Keep Calm and Listen to Trance
May 21, 2020 12:05 PM   Subscribe

As fans of Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten and others can tell you, Trance has been around a long time, but it’s been a while since it’s been at the forefront of the dance music consciousness. But how long has it been around for and how did it get here? We here at EDMTunes would like to take you on a brief trip, from Trance’s humble beginnings, through its boom around the millennium, and all the way up to [2014]. The Rich and Long History of Trance is EDM Tunes' relatively succinct summary of the global genre. If you want to dig in more, Give Trance a Chance has a more detailed history, going back to 1988, as well as mixes on Soundcloud, including focuses on specific years, like 1999, "arguably one of the greatest years in dance music history."

Not enough music for you? OK, here's Trance Rising 1998 and Peak Trance 1999, both from dbliss on Mixcloud, who has more recent trance mixes, if you want a taste of current sounds and styles. And for another history of trance, there's George Acosta's well-regarded recap (AllMusic) of 1993-2004 in two discs (YouTube; Discogs, with scans of the liner notes).

Too mainstream? Suntrip's Anoebis has put together ten mixes charting the history of goatrance (Soundcloud playlist), with one mix per year from 1994-2001, though 1996 and 1997 each get two mixes, one "morning side" and "acid side" per year.
posted by filthy light thief (16 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
I love my copy of Global Underground 14. And most of my post-college clubbing happened in 1999 / 2000. Truly a great time for dancing and music.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:28 PM on May 21 [6 favorites]

I think it goes like "Techno->Progressive Trance->EDM" (e.g. the 'popular genres').

But everyone just called it Techno til they decided "EDM" somehow is a better term for whatever crap they put out under that guise these days.

I've had my Sasha, Oaky, BT, etc... phases.
I have to say the first time I heard Miles' Children blew my mind back then. Now it's pretty mundane. Especially when you realized that whole album just sounded like each other.

The whole "bro" thing of prog trance and the Ibiza party life, seems to be what EDM is, to me, these days.

I'm far more fond of Psy/Goa styles, but I do look back with fondness on the old classics now and then.
posted by symbioid at 12:30 PM on May 21 [4 favorites]

(And Digweed! I coudln't remember who was often paired with Sasha back in the day - Digweed).
posted by symbioid at 12:31 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]

Great post, flt! I can't wait to dig into some of these links.

The compilation I still turn to, to this day, is Swedish Egil's Trancemission (vol. 1). It may not be groundbreaking, but it's 100% a snapshot of a time in my life that was more joyful.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:15 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

One of my favorite old-timey trance mixes is XMIX-1 (Paul Van Dyk, 1993).

Oliver Lieb has always hovered on the boundary between techno and trance, as in his 2001 Essential Mix. Same with Emmanuel Top.

DJ Tim & DJ Misjah’s 1996 Access has got to be the first and best barnstormer in the bro-trance genre.
posted by migurski at 1:27 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]

I wore out my CDs of Global Underground 13 (Sasha:Ibiza) and 18 (Nick Warren: Amsterdam). Disc two of GU 13 has a wicked 10 minute version of BT's Fibonacci Sequence.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:30 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

Speaking of Sasha and Digweed, Renaissance: The Mix Collection is well worth your time. So good. I had a stereo that died and its 5-CD changer had eaten the whole thing. I must have spent an entire evening dismantling the whole thing to pry it out.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:35 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

I'm currently writing a graphic novel partially set in the underground Montreal rave scene in the 99-2001 era, and I've been going back through a lot of this music as I have guest DJs put together mixes for the book, as well as get sets of my own together, that we've been releasing along with each issue.

It was a wonderful time in my life to discover trance, and although I got there from a much harder (hardcore and HHC place), I still listen to it on an almost daily basis.
posted by jordantwodelta at 2:51 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

I have a whole bunch of Hooj Choons vinyl in storage as trance was the first genre I started buying on vinyl when I had a real income. I moved on to house and deep house but still appreciate the early trance years, especially early BT and early Sasha/Digweed.

Oakenfold - Anthems may be a better overview than the Acosta release.
posted by gen at 4:40 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

I'll be poking through this stuff for a while to come! Great post.
BTW, the Anoebis stuff is in lossless - makes the bass so round and firm and fully packed...
posted by cybrcamper at 9:39 PM on May 21

Great post! A couple of links:

Sasha's essential mix from 1995

If you like this kind of music, Dave Dresden of Gabriel & Dresden has been doing LONG, awesome DJ sets from his house throughout the lockdown, including classic Trance every Saturday night. That's here on Twitch.
posted by mmoncur at 10:16 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

Previously: "I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape.” -- empath's history of Trance post from Feb. 2010.

Bonus mixes, thank to comments in this thread:
- Swedish Egil's Trancemission (vol. 1) (2000)
- Sasha -- Global Underground 13: Ibiza CD1 and CD2 (1999)
- Nick Warren - Global Underground 18: Amsterdam CD1 and CD2 (2000)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 AM on May 22

Man, I miss empath. We used to hang out on (which I also miss) and he'd play stuff from his enormous library, and I loved almost everything I heard.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:04 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]

The Sasha Digweed Northern Exposure mixes are also a good listen.
posted by carter at 5:22 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]

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