Seems there's external factor too. The world is different in the 90s and it influenced the arts. Not just trance or just music, the whole art world acts the same way. It's "safe" to have new ideas back then. It was the norm and it's something we don't have today.
The current 90s revival is on the right track I think. They don't rely to the current scene, they build their own scene instead. Not just releasing music, but every part of the scene took their part. They have their own media, labels, events, and so on. Yesterday I even saw a label that also release a book! This is the kind of attitude that's missing. For years there's the same tired "commercial vs underground" narrative, yet the 90s scene took DGAF approach. They don't care if the music is not good enough or perfect for you. They just keep going. Did they finally managed to bring new ideas? Not yet I think, but having an ecosystem that support artists to experiment, I believe it's the first step.
Great post. You provide a lot of cultural background as to why the 90s was a different time for arts and music that I hadn't really considered before. 90s really was a different time.
I remember in 1999 there was a large difference between what was being released at the start of the year and the end of the year. So much variety and new ideas within a SINGLE year. But then there was a sudden and big change straight away in the year 2000 and new ideas start drying up. The music business can really change in a blink of an eye.
I didn't understand it at the time but now understand that it was down to the explosion of the internet. A lot of artists lost interest, motivation and incentive to produce new and innovative material when your work could be pirated and stolen simply at the click of a button. By about 2002 so much homogenisation had already swept across all genres.
When you say the current 90s revival, do you mean artists and DJ's like Adam Pits, Dylan Forbes and Guy Contact? This side of the scene goes largely unnoticed on this forum but there is a great thread about it over on tranceaddict.
I really need to explore this scene more. It's proper trance and underground music basically. Something that resembles trance of old.