Are we seeing the death of progressive trance?

Hot Tuna

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I'd disagree, because all those examples just involve recycling older sounds and ideas to make something that is more commercially appealing, kind of the opposite of what progressive music stands for.

I agree with the comment that trance was already a progressive genre of music when it first appeared, if anything it unprogressed over the years.
 
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arif69

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I don't see the progressive trance's death soon yet. Nevertheless, there has been a decline in this genre, which is unfortunate. My most beloved sub-genre of Trance.
 
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Gagi

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Exactly what I wanted to write @Hot Tuna, wholeheartedly agree with your points. Trance in itself was progressive until new sub-genres/ideas stopped being made, and when tracks were put into boxes. At some point, what people thought was progressive was probably some slower, more atmosphere-oriented (instead of melodic) stuff, the label stuck and here we are. So in that context, progressive trance - or at least what most people think it is - isn't dead. But trance started being progressive as a genre a loooong time ago.

I wouldn't even use the word progressive, really, because firstly not all trance was progressive, and even if it was, I wouldn't call it progressive trance - just trance. As a sub-genre label, progressive trance is, on the one hand, pointless, because the true meaning of the word can't be logically related to the music itself, because the genre evolved a lot. But on the other hand, it's useful to identify some certain characteristics we're maybe looking for in music - but even then, that style has evolved too much anyways so the lines are still very blurry.

So what could we call it nowadays instead of (what is widely considered to be) progressive? I would like to hear others' opinions and solutions regarding the correct naming.
 
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Hot Tuna

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I haven't given it much thought, and maybe the term already exists, but 'Post-House' (or Post-Progressive House) feels like a perfect description for where Anjunadeep is going these days. Slow, chill music that obviously had its roots in house and prog house, but has very little club orientation left.
 

Gagi

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Maybe you're right, because when you think about it, the label trance (the meaning of the word) doesn't make much sense in most cases anyways, so maybe it's just pointless to even debate that.
 
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Hensmon

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the label trance (the meaning of the word) doesn't make much sense in most cases anyways

Seems pretty straight forward to me. 'Trance' means to be put into a hypnotic state and the genre has that repetitive beat, deep thinking atmosphere, maybe some mystic feelings to it etc. The labelling actually makes very good sense. Certainly a less abstract etymology than House, Garage or Techno, and not as literal as 'Drum & Bass'.

"Progressive" is nothing to do with track structure, although it seems to be a common misconception.

Nice post but i'm not convinced that's how the vast majority see it or how the word 'progressive' was initially conceived for genres. You could be right about Prog Rock being the first use of the word. Wikipedia (I know not the best source) has its detailed description on Prog-Rock which does allude to a definition based on structure than anything else. I think most people see it that way too, and group consensus is a huge part of what defines etymological outcome (that's why we all accept and use House, despite it having no real meaning). Wikipedia entry;

"Prog-Rock...was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening rather than dancing."

So essentially it would be the breakaway from formulaic and common simplistic structures of popular music + more abstraction in the ideas, the lyrics and adoption of unfamiliar sounds within that genre. A Classical influence would indeed imply build, and jazz influence would imply non simplistic structures, not focused on hooks or dancing. In Electronic music was Progressive-House the first use of the term in the late 90's? If so I would say the same definition make sense as the genre behaved in the same way in its deviation from House, changing structure (focus on build), new sounds (Trance like) and more focus on listening rather than hooks, catchy dance grooves, straight forward lyrics etc.
 
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Gagi

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Seems pretty straight forward to me. 'Trance' means to be put into a hypnotic state and the genre has that repetitive beat, deep thinking atmosphere, maybe some mystic feelings to it etc. The labelling actually makes very good sense. Certainly a less abstract etymology than House, Garage or Techno, and not as literal as 'Drum & Bass'.
Yeah I meant in most cases, and based on the latter half of its lifespan. But that's an another argument.
 

Propeller

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I think the use of the term prog house first appeared in the early 90s around 1992. I'd say the use of the adjective prog to decribe house or trance is valid both in reference to structure and style of the track.
With trance, there are clearly such differences when you compare tracks, e.g. a track like butterfly below has some housey sounds with the bassline but also progresses and evolves in sound over 10+ minutes.

the use of melodies above is also more subtle and dispersed over the length of the entire track compared to something like a standard trancer with a build up/breakdown/riff/outro structure below

 

Bluemoon

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For me progressive house and progressive trance its very similar, sometimes its a mix between both.

Like @Hensmon said, trance is supposed to put you in ''a strate of trance'' its hypnotic. House doesnt do that, except for maybe deep house. Also progressive trance has more of a drive to it than progressive house.

If we are not talking early days of progressive trance then this would be what i call progressive trance:

 
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Exodom

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Lets take someone like James Holden - his style of Trance was far far different than Ferry Corsten or Tiesto back in the day - deeper,darker,groovier,more intelligent - this is what i called 'Progressive Trance' or even 'Deep Trance' as some CDs called it.

You make a good point, I remember those 'deep trance' mixes and CDs and it would always be more deep and serious in how the tracks felt or came across, even if it had melodic breakdowns. Holden fits the description. But dont we need enough of artists doing this sound for it to be considered a real sub-genre and not just James Holden style with a few similar artists?
 
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Magdelayna

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You make a good point, I remember those 'deep trance' mixes and CDs and it would always be more deep and serious in how the tracks felt or came across, even if it had melodic breakdowns. Holden fits the description. But dont we need enough of artists doing this sound for it to be considered a real sub-genre and not just James Holden style with a few similar artists?

Im pretty sure theres some really obscure sub-genres of music that only a few producers do hehe. You could probably put together a healthy list of guys making that deep trance...Tilt and Breeder to name just two..
 
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Recharge

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I love to see to discussion continues. I have to admit I am still thorn on what constitutes as progressive trance, but I have to agree prog house and prog hand has always been hand to hand. And the merging in both styles is maybe slightly more noticeable in the last 2 years. With 2020 taking helm.

As someone has said above this new trend/style is less club - y, yes, but only to a certain point. Now I spend a lot of time on dj forums and I sometimes listen interviews with djs and I have to disagree. This is the perfect mix for starting sets, every dj with huge expirience will tell you no matter what party is, the worst thing you can do is start with banging music. I will give for example MOS here in London, when I was going there on the trance night parties maybe 2/3 years ago starting sets was almost always Trilucid with this exact mixture of prog trance and house. And as a style that in my opinion will be very popular in the next few years, once the clubs open if the right djs hype it and start playing it might blow bigtime.

I'd like to give another example from my last mix

Gidge - Perimeter (Shorter) definitely feels more trancelike, hypnotic, melodic, but at the end a prog house track surprisingly close to trance



CRi - Stranger - same as the above example - definitely more hypnotic, melodic, trancelike



Carsten Halm - Indigo definitely more houselike, but still very melodic almost trancelike, but at the end a prog house track surprisingly close to trance

 

Manofearth

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Great read for a Friday night in lockdown. We all seem to have different definitions, which of course is not surprising, but also part of the fun.

The tracks above this post are without question a style of modern Prog-House, not Trance. The pace is a dead give-away. I love that Gidge track btw. The Blufeld track posted by Bluemoon is slightly faster, but its still Prog-house. Its like the same as Boom Jinx style, Too The Six, Too Free To Follow etc, its Prog-House with very trancey sounds. Progressive Trance is still a Trance genre ultimately, it has to really have that pace and that identity foremost.

Xpander is my choice for an ultimate example of Prog-Trance. The BPM is house, but there is an edge and energy to the percussion. The soul of the track is without question Trance. The track progresses in its structure. Even made by a Progressive House producer and found on sharing both Prog-House and Trance compilations. Do we get Trance tracks today set around 128 BPM, but still brining the energy, or intense emotion of Xpander? I think the answer might be no.
 
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Daysleeper

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I actually dont consider Xpander trance, even though it might be obvious too many that it is. I dont think Sasha ever intended or wanted to be classified as trance. Is Xpander his only trance track ? I dont think so. I dont consider any of the GU compilations trance. They really tripped on the line though, sometimes. But its not full-on trance (i dont mean psy).

James Holden (pre 2003 is debatable) is def not trance.! Cmon :D

Greece 2000 isnt even trance. ;)
 
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Hensmon

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I actually dont consider Xpander trance, even though it might be obvious too many that it is.

Sounds close, related, similar etc to 100's of Trance tracks, yet feels similar to maybe a handful of prog-house ones, does that not say something?
 
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Daysleeper

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Sounds close, related, similar etc to 100's of Trance tracks, yet feels similar to maybe a handful of prog-house ones, does that not say something?
The thing many dont consider is that prog-house actually sounds "trancelike". Unfortunaly people just refer to the grooviness of house right away when you mention house. Why was this the only trance track Sasha (and his co-producers) made then?

I agree that its "trancy" but its not trance. ;) (who cares I know)
 

Juna

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Remember when everyone started to declare tracks 'progressive psy'? It was the same thing nobody could actually say what it specifically was or agree what feature makes it progressive. Things called Progressive Psy make no sense. Prog Trance is the same. Every other genres is easy we can say "yes this is Uplifting" or "thats Liqud dnb, thats dubstep" Even progressive breaks is more straightforward. But prog Trance music has no identity, this thread proves it. No identity means it cannot die as no one can say what it is thats 'alive'.
 
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