Photo via: Dreamstate USA
Written by: Rachel Martenson
There’s so much to be thankful for during the month of November like good company, great music and amazing festivals. One upcoming festival that has it all is no other than Dreamstate SoCal, the trance destination for North America. This year’s Dreamstate will be during Thanksgiving or Trancegiving weekend, and we cannot wait for what Insomniac has in store for this incredible event on November 23rd and 24th.
To help get ready for Dreamstate I’d like to venture deeper into the cornucopia of trance artists showcasing their talent this year. As a connoisseur of music that hits hard and fast, as well as fresh sounds and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, I’m here to tell you that trance is a force to be reckoned with. Let’s break down the heavier, more thumping side of Dreamstate, plus rare legendary performances that will keep your feet moving all night long.
Photo via: Dreamstate USA
The Hard Hitting Artists
Psytrance is king of hard-hitting trance and Dreamstate has plenty to offer. Acts like Astrix, Blastoyz, Freedom Fighters, Ace Ventura and Liquid Soul never fail to catapult ravers to a higher state of consciousness. Let’s hope Insomniac brings back The Sequence stage with the infamous hologram from last year. But no matter the stage setup, this trippy subgenre will be accompanied by equally trippy visuals.
I’ve always been drawn to edgier music, and there was a time when the only dance music I listened to was dubstep and drum and bass. That was until I discovered Simon Patterson and realized that trance could also blow the roof off the club. His music was the gateway drug that made me a devoted member of the #trancefam overnight. I recently played his Open Up radio show episode after episode and didn’t get tired of it even after several hours. He is probably the only artist on the planet to have mastered uplifting, tech AND psytrance, bringing his own rock-and-roll flair to every style and continuing to deliver the goods at the highest level. Don’t miss the golden boy of John Askew’s cutting edge VII record label behind countless breathtaking tracks like “Apex,” “Opulence,” and “Fall For You.”
Photo via: Simon Patterson
Special Projects & Aliases Galore
Trance legends are pulling out all the stops and bringing their special projects to Dreamstate. A pioneer of the genre, Ferry Corsten, is blessing us with a highly anticipated set under his alias System F that dates back to the early years of his career two decades ago. Gareth Emery brings his epic Laserface show to its biggest stage yet. I attended Laserface in Las Vegas and the wide variety of styles Gareth played set to a perfectly choreographed laser show was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
Photo via: @rukes | Twitter
In for Some B2B Treats
This year’s lineup features an abundance of notable B2Bs, such as Arctic Moon vs. RAM, Astrosphere (Robert Nickson & Driftmoon), Darren Porter vs. Talla 2XLC, Niko Zografos vs. Skylex, and Shugz vs. David Rust. Individually, all of these artists are masterminds of the hypnotic builds and releases that make trance great, so there’s no doubt they’ll please long-time trance fans and newbies alike with their collaborative sets.
Photo via: Gentech
Another one of these rare B2B treats is Gentech, comprised of hard trance legends Scot Project and Mark Sherry playing together in celebration of 25 years of tech trance. Both of them have played at Q-Dance events alongside the biggest names in hardstyle, proving that their set will be anything but dull.
Indecent Noise and Lostly have teamed up as the duo Lost in Noise, the other tech trance collab ready to obliterate our ears. Their relentless style fuses tech trance with melodic elements and lots of acid, which I can only describe as the raveiest sound you’ll ever hear. Our bodies are ready but we may not come out of their set with our sanity.
Photo via: Lost in Noise
JOC & Bryan Kearney: The Legends Themselves
John O’ Callaghan and Bryan Kearney have been featured on many Dreamstate lineups, and with good reason. Most trance fans would agree that both have reached legendary status, melding the quintessential trance sound with experimental elements. They won’t be performing together as Key4050 this time, but we may get to hear some techno-soaked trance since they individually dabble in the dark side with their respective aliases Joint Operations Center and Karney.
Photo via: The Trance Project AU
Euphoric Meets Exhilarating
A rising star Cold Blue has found success with his unique blend of uplifting and driving 140 BPM trance. His set was easily in my top 3 last year, and I’m happy to report that I got a serious case of the feels without falling asleep! He described his masterpiece “Rush” as “a track about those moments in life where you feel connected to a special powerful energy. The times when everything comes together perfectly and there is no need to think at all. It’s about being in that certain flow, where all the right decisions are rushing through your mind, so you can just dive into life and love, trusting that the universe is taking good care of you.”
Photo via: Cold Blue
This year’s Dreamstate is set to be overflowing with those transcendent moments. There’s so much more to trance than meets the eye, and the full lineup definitely shows that. I hope you get to experience the magical trance vibe for yourself. See you in dreamland!