In the middle of AfterHours.FM’s massive end-of-the-year celebration, it hit me. I’d heard more of these songs out at events, club nights, festivals and other non-trance events than I’d heard in years. After doing a little research, I think those of us on the trance end of the spectrum are in for a real treat come 2016.
It started when the A State of Trance Festival made its worldwide debut. Armin van Buuren is one of the top market leaders working in the dance music space right now. I can guarantee you that if he didn’t think the numbers would work out, it would’ve never happened. You don’t throw a series of festivals because you LOVE a genre of music, you do it because you know you can consistently generate a profit. Over the last year, we’ve seen trance (not “trouse” or big room anthem trance) begin to break away from the EDM pack. The #TranceFamily, once seen as an afterthought or only worthy of a single stage at Ultra or Electric Daisy Carnival, has shown that they can handle way more.
One perfect example of how the TranceFamily has rewarded artists willing to serve up their favorite music is Ferry Corsten. The resurgence of that classic trance vibe has resulted in the breakout success of Gouryella. The name refers to the super group Tiesto and Ferry Corsten created in the 90’s. While Tiesto hasn’t returned, “Anahera” was one of the biggest tracks of the year, being recognized by hundreds of DJs & dozens of media outlets as not only a dope tune, but a track in a style we don’t hear very often. With confirmation that Gouryella will be touring next year, it seems Ferry is banking on the same support that Armin knows is out there. I believe he’ll also be rewarded stupendously well.
Above & Beyond (formerly Oceanlab) have continued their domination of the globe. While some people don’t classify A&B anymore, there is a voracious contingent of their fans that will annhilate you if you attempt to do so. Above & Beyond’s worldwide success on the back of the euphoric, hopeful and triumphant music they produce cannot be ignored. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, where the hell have you been? This trio is selling out mega-stadiums and the podcast has exploded over the last several years. It’s also worth noting that we might see the return of Oceanlab in 2016.
And it’s not just the Europeans getting in on the trance action. Aly & Fila have had a banner year. Between their Future Sounds of Egypt performance at the Pyramids, their global FSOE tour and the weekly podcast that is exploding in popularity, the Egyptian act has made huge strides in 2015. They have also embraced a number of non-American, non-Northern European acts, while playing in Asia, India and plenty of places Americans don’t usually party. This global phenomenon is starting to impact big cities, where top tier trance DJs can finally pack a medium size venue without needing to slot in a house opener or closer. The international mix at these parties is spectacular and a real draw for people tired of bro/jock culture on the floor.
Dreamstate is the biggest proof that trance isn’t just going to make a comeback globally, but that it’s got real potential to finally erupt in the North American market the way house, techno and dubstep (remember dubstep?!) did before. While some people were scared they wouldn’t be able to sell enough tickets, it sold out so fast that us East Coast trance fantatics can’t wait for it to expand the way EDC did. There’s a real market for that trance-only event in a lot of major cities in Canada, the USA and Mexico. I know I’m holding out hope for a Dreamstate NYC, DC or somewhere on the Atlantic in 2016. Rotella, don’t let me down!
Just December 29th, Mat Zo posted a song on SoundCloud and stressed that you don’t use the T word. It’s a fantastic tune and throwing back to exactly the sound that I’ve been talking about this whole time. More and more artists have had success with the sound and that’s only going to keep growing. Get on the Trance bandwagon. It’s a slow build, but it’s totally worth it.
Graphic Courtesy of Morthiasik