What was the reason for the decline of trance after 2005?

dmgtz96

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
2,222
Thanked
1,178
I think Ive mentioned this to you before but in my opinion the last 2/3 years of Trance have show increased promise and quality.
The 2010s were weird.

At the beginning of the decade you had the JOOF Essential Mix, and the modern tech-trance style was also developing - you can tell from JOC's productions around this time. Shortly after, around 2011 producers perfected the tech-trance style, and then there was the no-climax, full acid non-sense for a few years. Trance also started drawing influences from big room, but it largely avoided dubstep (only a few trance tracks with dubstep-like sounds were ever released, think Photographer - This is Upstep). In the background, JOOF Recordings and Solarstone struggled to keep things real and underground.
This time also saw the loss and/or deterioration of former trance stars: Tiesto quickly latched on "trouse," officially quitting trance. M.I.K.E. largely lost his unique touch. Several other producers came out of retirement to release unremarkable tracks.
I think this era of trance culminated in the Transmission 2014 event at Prague. Pretty much the entire lineup consists of key players from this era, even more so than any other early 2010s year.

Beyond that, you have the dark era led by Vini Vici and Armin capitalizing on the psytrance. They thought it'd be a great idea to combine trance with the most boring psy-trance style (modern full-on), and the crazy thing is that it worked. Vini Vici's Free Tibet has ~107 million views at the time of writing, and Armin's Blah Blah Blah [2018] has well over 400 million views. Blah Blah Blah is like a chimera of trance genres; the combination of psytrance with pop vocals and a big room arrangement doesn't really work. It still became immensely popular.

Recently there has been an uptick in quality. I think that's thanks to Anjuna stepping up their game, both on the main label and Anjunadeep.
 
Last edited:
  • Thanks
Reactions: SecondNature

Gagi

Archon
TranceFix Crew
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
2,932
Thanked
2,062
Location
Serbia
Claiming that "there were still many good releases in 2007-2008" doesn't add to the discussion, and it was not my intent to claim that those years didn't have good trance releases.

I concur. But I'm still not giving 2006 up, though it does see a decline.

Honestly though, I think I'm lucky to have been able to enjoy most of trance styles, from its inception to today. I'm glad I started with ~2012 style, explored the current sound for a year or two, and then started going back. If it was the other way around, I don't think I would've enjoyed modern trance.
 

freewave

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
56
Thanked
25
Location
Denver
Website
rymboxset.blogspot.com
Generally the biggest issues with some old genres as Trance and Techno is that they just don't change that much in the last decades, they don't continue to get subgenres and new names and attention. The late 00's had an increase in Vocal Trance diluting it, Armin van Buuren owning the genre at the top level, and so much more interest in Electro and Dubstep. So Trance plugged along but without a lot of development, new blood, or ideas. At least Above and Beyond really came out in that period.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96

Tep

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
41
Thanked
17
So much truth in many posts here, I guess its a combination of things. For me the worst years in trance have been probably in mid 10s, lets say 2012-2016 were the worst. The style that was produced was boring and not suitable for my aging ears, all the big players went to pop/edm side, no new talents really came into scene. It has changed in recent years though, i am quite happy with the scene recently.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96 and Gagi

SecondNature

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
148
Thanked
107
Location
USA
Website
soundcloud.com
It's amazing this forum is still active. Isn't that forum like older than the entire known Universe?
Haha, honestly, when I before I joined this forum to connect with other like minded people, I sought after TranceAddict since they've been there since I started raving and going to parties in the early 2000's. So glad TranceFix exists though, I was never given the TA verification code by the admin to be able to participate, lol. Even tried to email them, but no one replied or gave a shit. Guessing the crew is very minimal at this point, but it was the go-to forum back in the day.

Going back to the topic of the decline of Trance post 2005, I think it was just a changing of the times, lots of house music went mainstream (big room house and progressive house) like Kaskade and Deadmau5 and Dubstep was also gaining a lot of momentum.

I also vaguely remember PVD playing Aly & Fila and that FSOE style was getting really popular around that time (probably around 2007-2010), which I thought at first was really cool, but then once everyone joined that bandwagon and it all really started to sound the same, I felt it became really cookie-cutter, which eventually evolved into the Modern Trance that I hear nowadays; very clean production and lots of sidechain compression, that pumping effect similar to big room house music.

At that point, for me, at least, I grew out of trance and started exploring other genres. Still, a lot of artists nowadays are often going back to classic trance, adding elements from that sound to their tracks, which I'm thankful for. I even caught a snippet of David Guetta's DJMAG Top 100 set and he was literally playing old school trance sounds in his set, which was crazy to see.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96 and Gagi

aSeb

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
501
Thanked
244
I think Ive mentioned this to you before but in my opinion the last 2/3 years of Trance have show increased promise and quality.
I think that the past few years have been one of the worst that we have witnessed. The amount of generic template uplifters is getting ridiculous and too many producers have followed that fad. There is much less diversity in the productions at the moment that it is getting painfully uninteresting to go through weekly some new releases.

2016-18 we had some sort of glimmer of hope, when Ferry revived his Gouryella sounds, we had a comeback of Hydra and Stoneface & Terminal were in fire with their old school sounds. Those were promising times, but it went back downhill really fast. A good measurement is the top-10 tunes poll that we had for 2021 here. It would have been a lot harder task to select 10 best tunes for 2017 than it was for 2021.

What comes to the main topic, I would include 2006 in the great years of the scene. Even 2007-08 were great years, but there was definitely a change of sound happening already. After 2006 started a steady decline which then went completely off the rails in 2010-11 with the bigroom crap. I pretty quickly forgot some of my past heroes with their sudden change of sounds. It was depressing to see.
 

Hensmon

Admin
TranceFix Crew
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
2,340
Thanked
1,767
Location
USA
I know what you mean @aSeb been thinking about this too recently and on some days I will agree we are in a bad place. But the one difference I notice in the last 3 years compared to others is that we finally have seeing a new type of scene emerging from the bandcamp/underground swamps, and thats the techno-trance-house-breaks crossover stuff. Finally end to 10 years of stagnation, and what we are getting can at least be called interesting and with its own identity, even if taking influence from old sounds (fine by me). It's not quite there yet but I think it can get there.
 

aSeb

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
501
Thanked
244
Ha, I actually found this old video that came to my mind yesterday, when I was watching the video from the opening post about the overused plucked sounds. Damn we had some crap tracks 10 years ago. Hated these sounds:

 

Freezer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
Messages
880
Thanked
419
For me it went slightly downhill at around 2011 era and than even bigger donwhill at around 2016...
The first big stab to the quality trance was around 2011-2012 with the stupid trouse 2.0 and bigroom era...that was probably the worst thing happened to our beloved genre :/
Second bad period was around 2016 with the commercial psytrance shit influence...
And now...its more templatish, lazy, steroid and fast food-like....
but things might be better with some nice techno/trance fusion which is quite popular now :) and some artist are trying to copy the oldschool sound from the best era which was obviously 99-2005

I can still find quality trance tunes, but it requires to go through big pile if shyte :D
 

Quethas

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
60
Thanked
91
Location
Finland
I can still find quality trance tunes, but it requires to go through big pile if shyte :D
To be honest, that has been the case since forever. For me it became hard to find good tracks (coincidentally perhaps) after 2006. But my impression has been that around that time I had heard pretty much all trance really had to offer and I started to hear the same things, sounds and structures in all tracks. I had listened my ASOT episodes, I had digged through the classics, I even had found more underground sound with JOOF and The Digital Blonde. After reaching that point, it got harder and harder to really get excited about anything new. That combined to the fact "Internet happened" made it increasingly hard to find anything relevant through all the noise.

Anyway, I think this thread had exceptionally good posts what caused a decline. It is not one certain thing, it is a combination of many really.

One thing I have wondered many times was how the evolution of trance pretty much stagnated around 2006-2007. At the time uplifting trance had evolved from early supersaw madness to whatever Armin or A&B were playing. However once it got there, uplifting (and progressive) seemingly decided there was nowhere to go. The experiments were done to other genres (first electro, then minimal, then big room and so on...) rather than really pushing trance sound forward or looking for own unique sound. Now there of course has been more subtle changes (or in case of steroids, less subtle) and the trance of course is not the same now as it was in 2010 or even 2015, but I felt lack of evolution in the most popular sub-genres was one of the reasons for the downfall.

Then again it feels like in case of Full On Psy, the most generic genre in existence, doesn't seem to have issues with using the same templates over and over again.

Anyway, even simpler answer has been mentioned in this thread. When I found trance in 2005, there was young guns like Joni Ljungqvist or Galen Behr making trance. Fast-forward few years and young talent got rare and also I remember how trance events got less popular. Trance was not appealing music to younger folk anymore. And that has not been changing every since. While I still do enjoy trance and I find many new releases pleasant, there's no denying how producers and listeners are getting older.

That was not unexpected really. I remember some posts in Tranceaddict from back in the days when someone asked, what was the last commercial trance hit. Someone answered Traffic. And then the next post was something like "damn, it has been over five years since it was released". Around early 00s trance was a gateway genre to other electronic music. At that time trance lost that status and instead of guiding people to electronic music, other electronic music needed to guide people to trance.

Trance actually had a good, long run. Maybe it's time just ended.
 

Gagi

Archon
TranceFix Crew
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
2,932
Thanked
2,062
Location
Serbia
I don't know who you are... But I will find you... And I will kiss you.

Well written.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: dmgtz96

jetflag

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
1,759
Thanked
1,367
The same thing that happens to any genre over time, maybe with the exception of pop

it has its inception days, it has its hay-days, it has its autumn and eventually its "just another genre for the enthousiast"

name me one other genre that was eternally popular...
 

Propeller

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
644
Thanked
381
Location
UK
The decline started in year 2000 when the internet and Napster became widespread. It's no coincidence that 1999 was such a great year for trance. It was the last year before the internet and illegal file sharing became big. The internet also destroyed the market for CD compilations. Licencing tracks for mix CDs was a large source of income for record labels. With these sources of revenue destroyed, many labels folded by the early 2000's and many artists in the scene stopped producing altogether.

Each year from 2000 onwards saw a decline. But, I'd say there was still a reasonable number of quality releases up until the first half of 2006. I noticed a significant drop after that.

Broadband became widespread around this time and replaced the slow dial-up modems. This made file sharing even easier and killed off any vinyl labels that still existed, causing even more artists to desert the scene.

Then the major players still remaining in the scene shifted focus to selling out big arenas as a means to make money. This had already started around 2003 but was now full on. And the music had to be really simple to appeal to a large number of people. Enter all the steroid, template and simple productions with loud melodies and cheesy vocals. Exit the 10+ minute masterpieces that had been produced in the golden years.

It's kind of where we are now still. But thankfully even without the music reaching the dizzy heights of the peak years I'm still able to find enough quality to keep me satisfied. With such a high volume of new releases, by law of probability you'll find something you like. Some good labels still exist too, like Pure. And good underground labels are popping up on Bandcamp regularly.

The decline of trance since 2000 is not just unique to trance by the way. The internet has had the same effect on all genres of electronic music and all music in general - pop, rock, rap, etc.
 
Last edited:

Hensmon

Admin
TranceFix Crew
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
2,340
Thanked
1,767
Location
USA
Yeah as Propeller said above, it was not just Trance, but many many genres that capitulated all at the same time, and that extends into the film industry too. Compare a best of movies list from the 2000 period from the last decade and the difference is just staggering.

That tells us the problem is bigger than just Trance music. Revenue into the creative industries was decimated thanks to the internet and the loss of financial stability and incentive is by far the number 1 reason we saw a decline. None of us pay for music anymore and this is the result.

To make things worse, the globalization of music markets that comes along with a mass communication system like the internet means that labels and artists are forced to pivot into the larger commercial markets of the world to maintain what they had (or even survive). So now we have the propogation of commercial bullshit. If the underground and midground scenes are not going to provide income then you instead make your piece of the pie up from smaller percentages found in new markets like US, Asia and India.

Again this happens exactly with movies, take Fast & Furious franchise, which has no need for the complexities of substance when it can get 5% of the chinese markets, 10% of the Indian markets, 10% Arab market, 20% of the SE Asians etc to make its returns. In comparison a movie like Jurrasic Park back in the day had to satisfy everyone, of all standards. It had to have substance to make it and would be paid well for achieving that.

The solution is to start buying music again and supporting artists, that means abandoning spotify, youtubes etc.
 

dmgtz96

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
2,222
Thanked
1,178
The first big stab to the quality trance was around 2011-2012 with the stupid trouse 2.0 and bigroom era...that was probably the worst thing happened to our beloved genre :/
Second bad period was around 2016 with the commercial psytrance shit influence...
I would argue that both of those things had the exact opposite effect. They drew newcomers to the genre.
Trouse 2.0 drew the people who enjoyed music like LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem or Swedish House Mafia - One.
There's a reason Armin latched on to the commercial psytrance Vini Vici sound: it sells. By 2016 the steroid uplifting formula had been overdone, and the scene needed something new. Suddenly, these guys with a knack for commercial psytrance went viral with millions of views. No trance track from 2011 onwards had that same pulling power. Free Tibet (Vini Vici remix) is still one of the most famous trance tracks from recent history, standing at 125 million views.
You can think it's shit (and maybe objectively it is!), but you can't deny that, for a brief moment, it revived interest in an otherwise stagnant genre.
 

Daysleeper

Lost in Trancelation
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
1,878
Thanked
1,263
Location
Sweden
Yeah as Propeller said above, it was not just Trance, but many many genres that capitulated all at the same time, and that extends into the film industry too. Compare a best of movies list from the 2000 period from the last decade and the difference is just staggering.

That tells us the problem is bigger than just Trance music. Revenue into the creative industries was decimated thanks to the internet and the loss of financial stability and incentive is by far the number 1 reason we saw a decline. None of us pay for music anymore and this is the result.

To make things worse, the globalization of music markets that comes along with a mass communication system like the internet means that labels and artists are forced to pivot into the larger commercial markets of the world to maintain what they had (or even survive). So now we have the propogation of commercial bullshit. If the underground and midground scenes are not going to provide income then you instead make your piece of the pie up from smaller percentages found in new markets like US, Asia and India.

Again this happens exactly with movies, take Fast & Furious franchise, which has no need for the complexities of substance when it can get 5% of the chinese markets, 10% of the Indian markets, 10% Arab market, 20% of the SE Asians etc to make its returns. In comparison a movie like Jurrasic Park back in the day had to satisfy everyone, of all standards. It had to have substance to make it and would be paid well for achieving that.

The solution is to start buying music again and supporting artists, that means abandoning spotify, youtubes etc.
I bought enigma state x 5 but still use spotify, so what?

The solution is to abandon the established labels/names so that they start supporting the nerds who makes good music (bandcamp). Trance was always made by nerds who got support by the big DJs in the past. It was a perfect formula. Trance was taken over by bros in the late 2000s.
 

Daysleeper

Lost in Trancelation
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
1,878
Thanked
1,263
Location
Sweden
The 2010s were weird.

At the beginning of the decade you had the JOOF Essential Mix, and the modern tech-trance style was also developing - you can tell from JOC's productions around this time. Shortly after, around 2011 producers perfected the tech-trance style, and then there was the no-climax, full acid non-sense for a few years. Trance also started drawing influences from big room, but it largely avoided dubstep (only a few trance tracks with dubstep-like sounds were ever released, think Photographer - This is Upstep). In the background, JOOF Recordings and Solarstone struggled to keep things real and underground.
This time also saw the loss and/or deterioration of former trance stars: Tiesto quickly latched on "trouse," officially quitting trance. M.I.K.E. largely lost his unique touch. Several other producers came out of retirement to release unremarkable tracks.
I think this era of trance culminated in the Transmission 2014 event at Prague. Pretty much the entire lineup consists of key players from this era, even more so than any other early 2010s year.

Beyond that, you have the dark era led by Vini Vici and Armin capitalizing on the psytrance. They thought it'd be a great idea to combine trance with the most boring psy-trance style (modern full-on), and the crazy thing is that it worked. Vini Vici's Free Tibet has ~107 million views at the time of writing, and Armin's Blah Blah Blah [2018] has well over 400 million views. Blah Blah Blah is like a chimera of trance genres; the combination of psytrance with pop vocals and a big room arrangement doesn't really work. It still became immensely popular.

Recently there has been an uptick in quality. I think that's thanks to Anjuna stepping up their game, both on the main label and Anjunadeep.
Lol, you really grew up with the internet plastered to your face? Its like that you copy-pasted every boring wikipedia fact/youtube stats. Its like you know absolutely nothing about everything in "trance". Everything is as relatable as it is unrelatable. Where are you own thoughts and theories? The post looks like its written by some bot analyst. Were you at the Transmission 2014 party maybe ? haha I dont think so but its funny as hell.
 
Last edited:

dmgtz96

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
2,222
Thanked
1,178
Lol, you really grew up with the internet plastered to your face? Its like that you copy-pasted every boring wikipedia fact/youtube stats. Its like you know absolutely nothing about everything in "trance". Everything is as relatable as it is unrelatable. Where are you own thoughts and theories? The post looks like its written by some bot analyst. Were you at the Transmission 2014 party maybe ? haha I dont think so but its funny as hell.
well, thanks for responding to a post I made 1.5 years ago?
To answer your first question, yes I did. Those are my own thoughts and theories.
No, I was not at Transmission 2014. No other 'steroid trance' set or event caught my attention the same way that did. It makes sense because 'steroid trance' had been developing for years already.