(Why) are there no new ideas in trance?

Gagi

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Another negativity thread, but I feel like there is a need to discuss this.

@Magnevi wrote a little something in Ben Gold's thread and it triggered me since I absolutely agreed.

Another Novelli Emma Hewitt female over-emotional pop voice. So boring. We have heard this track dozens of times now.

These type of tracks are way too much centered around the vocal. The vocal should be just a layer in a composition. Not… the only layer.

i mean, just because it has steroid beats under it, you call this vocal trance? Its simply pop with loud drum-samples. Not vocal trance.

ah of course, the breakdown, with a piano. And cringy even more extremely “emotional” omg I have to cry, vocals.

insert generic pluck, and freezer will give it tune, of the year.

This is exactly why I rather listen to Spain’s Eurovision entry than to current trance. That song doesn’t take itself seriously. just fun. But all these 138-emotional-pluck tracks take themselves wayyyyy toooo seriously. Cringe.

So that basically made me think of how stale trance has been. And this was my initial reaction - I wanted to post it there, but it's a bit more important than Ben Gold, so I thought I'd make a new thread.



I really am losing all the respect for musicians who absolutely do not want, or have it in them, to create something new or develop their identity. In 2000 people thought trance was dying, probably because they no longer identified with the sounds and ideas that were taking over the scene, but in 2022 I have to say I really do not see any new ideas coming at all. It's either what's already been here for years, or a mimicry of what once was.

Like, why are we not seeing ethnic crossovers with trance? Like what Ukraine did, combined rap with folk. It might be a bit polarizing and risky, but I liked it... There's so many wonderful cultures, instruments out there, why are strings and pianos mostly used in trance, and why only western/classical style? Are we all just stuck in the mentality that trance is the extension of classical music, and do we not realize how absolutely insulting that sounds? Why are the vocals all the same? We sometimes hear some Arabic influences, but everything else is in the Western style. Can we have some religious chants, for instance (like in Hosanna)? I won't even waste any time on talk of drums and basslines, it's absurd and we know it.

I'll tell you why, and it's two things - no one wants it, and no one can provide it. This is why trance is, for me, stale and I do have a lot of sympathy for those who moved on. I, now, see myself doing the same.



The main question I want to ask is - am I wrong and are there any new ideas popping in trance? If so, where are they? If not, why?
 

jetflag

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Another negativity thread, but I feel like there is a need to discuss this.




The main question I want to ask is - am I wrong and are there any new ideas popping in trance? If so, where are they? If not, why?
I'd say its a common phenomenon for music and genres in general. I mean just randomly pick one other. Classic Baroque, Country, hardstyle, hardrock.. all are basically established genres that have crystalized beyond their experimental phase post hoc their inception.

When was the last that a real novel idea popped up in the ambient scene? not recently at least by my knowledge.

the problem with new ideas is that, the minute something genuinly revolutionairy filters through, the overwhelming herd of listeners both new, old, for and against are going to dub it: "thats not real trance/*insert genre here, but a varation of it" and you end up with a new (sub) genre instead of that thing remaining that thing but different.

its an aesthetical ship of theseus paradox... to give it a fancy philosophical spin
 
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IXM

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the topic of collaboration is over for me a long time ago, the lange with the song was special for me, it was something great, but apart from that, I always chose versions without vocals. In a good trance, it's a waste of space for such things. he once said a cool word on this forum @Hansmon, You can know that a good trance is when there is no melody in it, when the arrangement itself and the overall grooove can show the power of the song. I don't remember exactly this quote, but that's how I understood it and I agree with this idea
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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There is one 'issue' with today's mainstream Trance that I have recognized: most of the popular and followed Trance artist are now 45+ years old guys (Above&Beyond, Armin, MIKE, PvD, K&A etc. etc.) and they are too old to bring something new to the genre, somehow it is not possible to be creative when you are older.. sadly these guys still have the biggest influence on the scene.

Today's youngsters are making Techno or UK styled House atm, I see there some wide creativity.. only young talent will help.
 
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Quethas

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This statement is intentionally provocative, but would we even accept anything new?

Trance got established into certain patterns. Even if I am looking for "something fresh", it needs to fit into expectations more or less. Otherwise it is not trance as we realize it. This is the phenomena @jetflag was describing.

Sure, you can do something with the certain sound designs, but overall there's not all that much you actually can do anymore. Trance as we understand it has pretty much painted itself to the corner. There's certain audience and certain producers who have this idea what trance actually "needs to be" and it is then repeated over and over again.

There might come a time when something called trance appears and gets really innovative, but it is most likely some kind of crossover of genres or something completely different scene and sound compared to trance we all are so fond of.
 
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IXM

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Labels, which do not want to go beyond the limits, are to blame in this matter. an artist who created something original needs support in spreading the work, but in the eyes of lebel it is a risky procedure. If I want to have a label, I would like to earn money on it and such projects would require additional payments. Although you can sometimes hear some producers like solarstone go into very creative projects and praise for that!
 
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Gagi

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You're all right guys, a blind spot in my thinking.

But let's not even say something completely new, unheard of, needs to happen. Can we start with improvements in sound design etc? Something Eco has done even 10 years ago. Was M(You)sic not trance? Let there be more creative sounds, arrangements and ideas overall, this is a great starting point.

I don't even want to say we are not to blame for this lack of novelty. We, as listeners, have come to expect X, Y and Z out of anything that is labeled "trance". With some, it's only X. But I digress. With this, there is no incentive to develop and innovate.

On top of other things such as globalization, marketing, trance not being trendy anymore, or sellable etc, the talent simply not being there...

Can this even be solved somehow or is it a lost cause?
 
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jetflag

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dunno... there's hints and sparks every now and then...

you mentioned innovative chants. I immediately had to think of this diddy.

 
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jetflag

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Also something to ponder. @Gagi and don't take this as a Jab or insult at you, but seen as we're in a provocative thought topic here's something provocative and hopefully inspiring.

Have you and other simmilar thread starters ever asked yourself what exactly is stopping you, specifically, from making the difference you would like to see?

these topics seem to approach the scene and the problem the way a recent Berkeley social-sciences student and/or Greta Thunberg does,

"What can we (and by we I mean they) do to fix the world in the way I would like to see it fixed? "

as opposed to say a Boyat Slat or Musk who's mantra is a more:

"What can I (and by I i mean me) do to fix the world in the way I would like to see it fixed?"

- you have at the very least a small set of innovative ideas for trance
- you have access to DAW and even some experience in that field
- you have a range of both amateur and established producers that you can hit up for advice and/or even collaboration if its hard to finish the whole product yourself.
- At the very very worst we'll all have a good laugh at your expense for producing something really terrible and if it helps you over the edge I hereby promise that I won't and will be praising and constructive ;)

just sayin' ?
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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trance not being trendy anymore

From my point of view is Trance more popular then in 2010's or in the late 00's.. Super celebrated Techno djs playing Trance tunes on the the most popular festivals and bigroom events. There is definitely a strong Trance influence in the Techno and Prog-House genres. Old classic's are re-released on vinyls, undeground club trance is also released mostly on vinyl. The early 90's style is back. Important sites like Electronic Beats have publications about Trance music, and there is alot of more everywhere.

But it is not about the mainstream Trance that most of the people here follow. I see definitely the future in the early 90s trance revival, and thats also the only reason why I started to follow Trance again after so many years.
 
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IXM

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I appreciate artists who can introduce a smooth sound to a song. Most of all I miss something interesting about drums, everything is static. the saw is beautiful but it's been 20 years! I would like to hear a little more in the effects, we have such possibilities! the worst is boring transitions all the time the same, no creativity. fact give energy but, times have changed. I fell down and now an example worth following:
 
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Gagi

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Also something to ponder. @Gagi and don't take this as a Jab or insult at you, but seen as we're in a provocative thought topic here's something provocative and hopefully inspiring.

Have you and other simmilar thread starters ever asked yourself what exactly is stopping you, specifically, from making the difference you would like to see?
...
- you have at the very least a small set of innovative ideas for trance
- you have access to DAW and even some experience in that field
- you have a range of both amateur and established producers that you can hit up for advice and/or even collaboration if its hard to finish the whole product yourself.
- At the very very worst we'll all have a good laugh at your expense for producing something really terrible and if it helps you over the edge I hereby promise that I won't and will be praising and constructive ;)

just sayin' ?
None taken, good points again.

I have asked that myself, yes.

I can not put in the hours required to be where and what I want to be, and for years I've been struggling with producing. I also don't consider myself artistic. So I'm unfortunately limited to ranting on and managing the forum - we're trying to promote more of what we think deserves it, and there's lots more coming (as you might already know, but shhh). But let's not make this about me though, I'm not bigger than a genre, let alone music. It's good to think about things this way, but I know my limits. I have definitely fantasized about working with a diverse group of musicians (seeing Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra with one flutist, one rapper etc. reminded me of that), but I think that is well beyond reality.
 
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IXM

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None taken, good points again.

I have asked that myself, yes.

I can not put in the hours required to be where and what I want to be, and for years I've been struggling with producing. I also don't consider myself artistic. So I'm unfortunately limited to ranting on and managing the forum - we're trying to promote more of what we think deserves it, and there's lots more coming (as you might already know, but shhh). But let's not make this about me though, I'm not bigger than a genre, let alone music. It's good to think about things this way, but I know my limits. I have definitely fantasized about working with a diverse group of musicians (seeing Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra with one flutist, one rapper etc. reminded me of that), but I think that is well beyond reality.
@Gagi post a song of yours I would like to know the atmosphere in which you feel?
 
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Recharge

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To be fair you can't blame only the labels for being scared to experiment. We (the fans) are worst and have a lot of blame since anything more experimental is dubbed not trance or I don't like it and that means it sucks. There is definitely some blame in labels too since they turn down their fair share of more experimental songs too.
 
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Hot Tuna

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Firstly, I don't think there is a single genre of music that didn't burn itself out or run out of ideas within ~20 years or less (don't say 'pop' - that's not a genre).

Secondly, it is not worth anyone's time or effort to be creative in trance any more. Complex tracks can only be a labour of love. Why spend months on a track that might sell 10 downloads when you can just repeat the usual formula and sell 20 downloads. That's the reality.
 
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IXM

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I am not sure what @IXM meant here.
I think it would be cool if you could throw in something of yours sometimes. Your blockage is probably because you hear too much and it would be difficult for you to replicate it in your DAW. You don't have to be perfect. But it would be fun to know your creative style

aside from innovation in the genre
 
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Gagi

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I think it would be cool if you could throw in something of yours sometimes. Your blockage is probably because you hear too much and it would be difficult for you to replicate it in your DAW. You don't have to be perfect. But it would be fun to know your creative style

aside from innovation in the genre
Thanks, but let's not make this about me and my productions - if I have something I might share it in the appropriate section. Let's discuss the main topic here.
 
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Hensmon

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I've said it before, but when you look at the 10 year period between 1999 and 2009 the amount of change and new sounds the genre went through was just incredible. It never stopped coming up with something new. Even 1999-2004 there was such a big difference and so much variety, every year. So cool. In comparison to 2010-today it feels like only handful of new sounds appeared, and none of them good. Steroid style trance is on like a 7/8 year run now?

Personally I put part of it down to money, because innovative or bold ideas do not resonate with the largest markets which sustain the industry. Thats why prog-house is the dullest and safest its ever been, I think the majority want that and I think thats what give labels/artists income. But also I feel like there are other reasons I cant figure out.
 
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