Welcome to “The Many Faces of Dance Music”. In this series, I try to dive into the world of electronic music and explain the differences between multiple genres of electronic dance music (EDM). Genres are a plenty with countless sub-genres; such as techno, dub-step, trance, house, drum & bass and more. My aim is to help educate as well as entertain on just what makes each one of these genres tick.
Today’s journey will take you into the soothing world of dream trance.
Dream trance is an earlier style of trance that peaked in the mid and late 90’s. The genre has also been known to influence house and dance music, thus the terms “dream house” and “dream dance” are also used to describe this genre of music. In today’s world, dream trance is considered one of the first derivatives of the progressive movement from the early 90’s. The original conception of dream trance is a lot darker than most genres of music. With pressure from Italy’s nightclub life, the genre of dream trance was created in hopes of helping late night (in some cases cross-country) driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Dream trance began playing at the end of DJ sets to counteract the face-paced and energetic music before. Robert Miles “Children” was the pioneer in this change.
Dream trance is usually seen at a slower tempo on the electronic music scale, usually maxing out around 130 bpm (beats per minute). Structure wise, dream trance sounds similar to that of typical dance pop or eurodance music. The term “dream” comes from the overall atmosphere created and softness of the melodies and beats, giving the listener this sense of a dreamy feeling.
Dream trance can be heard with various techniques. First and foremost being the use of acoustic instrumentation in the songs. Pianos, guitars and even strings can be heard in the softer parts of the tracks, usually with delays, reverbs and other effects added to fill in the atmospheric ideas. The melodies themselves are quite simple and typically uplifting in nature, again used with plenty of delay and reverb. The reverbs on all the main parts help create that dreamy atmosphere the genre is known for.
Listed below are some examples of dream trance.
Robert Miles – Children
Imperio – Atlantis
Zhi Vago – Dreamer