I know we are growing tired of the "Trance is dead" and the ever present "Genres" talk pretty much everywhere and with the new amount of people coming into the Trance scene, I hoped I would help try and shed some light on the common question these days of "What really is Trance?"
So here we go. Let me help and try and walk you guys through a bit of history and guide you all through the music that we love so much.
We are going to start in the 90's as this is where the trance as we know it got started. I could go back further into work done by the likes of Jean Michel Jarre or Brian Eno or get lost in the history of wonderful instruments such as the TB-303, Mini Moog or TR-909 but we won't. I want to give a brief, simple and quick insight into Trance, where it has started and where it is going.
So... lets start off shall we?
Part 1: The 90's.
This is really where the trance scene begins. Trance starts forming in the years around 93-94. Before this time there are hints at the Trance style, but its more Acid and Techno that is in the earlier days that leads to the original Trance sound.
So lets start with the name, Trance and why that name? Well, simply put, the music was very repetitive, with almost techno-ish drum and bass lines but with more melody and intricate synth layers. It was not as dirty or mechanical as Techno and not as in your face as Acid. Trance took some of those elements and created a formula for you to get lost in and fall into a trance over. Makes sense right?
The music ranged from the high 120s to 140s in the BPM range and a lot of the tracks were well into the 8-10 minute range. They did not follow the now well known formula of intro - build - break - peak - outro, but instead each track would basically fit one of those sections and it was the DJs job to take you on a proper journey and build and release the crowd by song selection. It was more melodic then as well and much more simple. The instrument parts were not many, normally just a drum section, bass, pad and synth. This simplicity, however, is what made the music so trancy and you could easily get lost in each sound and track.
Trance was a mostly underground event most of the 90s but towards the end of the decade, clubs like Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Twilo, Gatecrasher One and Space all made the Trance scene become more known and we were treated with amazing sets from the likes of Sasha and John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Nick Warren, Judge Jules, Paul van Dyk, Kimball Collins and later on in the decade we were intruded to the names DJ Tiësto and Armin.
Some of the most well known and influential Trance tracks of all time come from this era as well and if you have never heard them, then please do so.
Energy 52 - Cafe Del Mar: Which by many is considered possibly the best Trance tune of all time. Arriving on the scene in 1993 and still played today, with many a remix, this is easily one of the biggest Trance classics out there.
The Future Sound Of London - Papua New Guinea: While listed as a Techno track, as Trance was not even a genre yet, this is one of the pioneers of the sound.
BT - Godspeed: A track that really developed what later became the 2000s style of Trance and far ahead of its time thats for sure.
Paul van Dyk - Words: Another great song. Easy and moving with nice elements in it. Great sound of the mid to late 90s.
Humate - Love Stimulation: This is one of those tracks that is just massive. Not by today's standards, but a proper Trancer if you were out in the 90s.
Cygnus X - The Orange Theme: One of the higher end BPM Trance tracks but if this one does not get you into that Trancy state of mind I don't know what will. Moonman's remix was a good one.
Art Of Trance – Madagasga (later renamed to Madagascar) is a true classic. Get it.
I could really go on. Listing hundreds of tracks and tunes but I thought I would do one better.
Luckily I started DJing in the 90s and have amassed a nice collection of Trance / House and Breaks. I have a good amount of stuff on Vinyl which was never released as an MP3 or was never released after the few promos went out. Because of this I have decided to help take everyone on a Trance journey over the next few months and try an replicate what was experienced during that time.
So with out further delay I present to you, for your listening and educational pleasure:
the series of Trance Generations.
This is how it will work. I will go through some periods of Trance working our way up to the current and revolving around several sub genres of Trance like Progressive Trance, Hard Trance, Uplifting, Melodic and so on.
Each set will have two discs: The Front room with its more progressive and brooding sounds and The Main Room which should get you in the air for most of it.
The Front Room for the first series of 1990-1999 is done and is here to get this started.
After the first part is done, I will continue with the history of the time frame we are on, try and give a bit about that style, where it went and how it changed and then give you almost three hours of listening pleasure.
I really hope this helps newcomers to the scene learn and enjoy the origins and journey of the genre we love so much. For those who have been around for all of this? Well then, just sit back and take a journey back in time with me
Please keep in mind that these sets are recorded with a lot of vinyl and good old platters and needles. There is some sound discrepancies but I really got a lot of it out in the mastering session after each recording to try and bring the best sound out of it.
So enough jabbering.. here we go.
Trance Generations - 1990-1999
Disc 1: The Front Room
Download or listen here
01) Chicane - Offshore
02) Jam & Spoon - Stella
03) Garbage - Milk (Got It Mix)
04) Sasha - Xpander
05) Armin - Virgo
06) L.S.G. - Blueprint (Vers. 1)
07) Libra presents Taylor - Anomaly - Calling Your Name (Original B.T. & Taylor Mix)
08) Nalin & Kane - Beachball (Original Club Mix)
09) Union Jack - Morning glory
10) Space Manoeuvres - Stage One (Space Manoeuvre's Separation Mix)
11) Energy 52 - Cafe Del Mar (Three'N One Remix)
12) Chakra - I Am (Digweed & Muir's Bedrock Mix)
13) Mike koglin - The Silence (Original 12'' Mix)
Disc 2: The Main Room
Download or listen here
01) The Dream Traveler - Time
02) Der Dritte Raum - Hale Bopp
03) Freefall - Skydive (Original Mix)
04) Kee Mo - Madness (Timo Maas Rmx)
05) JX - There's Nothing I Won't Do (Way Out West Remix)
06) Lost Tribe - Gamemaster (Original Mix)
07) Vincent de Moor - Shamu
08) Gouryella - Walhalla
09) Ron Hagen & Pascal M - Take You There
10) Yves Deruyter - The Rebel
11) The Martian - Stardancer
12) Deepsky - Stargazer
13) Jam & Spoon - Follow Me