(Why) are there no new ideas in trance?

Motion

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I also dont think it's critical we have new ideas. My old Trance playlists have so many styles that people made that we just have to look back for inspiration. There really is an abundance of directions Trance has gone and they would still be favoured today. We don't have to create something new, we have enough variation in the scene previously landed upon and confirmed to work in order to draw from.

The problem today (as I see it), is that we stopped turning to the variety that was already working well. Now I only see 3 or 4 styles of Trance, the main one being hard-uplifting, aka the steroid variant. Such a narrow range.
 
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Gagi

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Quality is definitely also important and one of the many factors present in the discussion on how to make trance better.

But this is about new ideas. Maybe what would help steer it in that direction is if we posted unique trance tracks over the years, something that was never repeated before. Anyone has any in mind?
 

Gagi

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just sayin' ?


I also don't consider myself artistic. So I'm unfortunately limited to ranting on and managing the forum
Sorry for getting back late at this and/or for turning this about @Gagi 's music once more (I swear it'll be the last time here),

But that there above^ is a shit excuse, considering this: (Especially the bottom one) creativly speaking this tops the latest ben gold by about a mile orso

https://soundcloud.com/gagi_music%2Fgaia-status-excessu-d-gagis-ice-cold-remix
https://soundcloud.com/gagi_music%2Fgagi-id-tech-mix
Thanks man but the first one hasn't added anything new (literally all sounds are the same), and the 2nd one is built around a preset I found. I like 'em both, but it's nothing outstanding or overly creative.
 
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jetflag

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Thanks man but the first one hasn't added anything new (literally all sounds are the same), and the 2nd one is built around a preset I found. I like 'em both, but it's nothing outstanding or overly creative.
Neu.. disagree. you're underselling yourself potential wise.. The guitar tech thingy is novel and at the very least testifies you thinking outside the box musically.

lets put it this way: its a (very) good start
 

dmgtz96

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Quality is definitely also important and one of the many factors present in the discussion on how to make trance better.

But this is about new ideas. Maybe what would help steer it in that direction is if we posted unique trance tracks over the years, something that was never repeated before. Anyone has any in mind?
Cybernetika - Tyranis (2010)
The Digital Blonde - Blaze (2011)

Both are fast-paced psytrance with cinematic/cyberpunk quality. Only few tracks were made in this style, which more or less disappeared when psytrance went progressive.
The last couple of minutes of Blaze are *insane*. Never heard anything like it anywhere else. "The Tribe" and "Free Tibet" got nothing on Blaze. It's like if The Digital Blonde unleashed his anger against the world.

Robert Vadney - Astral Fireworks (2015)
Fast paced yet soothing psytrance with a nice ethereal feeling. Not sure why this sound has not been replicated.


For something trancier, I would say Above & Beyond - On my Way to Heaven (2011). Great use of male vocals, good structure, and large free of cliche/generic sounds.
 
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erickUO

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Afaik, not much new ideas in other genres too. They also just repeating what has been done, using the same ideas either straightforward, modernize it, or mixed it up. Which got me curious, why is it a phenomenon for all?

I see the 90s as the most diverse, compared to the later era when it starts to get uniformed. A bit of googling about what happened in that time took me to some interesting points.

"Bookended by the Cold War at one end and the War on Terror at the other, this was – for most of us, at least – a time of peace. The cultural world responded by making art for art’s sake for the first time in decades. No message was required and the result was an incredible cultural exuberance."

" this was a time when artists of all disciplines produced unfiltered and unapologetic work brimming with confidence that was of the highest order and meant something without meaning to."

Telegraph.co.uk

"Art in the 1990s, in economic terms but also in aesthetic ones, went through a period of retrenchment and rethinking. “Value in everything is being questioned,” said Mary Boone, the influential 80s art dealer, in the midst of the crash. “The psychology in the 80's was excess; in the 90's, it's about conservation.”"

BBC

"Unlike most other eras, the notion of 90s music is hard to pin down. Oddball and eclectic, the decade defies easy categorisation, but it’s this cross-pollination of sounds that left a boundary-breaking legacy that remains today."

"Counterculture goes mainstream
The larger impact of grunge on 90s music was that it normalized what was once deemed countercultural. Suddenly, middle-of-the-road music listeners were nudged towards exploring what was once considered the domain of indie-music fans, who initially viewed these newcomers as interlopers."

udiscovermusic.com

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.
 

Aquarium

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Are new idea's overrated? Look at @EnigmaState and his original tracks, it was the no1 track of the forum but it is completely reproducing old ideas. I was so happy to here it, and so was everyone else.

Amen to this. Copy all the old sounds, for 100 more years, I will not complain. Pick any year from 1993-2005 and just repeat any of it. I promise you producers that we will give you the thumbs up and even the $1 purchase in the download stores :eek:

But actually it would be nice for something new to come along too, not gonna lie. I want producers to make tracks that feel like compositions again, not just making Trance for Trance's sake. I dont know if that makes sense.
 
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dmgtz96

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All of you saying that new ideas might be overrated because old trance styles can be remade - as with the argument for "world-inspired" vs deep/spacey/technolike trance, new ideas can coexist with old ideas. You can have both your old-school style trance with the newer trance, and the genre would be better off for it
 

Tep

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For me, it is really surprising that so many people still listen to the regular ASOT type of music. 95% of tracks there are really uninspiring and bring nothing new to table. In recent years there have been maybe around 10 tracks that I really enjoy, which can be considered traditional trance.
My own musical taste has also changed a lot in recent years recently, but I still look for that dreamy, getaway type of music, which is nowadays more in house, techno, progressive etc.
 

Propeller

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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.
 

Hot Tuna

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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.

It wasn't just the internet, the build to the new millennium was a rare occurrence that actually united much of the human race, and provided a sense of excitement and anticipation that everyone could get behind. Hence most of the 90s had that feeling for many people across countries and cultures. The party was brought to an abrupt halt by what happened on 9/11 in New York. Since then, the world has been driven further into fear, suspicion and division, and that is reflected in the cultural trends. There have been various documentaries about this idea.

In the UK in particular this was amplified by the celebratory nature that surrounded the slow demise of the Tory government, and rise and election of New Labour in 1997. The bubble was well and truly popped by three events all occurring in quick succession: a) the death of Princess Diana, b) the release of Oasis' disappointing third album (the death of Britpop) and c) the realisation that New Labour wasn't going to be all that different after all. You could also add England losing Euro 96 into that. Again, the subject of documentaries.


In fairness, there is quite a large thread which features much of the Pits/Forbes et al 90s revival music on this forum too:

The music is there, but sadly the desire to party and celebrate is a long, long way away.
 

Hensmon

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For me, it is really surprising that so many people still listen to the regular ASOT type of music. 95% of tracks there are really uninspiring and bring nothing new to table.

True man. Maybe part of the problem is that it feels like the most unoriginal and generic styles are the ones that take up the most space in the scene. The more unoriginal you are the better you will succeed, it's hard to see. If we had only 2 styles of Trance remaining but they were quality I dont know if we would as much of an issue.

Good to see you pop your head into the forum again btw ;)
 

jetflag

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I still look for that dreamy, getaway type of music, which is nowadays more in house, techno, progressive etc.
True, Trance at its inception i'd say was/is all about Escapism and (new found) Freedom. After the Wall fell and many (young) people became either exited or desilusioned with the uncertain future and paradigmshift and retreated into/ discovered a new, exiting world where one could drift off and be hypnotized by rhythms and soundscapes that facilitated that.

Over time these elements inevitably became 1 formulaic and "boring" to the connaisseur listener, and 2 infused with pop with trance's "pop" ularity in the early part of the 2000's.

Techno as a genre is by design alot more "there aren't any rules"

Its something (underground) trance producers can take notice off, try to get back to roots and make something hypnotizing and dreamy.
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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I still look for that dreamy, getaway type of music, which is nowadays more in house, techno, progressive etc.
Techno as a genre is by design alot more "there aren't any rules"

Mainly because there are so many different scene's in Techno... the 'ambient/dub' fanboy's have no connection to the 'deep/detroit' releases/parties and these two have also absolutely no connection to the 'bigroom/rave' Techno scene/culture. Nobody cares, they are living their own "life's" not knowing anything about the others.

EDIT: I have also fogotten the 'minimal' and 'uk/bass techno' genres..
 

Hensmon

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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.

In fairness, there is quite a large thread which features much of the Pits/Forbes et al 90s revival music on this forum too:

These 'revival' threads are great but out of 100 tracks only 1 of them might be Trance, if we are being honest. In my opinion the House or Techno influence is much strong and in a fundamental way, at least more so than Trance influences. Even breaks has a stronger identity in these tracks. Progressive Revival? Not at all.

I love it the sounds though and def consider it exciting 'new ideas', just not really for Trance. UTE label probably the one that at least brings strong Trance into the mix to compete with the heavy Techno influences, so maybe there? Still, these threads are not showcasing Trance, but maybe something can come from as the years pass.
 

erickUO

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@Propeller Yes, Pits, Forbes, UTE, Union Trance Mission, etc. If you're on Soundcloud, you'll find even more that hasn't been posted either on TA or this forum.

@Hensmon Idk if revival was the right word, but seems everyone's using it. Whatever it is, I agree, maybe it's just a phase that leads to something more interesting in the future.

Adding another quote. Jimmy Asquith, Lobster Theremin's label boss who I suspect started this 'movement' said it nicely on an interview with Beatport
To Asquith, this is what was important — a DIY aesthetic more concerned with passion and emotion than pristine perfection and public image.

“It felt like it grew out of a youth movement. These terms are important because they’re almost like a trend that people can latch onto. It’s a way of people finding something that’s unique to them and is accessible, not necessarily approved by people who are a bit older. It was really fun, accessible, and really free. People found it very empowering, an entry point into making music because it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, you didn’t EQ the kick drum like this.’ Instead, you can just smash this through a really easy mastering tool but it sounds great. Fuck it, it sounds good. The more clinical dance music community were a bit upset by that. It’s not like this sanitized thing. It’s as far away from a turtleneck and a ten grand pair of headphones as you’re ever gonna get. For me, I quite like that.”
^so... no rules. Let chaos breeds creativity.
 

dmgtz96

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That description is almost word-by-word how you would describe the "bedroom pop" movement, down to the DIY aesthetic and not caring if your music sounds sanitized/clinical.

And that's a good thing, because DIY movements like these are what make music interesting.
 
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Hensmon

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Nice share of that quote @erickUO. The Lobster Theramin stuff def has that kind of lo-fi, unpolished feel to the productions but to me it was always the house styles owning that feeling. The trance-techno-house crossover stuff in the forum revival threads I think sounds pretty good and mastered well enough, it doesn't seem amateur. Def less robotic than the Trance producers today.

I don't really understand what is being called or claimed as 'revival' anyway (and why)? Is it the Adam Pitts set stuff, which is mainly house and breaks? Is it the really Trancey house stuff that sometimes comes up on Hufyd YT channel (Aguila - La Luz/ Trouble Glider (Pepe Lauer Remix)? Is it the UTE-Spacetraxx high BPM Techno-Trance? Occasional gems like Fruit - Bull of Heavens? Bliss Inc, Eternal Injection??? Such a different range of styles here.




^^^Is this really Trance? Is it really a revival? I think House claims this victory (just). I also don't think theres any classic or nostalgic elements its riding off (no revival). It's interesting, fresh and original. Maybe the revival is more with the movement itself, mixing styles, small movements, non-dependance on big scenes, some slight more emphasis on dreamy listening experiences....?
 

erickUO

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@Hensmon for me it's about the latter. The movement plus exploring whatever you like, whether dreamy or not. I hope someone will come up with a word less misleading to call what it is.

Bull of heavens does have classic aesthetics to my ears, mainly the synth sound selection. But it doesn't matter anymore, maybe the intention were never about sounding like the old days. Maybe because it just feels right to use those elements for the track.
 

TRANCEBLASTER

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Is this really Trance? Is it really a revival? I think House claims this victory (just).
I have 0% of house feeling from the track, none House dj plays stuff like that. Lets try google.) 135 BPM is way too much..