The State of Trance Music 2017
Trance has seen a major comeback in 2017.
Trance has risen to the #6 best selling genre on Beatport, up from #9 over the first three quarters of 2017 according to IMS Business Report.
Today’s trance has evolved from that of 2007 (or even 1997).
The influences still remain the same with melodic breakdowns, but trance has continued to evolve on three fronts: mainstream/ trance “2.0”, classic-influenced, and psychedelic.
Mainstream/Trance 2.0 fans remain as strong as ever.
Above and Beyond held their AGBT 250 festival in Washington with camping and witnessed huge crowds from across the globe join them and their artists for traditional sets and less-traditional experiences like the A&B yoga set. Armada may have moved a little more towards the pop/EDM direction, but its Armind imprint now features those trance 2.0 melodies. Other labels, like Elliptical Sun, have shown big growth as well.
While the debate rages on as to whether this style fits into the trance definition as seen by the purists, there’s no doubt that it’s here to stay.
Classic-influenced Trance has seen a huge resurgence in 2017 bringing in tech- and psy-influences to support those 138 BPM monsters.
The newly-formed supergroup VII took over an entire night at EDC on the trance stage, showing the kind of draw to this style. While Armin has always been talking about ‘sssssssserious uplifting’ on ASOT, this style has grown tremendously taking in new artists and styles including drum & bass, dubstep, rock/ heavy metal, and more. I see this sub-genre as one of the most creativity and boundary-pushing as fans demand more during those peak hour bangers.
Psychedelic Trance has come out of the underground into the mainstream in 2017.
While often a product of the further part down the rabbit hole or specialized festivals, psy has permeated the masses thanks to artists like Vini Vici, Astrix, and more. Many cities in the US have started to host psytrance nights and booking agents are taking more risks on artists like Liquid Soul and others.
Psy purists may not always be happy with the mainstream appeal of some psy today, but there is enough great musical variety for everyone. 2018 is looking to be another big year in psy but I predict a shift more back towards the underground as other genres (e.g., Drum & Bass) continue their mainstream rise.
All across the globe, trance fans are rejoicing at the variety and quality of festivals and shows in 2017.
Dreamstate LA over Thanksgiving was widely seen as a huge hit. Attendees at Luminosity Beach Festival have said it was one of the best they could remember. Aly & Fila celebrated FSOE 500 at the Pyramids of Giza. Artists racked up numerous miles showcasing their talents all over the globe on almost every continent. As trance fans, we are all lucky to get to enjoy a new golden age and all should look forward to what 2018 will bring.
Checking in on 2017’s top artists to watch:
Steve Allen – As expected, Steve has absolutely dominated 2017. He’s become the 8th best-selling trance artist on Beatport in just one year of solo work. At the time of writing, he has two tracks currently in the top 100 trance tracks and released work on a wide variety of labels including Armada, Flashover, Amsterdam Trance, Damaged, and many more. Amazing work!
MaRLo – While MaRLo’s productions have slowed down a bit in 2017, he did start his own label, Reaching Altitude. MaRLo continued his crazy tour schedule around the world and we should all expect great things in 2018!
Talla 2XLC – There have been many fantastic achievements from Talla this year. Talla put out tracks on Outburst, FSOE, Coldharbour, and tons more labels, hitting the #1 selling trance artist spot over a 3-month span. His guest mix on Global DJ Broadcast was probably one of my favorites. Can’t wait to see what comes in 2018.
Allen Watts – Allen continued his steady rise to the top in 2017, becoming the #7 best-selling trance artist in 2017. Tracks like “Break Without The Pain” were staples on all the major podcasts and radio shows. Great work by Allen!
Alan Morris – Alan Morris had another breakout year with releases on Pure Trance, Amsterdam Trance, FSOE, Grotesque, and other major labels, many of which making it into the top 10 on Beatport. Another star in the making!
The Top Trance Music of 2017!
While there are so many tracks to pick from, I’ve put together a list of my favorites from this year.
I couldn’t stop at just 10. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Did we miss anything?
What were some of your favorite tracks?
Article by: Aaron Davidson (Airborne) – Business leader by day, music creator by night.
Airborne’s classical music training mixed with 90’s trance is clearly visible in his trance, progressive, and techno creations. ‘Like’ him on Facebook.