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Hard trance is another subgenre of trance music and it’s characterized by it's much harder sound. It's sort of like a split off from breakbeat hardcore, because during the time of its creation, many breakbeat hardcore producers wanted to change their style a bit, with styles ranging from UK-hardcore (hard house), happy hardcore, jungle music, and drum and bass.
One of the defining characteristics of this music is the special kick drum. This kick drum will be harder and stronger than most other trance genres, and some artists will even lower the pitch to give it an even harder sound. A lot of reverb is used in this genre, with it being applied to most (if not all) of the instruments. Highly resonant basses will also be present.
Its tempo is actually quite fast for a subgenre of trance, sometimes reaching up to 150 and even higher sometimes. Typically however, it will fall between 135 beats per minute to about 145 beats per minute. In the earlier compositions, the instrumentals would usually be composed of simple and plain instruments, but in later works, the side-chaining technique will be implemented more often.
Not to be off topic, but for anyone that doesn't know what side-chaining is, it's a technique that's used quite often in many different electronic music genres. Explained simply, it's when the kick drum avoids falling on the bassline. So, if the kick drum lands on every quarter note, then the bass notes will fall in between those quarter notes.
But literally, the bassline is being compressed with a compressor to "duck" the kick. In essences, the bassline simply becomes mute during the kick and re-enters when the kick drum is finished playing.
This style of music came from the Western parts of Europe. More specifically speaking, in comes from the countries of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It arose out of breakbeat hardcore during the middle parts of the 1990s, when the artists wanted to expand their horizons a bit and create something new.
During the late 1990s, this form of trance was quite popular, being played in many places around the world and even reaching mainstream status. Unfortunately, during the middle to late parts of the 2000s, it started to decline in favor of the newer forms of trance. But for a reason unknown to me, it still remains alive and active in Melbourne, Australia, where it's played quite often and is still the music of choice there.
It first started to lose its popularity when, as oxymoronic as this may seem, it was at its most popular. Artists would simply take as much of successful songs as they could and try to reproduce what made them popular. This created a whole genre of music that sounded too similar to every other song, and people got tired of it. The template for the "perfect" hard trance track was becoming overused and eventually even cliché.
Average Beats Per Minute: 135-145
Where It Originated: Western Europe
Stylistically Similar To: Breakbeat hardcore, Drum and Bass, UK Hard House
Year Developed: Mid-1990s
General Trance - Back to the overview of trance.
Acid Trance - There are many types of acid, but only one type of acid trance.
Dream Trance - Set for a calmer, more soothing type of dreamy music (Zzz...).
Goa Trance - A sort of music you can trip out on. Created by hippies, for hippies.
Hard Trance - Deriving from breakbeat hardcore music, this trance kicks hard!
Ibiza Trance - A soothing fusion of trance and Balearic beat, to enjoy the summer.
Psychedelic Trance - One of the faster trance genres, with many sub-genres.
Techno Trance - It's not techno, it's not trance, it's techno trance, the fusion!
Uplifting Trance - My personal favorite genre of trance, no summary, just listen!
Vocal Trance - Beautifully sung vocals with the familiar trance sound!
You are at hard trance.