Unpopular trance/electronic music opinions

erickUO

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
1,008 Posts
1,106 Thanked
Melodic techno sounds like moog synth demo instead of a complete music at times.
 
Oct 7, 2022
149 Posts
132 Thanked
Bremen
Website
trance.jonasfaupel.com
So the amount of producers offering one-to-one tutorship is crazy. Obviously there's not much money in making trance so people are using their skills how they can - no issue with that on my end.

But it brings up a pet hate of mine. Learning how to produce is more accessible than it's ever been. Between hundreds of thousands YouTube tutorials, one-to-one tuition and even the cheats method of pre-made templates and midi-packs.

The issue is that a lot of people are learning how to produce before they learn how to make good music.
I'm not talking about theory, but the actual creativity itself. Learning what works and doesn't, how to use you ears and get a feeling for where a track should go and how it flows - that has to be learned with experience and is very personal for each musician/producer.

That's why we are getting so many releases that are produced to a very high technical standard, but have all the soul of a swarm of locusts.
This is absolutly true! I heard many productions with great mixing and mastering ... but the music itself was just generic and well kinda lame. I always tell new producers to give a shit about mixing/mastering and just focus on producing, thats the first most important step. I am generally disliking this whole "3 in 1" producer thingy, so basically that everyone needs to be a Producer, Mixing Engineer and Mastering Engineer. If you start learning those 3 things at once it will turn into ... well nothing good. Mastering Engineers study there stuff and are learning a long long time doing nothing else then mastering and now some kid with FL Studio and a pair of Genelecs or KRKs is suddenly all of it? Learning this stuff in 5 years or so? This doesnt work out. I do not want to make my own mark here now but I produced tracks in train rides using nothing else then a MacBook and some shitty DJ Headphones and especially one of those records went straight onto a D.Trance CD (or rather D.Techno acctually) and boom thats it. And I know why: because the track had a rather special and kind of experimental sound design and was just "something else". I tell this story all the time and the moral of it is: Make good music, everything else just happens. No matter your technical skills. Your a musician, so be one! :)
 
Aug 23, 2022
154 Posts
141 Thanked
  1. If your top 10 includes the MAJORITY of the tracks listed below, you might be a classic trance lover, but you don't have an actually developed/refined taste for the genre and lack a deep understanding of it. These are the usual tracks that may get the most likes in the classic trance scene and would win popularity contests (and for the most part, are actually amazing tunes), but these are not necessarily the ones that fully encapsulate what trance is capable of nor are the ones someone would pick who understands the genre well, as those persons' lists tend to show/have more personality. Generic picks include: Out of the Blue, Gamemaster, Saltwater, As The Rush Comes, Take Me Away (Into The Night), Universal Nation, Café Del Mar '98, For An Angel (E-Werk Club Mix), 1998, Silence, Follow Me, etc. (so, essentially, mostly late-90s club anthems).
  2. There are some beloved tracks from the golden era that are considered trance classics but are actually quite harmful tracks (especially now in retrospect) because they were the precursor to a lot of modern trends (in terms of sound, artistic philosophy, etc.) that eventually disfigured and destroyed the trance genre. And yeah, you might say that these tracks sound so modern/fresh, or hey, these hold up so well, but it's only because, in some ways, they embodied that new, dumber, rotten philosophy to making electronic music before those types of "aim-for-the-lowest-common-denominator" types of EDM tracks really started to pop up in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Notable examples include Klea's Tic-Toc (Magik Muzik Remix) with its overreliance on its vomit-inducing, earwormy vocals, or Gabriel & Dresden's remix of Ash The Rush Comes with its heavy reliance on bass (like most EDM tracks in the 2010s), with its often lukewarm melody (again, EDM in the 2010s), and with a lot of catchy vocals with fake emotional depth (and again, like EDM in the 2010s).
  3. Vocals do not ruin trance tracks or their purity. The inappropriate/improper use of vocals does. Vocals are supposed to work similarly to how vocals work in classical music, or in classically inspired movie and video game soundtracks. Vocals should only be there to strengthen and enhance the emotional impact of the melody by acting as an additional (supporting) layer. Vocals should be subtle and restrained, they should never take the focus away from the melody, instead, they should elevate it to higher levels. Even the whispering of a few words is enough to plant an idea inside the listeners' heads and allow them to explore what story the music wants to tell through its melodies. These small vocal segments should only be there as a guideline to help the listeners immerse themselves in the musical journey where the actual feelings and story lies. An example of good vocal parts is Sunday Club's Healing Dream. An example of bad vocal parts is the previously mentioned Magik Muzik Remix of Klea's Tic-Toc.
  4. There are two immensely popular tracks that are just not trance tracks, even though people keep claiming they are. The first one is Robert Miles' Children (Dream Version). Even Miles himself referred to it as Dream House back when he made it in the mid-90s. It's more of a track that was embraced by the trance community than something that actually shares many resemblances with an actual trance track. The same goes for Ayla - Ayla (DJ Taucher Remix). I only liked this track when I started getting into trance, but I started to get further and further away from it the more my knowledge of trance music expanded throughout the years. I don't like it anymore, at all. I love the original from '96 which is dark, melancholic, and has a cool acid touch to it. It creates a strong atmosphere, it tells a story, and it's moving and evolving. The Taucher remix on the other hand lacks any strong characteristics I associate with trance music. It feels like random background music that you hear in a public mall elevator or restroom. It lacks energy, it lacks any kind of forward momentum, and it feels... stationary, instead of inviting the listener onto a journey. It's quite possibly the most overrated trance tune of all time - partially because it's not trance, and partially because it's not really good either. I kid you not, the heavily memed Heaven by DJ Sammy is a million times more trancey than this track (ok, let me be precise, the Green Court Remix of it).
  5. Trance should have died gracefully in the mid-2000s when its popularity started to fade away and/or should have gone back to its underground roots to rediscover itself (and preferably look for inspiration from the early years, especially 1993, 1994, and 1995). With this healthy and respectful attitude and its dignity intact, trance would have had the chance to rebirth like a phoenix and start gaining momentum again in the modern days, similarly to techno (which had/has a massive resurgence in its popularity). What famous and influential trance producers did, however, is they tried to artificially keep trance afloat by slowly injecting more and more commercial sounds into it, aiming at the lowest common denominator, this way slowly homogenizing the genre and stripping away all of its identity. This eventually resulted in a malformed mish-mash of electronic music that lacks any creativity, distinctive sound, and originality, and is anything but trance.

I may expand this list when more things come to my mind.
 
Last edited:

Magdelayna

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
1,586 Posts
1,305 Thanked
West Yorkshire,England
Website
soundcloud.com
  1. If your top 10 includes the majority of the tracks listed below, you might be a classic trance lover, but you don't have an actually developed/refined taste for the genre and lack a deep understanding of it. These are the usual tracks that may get the most likes in the classic trance scene and would win popularity contests (and for the most part, are actually awesome), but these are not necessarily the ones that fully encapsulate what trance is capable of nor are the ones someone would pick who understands the genre well, as those persons' lists tend to show/have more personality. Generic picks include: Out of the Blue, Gamemaster, Saltwater, As The Rush Comes, Take Me Away (Into The Night), Universal Nation, Café Del Mar '98, For An Angel (E-Werk Club Mix), 1998, Silence, Follow Me, etc. (so, essentially, mostly late-90s club anthems).
  2. There are some beloved tracks from the golden era that are considered trance classics but are actually quite harmful tracks (especially now in retrospect) because they were the precursor to a lot of modern trends (in terms of sound, artistic philosophy, etc.) that eventually disfigured and destroyed the trance genre. And yeah, you might say that these tracks sound so modern/fresh, or hey, these hold up so well, but it's only because, in some ways, they embodied that new, dumber, rotten philosophy to making electronic music before those types of "aim-for-the-lowest-common-denominator" types of EDM tracks really started to pop up in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Notable examples include Klea's Tic-Toc (Magik Muzik Remix) with its overreliance on its vomit-inducing, earwormy vocals, or Gabriel & Dresden's remix of Ash The Rush Comes with its heavy reliance on bass (like most EDM tracks in the 2010s), with its often lukewarm melody (again, EDM in the 2010s), and with a lot of catchy vocals with fake emotional depth (and again, like EDM in the 2010s).
  3. Vocals do not ruin trance tracks or their purity. The inappropriate/improper use of vocals does. Vocals are supposed to work similarly to how vocals work in classical music, or in classically inspired movie and video game soundtracks. Vocals should only be there to strengthen and enhance the emotional impact of the melody by acting as an additional (supporting) layer. Vocals should be subtle and restrained, they should never take the focus away from the melody, instead, they should elevate it to higher levels. Even the whispering of a few words is enough to plant an idea inside the listeners' heads and allow them to explore what story the music wants to tell through its melodies. These small vocal segments should only be there as a guideline to help the listeners immerse themselves in the musical journey where the actual feelings and story lies. An example of good vocal parts is Sunday Club's Healing Dream. An example of bad vocal parts is the previously mentioned Magik Muzik Remix of Klea's Tic-Toc.
  4. There are two immensely popular tracks that are just not trance tracks, even though people keep claiming they are. The first one is Robert Miles' Children (Dream Version). Even Miles himself referred to it as Dream House back when he made it in the mid-90s. It's more of a track that was embraced by the trance community than something that actually shares many resemblances with an actual trance track. The same goes for Ayla - Ayla (DJ Taucher Remix). I only liked this track when I started getting into trance, but I started to get further and further away from it the more my knowledge of trance music expanded throughout the years. I don't like it anymore, at all. I love the original from '96 which is dark, melancholic, and has a cool acid touch to it. It creates a strong atmosphere, it tells a story, and it's moving and evolving. The Taucher remix on the other hand lacks any strong characteristics I associate with trance music. It feels like random background music that you hear in a public mall elevator or restroom. It lacks energy, it lacks any kind of forward momentum, and it feels... stationary, instead of inviting the listener onto a journey. It's quite possibly the most overrated trance tune of all time - partially because it's not trance, and partially because it's not really good either. I kid you not, the heavily memed Heaven by DJ Sammy is a million times more trancey than this track (ok, let me be precise, the Green Court Remix of it).
  5. Trance should have died gracefully in the mid-2000s when its popularity started to fade away and/or should have gone back to its underground roots to rediscover itself (and preferably look for inspiration from the early years, especially 1993, 1994, and 1995). With this healthy and respectful attitude and its dignity intact, trance would have had the chance to rebirth like a phoenix and start gaining momentum again in the modern days, similarly to techno (which had/has a massive resurgence in its popularity). What famous and influential trance producers did, however, is they tried to artificially keep trance afloat by slowly injecting more and more commercial sounds into it, aiming at the lowest common denominator, this way slowly homogenizing the genre and stripping away all of its identity. This eventually resulted in a malformed mish-mash of electronic music that lacks any creativity, distinctive sound, and originality, and is anything but trance.

I may expand this list when more things come to my mind.

Ive never heard so much rubbish in all my life - in your first point,i have over half of the tracks in your 'generic' picks in my all time top 10 - and i do indeed have a 'refined' taste in Trance music as you say i dont haha. P.S. They are 'anthems' cos they are great tracks.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: SaltAcidFatHeatAcid

Magdelayna

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
1,586 Posts
1,305 Thanked
West Yorkshire,England
Website
soundcloud.com
So the amount of producers offering one-to-one tutorship is crazy. Obviously there's not much money in making trance so people are using their skills how they can - no issue with that on my end.

But it brings up a pet hate of mine. Learning how to produce is more accessible than it's ever been. Between hundreds of thousands YouTube tutorials, one-to-one tuition and even the cheats method of pre-made templates and midi-packs.

The issue is that a lot of people are learning how to produce before they learn how to make good music.
I'm not talking about theory, but the actual creativity itself. Learning what works and doesn't, how to use you ears and get a feeling for where a track should go and how it flows - that has to be learned with experience and is very personal for each musician/producer.

That's why we are getting so many releases that are produced to a very high technical standard, but have all the soul of a swarm of locusts.

Ive been thinking this lately aswell - ok,producers need to make money and these courses are a good source - probably the best. But its just breeeding a load of soul-ess generic producers who are too technically minded. I wish everyone would start totally from scratch on a DAW with a blank screen. Let them learn themselves - thats where you get your style from.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96 and Archon
Aug 23, 2022
154 Posts
141 Thanked
Ive never heard so much rubbish in all my life - in your first point,i have over half of the tracks in your 'generic' picks in my all time top 10 - and i do indeed have a 'refined' taste in Trance music as you say i dont haha. P.S. They are 'anthems' cos they are great tracks.
Hahaha, I knew the moment I started typing my comment that it will trigger you like crazy, and boy, I wasn't wrong. But then again, this happens every time I write anything, you instantly jump onto it. And after all, I saw your top 10 list. I have a feeling that you don't like me. Oh, well. :sneaky: ;)
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96

Magdelayna

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
1,586 Posts
1,305 Thanked
West Yorkshire,England
Website
soundcloud.com
Hahaha, I knew the moment I started typing my comment that it will trigger you like crazy, and boy, I wasn't wrong. But then again, this happens every time I write anything, you instantly jump onto it. And after all, I saw your top 10 list. I have a feeling that you don't like me. Oh, well. :sneaky: ;)

youre typing a bullet list like its the gospel - if youre the Trance historian,i wont be coming to your library!
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96
Aug 23, 2022
154 Posts
141 Thanked
youre typing a bullet list like its the gospel - if youre the Trance historian,i wont be coming to your library!

It's called an opinion, in a thread literally called Unpopular Opinions lol, what the hell did you expect, man? :ROFLMAO: It's not my fault that I can actually underpin my thoughts (that don't necesseraly align with yours) - something that you are clearly incapable of doing - thus you feel the need to constantly harass me. Just grow up already and don't act like a narcissistic manchild. You are on my ass ever since I'm here, I 100% expected you to show up minutes after I posted my comment.

1677329304442.png
 

Magdelayna

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
1,586 Posts
1,305 Thanked
West Yorkshire,England
Website
soundcloud.com
It's called an opinion, in a thread literally called Unpopular Opinions lol, what the hell did you expect, man? :ROFLMAO: It's not my fault that I can actually underpin my thoughts (that don't necesseraly align with yours) - something that you are clearly incapable of doing - thus you feel the need to constantly harass me. Just grow up already and don't act like a narcissistic manchild. You are on my ass ever since I'm here, I 100% expected you to show up minutes after I posted my comment.

View attachment 1364

Wtf really?! Id never heard of you until today...i cant remember an old comment i made out of hundreds haha. Doesnt matter who you are..il give my opinion.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96

Peenuts

Resident Doctor
Jun 28, 2020
339 Posts
221 Thanked
The Anjuna and prog labels (e.g. Colorize and Silk) are putting out more trancy music than most trance labels at present.

The trouse / trance 2.0 from 2012-2014 were a breath of fresh air and creatively more inspiring than the 138 uplifting purists championed in subsequent years.

Markus Schulz is overrated. Never liked a track from him.

Tiesto' ISOS mixes are uninspiring - a mediocre at best track selection and disjointed mixing. Much prefer Armin's ASOT and Universal Religion mixes from that period.

I embrace trance radio mixes. Helps me skim through new releases on Spotify much quicker. If I like the sound of it, naturally i'd check the extended/original mix out.

And finally, uplifting trance as a genre has been dead to me for a good few years. Musical qualities that used to be present in trance (melody, euphoria etc.) no longer exist in this genre and have moved elsewhere (e.g. prog house / other forms of electronica).
 

Katadunkass

The Banhammer
TranceFix Crew
Jun 27, 2020
1,468 Posts
1,294 Thanked
Age
33
Denmark
Tiesto' ISOS mixes are uninspiring - a mediocre at best track selection and disjointed mixing. Much prefer Armin's ASOT and Universal Religion mixes from that period.
YOU MOTHERFUCKER, YOU TAKE THAT BACK OR I WILL.... wait.... this is just an opinion and you're allowed to have that and that shouldn't ruin my day, week or life, because that would be fucking stupid.

Have a great day Peenuts, love you <3
 

dmgtz96

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
2,684 Posts
1,530 Thanked
Ive never heard so much rubbish in all my life - in your first point,i have over half of the tracks in your 'generic' picks in my all time top 10 - and i do indeed have a 'refined' taste in Trance music as you say i dont haha. P.S. They are 'anthems' cos they are great tracks.
I actually agree with him. Those super popular trance anthems are the first thing you hear when you start digging into older trance. If those are genuinely your top 10 tracks, that means you probably haven't listened to the best that the genre has to offer or your musical taste is actually pretty basic.
Nothing wrong with having a basic music taste btw (I love pop lmao), but those tracks just indicate that you haven't found your unique "sound."

Ive been thinking this lately aswell - ok,producers need to make money and these courses are a good source - probably the best. But its just breeeding a load of soul-ess generic producers who are too technically minded. I wish everyone would start totally from scratch on a DAW with a blank screen. Let them learn themselves - thats where you get your style from.
It's like a ponzi scheme. Since the producers can't make enough money from their productions, what they do instead is create, market, and sell courses (or "one-on-one sessions") on music production. Then the cycle repeats.

edit: also, y'all are overreacting ^ (and this is rich coming from me and my heated discussions with @jetflag lmao)
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: TheTranceHistorian

dmgtz96

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
2,684 Posts
1,530 Thanked
The trouse / trance 2.0 from 2012-2014 were a breath of fresh air and creatively more inspiring than the 138 uplifting purists championed in subsequent years.
I actually kind of agree with this, except that I would expand the range to 2011-2014. Tiesto's Club Life Vol 1 is way more interesting to listen to than Generic Steroid Banger #69.
And finally, uplifting trance as a genre has been dead to me for a good few years. Musical qualities that used to be present in trance (melody, euphoria etc.) no longer exist in this genre and have moved elsewhere (e.g. prog house / other forms of electronica).
Probably a popular opinion on this forum tbh

YOU MOTHERFUCKER, YOU TAKE THAT BACK OR I WILL.... wait.... this is just an opinion and you're allowed to have that and that shouldn't ruin my day, week or life, because that would be fucking stupid.

Have a great day Peenuts, love you <3
I LOVE this energy lmao
 

Magdelayna

Elite Member
Jul 13, 2020
1,586 Posts
1,305 Thanked
West Yorkshire,England
Website
soundcloud.com
I actually agree with him. Those super popular trance anthems are the first thing you hear when you start digging into older trance. If those are genuinely your top 10 tracks, that means you probably haven't listened to the best that the genre has to offer or your musical taste is actually pretty basic.
Nothing wrong with having a basic music taste btw (I love pop lmao), but those tracks just indicate that you haven't found your unique "sound."

Thats either a joke comment or youve never heard my hundreds of DJ mixes lol - go check my Soundcloud.
 

sszecret

Senior Member
Jul 19, 2020
299 Posts
237 Thanked
I guess these would be more opinions about certain (popular?) track mixes rather than anything else:

Energy 52 - Café Del Mar '98 (Original Three 'N One Mix) - I've listened to this forwards, backwards, upside down, I just cannot for the life of me figure why there was this much hype for it. Sounds aggressively 'meh' to me.

Delerium ft. Sarah McLachlan - Silence (Tiesto's In Search of Sunrise Remix) - Never got the hype for this either. If given the choice, I'd always pick the original album mix from Karma or even the Niels Van Gogh vs Thomas Gold Remix. The only Tiesto track I kind of like is Suburban Train, so there's that.

Fictivision vs Phynn - Escape (Phynn Mix) - another one of those whose popularity escapes me (pun entirely intended). Imo the B side Fictivision Mix is far superior.

The Original Subway Mix of West on 27th is much better than the vastly more popular A Tribe Called KHz Mix.

The Full On Fluoro mix of ResuRection is pretty damn good. Might I say, even better than the original Space Club Mix.

Don't know if it's necessarily an unpopular opinion, but I didn't really see much activity around this back then. Some of the 2013-2015 ITWT covers have truly horribad color combos. Genuinely looks like they were created with the screen turned off: this , this, this, this one and this.
 

LostLegend

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2020
931 Posts
1,087 Thanked
Liverpool, UK
Website
www.beatport.com
Ive been thinking this lately aswell - ok,producers need to make money and these courses are a good source - probably the best. But its just breeeding a load of soul-ess generic producers who are too technically minded. I wish everyone would start totally from scratch on a DAW with a blank screen. Let them learn themselves - thats where you get your style from.
Like, I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing, they can be a great learning resource, but there's more to being an artist than just technical side of production.

For example, the Giuseppe Ottaviani's masterclass seems to be a really popular one and he even puts out EP's of tracks made by people who have taken it.
But:


The problem, you will hear, is that although they are all clearly good at the technical side of production, being original and developing a unique sound, not so much.
If you heard these without the track labels and I told you they were all made by the same producer, would you have any reason to doubt me?
 

Jetflag

Elite Member
Jul 17, 2020
2,941 Posts
2,354 Thanked
If you still dig 90’s up and too 2004 trance and would like to return “the scene” to that anno 2023..

you are..(like me). An old crusty man, a bit like your dad when you lived what you consider trance’s golden years and he was constantly moaning on about “how the Beatles made better music”
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: LostLegend

Recharge

Elite Member
Sep 26, 2020
1,052 Posts
598 Thanked
Age
38
oh how I missed reading arguments on forums, it takes me back.

Unpopular opinion: ATB was a better producer than Armin van Buuren
There is at least one person that agrees with you. He has such an amazing range and melody writing skills. His second parts of the albums were pure ambient bliss.