While anyone who’s lent their hand to producing EDM will tell you it isn’t as simple as “pushing a few buttons”–as aging rockers might disparagingly claim– you don’t exactly need to be a classically trained musician either. That’s part of the beauty of dance music, a crazy synth line or even a few blips and beeps can make a great track. But if you do have musical knowledge, you can put it to good use, and the results are often stunning.
Mark Sixma is one such producer, and his latest track Character even has classical roots–originally written with an orchestral/string intro for us in an advertising campaign for Grolsch in his native Holland, simply called “Karakter”. The released version however is a masterful piece of uplifting trance that develops and evolves just like a true classical piece. The intro is, admittedly, standard trance fare, but it all changes quite dramatically in the break, when you suddenly realise this is something special. That little pluck sound develops into a searing lead melody, which along with the choral pads, appears to lead to a drop, which it does, but not like you’d expect. Somewhere in The Netherlands the burnt-out remains of a synthesiser are presumably resting in landfill, because the main lead in Character is probably the most intense I’ve ever heard in a trance record. The whole build rises feverishly before a drop which is true uplifting trance, keeping the melody in full flow, just like trance should do.
This track has been causing waves since it was simply known as “ID”, was a firm favourite on Universal Religion 7 and nearly blew the roof of Privilege at ASOT Ibiza. Character is uplifting trance at its finest and is out now on A State Of Trance.