Techno and Trance Don’t Mix? Space 92 Begs to Differ

Jun 30, 2023

John Cameron

2 min read

Techno and trance: a deep-rooted contention that will probably never fade. Can a self-respecting techno artist play trance without being condemned by their peers? Actually, a lot of them do — they just have to call it melodic techno instead.

But one rising techno artist doesn’t shy away from the term “trance.” Space 92 (real name Mathieu Mourareau) is a French DJ and producer whose “cosmic” brand of techno has landed on labels like Filth on Acid, Form, and 1605. His quotes in various interviews suggest that he embraces both sides of his sound signature without shame.

And why wouldn’t he, what with trance mainstays rinsing tracks like his 2021 single “Planet X”? “It’s been amazing to see the massive amount of support that ‘Planet X’ has received from big trance acts like Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, and MORTEN,” Mourareau tells Beatportal. “I was amazed to see how the track crossed over and touched techno fans as well as more EDM and trance-focused audiences.”

This was no isolated incident. When he released his three-track EP The Door on Reinier Zonneveld’s Filth on Acid imprint, it became even more clear that he felt at home with the unlikely crossover. “My music is a mixture of techno with a touch of trance, with melodies that can be happy but also sentimental,” he told When We Dip when asked about his sound. “However, the rhythm is fast and comes with kicks and bass; they’re very present to provide maximum energy.”

Techno and trance haven’t always been at odds. The latter genre evolved out of techno clubs like Frankfurt’s now-defunct Dorian Gray in the early ‘90s, where it was originally less a genre and more an early morning event format called “techno trance.” Somewhere along the lines, trance purveyors started Jesus posing and loading their tracks with radio-ready vocals. That’s where the rift started.

Artists like Space 92 stand the best chance of closing this baffling divide. By flying both flags proudly and keeping the contemplative melodies of trance alive in his music, he’s doing his part to beat back a tired, old stigma.

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