAD to prefix the word Trance with a word, just to differentiate between what had been called Trance and what was now being called Trance.
It got to the point that when people asked what music you were into and you said ‘Trance’ people thought you were talking about some cheesy, soul-less commercial rubbish with vocals that was played on the radio.
So what is proper Trance then?
The clue is in the name: it’s music that puts you in a trance. Simple.
For music to put you in a trance, it needs to have a certain level of complexity. It needs to be interesting, to change, to develop, to experiment with sound.
The basic 4-to-the-floor drumbeat is a bit like hypnosis. It almost disappears from conscious thought and allows the rest of the music to hypnotise you. But to do this, the music must contain more than just a baseline, a melody and a bit of percussion.
For me Trance should not contain singing! A vocal sample, yes. The human voice used as an instrument, yes. But not singing in the sense of having a verse and chorus structure. That’s for pop music, not for trance.
It does’t matter what sub-genre it is. It could be Tech-Trance, Psy-Trance, Progressive-Trance. It doesn’t even need to be Trance to be proper trance… There are many Hard-House, Techno, Acid Techno and even House tunes that I would consider ‘Proper Trance’.
With this blog I am hoping to stop all the silly classification of Trance and get back to the days when all Trance was ‘proper’.