Is the 90s "revival" ("trance",acid,house,techno) scene a gimmick/fashion statement rather than a loveletter to the 90s?

Daysleeper

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This far, I'm not that impressed. What do you think? And im not speaking about the usage of analogue synths (Enigma State, Narel etc)

Im feeling that its not really about the music, but more so with that sound/aesthetic more than anything. Its more of a "thing". They (the creators) only see the fashion/aesthetic/sound design/lifestyle around it. Therefor in my mind it rather becomes a sort of gimmick, a phase, an obseesion? Am I wrong in thinking this? Im thinking its a group of people, mostly 17-25 olds (or around that age, up to 30) ie generation Z obsession with vintage stuff and everything 90s related. Or is it love for the actual musical content, the way the tunes are composed and created? Rather than just sound fascination/obsession/aesthetics?

Is it a little bit like 70s hairguys trying to bring back "classic" zeppelin blues rock, but it never reaches the same level of authenticity and merit? And most of all - the musical quality.

Thoughts? I know some guys here thats been coming on to the forum last 1-2 years are heavy digger of this music. Let me know your thoughts.
 
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Progrez

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I have a question for you? What is it that YOU want to hear? What will make you not give a good tongue lashing towards the current undergroundish sound?

If it was a gimmick, then everyone would be on the bandwagon for the sound but they are not. Most of the listeners these days want to hear more deep house and progressive house stuff that sounds slightly different to what it was in the past.
 
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Quethas

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You know, there's not a revival which would end up being exactly the same than it used to be.

The world has moved forward, the technology has moved forward, the ideas and the goals are different. Even if I am not a producer at the slightest, there's for sure a lot of technological barriers which are solved and which doesn't prevent doing this or that anymore. For sure, some of the producers are probably looking for authenticity with their work, but the most probably don't want to make somewhat artificial barriers what can be done. And IMO they shouldn't, music moves forward whether we like the taken path or not.

Most likely the producers of the "revival sound" are looking also for the aesthetics. Just like producers of synthwave tries to emulate aesthetics and feeling of the 80's. And they probably absolutely love the music, the style they are doing and there will be subtle changes in the sounds even if it would be inspired by the past.

It is then completely subjective if the end result is appealing to you.
 

dmgtz96

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It's the aesthetic. Gen Z is obsessed with 90s music, fashion, and photography. One of the biggest pop hits last year was actually a copy of 90s-style American r&b.
 

dmgtz96

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but when you touch uppon subjects like musical quality:

what ís that quality precisely you're refering too?
I''ve heard songs outside of trance that try to mimic the 90s aesthetic, but they feel like they're lacking something and were made only to capitalize on the renewed interest in the 90s aesthetic. I'm talking about bland, commercial r&b that copies the bland, commercial r&b of the 90s. The good "90's" stuff is still underground.
 

Daysleeper

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but when you touch uppon subjects like musical quality:

what ís that quality precisely you're refering too?
You digging for something here haha? Like a juicy contradiction on my part? The quality is basically everything from better melodies,better more interesting/eloborate arrangements, subtlety/refinement,dynamics, structure, rhytmic variation etc etc

Music taste is totally subjective so it's a meaningless topic?

This wasn't really the thought of the topic. I'm just curious what others think about it
 
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Hoplite

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Speaking as someone that has experienced the revival in the flesh for a little while now, and talked to people in the local scene - I can say there is definitely a strong affinity for 90s fashion, art and aesthetics among the listeners, partyers of the "revival" Trance and undergound Techno sound, however -

When it comes of the music side of it all, I wouldn't say its meant to be a mirror of of the scenes fashion sensibilities or the current gen Z 90s obsession.
It just happens that the younger gen, who are more into fashion/aesthetics than previous gens, also are genuinely into the music, and play it /dance to it at the parties/raves.

For the artists, the main focus is still the music itself - expressing ideas, experimenting, tinkering with their latest analog gear addition; and they get the added blessing of not being restricted by the standards of more conventional Trance labels.

I understand the cynicism, but I've seen too much passion, creativity and drive from the kids building these undergound communities and labels, to be able to dismiss it so easily as a fashion/aesthetic "flavor of the week".

That said, I do hope the sound continues evolving, just not in the cheesy 3 minute drop "degga-degga" direction.
 

Jetflag

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You digging for something here haha? Like a juicy contradiction on my part? The quality is basically everything from better melodies,better more interesting/eloborate arrangements, subtlety/refinement,dynamics, structure, rhytmic variation etc etc

Music taste is totally subjective so it's a meaningless topic?
Yup, I am digging. but not for you contradicting yourself, I seek to understand what it is you, or others, mean.

I'm starting to get annoyed at the fact that, every single one of these topics, no exception, never goes further or into detail more then
"yes but it doesn't feeeeel the way it used to" or "the old stuff was more musically interresting" and other such metaphysical vagueries.

Can we try (for once) to go a bit deeper then that and create a clearer picture of what those qualities are (you're not doing a bad job there when you for instance hint more elaborate/complex arrangements). Thats something understandable/tangable. Its also something I can work with as an artist searching for that "thing".

If music is and where only and solely a subjective experience this forum would not exist where people seem to be (for a large part) united in its common qualia.


This wasn't really the thought of the topic. I'm just curious what others think about it
Same, hence the questioning.
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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'House' music never stopped with the 80s/90s styled releases, there are many new vinyl releases every week that have the same authenticity like 20 or 30 years ago..

also 'Detroit Techno' or 'Jungle' never really changed their sound aesthetics. I think you can put out 'house,acid,techno' from the title)

BUT 'Trance' is something different, in 2010 I would never believe that I will be a member on a 'Trance' forum, imho this 'nu revival' wave is the best thing what happened to the genre in the last 20 years, im pretty excited.)
 

Redrot

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First +1 to Tranceblaster's point - for a lot of scenes, 90s aesthetics never went out of style in the first place.

If this was a gimmick they would be trying a hell of a lot harder to promote it IMO. As someone who doesn't live anywhere near where this stuff is taking out (UK, Berlin, Aussie mostly) I can only speculate, but it looks to me like it's really just people making the music they want to hear and make, and that many of these producers are really just friends who throw parties, not trying to hit it big or whatever. The promotion of this stuff is miniscule compared to even the "underground" labels in trance (I'm thinking like VII or PT.). The music to me also doesn't really scream "make it the 90s again" because while yeah the sounds are influenced, they aren't *the exact same* as before - this is actually my gripe with people who are trying to bring back 2004 era uplifting trance because they really are trying to do that exact same thing. I think people on this forum are more stuck in the past than some of the producers mentioned there tbh.

Though I will admit if things haven't become trendy enough yet, they will soon and we'll probably have an oversaturation of some sounds (like we did with the I Hate Models type of techno with trance arps) and have to sift through the imitators. But that's just the nature of music, some things get hot.

Regarding the music itself, I think another thing is that most of the producers are looking for different things in their tunes than this forum is - there's no genre besides trance that's really obsessed with "the journey" of the tracks, there are just so many different things people expect from their music. And most of these producers (well IDK about the UTE ones) are coming from a more housey background so it's natural the tunes are going to be more about the groove.

Or if you just wanna call them posers go ahead lol they don't give a shit.

e: You can ask the same thing (and not expect to get a serious answer) for literally any producer of any genre nowadays - are you doing it for the music or for the [lifestyle/money/etc.]? If you want to find things to be cynical about anywhere, you'll find them.

e2: rereading the question posed in the title, I don't think it's really much of either.
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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'House' music never stopped with the 80s/90s styled releases, there are many new vinyl releases every week that have the same authenticity like 20 or 30 years ago..

here a fine example, this track would also fit into 1996 or 2009, release date: Jan 30, 2023

Gordon Zola - Channel [Bubblin Fresh]
 
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SaltAcidFatHeatAcid

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Thoughts? I know some guys here thats been coming on to the forum last 1-2 years are heavy digger of this music. Let me know your thoughts.

A few thoughts, but I should post this interview from the UTE folks up front to give a sense of how they feel about their music (link here).

I agree with Redrot, the marketing doesn't target trance fans, and in some cases, the artists/labels go our of their way to not even use the label trance anywhere the tracks are sold or promoted. This is to my annoyance hehe as it makes finding the tracks even harder. So when you imply it's a group of people trying to do something in particular, I would argue this is not the case. There just happens to be some trancey sounding tunes coming from the underground occasionally by artists that also make house, electro, techno, breaks, etc. The group you really want to take aim at is people like me who have a fairly liberal definition of trance (based on the history of the genre to be fair), and promote the tracks as trance, or at least appealing to people who like the genre.

Is it a gimmick? Definitely not, but I do wonder where things go from here. There are a lot of trance fans connecting to this sound which could help growth, but who knows if it's got staying power. Like Redrot mentioned in another thread, I would like to see the mainstream labels and nutrance artist collaborate or cross-pollinate a bit. Maybe that would lend some visibility to the music and nudge it in a more melodic direction to your liking? The Trancefix label is a great example of what could happen there. Forescape would be a great space for that, or JOOF (although they seem to ignore this space to my surprise). Maybe Borderline could do it? Dunno.

Lastly and I think this is more to the heart of what you are feeling. If you take the NuTrance thread on the forum, and a whole bunch of related tracks, <25% of it is truly trance if you relate more to the late 90s and beyond sound (<10% prob if your box is small). I collect this music rigorously and the gems that truly give me the trance high are few and far between. Here's the thing though. I also love breaks, house, downtempo, techno and electro, and I have more fun mixing across genres. My money spent is not saying, 'please change your sound'. So while the melody whore in me is always digging for those trance tracks, I don't mind how eclectic the space is. I feel like the nutrance skeptics really want the space to focus on those rare tracks that sound like the trance of old, so. Maybe those people should open up Ableton and make it happen 😊.
 
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Jetflag

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there's no genre besides trance that's really obsessed with "the journey" of the tracks
^this, combined with
more interesting/eloborate arrangements, subtlety/refinement,dynamics
^that

makes me think. Have we ever seen a trance track/composition thats 30 minutes long and a journey in and of itself?

I rememember Steve Willson/Porcupine tree experimenting back in the days with longer, 19 minute psychedelic/kraut rock tracks to break away from the pop-rock formula. But afaik a "trance" track never exceeds anything more then 10, 15 mins.