Progressive Trance

Written by Charles Peacock
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Progressive trance is a newer form of trance music that brings the style closer to house. Ironically, trance (via techno and other styles of dance music) was originally a sub-derivative of house itself. Progressive trance, then, is house come full circle: the reunion and somewhat incestuous marriage of house music and its own offspring.

Origins of Progressive Trance

Trance emerged in the early 1990s Germany with a project called "Dance2Trance" produced by Dag Lerner and Rolf Ellmer. It was essentially an offshoot of techno, with the same repetitive beats in a more melodic, hypnotic form. Trance was intended to "put a spell" over the audience (hence the name) utilizing ethereal melodies that slowly worked toward a crescendo.

In many ways, trance music was a combination of techno and house. It didn't have the same hard pumping beat as house (preferring the regulated beat of techno) but it did use some of the melodic tendencies and chord changes of house. Trance music was (and still is) defined, however, by its uplifting sound. Trance songs are anthems that build to a crescendo--oftentimes sending the entire dance floor into an ecstatic fury.

Progressive trance is basically just an extension of the evolutionary path that trance has always been on. In that sense it could also be called "contemporary trance." Progressive trance is more like house than ever, and at the same time progressive house has been evolving closer and closer to trance. Many people agree that the simple term "progressive" can be used for types of both contemporary house and trance music.


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