Why Trance Isn't Dying
There are two sides to any good discussion. I recently wrote an editorial titled “Why Trance Is Slowly Killing Itself,” and this is the counterargument to that piece. Think of it as a debate, if you will, albeit a debate in which there is a sole participant. Am I mentally insane for debating with myself? Possibly, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
There’s a popular saying on the internet: “Never read the comments.” The logic behind it goes something along the lines of this:
People who comment online have a tendency to be extremely biased in their views, i.e. they are either very strongly for or very strongly against something
People who comment online often don’t provide any depth to their comments, at least no more than “this sucks!” or “this is awesome!”
Reading the comments will generally make you lose all hope in humanity
As a result of these reasons, it should be safe to say that most people who listen to comments online are just setting themselves up for a world of hurt, as they don’t reflect the general opinion out there and are really just a small minority with a loud voice. The fact of the matter is, the original poster would likely do just fine continuing to do whatever he or she was doing in the first place. Now, if every last comment is something extraordinarily negative, then the original poster has likely done something wrong indeed, but one or two every now and then?
This is how the current trance scene is.
By and large, most trance fans aren’t too picky about the subtleties of the individual subgenres. While there are certainly those who oppose “electro” sounds, there are also those who think uplifting trance is outdated and needs to move on. The balance between them is relatively equal. Of course, producers are leaving the scene to pursue more commercial ventures which will likely make them money—and good for them, if money is all they’re after—but the vast majority aren’t and are instead innovating within the scene. There are producers like Solarstone and Giuseppe Ottaviani with the pure trance movement, Aly & Fila with a new wave of uplifting, or Max Graham and smooth progressive trance. Then you have Simon Patterson continuing to innovate with uplifting and tech trance, Bjorn Akesson and Noah Neiman pushing boundaries with electro, and a massive underground that’s constantly churning out jewel after jewel—I know this because I play quite a few of them in my weekly podcast.
These are not the death throes of a music genre.
However, I will admit that one of the flaws of trance is the blurriness of where it ends and where house begins. There isn’t a hard line, but rather a gradient, which makes identifying what trance “is” and what trance “isn’t” rather difficult. Most fans take it upon themselves to define this line, and there is nothing wrong with this. However, the moment they take to the internet to voice their cries of “not real trance” is when they lose credibility. But again, these people should be ignored.
There is, of course, mislabeling of music on Beatport and the like from record labels, and artists producing house music but claiming to be trance artists for the sheer desire to stay connected to the genre that birthed them. While these circumstances are tragedies, they are rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
This much I know is true: with the amount of new talent coming up, the genre is anything but dying. No, trance is about to experience a truly golden age, if it isn’t already...and we all get to be a part of it.
Now that you’ve read them both, which side do you take? I would love to hear your opinion on the matter. Just write to me on Twitter @theFoxhill or facebook.com/thefoxhill. I believe there are some great discussions and debates to be had here.