Thoughts on Neotrance?

dmgtz96

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Jul 13, 2020
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Disclaimer: this isn't about the "neo-trance" genre from the 2000s that briefly trended on tranceaddict/other electronic music forums and that was basically minimal techno with melodies

Neotrance in the 2022 sense is not a genre, but instead an aesthetic/style/theme. It's like "steampunk." Neotrance tracks encompass different genres such as trance (hah), house, dubstep, and so on, but they all share elements in common. Some of these tracks use synths that would have been at home in turn-of-the-millennium trance. The impression I get is that of cyberpunk retrofuturism; this music would be great OST for a video game set in the not too distant future.




The best example of "neotrance is probably Porter Robinson's work under his Virtual Self alias, and remixes of his tracks are featured extensively in the above two mixes:
 

TRANCEBLASTER

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Huh?

In my knowledge is 'Neo Trance' something very different....

In short: Neo Trance is mostly Tech House (or many times also Progressive Techno) with Trance elements.. I don't believe that there was somenthing like a "scene" around it, but the genre was super popular in electronic music magazines back in 2004-2008. I remember there was also an artictle: 'Paul Van Dyk is dead' maybe in 2005 and whole text was about Neo Trance releases.

Nathan Fake, Extrawelt and still Stephan Bodzin, (maybe also Guy J?) are the most popular artist..

Here is my most favorited Neo Trance track:

Solee -Timba (Shin Nishimura 'Summer of Love' Remix)

There are still many releases and tracks categorized to the genre, its not ultimately dead, example:

Recondite - Bird
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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Disclaimer: this isn't about the "neo-trance" genre from the 2000s that briefly trended on tranceaddict/other electronic music forums and that was basically minimal techno with melodies

Sorry only now I have seen this part.)
 
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Redrot

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It has potential but at the moment most times I see things that are calling themselves neotrance, it's like the worst of all the subgenres it's pulling from - bland uplifting, generic future bass (maybe a tautology lol), and so on. And it's really annoying having people confuse it with trance (thanks, Porter).

However there have been times when the potential has been realized - I'm a pretty big fan of bass sound design-ey type artists like KOAN Sound, Vorso, Frequent, and this album from Sakuraburst (name since changed) from a while ago I feel like is a solid demo of what's possible when producers who put effort into their sound design give the aesthetic a go. Though I think this album was released before "neotrance" as described in this thread was coined as a term.


Solee -Timba (Shin Nishimura 'Summer of Love' Remix)
I'd never heard this one before, huge one! Sounds like a more modern Border Community track, real nice.
 
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Daysleeper

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Love it! It is what swedish eparaggare are playing almost haha

The virtual self one is huge, but this one is the best ive heard in the genre.


 
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Hensmon

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Love it! It is what swedish eparaggare are playing almost haha

The virtual self one is huge, but this one is the best ive heard in the genre.



Screen Shot 2022-03-28 at 6.44.59 PM.png
 

dmgtz96

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Love it! It is what swedish eparaggare are playing almost haha

The virtual self one is huge, but this one is the best ive heard in the genre.


Damn, that track is intense.
I think "neo trance" has the right kind of Y2K aesthetic that this forum would probably like. In a way it's a revival of those sounds of old. The sound design by Virtual Self is nuts.
 

dmgtz96

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Favorites from the first playlist:

KYB - Cavern of Remembrance
The opening track, which sets the stage of the mix. Perfect example of what 'neo-trance' represents. In true "Virtual Self" fashion, this genre is music without stereotypes.

AxT - Over
Balls-to-the-walls hard trance


Wraythe - Echo_Gate

Old-school sounding trance.
https://soundcloud.com/wraythemusic%2Fecho_gate
 

Julian Del Agranda

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Proper production!

Amazing video too.

Do bist alles wot ik hawwe. Kinst it fieleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Wist wot it is? Lol.
 
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dmgtz96

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Haha it's pretty much modern happy hardcore.

I kinda like it. It has nothing to do with trance though, imo.
Yeah, that specific track and Virtual Self's faster productions aren't trance (though they are trance-y).
AxT - OVER is essentially hard trance, though. Like some serious 2001 era hard trance.
 

Recharge

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I see your.. and raise you..

Some of the songs here remind me of Italo Brothers before they went more mainstream with edm and dance. In Sleep When We're Dead the edm transformation already present.


 
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Recharge

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I am writing this in a separate post, but this was the first thing that popped in my mind, but I couldn't remember her name. Brioni Faith does very interesting music that comes closer to vocal trance and in a way her cheesy videos remind me of 2000s so much. Took me a while to remember her name. Some of her songs can be mistaken for Lasgo/Ian Van Dahl works


This is from her bio:

Her music is a blend of uplifting vocal trance and industrial beats, called Cyber Trance.
 
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dmgtz96

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I am writing this in a separate post, but this was the first thing that popped in my mind, but I couldn't remember her name. Brioni Faith does very interesting music that comes closer to vocal trance and in a way her cheesy videos remind me of 2000s so much. Took me a while to remember her name. Some of her songs can be mistaken for Lasgo/Ian Van Dahl works


This is from her bio:

Her music is a blend of uplifting vocal trance and industrial beats, called Cyber Trance.
Honestly, this is basically an early Alphazone track with cheesy vocals, and it sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing.
 
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dmgtz96

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House-y "neotrance" from the first playlist. In the playlist this track was actually slowed down.

Nowave - Meet Me When Everything is Over​

 

TRANCEBLASTER

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I can't find the 'Trance' element in your posts, this kind of music had many names before like: Makina, UK Hardcore, Dancecore, Hardstyle, Handz Up...
 

dmgtz96

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It's been a while since I last heard this genre seriously. I only really knew that playlist in the OP but otherwise never dug deeper
yeah, i think you made up the neotrance thing, its not referred to that anywhere what ive seen.
I think it was made up by the Youtube account who uploaded the playlist in the OP and part 2 of that playlist. Neo trance isn't supposed to be trance, or even the old type of minimal techno that used to be called neo-trance. Per that youtuber's words:

Before Virtual Self, Neotrance was a term used only to describe some minimalistic, deep and 'liquid' Trance. The Neotrance you can find here is not really a genre, it's more like a mood, a style. The main influences comes from the early 2000s Breakbeat, Techno, Hardcore, Jungle and of course Trance, genres overused in old videogames and Japanese anime movies, but it doesn't really matter. You can find a Wave, a Midtempo or a House track without any of the elements from the genres stated up there, but with a pure Neotrance feeling. You got it now? Some tracks are more melodic while others are more noisy, the only thing in common is that futuristic yet nostalgic, industrial and melancholic sound.​


The cross between old '90s/early 2000s electronic music and Japanese anime style is spot-on. I can see some of these songs being used in anime OSTs.

Anyways, the artists in this genre that I've found so far on Spotify are:

Virtual Self
Luna Lenta
Volant
Nuphory

The defining album that kicked off "neo trance" is Hypertrance Vol.1 (2021), a compilation album featuring some of the aforementioned artists.
Some of the tracks in this genre sound a bit same-y, but it's still nice to hear the '90s electronic music influences in modern productions. Cool genre!