Trance music is probably not the leading music choice for the Gen X and millennials in Hong Kong, yet we see a trend in Europe with Trance music breaking into the mainstream. In recent years, EDM has made its comeback to the mainstream charts and found its way back to being the music for the “cool-kids”, and sure enough Hong Kong has caught on with the trend. But do we really understand the branches of the EDM family tree? BOOM discovers that Trance music has been one that has been neglected by many, and with this year’s Transmission Festival Asia reaching an end last month, we would like to dissect into the heart of Trance music, where is its place in the world of music in this new digital age?
BOOM sat down with Tranception Hong Kong’s Raymond Mak to discuss the Trance music scene in Hong Kong, in regards to the just-ended Transmission Festival Asia, that had returned to Bangkok for the second year. In the hopes to broaden the knowledge of the genre, if we asked 10 people on the streets, 9 of them probably would not even know how to identify a Trance song. That’s why we have got a breakdown from the leading Trance music community in Hong Kong, to show us that Trance music might not be such an alienated genre after all.
What’s the concept and message behind trance?
Trance music is a musical journey and experience like no other. Every time you step into a Trance event, the musical highs and lows combined with the visual lasers, lighting and atmosphere really takes you to a place out of this world. The combination of the above culminates in a musical experience, which really is indescribable. However, we believe that it is the community behind Trance music is what really separates it from many other different music genres. The Trance community is open to everyone who is willing to learn about and enjoy the music. No matter what kind of background you come from, your race, nationality, age, gender, the community joins together solely to share the moment and love for the musical experience that binds the crowd.
How has Trance evolved in the past ten years in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, the general public predominantly listens to a mix of pop music varying from Cantonese, Mandarin and English pop. Hong Kong definitely has a fairly underdeveloped electronic and alternative music scene. Trance as a sub-genre has an even smaller following in Hong Kong. The height of the Trance scene in Hong Kong would have to be in the early 2000s where there a Trance DJ would spin somewhere every month. Indeed the last time Armin van Buuren graced Hong Kong was in 2008.
In the last 10 years, Trance events have been few and far in between and there really isn’t any major events or artists that have visited. Correspondingly, in Hong Kong, it is quite rare for one to meet someone who has heard of Trance, let alone who listens to Trance.
Out of our own interest in finding others who also appreciated Trance music and to organise small events to bring the community together, we started Trance Family Hong Kong in order to do just that and the movement ‘tranception’ to host and run Trance events for the Hong Kong community. Although the community is not big, there is a scene and the love for the music is slowly but surely spreading across our city.
What do you feel about Trance scene in Hong Kong? Do you expect a steady number of growing fans?
In the past 10 years, there has been a general boom in the EDM scene allowing more and more people to learn about dance music and dance music culture in general. Recently, the general public and partygoers have been exposed to mainstream EDM that is broadcasted from time to time on the radio, TV or regularly in clubs. We think that there are many people who have out-grown the mainstream EDM and who are searching for other alternative genres of music. These genres range for example from Techno, House to Trap. Trance just so happens to be another genre, which many people have come in contact with and have discovered. Undoubtedly, we have seen more and more people go to Trance events in Hong Kong and a slow but steady growth in Trance fans in the region.
Transmission Festival is returning to Asia. Through what ways did you promote it to the Hong Kong public?
Transmission is one of the biggest Trance brands and festivals in the world. Given that the Trance community is fairly small in Hong Kong, news of the Transmission Festival in Thailand definitely spread very quickly within the community, either through word-of-mouth and/or our Trance Family Hong Kong Facebook and Instagram pages. Naturally, most of the people in the group would try to bring non-Trance listeners to the Transmission festival in order to show them the musical experience that Trance is. Transmission has one of the best Trance line-ups and also contains world-class visual and sound production.
What are the upcoming events that Trance Family brings to the Hong Kong fans of trance?
For most Hong Kong fans, you would really have to get your Trance fix outside of Hong Kong, whether it be Armin van Buuren in Shenzhen, Bryan Kearney in Taiwan for example. There are many great events in Thailand as well such as the upcoming Unkonscious on the Beach event. In summary, Trance fans in Hong Kong will continue travelling the globe for all the amazing Trance events our world has to offer. Trance Family Hong Kong and tranception will also of course continue to work tirelessly to bring as many renowned Trance DJs as we can to Hong Kong to spread the word and love for Trance as a whole.
tranception Hong Kong will be bringing Transmission Festival headliner Bryan Kearney to Taiwan on 16th March, 2018. For all of you Trance lovers, or ones who are trying to get a snippet of what Trance is, why not book yourself a holiday to Taiwan and experience the true Trance life.
tranception Presents The Next Chapter
Bryan Kearney @ U11 Tainan 16 March