Although there are many debated definitions since electronic music genre specification is sometimes pretty muddy, there is a clear and growing appreciation for the darker style of tech trance. Led by top DJs like Markus Schulz, Sander van Doorn, and Marcus Schossow, this genre is quite the twisted sister of the more traditional uplifting trance. Although the genre has been working more progressive beats in recent years, well-known Irish artists such as John O’Callaghan, Paul Oakenfold, and Simon Patterson excel at rocking higher bpm tech trance. Some of the style’s well known hits include Forbidden City by Marc Simz, the massive hybrid tune Stranger To Stability by Dustin Zahn and Len Faki (in video below), and the unforgettable classic anthem by Tiësto, Traffic.
As the name suggests, tech trance combines the dark core of techno with the epic and driving nature of trance. Allowing itself to be more melodically creative, the style often uses more pointed melodies instead of highly reverberated synths that are slow to change. In this way it lends itself better to experimentation, sometimes introducing during the climax a new or modified version of the synth in the buildup. Case in point, Lebanon’s Raneem introduced a new highly distorted synth five minutes into Strut by LA producer Emvy.
Often with a strong emphasis on frightening sounds, tech trance rarely shows any compassion. Regarding the melodic progressive house tune Drift by Gery Rydell, fellow Austrian Freigeist morphed the tune into a haunted symphony with guitar riffs and chilling basslines. Another example of some powerful tech is Crank by The Hague, which incorporates electro bass into its relentless driving rhythm. Lastly, if you ever wondered what tech trance would be like with dubstep wobbles, then check out trancestep.