‘Euphoric Techno’ or ‘Neo-Trance’?


Once most popular genre of electronic music is already in its rise.

Inspired by the original trance sound, not commercial trance, we are witnesses that many new sound is called ‘Euphoric Techno’ or ‘Neo-Trance’, but which one is it?

Trance in Techno

There have been hints of this coming for a while, in the trance-inspired melodies in techno that have taken hold in the last few years. Acts like Mind Againt and Tale Of Us have made careers out of weaving dark, emotive techno with trance-inspired melodies. But few would call it trance (other than Mixmag, who dubbed this sound “man trance”), and aside from the fact that it occasionally uses synth-based melodies and vocals, shares very few characteristics with the roots of the genre. Plus it’s usually melancholic, something trance rarely is.

But even if it’s not trance, it has opened discriminating ears to the idea of trance. So much so that Bicep even recorded an After Hours Essential Mix that exclusively featured trance, albeit slowed down enough in BPM to make it brilliant instead of offensive. It worked so well that the Irish duo have continued to push the slow mo trance sound in their DJ sets. Seeing them in the DC-10 Garden at Circoloco recently, I heard both Orbital’s classic “Lush 3.1,” and Lauer’s positively sparkling “H.R. Boss” interspersed with Dennis Ferrer and Jerome Sydenham’s Pan-African Electro Dub of “Timbuktu,” giving that track’s already radiant trance-like melody even more of an uplifting glow.

Of course, big daddy Sven is still as trancy as ever. He even told RA back in 2006 that “Actually I think I play trance,” and he most certainly still does. Of course, his trance has always leaned towards the techno side of the genre. But if there’s a more euphoric techno DJ on the planet playing today, I’ve yet to hear them. It’s one of the reasons he’s long been one of my favourites, and why any return to the uplifting melodies that made trance so popular is so exciting.

There’s nothing tongue and cheek about Russian heavy techno purveyor Nina Kraviz dropping Binary Finary’s “1998” in Amnesia’s Club Room at Cocoon, though it was slowed down from its original breakneck speed to match the BPM of her set. She’s leaped far beyond hinting at the past glories of trance, very bravely jumping into the deep end, bringing a bona fide trance classic back for a well-deserved reprisal lately. Mind you, this isn’t “Age Of Love” we’re talking about. Even the most ardent techno fan has at least recognises that timeless female vocal line, and it could be argued that “Age Of Love” is techno anyway.

Nina also started GALAXIID, label that has strong connection with trance.

One thing is for sure, more slower, uplifting and emotional tracks labeled as techno are being released each day, and they are being more and more popular, and like we said, they sound much like original trance.

Neo trance

Stephan Bodzin, Oliver Huntemann and Marc Romboy are the leaders of the self-proclaimed ‘Neo–Trance’ style, so it may not come as a surprise to find out the Bodzin, Huntemann, and also Romboy all have their roots firmly entrenched in trance.  Let’s not forget the euphoric melodies of Recondite.

So, what do you think? Is techno evolving or is the rise of neo trance awaiting?


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