Mike Oldfield - Far Above The Clouds - WEA - Trance
Track ListingA Far Above The Clouds (Jam&Spoon Mix) (9:55)
B Far Above The Clouds (Timewriter's Big Bag Of Secrets) (6:19)
Media Condition » Mint (M)
Sleeve Condition » Near Mint (NM or M-)
|Title||Far Above The Clouds|
|Format||Vinyl 12 Inch|
Other Titles by Mike Oldfield
Information on the Trance GenreTrance is a genre of electronic dance music that developed in the 1990s. Trance music is generally characterized by a tempo of between 130 and 155 BPM, short melodic synthesizer phrases, and a musical form that builds up and down throughout a track. It is a combination of many forms of music such as industrial, techno, and house. The origin of the term is uncertain, with some suggesting that the term is derived from the Klaus Schulze album Trancefer (1981) or the early trance act Dance 2 Trance. In any case, the name is undoubtedly linked to the perceived ability of music to induce an altered state of consciousness known as a trance. The effect of some trance music has been likened to the trance-inducing music created by ancient shamanists during long periods of drumming.
Some of the earliest identifiable trance recordings came from the acid house movement, which was pioneered by The KLF. The most notable of these were the original 1988 / 1989 versions of "What Time Is Love?" and "3 a.m. Eternal", along with the aptly titled, "Kylie Said Trance" (1989) and "Last Train to Trancentral" (1990). The KLF labeled these early recordings "Pure Trance" and they share many similarities with The White Room album (1991) but are significantly more minimalist, nightclub-oriented and 'underground' in sound. While the KLF's works are clear examples of proto-trance, two songs, both from 1990, are widely regarded as being the first "true" trance records. The first is Age of Love's self-titled debut single which was released in early 1990 and is seen a basis for the original trance sound to come out of Germany, Some consider "The Age of Love" to be the first true trance single. The second track was Dance 2 Trance's "We Came in Peace", the b-side of their own self-titled debut single. Another influential song was Future Sound Of London's "Papua New Guinea" (1991).
The trance sound beyond this acid-era genesis is said to have been an off-shoot of techno in German clubs during the very early 1990s. Germany is often cited as a birthplace of trance culture. Some of the earliest pioneers of the genre included Jam El Mar, Oliver Lieb, and Sven Väth who all produced numerous tracks under multiple aliases. Trance labels like Eye Q, Harthouse, Rising High Records, and MFS Records were Frankfurt based. Arguably a fusion of techno and house music, early trance shared much with techno in terms of the tempo and rhythmic structures but also added more melodic overtones. Also, the songs did not "bounce around" in the same way that house did and often contained unpredictable shifts in beat structure. These early forms of trance are now referred to as classic trance and were longer and more abstract than the more danceable trance that was to follow.
By the mid-1990s trance, specifically progressive trance, which emerged from acid trance much as Progressive house had emerged from Acid house, had emerged commercially as one of the dominant genres of dance music. Progressive trance has set in stone the basic formula of modern trance by becoming even more focused on the anthemic basslines and lead melodies, moving away from hypnotic, repetitive, arpeggiated analog synth patterns and spacey pads. Popular elements and anthemic pads became more widespread. Compositions continued to contain incremental changes (aka progressive structures), sometimes composed in thirds (as BT frequently does). Meanwhile, a different type of trance, generally called uplifting trance was becoming popular. Uplifting trance had buildups and breakdowns that were longer and more exaggerated, being more direct and less subtle than progressive, with more easily identifiable tunes and anthems. Many such trance tracks follow a set form, featuring an introduction, steady build, a breakdown, and then an anthem, a form aptly called the "build-breakdown-anthem" form. Uplifting vocals, usually female, were also becoming more and more prevalent, adding to trance's popular appeal.
Immensely popular, trance found itself filling a niche that was 'edgier' than house, more soothing than drum and bass, and more melodic than techno, which made it accessible to a wide audience. Artists like Paul van Dyk, Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Robert Miles, Above & Beyond, Darren Tate, Ferry Corsten, Johan Gielen, ATB, Paul Oakenfold, Pulser, and Third Element came to the forefront as premier producers and remixers, bringing with them the emotional, "epic" feel of the style. Many of these producers also DJ'd in clubs playing their own productions as well as those by other trance DJs. By the end of the 1990s, trance remained commercially huge, but had fractured into an extremely diverse genre. Some of the artists that had helped create the trance sound in the early and mid-1990s had, by the end of the decade, abandoned trance completely in favor of more underground sounds - artists of particular note here include Pascal F.E.O.S. and Oliver Lieb.
As an alternative evolution some artists have attempted to fuse trance with other genres such as drum'n'bass. Others have experimented with more minimalist sounds. Frustrated, extreme versions of trance have mutated through gabber into fringe genres of "hard trance" or "hardstyle" overlapping with hardcore and terrorcore.
Trance more loyal to its roots has begun to rear its head on the internet with the abundance of legal music download sites - including the likes of Juno Download, and Beatport, - enabling enthusiasts to avoid having to track down hard to find vinyl by downloading mp3s and uncompressed wavs, updated on a weekly basis. As a result, both commercial and progressive trance now have a much more global, if not chart-bound, presence, with big-draw artists such as Sasha, Tiësto, ATB, Markus Schulz, Armin van Buuren, BT, Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond, Paul Oakenfold, Schiller, Solarstone and the US's Christopher Lawrence and George Acosta able to maintain their esteemed positions while upcoming producers and DJs can also breakthrough into the public domain.
Trance music is broken into a large number of genres. Chronologically, the major genres are Classic trance, Acid trance, Progressive trance, and Uplifting Trance. Uplifting Trance is also known as "Anthem trance", "Epic trance", "Stadium trance" or "Euphoric trance". Closely related to Uplifting Trance is Euro-trance, which has become a general term for a wide variety of highly commercialized European dance music. Several subgenres are crossovers with other major genres of electronic music. For instance, tech trance is a mixture of trance and techno, Vocal Trance adds vocals and a pop-like structure to the songs, and Ambient trance is a mixture of ambient and trance. Balearic beat, which is associated with the laid back vacation lifestyle of Ibiza, Spain, is often called "Ibiza trance". Similarly, Dream trance is sometimes called "Dream House", and is a subgenre of relaxing trance pioneered by Robert Miles in the mid 90s.
Another important distinction is between European trance and Goa trance which originated in Goa, India around the same time trance was evolving in Europe. Goa trance was influential in the formation of Psychedelic Trance, which features spazzy, spontaneous samples and other psychedelic elements. Trance is also very popular in Israel, with psychedelic trance producers such as Infected Mushroom and Yahel Sherman achieving world wide fame. The Israeli subgenre called Nitzhonot is a mixture of psychedelic and uplifting trance.