Fang2004 posed a legit question on the rave victoria music board:
It’s a really tricky genre to play because it’s easy to take the dancefloor down the wrong path. As was mentioned before, sometimes the breakdowns can get too long, or the tracks selected don’t do anything. I think that’s a thing that some of the trance DJ’s were more guilty of a couple years ago but it sticks with people. “Oh I went to see DJ Trance and fuckin’ nothing happened for an hour.” Of course, for people who genuinely like to dance to a beat, this is not a problem. That being said, programming a trance set is difficult at best ..
After 7 years I am still picking up techniques and methods to read the dance floor faster, more honestly .. quite often I don’t play my own favorite track (or even my own just-produced-that-night track) if it doesn’t closely fit the mood of the dance floor. Sure I will do a bit of steering, but you need to balance between education and entertainment. Some DJ’s, no matter the genre, forget people are there for a good time..
A comment about “having to be high on E to appreciate trance” is pure rubbish. People enjoyed chord progressions long before drugs. Think about how your favorite movie would be effected without its soundtrack, almost all of which are reliant on the same musical theory a lot of trance is.
At the end of the day, I can honestly say playing trance is a tight-rope act. You’re expected to mix really well — a sloppy 2 minute mix can really mess the whole thing up. Don’t play too cheesy, don’t play too intelligent. Make it go somewhere, but not too fast. Give the crowd an exciting key change between two tracks, but make sure they do not clash. Phrase your mixing perfectly. Oh yeah, and ocassionally look up. This is powerful music; it needs to be presented in the right way.
Listening to: John Creamer & Stephane K – I Wish You Were Here (Lexicon Avenue Vocal mix)