8/08/2005

Trance Grows Down



Like many aspects of the new electronic underground, the music is changing with young ideas. For years now, the drugged-out sounds of psychedelic trance and progressive house have been confined to the critical ghetto. Whether it was considered too garish or too damaged, you'd have a hard time calling it art unless you were in a K-hole somewhere.

James Holden is certainly changing all that. His sound, maximal and delicate, doesn't hit you over the head the way olde Gatecrasher comps do, nor does it employ one-too-many outrageous effects. Rather, it acts like ambient or pastoral music: recalling vistas or landscapes. Holden, like Jonson below, came from outside club culture, and trained on violin and piano. A lot is made of his young age (he's 25 now), his math degree and mostly his rapid ascend to most-wanted.

But it shouldn't be. The worlds of people like Holden, Superpitcher, Allien, Isolee, Matthew Dear and so forth are colliding -- and the reason could well be the listeners themselves. Looking with a tailored aesthetic, different types of people are settling on the same dance music: the type that sounds the best.

"The Wheel" first appeared on his Balance 005 mix a few years back, and finally was released last year on the Cocoon compilation.

Psychedelicate trance.

James Holden - "The Wheel"