What are the best uses for Trance music?
Urban Dictionary might do the genre more justice, defining it as “a euphoric electronic dance music genre” that’s the love child of classical music, house, and techno. That might not capture the intrinsic mellowness of it all, but it’s at least a nice phrase.
Because it’s tricky to define, trance can also be difficult to place, outside of albums, playlists, and concerts. In other words, it’s fair to ask the question of where trance would make the most sense, outside of the explicit experience of sitting down and listening to it. Just for fun, we have a few ideas based some on psychology, some on observation, and some on vague musings. But these are some areas where we’d hope and to some extent expect the genre to grow.
We tend to think of the particularly high-energy sequences in action movies as requiring similarly high-energy sound. And it’s certainly true that some of our better and most outrageous action scenes have been accompanies by fast-paced, in-your-face music. There’s “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor” that plays while Vin Diesel’s Xander Cage launches a car off of a bridge in xXx; there’s Bassnecter’s “Speakerbox" as Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson spark a prison brawl in The Fate Of The Furious; there’s “Focus” by Hocus Pocus in the 2017 Baby Driver, which was so thoroughly entwined with the action of the scene that gunshots lined up with the beat.
Sometimes, however, a more trance-like tempo can have an incredible effect on an action sequence. It’s happened in films like John Wick, The Matrix, and others, and is perhaps best explained in a full article about a famous action scene from Collateral, The scene is a club shootout set to Paul Oakenfold’s “Ready Steady Go” (which isn’t fully trance but certainly flirts with it). And as the article puts it, the song creates an aura of danger that is undeniably tense. To slow down the tempo when the action should be speeding up is almost unnerving, and nearly heightens the senses as you focus in on the action on screen. It’s a very effective trick, and one we hope and expect to see more of.
Trance music can have a similar effect in video games to the one just described for film. That is, it can be employed to heighten the intensity of a given sequence, and in all likelihood make the gamer hyper-focused on whatever’s happening in the game. However, we have another kind of gaming in mind entirely.
That would be the slot genre, which seems to be more popular online with each passing day. There are several advantages to playing these games online instead of in person, but one thing that’s very much the same online and in person is that slots are designed to attract players and keep them interested. This is done through animation, noise, excitement upon even the smallest wins, and all kinds of other methods. And trance music, though it isn’t employed much for this reason just yet, would seem to be the perfect accompaniment. The very name of the genre suggests its ability to lull listeners into somewhat passive states of focus, which is what most online slot games are looking to do anyway. With the right theme, it’s a perfect marriage.
Here we don’t need to go into too much detail or analysis. But the same way trance can heighten your attention for an action scene or zero you in on a game, it can also lull you into not focusing too much on exercise. While some prefer high-energy music and fast beats in order to pace themselves to some extent for cardio workouts, others find this doubly stressful. Many people who rely on music during exercise want it specifically to take them out of the activity, so that the mind isn’t focused on the body’s struggle. Trance, if you haven’t tried it before, works very well for this. We’d hope more people discover as much over time, though where workout music is concerned, to each his own.