posted: 22 January 2012 in Music

Forget Trance 2.0, Trance zero is back!

Forget Trance 2.0, Trance zero is back!

Let me preface this post with the affirmation that I love trance music in all shapes and forms. I have an almost unhealthy obsession with it honestly. However my heart truly lies in the most pure of trance music. It's what I fell in love with all those years ago, and it's what strikes my emotions the strongest today. Amongst a sea of mainstream trance music, the deeper, more pure trance sound has been left behind and pushed to the rear while more anthemic tunes took to the fore.

Over the past several years, trance has been mixed with house and the majority of 'trance' today is nothing like the pure trance music that I love. However the punters love it. More importantly, it's the punters that have driven the growth of this new 'trance 2.0' sound, being pioneered by guys like Above & Beyond. The big basslines, massive drops, mainstream vocals, and generally more mass-appealling sound has driven 'trance music' to new heights of popularity. Aside from a rare few, the DJ's play the music that is trending currently, and thus a cycle is born of this ever evolving spiral towards more and more mainstream sounds.

This whole shift towards a mainstream sound is one of the reasons why I decided to take some time away from performing. In fact I took a purposeful complete break from listening to any trance at all. Prior to taking a leave of absence however, I'd had some degree of success in digging through a lot of mainstream trance music to find some quality tracks, especially from labels like Perfecto Flouro who had begun releasing quite serious, pure trance music.

After several months break away from the scene, I have started scouring the web for music once more and what I find is that there's an ever increasing amount of amazingly high quality, pure trance music, and a strong movement of support behind it. No doubt, the 'Trance 2.0' is still very much alive and growing. However now the deeper, more pure faction also seems to be growing. Two major streams of trance music. Even John '00' Fleming feels that this year will be the return to form for pure trance music.

I spent just a few hours a couple of nights ago on Beatport, trawling through a few labels, and found an astonishing amount of truly awesome trance music. JOOF Recordings is ripe for the picking, as are other crossover trance and pay-trance labels. In fact it is this crossover sound that blends mainstream trance with progressive psy-trance that is really exciting me. In fact I feel strange calling it a crossover sound. Is this what the influx of mainstream trance has done? To me, this crossover sound is 'pure trance'. It's not reliant on massive build ups or overdone vocals. It doesn't rely on big house baselines to force you to groove. It's just raw, serious, and emotive music that's simple yet layered, repetitive yet subtly varying. I'm sure to fans of the Trance 2.0 sound, it may be boring and repetitive. But isn't this the same argument people once had of electronic music ten or fifteen years ago?

Regardless. I'm excited. And I can't wait to start putting together some sets with all this great music. I am planning on launching a new podcast and radio show focused on this new sound and can't wait to share it with you. Until then, make sure you check out labels like Iono Music, Perfecto Records, Perfecto Flouro, Fatali Music, JOOF Recordings, Borderline, Subculture, Iboga Records and others. Take a look through the psy-trance genre on Beatport first, rather than the vanilla trance one instead. Sure there's a lot of full on psy there, but if you look hard enough you will find some beautifully rich, melodic and pure trance music that crosses the boundaries between mainstream trance and psy.

Trance 2.0 may be far and away most popular form of trance at the moment, but I feel a massive resurgence of the pure trance sound coming. 'Trance Zero' is here..... again.


Paul McNeigh at 10:01 AM on January 22, 2012 wrote:

So true mate. Trance has turned to crap over the past few years. It's good to see some people still pushing for the proper trance sounds!

Dave at 10:55 AM on January 22, 2012 wrote:

I saw JOOF's post on Facebook a few days ago, and I read his other blog post from last year. I sometimes feel like his words would fall on deaf ears, so it's nice to read someone else is rooting for the same ideas. All the best mate, I have always been a huge fan of yours. One of the only DJ's I have seen who respects the art of track selection and progression. Looking forward to the new podcast show.

Alex at 01:00 PM on January 22, 2012 wrote:

Great to have you back amigo, can't wait to hear what you have discovered

Scott Richardson at 01:58 PM on January 22, 2012 wrote:

Thanks guys. Thanks for the kind comments. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. I'll post up some info about my new podcast and radio show soon!


Gabe W at 05:46 PM on January 22, 2012 wrote:

Keep it alive brother. When is your next Trancecast, it's been too long. Will it be the new sound that you're talking about? It was already starting down the prog-psy sound anyway. Keep at it!

Jillian G at 01:34 PM on January 23, 2012 wrote:

I don't find anything wrong with what Above n Beyond are doing. They have taken their own direction and gone with it. But I do hear where you're coming from. Trance has definitely changed a lot, even though the proper trance is still there. There's just a lot of mainstream stuff now that overshadows the JOOF stuff.

stan at 04:46 AM on July 02, 2013 wrote:

enjoy your mixes, tune selection and discussion.

Can you suggest some more sets/mixes/albums that play this style of trance. It is difficult to find your style of driving, prog, "intelligent" trance amongst all the ASOT etc mixes.

Scott Richardson at 09:03 AM on July 03, 2013 wrote:

Hi Stan, thanks for the kind comments :) Might I suggest taking a listen to John '00' Fleming and his Global Trance Grooves monthly podcast. It's a mix of deeper 'proper' progressive trance, and some psy trance. As for others, I really don't know of many - sounds a bit harsh, but almost every set I hear is full of that more commercial or mainstream sound :( Stan also check out which is another blog I run and a podcast too!

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