EDM: What the Trance?



Before Rock ‘n’ Roll there was Blues. Before Jazz there was Folk and Classical. Before EDM (Electronic Dance Music) there was House, Trance, Techno and Electronica.

Not all EDM is Trance. Not all Trance is Epic. Not all Epic Trance is Psy (Psychedelic). Vocal Trance is not always Progressive. Not all Progressive is House. Not all House is Deep. Nor Funky. Nor Soulful.

Before Dubstep, there was Drum ‘n’ Bass. Before DnB, there were Breaks. Breakbeat, Acid, Nu, Trip Hop and Progressive Breaks, no less.

Not every DJ is a Producer. Not every Producer is a Visionary.

There were generations and generations of pioneers before everything ending with .MP3 got mashed up into a single memory stick labelled “EDM”. Even though parties are getting longer, DJ sets are getting shorter. DJs used to regularly play 6-8 hours non-stop, not 2 hours like they do now. There is a melodic break and a predictable build-up on an average every 2 minutes. Before Podcasts became popular, changes in tempo within a track were rare.

But music is always evolving, and electronic music, naturally, evolves faster than any other form. Without experimentation, there can be no progress. Dance music is meant to be enjoyed. So enjoy it, and let others around you enjoy it, too.

But once in a while, remember that we are all crossfading on the shoulders of giants. There was a time when EDM was not one-dimensional and excessively loud. When it was possible to measure a track not just in length, but also in depth. Revisit it, you might just enjoy what you find.

And I’m not even asking you to go as far back as Eurodance or Synthpop.

PS: Follow @ydj_agile if you still own a tape that works 😉







Log on, Tune in, Zone out

I stumbled upon XMiD Request A Song while trying to figure out what was playing on my WorldSpace satellite radio Channel 202. Evidently, it isn’t the same all over the world.

While we’re on the topic, Victor Dinaire hosts an amazing show called Lost Episode on EDM radio channels net-wide. Highly recommended.

When not around an XM / WorldSpace receiver, you can tune in to Digitally Imported Internet Radio (DI.fm). Works especially well on office PCs with broadband, Microsoft IDEs, WinAmp and a certain plugin ;-)

Superstar DJ Armin van Buuren hosts a mind-altering radio show aptly titled A State of Trance. Each episode is an experience that’ll haunt your reality! The ASOT 2007 yearmix details can be found here, and weekly ASOT tracklistings can also be found here. Archived episodes are available courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Founders of the Anjunabeats label, trance trio Above and Beyond host a weekly radio show called Trance Around the World, or simply TATW. Don’t miss it for the world!

Spirit Soul Mix Archive, “spirited, soulful, and forward-thinking house and techno music” apart, the website is also a prime example of a mash-up that makes use of bunch of free online providers of different services to deliver content, while keeping the whole approach open, seamless and professional. Take a look.

Selected DJ mixes are available for streaming and download at Livesets.us.

This Binary Universe

“It could well be studied as the first major electronic work of the new millennium… it’s that good…”

-Keyboard Magazine

Electronic music artist BT’s fifth studio album This Binary Universe was probably the first of its kind. It was composed and produced specifically for 5.1 channel audio, and was accompanied by a DVD featuring videos by a collection of computer artists and animators.

Read about the one-of-its kind theatrical release of TBU here.

BT is a very prolific artist, one of my all-time favourites. He maintains a fantastic journal and art collection over at DeviantArt. More info can be found at BT-network.org (“The unofficially official source of Brian Transeau since 1996”) and BT’s official site, btmusic.com.

Dance Protocol

Just found this on a Ministry of Sound tape while cleaning out my cabinet:

“Good club music is like good sex. A suggestive kick drum. A tension-building
snare roll. An instantly  recognizable sample looping against a cacophony of
acid bass and bellpy synth, building, mounting, until there’s nothing left for
it to do but burst into a wash of pure Bacchanalian pleasure for the ear and
body. Not all dance music is like that – drop reliant, up-tempo, energetic – but
club music, the world’s new coming-of-age soundtrack, is. Where it was once an
underground indulgence, reserved for those who sought it out, the whole
experience of the nightclub – of coming home from work or school, watching TV,
napping, then showering and getting dressed for the night ahead – is now a
standard rite of passage. Hands-on and participatory, clubbing serves the
entertainment needs of the individual, and also manages to create meaningful
moments between thousands of people at once. Whether it’s singing along to a
diva-driven house anthem, or prepping for the big drop in a trance epic, flashes
of nightclub glory, however fleeting, stay burned in every dancer’s memory.
Dancing is a primal mode of expression and communication, as old as time –
clubbing is our modern update, adding fashion, style and attitude to the mix.
All this makes clubbing everyone’s dirty little secret – it’s a subculture in
which we all participate, on some level, with its own vocabulary and set of
norms. And despite very focused mainstream attention, it maintains its
underground spirit. There’s still something naughty and inviting about an
evening out with a thousand or so of your peers, dressed to the nines, and
dancing to music that, by its nature, teases your primal tendencies and demands
your involvement and activity. Repetitive beats will never complete the circle
and dominate popular music or culture – they’ll always remain just beneath the
surface, providing providing a haven not for the rebels, but for the rebel in
all of us.”

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Montreal Nightlife Resources

Check these out if you’re passing through Montreal:

Sunburn Goa 2007 – Asia’s Premier Dance Festival

Above and Beyond. Carl Cox. John ‘OO’ Fleming. In Goa!!!

This is truly a dream come true… one of the biggest NYE parties in the world, right in our own backyard! Hats off to Nikhil Chinappa, DJ Pearl and the Submerge.in community!

I’ll be right up there, bowing down to Above and Beyond *respect*! 😆


I must admit, when a friend told me about Submerge.in, it really took me by surprise. A few months later, it continues to surprise me! This may just prove to be the foundation of a solid EDM presence in India…