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Thread: 25 Years of Trance: The Quest for a Comprehensive Trance Database

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    25 Years of Trance: The Quest for a Comprehensive Trance Database

    In the year 2017, trance music will reach a definite milestone: it has been 25 years since the generally regarded first ‘real’ trance tracks were released, most notably Dance 2 Trance’s famous Power of American Natives and the Jam & Spoon remix of The Age of Love’s similar named trance classic. I myself was born in 1992, so I do not vividly remember all those early famous trance tracks hitting the charts. I do however remember playing FIFA 2002 which included Schiller – Das Glockenspiel (Tiesto remix), Conjure One – Redemption (Max Graham remix) and Gouryella – Tenshi among its gameplay soundtracks. Likewise, FIFA 2003 featured Antiloop – In My Mind and the one-of-a-kind Played Alive by the Safri Duo. In fact, I remember myself deleting all music other than trance from the FIFA ‘music’ folders so that I could listen to these tracks endlessly. Ever since I have been dedicated to trance music.

    The question rises who I’d become without being influenced by the genre so much, and even more so: why I still listen to music produced so many years ago while the general population my age prefers the ‘hollow’ and rapidly fading pop songs. Real trance-lovers appear to never grow tired of listening to Paul van Dyk’s – For An Angel, Energy 52’s – Cafe del Mar or Binary Finary’s – 1998 in whichever remix – some of the ‘huge’ and highly influential early ‘classics’.

    Unfortunately, as of the mid-2000’s, many of the trance pioneers of the early eras went ‘commercial’, which led some to believe that ‘real’ trance had died out. However, nothing could ever have been more wrong, as the early ‘housy’ trance era was followed by a massive rise of new ‘orchestral’ and ‘uplifting’ trance productions as of the year 2007, most notably by very young and talented producers: Andy Blueman, Daniel Kandi, Ferry Tayle, Nitrous Oxide, Onova, Aly & Fila, Soundlift, Suncatcher and Temple One, just to name a few. This led trance music to hit a new yet more underground peak around the year 2011. By this time, in my opinion, trance had evolved into a more sophisticated, more harmonious, more melodious and more inventive genre: not better per se but different and exciting nonetheless. The past few years, many of the original trance pioneers have made successful or not-so-successful comebacks into the trance scene, a clear proof of its charm. Armin van Buuren, trance pioneer par excellence, in his weekly radio show A State of Trance, appears to start leaning on the trancy genre once again, after he was disguised for being ‘too commercial’ for many, many years by his early fans.

    I am, by no means, a trance guru (I, for one, never visited a trance festival and only own one trance LP), but I do consider myself some sort of a connoisseur, mainly because I always kept track of releases I considered worthy of listening to a second time. Additionally, I searched the internet, dug myself through long-forgotten forum threads listing vast amounts of personal favourites and listened to all the earliest A States of Trance and Future Sounds of Egypt, which allowed me to construct a relatively comprehensive list of ‘trance classics’.

    Besides the discussion on what is and what is not exactly ‘trance music’, much debate has been going on regarding which tracks and which not are ‘classics’. Of course, music is a subjective experience, hence the subjectivity in what is considered ‘good’, but I’d love to throw into it some degree of objectivity. In contrast to many trance followers, I feel the term suits any track (regardless of its age) that will stand the test of time, and thus might even apply to a track released today! In my humble opinion, music can only be considered ‘classic’ if it is characterized by some degree of timelessness: will it, many years later or many years earlier, be welcomed with similar enthusiasm? Furthermore, I feel that a classic can only be termed so if it ‘aligns with the universal laws of harmony’ (whatever exactly this might be). Or, to speak in laymen’s terms: when even people not naturally drawn to trance music will admit that they ‘might not like it, but understand why you consider it so beautiful’.

    Still, in a democratic world, no one trance track can be (one of) the best, but some we consider so, because it satisfies the individual need for the collective minimization of uncertainty (or the selfish need for pushing forward ones own opinion). Likewise, many attempts have been undertaken to define or vote for the best trance track of all time. The fact that trance is still alive, for example, has outdated Armin van Buuren’s top 1000 trance songs, which only reached to the year 2013. In congruence, to my knowledge, it never has been tried to set up a continuous chart in which everybody could add (and modify!) his or hers personal favourite trance track(s). So I came up with this idea to share with you my ‘database’, year by year, on a weekly basis, so that all of you are given the chance to listen to these tracks, add ones that I overlooked and contemplate with me on an elegant voting system, that would provide us with a timeless, but all-encompassing and continuous Top XXXX trance tracks ever.

    For example, we could each award 1000 points to our favourite trance tracks, so that we can add mathematical ‘weight’ to our favourites, while still awarding some lesser known or less preferred tracks. Alternatively, you could award your personal top 100 10 points. And might it occur that a novel ‘banger’ is released, you will be given the chance to relocate your ‘points’. It’s just an idea, nothing definite, but it could look something like this (only for the year 2016, it’s just an example):
    1. Driftmoon – Waves [Black Hole]: 150 points
    2. Gareth Emery feat. Gavrielle – Far From Home (Craig Connelly remix) [Garuda]: 140
    3. Illitheas – Moments With You [Abora Skies]: 110
    4. A & Z – Noir [FSOE]: 90
    5. Bardalimov – Tangerine [Pulsar]: 90
    6. ReOrder – Way Finding Around [FSOE]: 80
    7. A.R.D.I – The Tribute [Trance All-Stars]: 60
    8. Fady & Mina – Eerie [FSOE]: 60
    9. Illitheas + Talla 2XLC – Severance [Black Hole]: 60
    10. Eximinds – Baroque [ASOT]: 40
    11. RAM feat. Stine Grove – Forever and a Day [Grotesque]: 40
    12. Lafale – Promenade to the Lighthouse [Lucky Lotus]: 20
    13. PVR – Solar Station [Silent Shore White]: 20
    14. Farhad Mahdavi – Warsaw [ASOT]: 20
    15. Sean Tyas + Darren Porter – Relentless [FSOE]: 20


    In the end, this would also allow for awarding certain producers as ‘best trance producer’, ‘best remixer’, ‘best label’, ‘best producer of the year xxxx’ etc. I think this would be something amazing. For now I am really, really curious to know what you think of all this! I you are enthusiastic, I could start by sharing with you the 88 tracks produced in 2016 I consider of excellent quality, so we could have a discussion every week on which tracks to add (or remove?). In the second half of 2017 we then could have a voting.

    Thanks in advance,
    Pierre92

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    Voci's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what to think of your three posts... is it spam... are you a robot?
    Curious about Voci’s dj-sets? Mixcloud.com/jml-mixes/

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    @Voci, I am sorry for posting it three times. I am trying to remove the other two, but can't (?). I am not a robot, nor trying to spam the forum.

    Please, on-topic.

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    Darktremor did something similar all the way back in 2004. It's one of the most comprehensive lists of Trance classics that ever existed.

    http://web.archive.org/web/201604091...racks-all-time

    The list does have its flaws.

    He kept updating it throughout the decade, but then became biased toward minimal techno (which is not Trance).
    He was biased against tracks that pretty much everyone on this forum agrees they are staple trance classics.

    1. Recent Removals: [derivative, cheesy, annoying, undanceable, and/or undeniable not trance/entrancing, it all goes in here]


    1. Pulp Victim - The World [1998]
    2. Rank 1 - Airwave
    3. Delerium ft Sarah Machlachlan - Silence (Tiesto mix) [2000]
    4. Ferry Corsten - Rock Your Body Rock [2003]
    5. Oakenfold - Southern Sun (Tiesto mix)
    6. System F - Out of the Blue
    7. Kamaya Painters - Endless Wave [2000] [epic trance]
    ... while he himself supported plenty of weak tracks from the '97-01 era.

    He seemed dislike electro, Anjuna, and orchestral sounds, as well as lengthy emotional breakdowns.

    Ultimately, in his quest to seem edgy by siding with minimal techno and disregarding Trance's evolution, Darktremor missed all major post-2004 Trance producers that created material worthy of being 'the best:'


    • Sander van Doorn
    • Marcel Woods
    • Nitrous Oxide
    • Andy Blueman
    • Solar Fields
    • Vibrasphere
    • John O'Callaghan
    • John 00 Fleming
    • Ernesto vs. Bastian


    Once he stopped updating the list (which is now archived), he also missed:

    • Magnus
    • Will Atkinson
    • Robert Vadney


    So, yeah. Be aware of what you're getting into, because this might as well be one of the biggest projects since Darktremor's list.
    Last edited by Fredjan; 03-18-2017 at 04:52 AM.

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    I am aware that this might be a huge project. However, as I already listed ~1300 trance tracks (spanning the whole ~25 year trance period, including label, producers) this might be less of a problem than one might think.

    I had a look at the 400 List of Darktremor. I have to say: He missed out on quite a few of the real 'bangers', while putting in some stuff I do not understand he considers above-average. In general, I am always amazed by the tracks people bring up when talking about classics: oftentimes, these tracks lack signature, the melodies are generic and way too repetitive, but maybe that's just a matter of taste.

    Furthermore, this is just a list that bolsters around the early eras while neglecting the beauty of the tracks produced after mid-2000's, which, for some reason, do not appeal to the ears of some of the 'conservative' trance junkies.

    In essence, I have two goals: First, I want to expand my 'database' with tracks I missed out on, especially tracks produced between 95 and 05. Secondly, if possible, we could start a voting based on that list. Such a project is interesting for two reasons: it potentially includes tracks from all trance eras and it can be updated continuously. I would be very happy to spend time on such a project, as it might satisfy my longing for more good music, whilst in the meanwhile providing both newbies and the early trance lovers with a database out of which can be drawn upon. I am eager to know if people like the idea of it.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Pierre92 For This Useful Post:

    Fredjan (03-18-2017)

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