Trance is a musical style capable of inspiring passions like few others, and one that – over its considerable lifetime – has been much-documented. Arguably though, never as comprehensively as within the pages of Hypnotised – A Journey Through Trance, which is released this month. Authored by Dutch writer Arjan Rietveld, and based on three years of exhaustive research and interviews that sit alongside his personal reflections on the subject, the book is the most definitive account yet of the music’s history.
Subtitled 1990 To 2005, Rietveld covers its proto to seminal periods, through to its ascendance and glory years reign. For Hypnotised, he spoke to some of its foremost operators, with the likes of Solarstone, Laurent Veronnez, Banco de Gaia, Sander Kleinenberg, Cosmic Baby, Delirium, Jam El Mar, Marco V, Nu NRG and Push all contributing empirical context and ringside insight. In doing so, they relate the production backstories of some of trance’s most renowned musical moments, lending observations that will fascinate fans, both casual and dedicated.
Further, Hypnotised includes extensive conversations with the label heads and owners – the people tasked with meeting the rapidly expanding demand for the new musical form. Acclaimed Black Hole Recordings head Arny Bink, Bonzai’s Christian ‘Fly’ Pieters, Eric Morand of France’s F Communications, Benjamin Woods’ Hooj Choons offshoot Lost Language and MFS’s Mark Reeder collectively provide a pan-European account of its label origins.
The book also examines what’s lent the style its enduring appeal and takes a forensic look at the labyrinthine architecture of its sub-genres, objectively weighing their pros and cons. Collectively, Hypnotised reconstructs trance’s earliest years, building the clearest-yet picture of how it all began. Stripping back the glitz and glamour of the superclub era, it uncovers the organic bare bones and cottage industry-nature of its beginnings. Who stayed in and who departed (and why), who got paid and who didn’t, the lows, the highs, the rock, roll & indisputable soul of the genre are all to be found between its pages.
The book’s release is also complemented by a companion CD, vinyl & digital album release, which places ‘A Journey’s spotlight on the Dutch contribution to trance’s nascence. Featuring both embryonic and breakout moments, it includes landmark tracks like Armin’s ‘Blue Fear’, ‘Out Of The Blue’ by System F, ‘Janerio’ from Solid Sessions and Vincent de Moor’s ‘Fly Away’. Equally the album covers inspirational, seminal, ‘trance-before-trance’ tracks, including World Tour’s ‘You Wanna Be Loved’, Armin’s ‘Electronically Entertained’ release (under his Technology alias), Fractals’ ‘Lifelab’, ‘Mirror’ by Stray Dog (a.k.a. Tiësto), Geert Huinink’s Photon Project and others. In doing so it also puts a rare spotlight on trance’s lesser-known label beginnings, incorporating music from there-at-the-start imprints like Cyber, Massive Drive and Alien Recordings.
Hypnotised: A Journey Through Trance Music (1990 – 2005), the book and ‘Hypnotised: A Journey Through Dutch Trance Music (1994 – 2005)’ the music release can be ordered through the following link here: https://blackhole.lnk.to/hypnotised.