In trance we trust.
That’s not just a slogan or the name of a beloved record label. It’s a feeling of knowing you can put your full faith in a sound that never lets you down—even if it does bring some to tears, in a good way.
Many in electronic music—even some of the biggest trance artists—thought the genre had seen its heyday in the 1990s and early 2000s. When EDM kicked trance to side stages, the influx of new people in the scene snubbed that sound as being over or past its time. But for true fans, trance wasn’t just a fad; it was a part of their soul. Every soaring melody was a spiritual experience. And never forget the heart of trance found within the die-hard fans and the global Trance Family.
While some may mock the Trance Family, the jeers almost always come from outsiders who haven’t yet experienced the overwhelming love of strangers uniting together for one sound. A palpable connectedness and kindness is found among trance fans. Perhaps this stems from the underground rave culture of the ‘90s, when trance reigned supreme and PLUR was more than just a saying—it was a real way of life.
As trance was pushed into the background, it was the fans who kept it going. As connectivity to like-minded individuals became easier via social media, the Trance Family became a global phenomenon, with brothers and sisters across the world sharing their love of the sound and scene. Local Trance Family movements organized outings, kick-backs, road trips, and bonds to share in their collective love for the community.
To outsiders, trance is stereotyped as being just sunshine and rainbows. In reality, it is a passionate and emotional roller coaster that covers a multitude of moods and vibes. It’s this connectedness among the fans, as well as the reciprocated relationship with and connection to the artists, that make for such a positive environment. Those who dig deep can find a soundtrack to any mood or experience in the plethora of trance subgenres.
The most recognizable sound is typically progressive trance, or what is simply referred to as “trance.” The tracks have a build, breakdown and anthem in the 128–132-BPM range. Similarly, vocal trance, with its formal structure of progressive beats, works its way into a melodic section, then loops back around to a variation of the intro. This often melds with uplifting trance, also known as “epic” or “anthem” trance, which has a higher BPM range, around 136–142. Tech trance is enjoying increased popularity recently, moving away from the more pop elements and incorporating some techno influences, including minimal vocals, a bold four-by-four beat, and more delay and distortion. Interest in psytrance is currently gaining a big boost in the US; the genre is identified by its high energy and pounding, rolling basslines, plus a frequently changing eight count that delights and surprises. There’s also acid trance, Balearic trance, dream trance, Goa trance, hard trance, and many more flavors.
The inaugural Dreamstate event in SoCal in 2015 was like a long-awaited family reunion with distant cousins you’ve never met, but with whom you instantly connected. Hugs and smiles abounded at the sold-out event. Regional factions of the Trance Family met their counterparts from around the world, taking huge group photos. It was truly an ode to the promise of peace, love, unity and respect.
As Dreamstate expands to become the premier trance destination, the international Trance Family, too, grows bigger, joyfully welcoming new members with the same positive spirit that has carried a never-ending love for the sound for nearly three decades. No matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone is here for the love of trance.
Dreamstate SoCal 2016 takes place Friday, November 25, and Saturday, November 26, at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA. Tickets are available now. For more information, visit the official website.
Originally published on Insomniac.com.