I first fell in love with Trance in the early 90s, when Laurent Garnier pioneered an offshoot of Techno, keeping the relentless beats yet adding a musical hypnotic vibe that instantly got me hooked.
The 90s as a whole was a great decade for Trance, it was very credible with the likes of Sasha, Way Out West and John Digweed all getting involved, along with Paul Van Dyk and Tiësto ensuring it dominated the world’s main stages. As with anything that becomes popular, the commercial machines want their slice of the pie and started to take things mainstream in order to get a return on their investments. Daytime commercial radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, don’t support instrumental tracks so in order for the major labels and artists to get this mass corporate support, vocals are added, thus today we see a long list of releases ‘feat’ vocalists as they head for commercial success. Radio Trance.
So here lies my ‘Hate’ side of Trance. Today, celebrities have a much bigger voice via their marketing machines than the smaller underground guys. There’s no hiding the fact they are clever businessmen and have changed their sound to align themselves with the latest musical fads in order to keep themselves playing on the main stages of festivals and to stay current in the mainstream.
The past decade has been dominated by this mass marketed radio version of pop ‘Trance’, the credible names that were once associated with Trance along with the new generation entering the scene now distance themselves from this now commercially tarnished genre creating a mass exodus. That deep credible version of Trance is still alive today and is moving forward, but you’re now more likely to find it over in Techno thus blurring the lines of genres.
It pains me to sometimes have thoughts of leaving Trance and heading over to that new Techno world where I have a lot more in common, but I’ve dedicated 25 years of my career to Trance music that in return has given me much happiness and memories, yet I’m not alone in thinking that I want to stay to continue to fill that void and continue to help build the more credible side of Trance.
This is where I fall back in love. When we hit these low points the one thing we have is each other; there’s massive camaraderie within the underground Trance community that keeps us motivated and importantly makes us stay in love with Trance. It makes us realise that we’re not alone. I recently said on Twitter that Trance is one of the most resilient genres that always bounces back.
We’ve gone through an extremely long rough commercial patch, but as history shows, it’s that united family camaraderie that motivates and brings us together to create the next movement that makes it bounce back. For the past few months I’ve had great conversations with many Trance guys and girls who want to get back to the ethos of making Trance for the dance floors with no care of commercial appeal. There’s been a common theme at music conferences recently with promoters, club owners and agents all talking about the hunger for this kind of Trance for their clubs as the punters are hungry for it and filling their venues as they tire of the more commercial EDM form.
I feel we’re going through the next rebellion stage now, fronted by some pretty big names that are making a lot of that noise musically and I’m proud to be a part of this moment. Individually we maybe be making small ripples, together we’re making some big waves. Looking around we have some outstanding Trance producers and DJs that will be the next generation of stars that are pushing forward a new sound across the board from deep to uplifting breathing new life into the Trance world.
Trance music has always been about being futuristic, embracing technology, experimenting and moving forward and I know this movement is happening right now.
There really is no better feeling than being completely lost on the dance floor and having that heightened consciousness experience, as cliche as it sounds.
– John ’00’ Fleming