" is not a new phenomenon. The ability for music to drive dancers into ecstatic frenzies has been known at least since Euripides
. The Shakers
got their name from the ecstatic behavior they exhibited when dancing to their simple, repetitive hymns
. Voodoo rituals
are built around complex
, trance-inducing rhythms. It was well known that trance-dancing can produce ecstastic states, but until the later part of the 20th century, and the invention of the 'extended dance remix', it was rare for commercial music to reach for it.
Perhaps the earliest example of modern trance music is the Donna Summer hit "I Feel Love
". The vocals an almost wordless expression of desire, the song was driven by an unrelenting, mesmerizing Giorgio Moroder bassline that Brian Eno called "the sound of the future.
" Still a disco song, it had all the elements that would later be amplified by techno and house producers into the genre we call trance today -- repetitive, effects-laden synths, vocals that function more as sound than as meaning, a 4 to the floor beat and that constant, non-stop 16th-note rhythm.
Once electronic synthesizers, particularly the Roland 303
, made it from the studio onto the streets, the techno and house producers of Detroit and Chicago pushed the hypnotic sound further with the invention of Acid House Phuture - Acid Tracks
, Fast Eddie - Acid Thunder
From here, the story jumps back across the pond to Europe, where acid house became the standard sound of the exploding rave scene of the late 80s and early 90s. Acid house mutated into a wide variety of styles and genres, but one particular strain was a bombastic and melodic mixture of acid house with more industrial sounds, which was already being called "Trance" by around 1990. KLF - What Time is Love
, Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea
, Age of Love - Age of Love
Once it became a recognized genre, trance splintered into a few different paths -- the more minimal, techno oriented sound centered in Germany Humate - Love Simulation (Paul Van Dyk remix)
, Energy 52 - Cafe Del Mar (Cosmic Baby remix)
, the wildly psychedelic sound popular in Israel and the resort island of Goa in India - Man With No Name - Teleport
, Hallucinogen - LSD
(and introduced to the UK in Oakenfold's legendary Goa Mix of 1994
), the less complex, more commercial sound briefly popularized as Dream Trance in the US -- Bt - Flaming June
, Robert Miles - Children
, and the more subtle 'progressive' sound popularized by djs like Sasha and Digweed in the UK. Jam and Spoon - Stella
, Space Manoeuvres - Stage One
By 1998 or 1999, a new style of trance called 'epic' erupted out of Holland, Belgium and Germany. Faster speeds, bigger melodies, longer breakdowns, it more or less eliminated any sense of restraint in search of pure euphoria. Rank 1 - Airwave
, System F - Out of the Blue
, Delirium - Silence (Tiesto mix)
, Belearic Bill - Destination Sunshine
, Orkidea - Unity
. It began to dominate the dance music landscape, more and more divorced from the underground clubs where it started -- to the point where Tiesto played the opening ceremonies of the Olympics
. And some producers continued to push the sound harder and faster, merging with the harder variants of house and techno to form the new subgenre of 'hard dance'. Yoji Biomehanika - Theme From Bangin Globe
, BK - Revolution
. All of this triggered an underground backlash against any form of trance music, which has persisted. Trance music is far from dead, but there seems to be very little innovation right now pushing the sound forward.