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 syncopated world of tech trance.
Tech trance is, well, what you would expect. It’s a blend of techno and trance; a sort of hybrid trance, if you will. Tech trance picked up steam in the mid 90’s. By the early and mid 2000’s, tech trance was one of the most widespread sub-genres of trance.
Tech trance, audibly is similar to techno but arranged like a trance track with intros, outros, breakdowns and buildups. Speed wise, it sits in the middle area of dance music, from 130 to 137 bpm (beats per minute). Some of the defining features of tech trance are in its sounds specifically. While trance can have emphasis on using more acoustic type sounds in them such as piano, guitars, strings and even drums, tech trance consists of entirely on synthesized sounds.
Usually tech trance has complex rhythmic sounds and percussion with a loud kick drum and featuring gritty or distorted percussions and hi-hats. The main leads are usually minimal in nature and feature lots of delay and a minimal amount of pads to accompany it, typically side-chained to help the main beat stand out. Creative use of reverb has also been a feature pioneered by the genre, for example; introducing a big reverb on a snare sound which then suddenly disappears the next time the snare is played, only to return shortly afterwards.
Tech trance was once a massively popular sub-genre of music. Combining the songwriting of typical trance with the underground rhythmic drones of techno, tech trance surged at its peak and today still has a very close following by lovers of the genre.
Listed below are some examples of tech trance.
Marcel Woods – Advanced (Marco V Remix)
Ferry Corsten – Whatever (Marcel Woods Remix)
Tempo Giusto – Dodger