Is the most exhilarating genre weakening?
Trance has always been about the journey. The euphoric genre of music is meant to take you in a transient zone and uplift you. Those inclined towards trance get hooked on to it instantly and make it a part of their being. Over the years, trance has created a global following that only seems to increase.
In an era bereft of virtual mixing softwares and innovative CDJs, the pioneers of trance created alchemy with sheer ease. They possess the expertise of pleasing their listeners with emotional, goose-bump inducing and chilling tracks. Fans experience bliss as they sway to these melodious rhythms. Maybe because artists like Tiesto, Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk have some of the most loyal fans in the world, the #1 DJ on the DJ Mag poll has always been a trance artist. The exceptions being Carl Cox in 1997 and David Guetta in 2011.
Today, trance is a genre that lies somewhere in between being commercial and underground. The social media phenomenon has changed the game. Music is now evaluated by Beatport rankings, YouTube views and DJ Mag votes. The war of likes, shares and followers is taking over. Making great music is not enough – you have to know how to market it. The mad race for popularity makes you rethink if the scene is about the music anymore.
The instant-gratification craving masses now want to hear ‘bangers’ that they can move their head to. With trance getting saturated, genres like ‘trouse’ have paved their way through. As trance takes the back seat, genres like trap, house and dubstep seem to be becoming the latest fad. The genre reached its pinnacle in the ‘00s, but now it seems to be falling victim to the new generation of music tastes.
Some of the trance producers who have witnessed this change have adapted their styles accordingly. Meanwhile, club promoters are booking lesser trance artists and betting more on artists producing harder styles of music. Trance may not be prepared for a renaissance just yet. Perhaps the only way for it is to go back to its origins and wait.
The mainstream minds categorize trance as a genre dominated by cheesy female vocals and generic build-ups. While the loyal fans will always have trance music close to their hearts. For the years to come, trance will encourage bliss, warmth and euphoric states of mind. To develop a liking for any genre, you need to explore it well. It’s time we give trance a chance!
Here’s what some of the producers have to say:
“Trance goes where it will go. Whether it’s evolving or not, it always stays appealing to its listeners. People have to adapt over time, so does the music. Its purpose, however, which is high-quality entertainment, will never go away.”
– Ferry Corsten
“My motto is: Don’t be a prisoner of your own style. Music can only survive if you stay open-minded. Let’s put it like this. If you eat sushi ten years from now, it’ll probably still taste like sushi. If you order a Whopper at Hungry Jacks or a latte at Starbucks in ten years from now, it’ll still taste the same. But trance music is constantly changing. Of course, it still has the elements: of course it’s uplifting, it’s melodic, it’s energetic, it’s 138-BPM, all that sort of thing.
Music should not be stale. It should evolve and I think the best producers have an open mind to other genres. Music is never finished. That’s why I love my job.”
– Armin van Buuren
“I’ve never actually been into trance, so I’m trying to incorporate it into my sound now. And trance 2.0 for me is bringing the epicness of trance and fusing it with the grooviness and sexiness of electro house. “My G.O.D.” was trance 2.0 and I believe “Turbulence” is more on the harder side of things.”