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 edgy world of acid trance.
Acid trance is a sub-genre of trance that rose during the late 80’s and early 90’s. The main focus on this music form was the sound of acid synths (created by the TB-303 synthesizer). The acid sound was produced by programming a sequence and adjusting various knob parameters such as cutoff, resonance, accent and more. Acid trance is also considered to be a descendant of acid house, as the genre of trance was still developing and wasn’t officially created yet.
Many acid trance artists were eventually grouped together with other artists in the goa and psy-trance genres. While sometimes similar sounds were used in those genres, goa and psy-trance feature softer synth lines as acid trance usually featured harder synth lines and almost exclusively used the TB-303 as its lead synth.
Acid trance can be described in various factors. Most notably is the use of the TB-303 “acid” sounds as the main lead elements. The background and even some basses use the TB-303. The rhythms are programmed and played over minimal techno inspired beat. In most cases the format and structure of the songs are simplistic, but the creativity comes with the filtered lead lines. Even though the genre itself is deemed mainly that of the past, it helped pave way for use in future productions as accents as acid lines over top tech-trance beats or uplifting trance basslines, to help give edginess to a track.
Listed below are some examples of acid trance.
Art of Trance – Blue Owl
Josh Wink – Are You There?
Ultraform – Sense Your Mind