Often confused for today’s trance, progressive house has grown very popular within the last four years. Brought to the forefront of attention initially by Deadmau5 and Kaskade’s genre-defining 2008 tune I Remember (video below), the genre can best be divided into two sub-styles. On one hand we have the “big room” type which has had some huge hits this year, including AutoSave by Fedde le Grand & Patric la Funk, Beautiful World by Tiesto & Mark Knight, and Pong by Wippenberg. Different from the more traditional tech and minimal house, these tunes often incorporate electro elements and are structured similarly to trance with sweeping breakdowns preceding an epic climax. Lise by the french artist Arno Cost illustrates this well with an electro lead synth driving the track into an enormous breakdown with climbing strings and housey piano jabs.
The other side to progressive house is very much a hybrid of deep and minimal house with elements of trance. Having smooth grooves and gentle melodies, this style is similar to progressive trance, as their bpm range somewhat overlap at 128 and 130bpm. Supported strongly by major league trance DJs on their radio shows including Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, and Armin van Buuren, some big names in this style include Anjunadeep’s Jaytech, former Swedish House Mafia member Eric Prydz, and Canadian up-and-comer Soundprank. Take Miles Away by Canada’s Elysion as an example. This tune is a head-first plunge into the deep end, with an other-worldly harmony and a well-paced rhythm. Sometimes progressive house can be very uplifting as well, like Flying Flowers by Russia’s Arthur Dunkan, which layers a cheerful piano roll and atmospheric pads over a housey rhythm. Oh also–you may come across the term “trouse”, a term that some DJs in the industry coined for its nature of being in between house and trance. Many of the big room guys these days are making trouse records that end up in both trance and house settings.