Why you should listen to pre-1995 trance (+ some pointers)

dmgtz96

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If you're on this forum, you already went out of your way to find a community that shares your interest in trance music. Maybe you're here as a lurker after listening to the latest ASOT set, or maybe you've been on trance forums for the past 20 years and just migrated here from the old trancefix forum. In any case, I think it's worth looking back at an era of the genre that doesn't really get that much attention: trance before 1995.

But that's more than 25 years ago! Why should I care?

Yeah, that's a while back. It's even from before when I existed.
Trance then was still in its infancy. It was evolving gradually from its 'melodic techno' roots, and the early producers were searching for the characteristics to develop this new genre. This means a lot of experimentation and innovation happened during these early years. There was no template to create a trance track. "Progressive trance," "anthem trance" did not exist; in fact, sub-genres in general likely didn't exist. There were few external influences on the genre except for maybe those from India and Israel. Trance didn't have a team of dutch superstars dominating the genre. Staple elements of the genre like supersaws and pluck melodies had not been invented or discovered.
Stripped away from many of things that now characterize it, trance then was just... trance. It was a very raw form of trance, but it laid the foundations for everything that came after it.

If you are unfamiliar with this era, or don't know where to start, here are a few good pointers:

The Age of Love (Jam & Spoon Mix) from 1992 is considered one of the first trance tracks ever. If you play close attention, this track contains a trance gate effect similar to what appeared in many, many trance productions later.

Love Stimulation (PvD's Love Club Mix) from 1993 is, in my opinion, the point where producers could finally say they found common characteristics that define the genre. The combination of elements in this track embody the departure from "melodic techno" to trance.

Cafe del Mar (Kid Paul mix) was one of the first iterations of the renown Cafe del Mar, which became a smash hit with the Three 'N' One remix released several years later.

Hearts from L.S.G. (Oliver Lieb) showcases that trance can be both uplifting while melancholic, and that electronic music can be incredibly emotional.

No Fate ('93 No Fate Mix) from Zyon was perhaps one of the trance tracks that best used piano as an instrument

Dreams from Quench gave way to Lost Tribe's Gamemaster, a commercially successful trance track from the late 1990s.

Eternal Spirit from 4 Voice also gave way to another commercially successful late 1990s trance track, Kaycee - Escape

And of course, Paul Oakenfold's legendary Essential Mix was broadcast just weeks before 1995 started.

Interesting labels to check out:

Platipus
Eye Q
Superstition
 
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Gagi

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Love this post! Early 90s trance is just as important, and often times a bit more raw, which makes it very emotional.

But your list is in no shape or form a definite list of pre-'95 tracks one should listen to. Here are some lesser-known ones:

This one is just beyond amazing.

Voyager - OAF (Chord)

The Source Experience - Point Zero [1994]

The Source Experience - The Source Experience [1993]

Snowdome - Murdoch Most Foul [1994]

Nail - Cassiopeia [1993]

Point Blank - Meng's Theme [1994]

Quazar - Sunflower [1994]

Mystic Force (127BPM Mix) [1994]
 
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dmgtz96

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Love this post! Early 90s trance is just as important, and often times a bit more raw, which makes it very emotional.

But your list is in no shape or form a definite list of pre-'95 tracks one should listen to. Here are some lesser-known ones:
It's not meant to be a comprehensive list, but more like a starter pack. :p
 

Gagi

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Ah, then it makes sense. Anyways, if we're talking starter pack, don't forget the track(s) that arguably started it all.


 
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Hensmon

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Good thread and yeah the music really speaks for itself. Ive been getting into this stuff a lot recently, that Quazar - Sunflower track was shared by Progrez in the discord and since then Ive been addicted.

@DazTC probably has very good knowledge/collection from this period!
 

dmgtz96

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Ah, then it makes sense. Anyways, if we're talking starter pack, don't forget the track(s) that arguably started it all.
And the Streets of Rage OST :p


And the Visions of Shiva, Dance 2 Trance.

Looking that far back is interesting. A few of the very early trance producers (Cosmic Baby, Paul van Dyk, Oliver Lieb) were German, and the development of trance happened just 3-4 years after the fall of the Berlin wall. There was a recent article (November 2019) about the role of techno in post-Berlin-wall Germany. It makes sense that trance eventually rose from there.
 

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I recommend everyone who didnt see this one to watch it ^^

 

dmgtz96

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I recommend everyone who didnt see this one to watch it ^^
So much EBM /goa transitioning to trance. It's not the same as the trance from even one year later, but you can see traces of the genre in many of the tracks from that video.
The track around 17 min in is nice. One of the samples reminded me of Astral Projection, but of course this track likely precedes AP.
Tbh it's surreal watching people dance to this music. It feels like an entirely different world.
 

Katadunkass

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God, there are so many fantastic tracks from the early 90's. Here's one of my favourites from one of the best electronic albums ever made, imo:
Dance 2 Trance - We Came In Peace (Desert Mix)

If you like electronic music I honestly can't see you dislike a track like this.

There's also this one which always gives me the chills:
Young American Primitive - Y.A.P. (Angels Hand)

Tracks from the early to mid 90's just felt so raw and organic which is why I fell in love with the genre in the first place. So smooth and elegant.
 

chreddy

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Despite having been into trance for close to 12 years, I've never been listening to very much early to mid 90s trance, so I'll definitely need to follow this thread. Keep 'em coming :)
 
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dmgtz96

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Gonna chime in on some rare stuff that i absolutely adore
Mirage - Keoma
I had completely forgotten about Lieb's Mirage alias.
Here's another great track from that project:

Mirage - Airborn [1993]


Now, unrelated to Lieb and from the world of Eye Q:

Brainchild - Symmetry C [1994]

That 303 bassline is on point. It's probably one of the grooviest (and best) basslines I've heard in trance.
 

JohnnyBarefoot1992

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This is a really good thread!

I've been talking about this for centuries already! I think most people, even veteran trance fans tend to forget the existence of Trance Music from 1995 and earlier, which is quite a shame because this music is really good and like you said, it set the foundations for everything that came later on the scene.

I have quite some favourites myself:

Paragliders - Paraglide

The Visions of Shive - How Much Can You Take

Art of Trance - Octopus

Cygnus X - Superstring

Spicelab - Amorph
 
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Hensmon

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Great post above, I forget sometimes how old some of the Art of Trance tracks are. Is Simon Berry the longest lasting Trance/Progressive producer in the industry?
 
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erickUO

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Raw form, raw ideas ❤

Zero Gravity - Sensorium
 
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dmgtz96

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Great post above, I forget sometimes how old some of the Art of Trance tracks are. Is Simon Berry the longest lasting Trance/Progressive producer in the industry?
Probably tied with PvD
 

TRANCEBLASTER

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Can I post here everyday one of my pre-95 trancy alltimers?

Massive production from Detroit legends Robert Hood and Claude Young released on Hardwax in 1992!

 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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Hopefuly somebody enjoy's this beauty, what a lovely atmosphere, this could go forever! Released in 1994 at Loop Records.

Harmon Eyes - Tension
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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Straight from NYC, even the old school house heads made same great trance tunes in the past. Released in 1994 at EXperimental.

Aurasfere - Sunrise On Epsilon