Trance has been around for about two decades starting in the early 90’s. It most likely originated in Europe from eurodance beats, that at the time weren’t popular in the U.S. but grew into main stream as it became popular at rave parties that were growing in attendance. Trance often combines elements of a dance beat with a catchy melody that immerses the listener through layers of music that a accumulate in a buildup and breakdown.
Over the decades trance has evolved from simple forms of electronic sounds to more complex compilations of instruments, vocals, and sounds. During the mid 90’s, trance started becoming more prevalent as the rave scene in America started attracting a new breed of listeners. Big DJs such as ATB, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, and Tiesto started introducing a sound that was more than just beats and tunes. Even mild forms of trance like Robert Miles Dreamland became popular and introduced main stream listeners to this new type of sound. This lead to a breaking point around the turn of the century when trance exploded into the club scene and main stream entertainment.
By the early 2000s, trance along with other forms of dance music such as house, techno, and drum n’ bass picked up steam and the club scene was never the same again. No longer was trance only played at rave parties but also at clubs called after hours. Trance had become a well established form of music that was naturally suited to be played late hours with its energy and feel good vibe.
During this time advances in technology also helped fuel the growth of trance music. The internet became a household phenomenon that helped bring listeners together. Advances in computer, music software and electronic instruments made it easier for aspiring electronic musicians to have their start in producing electronic music.
Trance continued strong for the next decade with top Djs becoming a household name and drawing huge crowds for performances. Trance continued to evolve into a more refined sound with many subgenres, which included uplifting trace, vocal trance, hard trance and progressive trance. Vocal trance became and continues to be very popular because it introduces the ‘human element’ into an otherwise repetitious sound. Some vocal trance even bursted into mainstream radio such as ‘Better Off Alone’ by Alice Deejay. Finding a good vocalists with that ‘angelic sound’ appears to be popular with many producers.
As we move into the next decade, the sound of trance continue to change as producers experiment with other forms of music. It will be interesting to see where trance will go in. If trance can contain the essence of its sound, which is the beat and melody, it may remain a great form of music for some time. If it loses this, it may eventually evolve into a new form of music. For the mean time, enjoy that ride down the beach into the sunset as you drift off to the great sound of trance.