A History of Trance

With two of the biggest DJs in the world tracing their roots back to trance music, there's no denying that the trance scene has been a solid foundation for electronic music and EDM today. Although Armin Van Buuren and Tiësto certainly didn't invent trance, they're both long serving pioneers of the trance scene since their careers started bubbling some 20 years. There's always been something about trance music that tells us that it's going to stand the test of time. Maybe it's the four to the floor beat, hypnotic synthesis, occasional heartfelt vocals or maybe the uplifting, euphoric melodies pushing BPMs of 150. Either way; trance is here to stay with international celebrations of trance like A State of Trance, BPM Festival, Hard Summer and Holy Ship! collecting audiences and rampaging the most beautifully epic locations around the world.

Originating in Europe in the early 1990s, a few tracks that offered the 4/4 time signature, 32 beat phrases and kick drums were making wild waves out of Germany. It was something much faster than the existing house music, but the tracks were more progressive and built up much more slowly. While it is not clear where trance got it's name from, most people would suggest that it is derived from the emotional feeling due to the euphoria that trance provides - and they're not wrong!

It wasn't long before trance spread into the UK and the rest of Europe through underground raves and warehouse parties and it was during that period where big names like Paul Van Dyk, Tiësto and Armin Van Buuren started making a name for themselves.

During 1999 and 2000, many trance tunes that were dancefloor fillers became UK top 40 chart hits. At the turn of the millennium, trance was at it's commercial peak, with tracks such as the Tiësto In Search of Sunrise Remix of Delirium's Silence reaching the Top 10 in the UK, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands, as well as tracks from ATB, Above and Beyond, Rank 1 and Ian Van Dahl. Oh, and that song Sandstorm by Darude had sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

While the new millennium also brought a more commercialized trance sound through Eiffel65's Blue and Alice Deejay's Better Off Alone, it also provided an opportunity for trance to enter the mainstream. Tiësto released his In Search Of Sunrise compilation, Armin Van Buuren began a weekly 2 hour podcast called A State Of Trance, and Above and Beyond started their Anjunabeats dynasty. The commercialization saw trance branch off into a number of sub-genres including hard trance, tech trance and progressive trance. The massive movement led to the birth of one of the biggest trance event brands known as Sensation. Armin Van Buuren's A State Of Trance has also evolved into a sub-label, compilation CD and major music event; and has carried the torch for trance by finding the balance between commercial and hard trance. Touring the ASOT radio show and music event, it has gone on to sell out stadium sized venues across the globe, hitting up Australia this February.

With pinnacle trance artists shifting toward a more electro-house influence, trance acts of all kinds were welcomed to fit into festival line-ups easier within shorter time slots. The rise of trance in the USA didn't take too long with BT laying the foundation before Markus Schulz and Tritional stepped up amongst the wave of young American trance producers embracing the spawning EDM culture. Although many might argue the difference between trance and big room house, many main stage trance acts have bridged the gap by making their own unique crossover into both sounds. Today, you can find many trance producers amongst EDM heavyweights at any Ibiza or Las Vegas super-club residency or festival bill around the world. Whatever your opinion of the genre may be, trance is undeniably here to stay.

Wanna get better acquainted with trance? Anthems Trance is out now with three discs of classic and modern anthems to get you hyped on life and ready to party. Get it on iTunestoday.