Editor note: This article is a collection of thoughts presented during a recent online discussion. Trance Farm would like to thank everyone who contributed to this piece.
We see it more and more lately.
Trance DJs are venturing from their 138-140 b.p.m. realm and focusing more on the Progressive side of music during their livestreams and productions. You know, the Progressive House, Deep House, and Progressive Trance that, for many, were untouchable unless they were opening a room during a gig.
And, it’s comforting, isn’t it? Early evening Progressive tunes are the foundation to your evening while having a drink and conversing with friends before the headliner arrives to blow your euphoric brains out by playing every big room anthem known to humanity.
But, whose to say Progressive sounds can’t do the same for the entire night? For many, they do. And, that’s why we’re seeing a resurgence of this particular type of music. But why?
Hormones peak at an early age, and the same music was easily sold with a hook and a vocal. But, when that was the focus, sound design and exploration took a back seat. As people grew older and the backlash of the EDM explosion years ago led a sector of dance music fans in an eager search for the other end of the musical spectrum, the creative ceiling at the time was virtually non-existent.
Folks wanted new sounds and textures, so what was created and delivered was more intelligent, complex, and melodic. The work was so different that it created a new genre, and taken from its influence from the ’90s and early ’00s Trance, Progressive music has that essence of Trance, but hasn’t been rehashed to death like so many generic 138 b.p.m. songs.
Some people are still capable of listening to 138 b.p.m. for hours on end. Nevertheless, an argument can be made that it’s not practical to expect the majority of people to have a metronome style kick as the backdrop to every daily activity.
We’re experiencing a shift towards music that has a lot more contextual flexibility. It can be played in the background of a YouTube video, streaming on a Spotify playlist, or played loudly at a show. One of Trance Farm’s writers was to bet that if surveyed, most people would find Deep House something enjoyable to hear on a Bluetooth speaker on a boat, at a loud Mid-Western American festival, or while working out. In laymen’s terms, it’s easily enjoyable.
And, isn’t that what we’re searching for right now? 138 b.p.m. can be considered intense and raw – things the world are consumed by along with uncertainty and complex negativity, so we instinctively look for that effortless, comforting way out, and this music is the perfect recipe.
On top of that, brands like Anjunadeep/Anjunabeats and Silk have consistently released top-notch material, showcasing this sound, and have built a following around it. The longevity of those brands speaks to their popularity and the popularity of the Progressive sound. It’s still not as popular as the run of the mill Trance from some of the more prominent names in music, but does popular always mean better?
Based on this, and as the headline states, it’s not a “new trend” per se, since it never really went away – it just seems to be getting more exposure. That still could be due to a number of things not mentioned, and I invite your comments on the subject, but I find the structure of these genres to be incredibly alluring.