This blog was written for primeloops.com – check them out for some ace samples and to see my blogs 2 months earlier!
It’s an all-out popularity contest!
Two intense, pumping genres with designed for repetition and danceability will fight it out in this blog – who will be the winner?
In the red corner; we have the old school standard Trance, bringing its euphoric melodies and immense synths since the early 1990s.
In the blue corner; we have new kid on the block Electro House, trading in euphoria for sexiness with downright slutty basslines and irresistibly catchy hooks.
Let the battle commence!
Start at the beginning; Trance music evolved from some seriously experimental, melodic Electronica in the 80s, but only began to be referred to as Trance music in the early 90s, when the genres Techno and House crashed into this experimental style.
The result was the start of Acid Trance – where arpeggiated synths had their filter cut-offs and resonance messed with until the producer had Repetitive Strain Injury from turning the knobs on his or her Roland TB-303 Synth.
This was a different take on electronic music, focusing on putting the listener in a – shock horror – trance, from repetitive beats and riffs that were generally more melodic than other conventional electronic music at the time.
Evolution of Trance
By the mid 90s, Trance had begun to go mainstream. The “Intro-break-build-anthem” formula became the convention and immense, unnecessarily epic lead lines joined pretty, often female vocals in defining the new wave of what became known as “Uplifting Trance”.
The charts became pelted with trance music from producers such as Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold to name a few, cementing the genre in the mainstream for years to come.
As the 90s came to a close, Trance was no less popular but it was more diverse – it had had babies with Drum and Bass, Gabba (forming Hard Trance) and even metal, since the world had recognised the mass appeal of the genre.
Enter Electro House…
As 2000 began, the precursors to Electro House music were perfecting their technique. DJs such as Benny Benassi made the clubs shake with tracks like his anthemic “Satisfaction”, the start of the portemento driven synthlines.
Dirty basslines began more and more to be put on top of the four-on-the-floor beats and by 2005, Electro House had thoroughly emerged.
2006 saw the first massive commercial success when Bodyrox released their single “Yeah Yeah” with vocalist “Luciana”, featuring the sexy synth line doubling as the bass and lead and funky shuffling beat.
By about 2008, it was recognisable as one of the most popular genres of dance music, joining Trance music on the bandwagon of electronic music genres that had made it into the mainstream. It merged with Indie Rock Music in some cases and has blurred the lines between dance and alternative rock.
What’s Next for them?
Trance Music continues to both diversify and stay in the limelight, with the biggest artists of the genre still selling out arenas and DJs like Calvin Harris taking to producing the Trance Sound.
However, the opposite is true too – DJs as big as Tiesto have decided to attempt the Electro House sound, with his album Kaleidoscope bringing the funky basslines and staccato lead synths in to replace the monolithic trance leads at times, even incorporating guitar into some tracks as is the current trend for Electro House.
Similarities and Differences
Their biggest similarity is their aim – they aim to get people moving to intense music. Pumping beats, painfully catchy synthlines and mainstream popularity link the genres.
The differences begin when you ask how they achieve their aim. Where Trance attempts to take people higher, with soaring sawtooth synths, Electro House takes people down into the gutter with unrelentingly sexy bass and a shuffle that cannot be resisted.
So who wins this fight? Is it the pure, epic Trance or the new, sexy Electro House?
To answer that you need to ask yourself – Do you want to make Music that’s pure, epic and intense… or dirty, sexy and wild?